We have a lot of pine needles that have fallen on our lawn. Can we mow them...

Asked October 1, 2013, 7:50 PM EDT

We have a lot of pine needles that have fallen on our lawn. Can we mow them like fallen leaves and not harm the lawn? We like to mow our great quantities of leaves rather than bag and dispose of them each Fall.

Kanabec County Minnesota lawns and turf

1 Response

Yes, you certainly can mow the pine needles into the lawn.

If your mower is the mulching kind - and they are usually gas or electric - mowing fallen leaves adds organic matter and nutrients back into the lawn. After some time however, these leaves and the mulched grass can build up a layer that sheds water. Every few years (depending on how much mulched material you end up with) you should de-thach, and/or aerate the lawn in order to incorporate the build-up.

Here is a link that will give you some good guidelines about sustainable lawn care.
http://www1.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/lawns/

One more important thing to consider is having a soil analysis done. Pine needles are acidic and while most of the natural soils in Minnesota are on the basic side and can benefit from a little acid, too much of any good thing isn't always good!
(The soil pH value is a measure of soil acidity or alkalinity. Soil pH directly affects nutrient availability. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 as neutral. Numbers less than 7 indicate acidity while numbers greater than 7 indicate alkalinity.)
Here is a link that can tell you about soil testing:
http://soiltest.cfans.umn.edu/

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact AaE again if you have further questions.