Will Lawn Mowers Pick up Pine Needles? Let’s Find Out

A great lawn doesn’t come easy, especially with pine trees shedding needles. The needles are thin and sharp leaves of pine trees, which come in clusters of 1 to 6. There are many ways to get rid of pine needles, but turning them into mulch is even better.

For this, you will need a lawn mower with mulching conversion blades. The blades make the mower into a perfect mulcher for picking up garden waste and reducing cutting time. Pine mulch is great for acid-loving plants in your lawn.

So, will lawn mowers pick up pine needles?

Lawn mowers can pick up pine needles and turn them into mulch. Afterward, you will need a leaf broomstick or a rake to spread them evenly on the garden.

Will Lawn Mowers Pick up Pine Needles

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Are pine needles harmful? Effects of pine needles

Pine needles are sharp, thin, and are arranged to the branches in clusters of two, three, or five. The brushes turn rough and can sometimes be dangerous to the skin.

Being sharp, it can easily penetrate the skin epidermis layer and cause blood to seep out. Animals or kids are more likely to cause injury due to it.

If a dog swallows the needles, chances are, they will puncture or irritate the stomach lining. On the other hand, pine needles can excrete oils that can irritate the mucous membrane.

Luckily, all pine needles are edible and don’t contain any sort of poison. No one really dies from a pine needle cut.

Benefits of using pine needles as mulch

Besides being a good source of vitamin A, anti-allergies, and anti-depression, pine needles can be turned into mulch for the garden. Turns out, pine mulch can help insulate plant roots from the cold and conserve soil moisture.

It also stops soil erosion from wind, rain, and even floods.

Plants that require a little acidic soil get the most out of pine needle mulch. Besides adding tons of plant nutrients to the soil, pine mulch increases the pH, which is slowl-dissolving. So, the soil pH remains constant.

If you have trees like gardenia, blueberry, or azalea, pine mulch will help you in tons.

How to use lawn mowers to pick up pine needles: 

To use a lawn mower to pick up pine needles, you will need a mulch conversion kit. The kit comes with mulching blades and a restriction plate. The restriction plate stops the sharp pine needles from discharging sideways. Who would like that, right?

Let us see the process now:

  • Start by removing the mower blades and adjusting the mulching blades underneath.
  • Open the screws that hold the blades, and carefully position the restricting plate. Make sure you position the plate correctly, or else the mulch may shoot out sideways.
  • Now, adjust the height so that it doesn’t touch the ground completely.
  • Turn on the mower and continue mowing in a circular manner.
  • After completing one whole round, you need to repeat the process to pulverize the pine needles.
  • Finally, use a leaf broom or a rake to scatter the mulch all over your garden or to place them in a corner.

Note: You can also rake the pine needles first. This will save you time on mowing circularly.

How do I stop pine needles from killing my grass?

The only way to stop pine needles from killing the grass is to remove them completely. You can also try breaking them into small pieces by making a mulch. The mulch will improve soil nutrients and help the grass grow better.


Will any grass grow under pine trees?

Grass growing under pine trees is often small. However, they will still grow until pine needles fall on them. Similar to a log falling on grass, the pine needles will restrict sunlight, turning the grass white. Just collect the pine needles every time it falls, and your grasses will be just fine.

How long does it take for pine needles to degrade?

Pine needles take up to six months to degrade fully. On the other hand, the needles will go down faster if the temperature is moist and warm.

What happens if you don’t rake pine needles?

If you don’t rake pine needles, the needles may pile up, causing the green grass to turn white. They will restrict airflow and sunlight to the grass, and grasses in that area will die. It is better to collect all the pine needles in the corner of the lawn.

What kind of rake is best for pine needles?

Frankly speaking, any regular rake will do for pine needles. Just make sure it collects all the leaves. Our suggestion is the Yard Tuff YTF-60PSR and the Midwest 10036 Aluminum Landscape Rake.

Should I rake pine needles before mowing?

You can rake pine needles before mowing them into a mulch. It will save tons of time, and work will finish in mere minutes.

End note

Pine needles can be tough to work with. But nothing is impossible with a little bit of effort and time. Just modify the lawn mower with a mulching kit and wallah.

The mower will pick up even the smallest pine needles.

You can also stack the pine needles in a corner and then pulverize them. You will save a lot of time, indeed.

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