Welcome to Atlanta
Metro Atlanta is one of the fastest growing areas in the United States, and for good reason. There are thousands upon thousands of great work force opportunities here. As a matter of fact, one of the top counties in the state of Georgia, in terms of growth, is our very own Paulding County. Our county is very new to the high population and commerce it is currently experiencing, as in less than two decades. Just twenty years ago, we were a county filled with two lane roads, dense vegetation, wide open fields, and a very limited amount of schools, but things have changed. We have added several large shopping plazas, restaurants, education centers, schools, colleges, communities, and most importantly, people. Consumers. Working class citizens from all over the country, as well as internationally, have selected Paulding County Georgia to be their long term home. In more than a few cases, these people have relocated from places as far as Massachusetts , New Jersey, New York, Michigan, and even California! What we have discovered, as a lawn and landscape company in this ever changing and ever growing community, is that very few places outside of the Southeast, do anything like we do it here. Namely, landscaping.
So, what exactly is Pine Straw?
Well, to put it simply, ‘pine straw’ isn’t straw at all! Down here in the south, we make English even more complicated to learn than it already is. ‘Pine straw,’ is slang for the pine needles, which are actually the leaves that grow on pine trees. The very foliage of a pine tree, that is green, IS pine straw, and it is a very popular choice for ‘mulching,’ or ground cover here in the southeast. Pine needles are best for harvesting during November, when the needles have the most color, and are the most fresh. The color associated with the needles, depend on the type of pine tree they fell from. Some pine trees are considered long leaf, and some short leaf. Overall, there are many different types and classifications of pine trees, but the main thing to know, is the differences in the leaves, and how they affect your flower beds.
To some, that don’t have the keenest of eyes, or folks who simply have no idea that they’re looking at a southern delicacy while eyeballing a home that they’ve just found online after moving here, pine straw on the grounds is a culture shock. They just don’t know what it is, where it came from, or why it’s there. I have been a member of a lawn care and landscape forum online for many years. Business owners, and homeowners alike use this forum to ask questions, give constructive criticism, gain knowledge, and really just share their love of caring for their properties, or conducting business in the green industry. Usually, business owners on the forum will have links to their social media addresses, email addresses, and websites on their account, so that the others can check out their work and such. Once, I was assisting a few users in giving another owner some insight on some type of landscape topic, and one of the guys shouted me out on there. “Hey man, I went and checked out your profile on Facebook, and saw that you finished a job with some sod and plants. Around the plants, there’s a bunch of brownish reddish, horrible looking stuff…WHAT IS THAT?!
It was funny, because I had recently acquired a customer who had purchased a home in a new community here, and she was from New Jersey. Here, after a home is built, it usually receives Bermuda sod for a yard, and pine straw as a ground cover in the flower beds. My new customer was wanting a price on lawn maintenance, but her first question when I met her was, “Okay, what is this stuff?” Obviously, she didn’t like it at first, because most people from elsewhere in the United States use mulch as their ground cover. But, I explained to her that we could freshen it up for her, and get some great looking pine straw and install it the right way, by giving it a nice rolled edge line. This is a typical practice for experienced, and professional lawn and landscape companies in the south.
When to Install Pine Straw
If you are familiar with mulch in your beds, then you probably know that mulch is usually replaced or freshened up once per year. Here at Redline Landscapes, we like to do our mulch installations in March the most. We choose this time of year, like many other companies like us, because it is well after all the leaves and other fall debris have been picked up, or cleaned out of the beds. It is also a great time of year for mulch installation, because it serve as a beautiful contrast to the fresh blooms that will soon arrive in April. Pine straw is absolutely no different, other than the frequency that it is installed. We recommend that you change out your pine straw twice per year. By the time we install beautiful long leaf red pine straw in March, and brave 8 months of harsh drought, humidity, and shrub trimming, pine straw will start to fade and turn gray. But, there is nothing to fear, because it is November at this point, and November is when pine straw is the most fresh! Your second installation of pine straw later in the fall, is just ahead of all the important holidays when everyone will be coming over for dinner, and gift exchange. And, to see that new house you bought, after you relocated to the Deep South. They will likely pull up to a gorgeous home, with a dormant Bermuda yard, and the only color around being in your beds, all fluffy and rolled on the edge. They will ask you, “What the heck is that?!” And you can tell them all about it. Maybe they will even transplant their newly discovered landscaping idea back to their region of the country, and have a unique and gorgeous property of their own.
If you are new to the south, or discovering this article from another part of the country, I urge you to research some photos of Augusta National Golf Club, or watch some of the Master’s Tournament this year. You will quickly fall in love with one of the most beautiful properties in the country, that is filled with southern delicacies such as gorgeous, deep green bermudagrass, magnolia trees, azaleas, and yes, pine straw!