Pine Needles – Leaving on Grass

Q: I have been good about raking my pine needles, until recently but I’d love to just leave them on the grass. My friend thinks pine needles will kill the grass. Is it okay just to leave the needles down for the winter or should I be raking and bagging?

A: Pine needles will kill the grass if you allow them to pile up and make a mat. If you just have a light dusting of needles I don’t see how they would harm the grass. Otherwise, shred them with your mower and let them decompose over the next few months. One of the reasons I like my mulching mower is that it shreds leaves and needles so fine that they don’t make a mat when I mow my lawn.

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