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 Post subject: Pine Needles
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:29 pm
Posts: 4
I live in Wilmington, NC and have a lot of pine straw around and have heard you can't use pine needles in a compost. Is that true?


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 Post subject: Re: Pine Needles
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:58 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Arlington, Texas
Check out what Howard has to say at this link -- http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garde ... on/id/965/

Also, we collect pine needles from around the neighborhood and use them as mulch around our large oak tree and, if we get enough, we plan to put it in the compost pile, too. We have found that when we have piles of it waiting to be put out as mulch that it has composted while just sitting in a pile -- with no added "ingredients" like leaves, dry molasses, cut grass, or other common compost components (how's THAT for an alliteration?! :wink: )

I say throw 'em in there!

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Cara
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Take time to stop and smell the flowers!
(or... as my ladybug refrigerator magnet says
"take time to stop and eat the flowers!" :D)


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 Post subject: Re: Pine Needles
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:48 pm
Posts: 45
Location: California, San Joaquin Valley - home of 105* summers, foggy winters.
I don't know about "can't". Pine needles do take a little longer to break down, but other than that, I see no problem with it. We worm compost, and they'll pretty much eat "anything that has lived and died". Many a pine needle has found its way into our compost (we have 2 60+ year old trees) with no ill effects.

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 Post subject: Re: Pine Needles
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:29 pm
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so they would be okay in compost that I am using for the garden?

Here's a separate question in regards to worms. can you just buy worms and throw them on your compost pile, or is there more to it?


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 Post subject: Re: Pine Needles
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:58 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Arlington, Texas
Yes, you can definitely use pine needles in compost that you are going to put on your garden. No problem.

With regard to the worms, I think you may have two different things kind of mooshed together in your mind.
I would not recommend buying worms and tossing them in your compost pile. If you compost, the worms will come. You will not have to buy them.

That said, what you may be thinking about is vermicomposting. Meaning, a box or bin with bedding and special worms (red wigglers) that you feed with kitchen scraps on a regular basis.

Howard has this to say about it: Worm composting (or vermicomposting) is a natural and efficient way to “recycle” organic kitchen waste and compost your food scraps indoors with worms, and reduce the volume of your household garbage by as much as 25%. The end result is unsurpassed as an organic soil builder and plant fertilizer.

This (search.php?keywords=vermicomposting&terms=all&author=&sc=1&sf=all&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search) is a link to a search in the forums on "vermicomposting". There are 9 results. I didn't read them all, but you should be able to get some more info here.

Happy gardening!

_________________
God speed!
Cara
**
Take time to stop and smell the flowers!
(or... as my ladybug refrigerator magnet says
"take time to stop and eat the flowers!" :D)


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 Post subject: Re: Pine Needles
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:48 pm
Posts: 45
Location: California, San Joaquin Valley - home of 105* summers, foggy winters.
I would not recommend buying worms and tossing them in your compost pile. If you compost, the worms will come. You will not have to buy them.

. . .Maybe. We live in a hot, dry climate, and it's very possible that this yard or that, will not have worms at all. We didn't before we started vermicomposting. Even then, I started out with only 200 purchased worms, and then slowly built up the population until we had enough to really do something, but it's not always a given that worms are there.

Or, you want to jump start a specific pile, so you buy some worms to kick off the population.

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 Post subject: Re: Pine Needles
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:40 pm
Posts: 195
I have't found a leaf or a neddle from any tree that I can't compost yet,and I have a bin/pile for over 20 years now,and about worms ,i buy mind from
www.unclejimswormfarm.com ,he's a really good guy. :D


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