One Less Worry

“One Less Worry”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 




Well, today, it  was back to work after having Thanksgiving week off.  I was surprised that it was not too difficult to get back in the work routine.  Maybe that was because I was able to get a great deal accomplished in the garden last week.

I was able to plant all the Baby Duck petunias, add compost to the garden, and rake up most of the yard of all the pine needles that had fallen.

The job that takes the longest is raking up the pine needles and then spreading them throughout the garden.  I use the pine needles as mulch in the garden beds and also in areas that are too shady for grass to grow.  I have learned from past experience to only rake up enough needles at one time that I can pick up.  Leaving piles of needles for the next day always results in at least one pile being forgotten and then a dead spot in the lawn.  A layer of pine needles won’t hurt the lawn, in fact if protects the grass from the cold, but a pile of needles will kill the grass in just two or three days.

The reason I like pine needle mulch so much is it is free (for me & makes up for all the shade from our pine trees), a nice color, and the needles stay fairly loose which improves the insulation quality of the mulch.  I was able to mulch all the front flower beds and will rake the back yard and mulch those beds next weekend.

Cold weather is predicted for tonight and then a warm up.  I am glad that I heavily mulched the gingers. callas, crinums, amaryllis, and agapanthus this weekend.  Even if the tops get frozen back, they will survive esp. if heavily mulched.  So, these mulched plants are one less worry I have with cold weather coming.

This week is turning out to be a very busy one, and it will not be so hectic now that I don’t have so many garden chores hanging over my head.



  1. Brenda Kula said,

    December 2, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    I didn’t know that about the needles killing the grass. I have two very tall pine trees in my front yard. And if I raked it all up, it would all be back in several hours. So how on earth do you do it, as I’m thinking you have a lot more trees than I do?

  2. Alexandra said,

    December 2, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Sure wish you lived closer…I’d hire you to do my garden! 🙂 Baby Duck petunias? Look at me, another flower I’ve not heard of. I sure hope I get that gardening book for Christmas! 🙂


  3. Jan said,

    December 2, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Brenda, only raked piles of pine needles left on the lawn will kill the grass, not just a layer of fallen ones. I rake three times a year because we have so many trees, it would be too much to deal with at one time. Already, there is a light layer of needles where I just raked.

    Alexandra, I wish we lived closer, too. I know we would have a great time going to nurseries and talking about gardening. I hope you get that book for Christmas. I am sure you will find it inspiring.

  4. December 3, 2008 at 2:38 am

    Hi Jan I wonder were they got that name from? Baby Ducks, very pretty./ Tyra

  5. Jan said,

    December 3, 2008 at 5:31 am

    Tyra, I can only imagine that the little yellow flowers reminded someone of little ducks. When I have researched these petunias, there is no info on the name.

  6. Randy said,

    December 3, 2008 at 9:30 am

    I really like the look of pine straw and we started using it to begin with. We have to buy ours and when we got it home is was full of so much trash it just looked terrible. We decided to go with small pine bark nuggets, which looks really good but it’s so light it washes out of the beds during heavy rain storms.

  7. Jan said,

    December 3, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Randy, mine has some leaves and small twigs, too. The leaves will quickly deteriorate so they don’t bother me, and I just pull the twigs out. When I put it in areas that are very noticeable, I usually take a little time and pull out small handfuls of pine straw and place it around the plants, that way the leaves fall out and can be composted. Years ago, we tried the pine bark nuggets and had the same problem.

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