Long needle pine straw is a variety of pine needle mulch with a thick wax coating and between 12 and 18 inches in length. Also known as premium pine straw, this pine straw mulch is the longest lasting of pine straw mulches and it is rare. Use pine straw mulch to control weeds, protect plants from the weather and to retain soil moisture. Pine mulch is also used for decorative purposes.
Long needle pine straw decomposes at a slower rate and adds organic material and nutrients to the soil. It has a neutral pH, making it ideal for most plants. The pine needles interlock after spreading, preventing rain from moving them. Long needle pine straw is particularly effective for areas with hills and very high winds.
Pine needle mulch insulates the soil, protecting root systems from climate changes. It also blocks the sun from reaching infant weeds, preventing them from growing.
Pine needle mulch repels termites. It also helps prevent shotgun fungus (Sphaerobolus stellatus). Prevent the recurrence of this fungus by applying long needle pine straw.
Apply pine needle mulch two to three inches deep in the ground by shaking handfuls over the desired area to spread it evenly. This mulch can last several years, but it's recommended to reapply annually.