How to Spread Pine Straw like a Pro

One thing landscapers can usually pick out easily is a pine straw bed that wasn’t done by a professional crew. As someone who grew up helping my parents lay pine straw, I can totally understand the DIY mindset when it comes to yardwork. But if you’re doing it yourself, you gotta learn how to get it right, so your lawn can look top notch! 

How much does pine straw cost?

Typically, what we see in the north GA area is $3.50-$4.75 / bale to pick it up yourself, or a bit more for delivery. 

How to Spread Pine Straw like a Pro : How much Pine Straw do I need?

Take the total square footage of the area you are planning to straw, and divide it by 45. That’s how many bales you should count on to cover the area.

For example – if you have 4500 square foot of bed, you would need 100 bales of pines straw.

Can I go buy Pine Straw? 

Yes! You can find pine straw at most home depot’s and Lowes’s – and you can typically find a local pine straw vendor in most areas in the southeast. We strongly recommend the local vendor for quality. Usually, your retail stores will not have the quality of straw your local vendor will. If you have a regular size pick-up truck, you could get 75-100 bales of pine straw in your bed – if you stack it properly. Most cookie cutter neighborhoods require 25-40 bales of pine straw, while most residential homes require 60-100 bales. We have a handy dandy tool on figuring out how many bales you’ll need here (HYPERLINK!!) 

Where should I start? 

We recommend starting your spreading close to your house and moving out towards the edge of your beds. Lay the straw one foot over the outside of the bed, to allow room to roll the pine straw (we’ll explain how below)


The best way to spread, is pick up as many squares of the bale (the pieces that separate easily from the bale when you untie the bale) as you can, and hold under one arm (this is a bit prickly) and yank a handful, and harshly toss it around the area you want. The trick with pine straw is not being gentle when spreading. You want to harshly toss until you have broken every needle apart, leaving no clumps of straw. You want to make sure you toss enough straw that when packed down, you have 3 to 4 inches of thickness, so the pine straw can do its job and hold moisture. 

How to Spread Pine Straw like a Pro : Rolling 

Rolling pine straw can be done by hand, or with a blower.  To roll by hand, you want to take where you had spread the straw one foot over the bed edge, push that excess straw back into the bed and push under with both hands. Take a slide step and do the next section. Continue around bed line

To roll with a blower, you want to stand back 5-8 ft from the edge of the bed. Clean up any excess straw in the grass, blowing towards the bed, not blowing too hard or too close, as to not blow the straw away. Once the strays are where you want them, you want to blow at the ground at the bed edge until the straw literally starts rolling. Then you can swing your blower back and forth along the bed, slowing walking the bed line. Once you get the air blowing correctly, you will see the straw roll itself nicely and easily. 

You can check out our YouTube video on rolling pine straw here!