The Pine Needles


I’ve been on vacation this week, and boy has it been nice!  One of my goals for the week was to prepare new gardens for next spring.  Much to my husband’s surprise I thoroughly enjoyed my first year of gardening this year and I want to expand quite a bit next year.

My biggest hurdle was getting the soil ready since we don’t own a tiller.  As I was still trying to figure that out, a friend posted on Facebook that her family was doing a no-till garden based on the video at  The concept of using ground cover to kill the grass while adding nutrients to the soil over the winter made complete sense to my beginner gardening mind, so I thought I would try it.  I called the local tree service and they were more than willing to give me wood chips for free when they were in my area, which they expected to be soon.

Unfortunately, when day one of my vacation got here I still didn’t have wood chips. But that same day, another friend was at my house and she happened to mention that a local gardener she knows uses pine needles as ground cover.  A light bulb went off in my mind because the only trees we have on our property are pine trees.  Maybe I could try that while I was waiting on the wood chips?

I marked out two gardens in addition to my two raised beds: one small, long one and one larger one.  Then I set out to rake the pine needles at the edge of our property.  I was thrilled with all the gorgeous brown needles at my disposal and encouraged when I saw dark, nutrient-rich soil beneath them.  Matt laughed at my sudden excitement and called them my Arkansas gold. 

In three days’ time during Alyssa’s nap, I had the first garden covered.  It was hot and I worked harder than I’ve worked in a long time, yet it was so rewarding in a way that’s hard to describe.

Then I started thinking about how often Jesus used gardening examples in his parables and how I could take a lesson from these pine needles. 

Before my friend mentioned the pine needles, I just planned on waiting to start my garden preparation until the wood chips arrived, without realizing I could make use of what I already had in my own back yard.

In the same way, perhaps we have this perfect “plan” that we are content on waiting for.  It might be a great plan, even a God-honoring plan.  But perhaps during the wait, we should take a look at what God has already provided in our own back yard. 

Sure, I’m still waiting on those wood chips for my larger garden, but if I hadn’t seen that I could use what I already had, I would have missed a tremendous blessing.

2 thoughts on “The Pine Needles

  1. Don’t know if I mentioned that Mark and the kids scooped up pine needles while we were ‘waiting’ on chips. It really helped our tomato plants and watermelon plants to hang on until we got the ‘big’ stuff. Another thing you can do to help w/ the weeds is to lay down wet newspaper then cover with your pine needles. It will break down, too, thereby ‘recycling’:) I have shared the film with anyone who wants to listen and I get so excited when I see people get interested/excited about it!!! We had one tree service tell us that we did not want wood chips in our garden and that it would be too acidic, etc. God’s ways don’t always make scientific sense, but His way sure is superior. Btw, didn’t you just love how Paul in the film gave God all of the credit! Wonderful film:)

  2. Pingback: Planting Day | Bibs and Aprons

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