How to Compost Pine Needles

Overview

Pine needles are naturally acidic in composition. For this reason, many gardeners do not include pine needles in their compost. However, though pine needles change the pH of your compost right away, in the long run all compost returns to a neutral pH. The trick is to wait until the compost has reached that balance before using it.

Step 1

Spread pine needles on the ground.

Step 2

Chop pine needles by running over them with a lawn mower.

Step 3

Spread a 2-inch layer of grass clippings, vegetable scraps and peat moss over the ground to form a base for your compost pile.

Step 4

Spread a 12-inch layer of pine needles over the grass-clipping layer. Continue to layer grass clippings, scraps and peat moss and pine needles until the pile is the desired size.

Step 5

Wet the compost pile with a garden hose until it is damp (the consistency of a wrung-out sponge).

Step 6

Stir your compost pile every two weeks until the pile has completely broken down and resembles a thick, dark soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Grass clippings
  • Vegetable scraps
  • Peat moss
  • Garden fork
  • Garden hose

References

  • Pine needles in the compost
  • Pine Needle Compost
  • How to Compost

Who Can Help

  • Pine Needles?
Keywords: pine needles, compost, acidic soil

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.