Are Pine Cones Good for Compost?

Are Pine Cones Good for Compost

Composting is fascinating. It is the most miraculous things which can create a very healthy and fresh Garden for your fruit plants. It improves the taste of the plants and fruits that you grow in your garden by making them healthy.

row of bean sprout

Once you get to know about all the benefits of compost, you can not get over it. It does not even require a lot of information and knowledge. However, you can start with a very basic knowledge of producing rich compost. 

Among so many substances that can be used for composting, pine cones are among the most different ones. That is because of their aesthetically beautiful appearance and hard nature. However, many people get confused if they can use pine cones for their compost or not. In this blog, we have answered such questions related to pine cones composting. 

Are Pine Cones Good for Compost?

However, the question in this log is Are Pine Cones Good for Compost making or not? Well, the briefest answer to this question is a yes. However, the compost only needs a limited amount of it. The content of pine cones in your compost is very important. It only has to be 10% which is the recommended level for your pine needles in your compost heap. The reason for using only a limited amount of pine needles in your compost is it decomposes very slowly and gradually. 

Most gardeners use only a very small amount of pine cones in their compost heap. Mix it with a wide variety of other composting substances to achieve the best results. However, the question of whether you need pine cones in your compost or not remains there. A brief explanation about if the pine cones should be added to your compost in large quantities or not. They are hard and take longer for decomposition. So it is better if you add a little of it in your compost.

Compost is usually alkaline, and pine cones are acidic. Some people believe that adding pine cones to your compost can neutralize the alkaline nature of the compost. Give a negative effect to your gardening plants. Hence these people also avoid adding many pine cones to their compost; however, in very alkaline soil, they use pine cones to neutralize it by adding pine cones.

Composting pine cones can take a while. That is why most people avoid using them in their compost and also come up with a lot of myths. The reason why Pine cones take long for decomposing is that they are very tough and rubbery. Which makes them take longer for decomposition. Another reason for slow and gradual decomposition is the Pine cones are very resilient and resistant to bacterias of composting which also slows down the process of break down.

Suggested ways of using Pine cones in your compost is to break them down into shredded pieces first. You can shred them in a proper garden shredder. Or you can use a lawnmower to run over them so that they are shredded or broken into pieces.

What is compost

Making compost is a process in which different organic materials are decomposed into a compost form to be added into the soil to help the plants grow with better nutrients and health. Different waste materials and food scraps are added together into the compost, which can be reused to make your garden greener. All this food scrap and yard waste is about 30% of what we throw away into the bin instead of composting it for better use.

Making compost is also very environmentally friendly and eliminates the greenhouse effect. The material you keep to make compost is preventing the landfills. Space occupied by the waste products that we throw away. Moreover, it also decreases the amount of methane gas released by these waste products. Because methane gas is a potent greenhouse gas.

The few basic points that you must consider when you’re composing the waste and food scrap of your house are;

  • Your compost must include brown organic materials, for example, branches, leave, and twigs, because they are essential for making a perfect compost.
  • It is also necessary that your compost has sufficient quantities of green organic material like grass clippings, fruit scraps, vegetable waste, and coffee grounds as well.
  • Another most important thing that you need for composting is an adequate amount of moisture in your compost. Water is great for facilitating faster composting or decomposition of the compost.

Hence the basic knowledge of compost involves knowing that you need these three things to make a perfect compost with equal amounts of brown, green, and water. It is also great if you use alternative layers and arrangement of organic materials according to their particle sizes so that the decomposition gets faster.

Benefits of Composting 

There are many benefits of composting, and one of the few benefits is it is very environment-friendly. It allows a decrease of methane gas in the greenhouse effect. Moreover, the benefit of composting to your garden is it can enrich your soil. So that it can retain more moisture in the soil for better plant growth.

Moreover, using compost with soil for your plants can eliminate many plant diseases. It also decreases pests in your garden.

Another most important reason for making compost at home is it can replace the chemical fertilizers you are using in your garden and reduce the money you have to spend on your garden maintenance. Moreover, compost making is very pocket-friendly as it is only done with the scrap and food waste you have available. Moreover, composting also helps in the growth of many beneficial bacteria and fungi. These bacteria are essential for healthy soil. They can break down all the organic material you add to your compost, creating humus, a nutrient-filled material.

Are pine cones compostable?

Composting is all about the decomposition of the substances that you add to your compost. However, one of the factors of composting a pine cone is it takes a very long duration for the decomposition process. It decomposes very slowly in your compost bin, and your compost will lack all the nutrition that will come out of it.

Moreover, the best way of composting any substance like pine cones that are hard to decompose you need the most essential three things that are also the main components for creating a successful compost.

  • Adequate moisture level in the compost
  • Sufficient availability of oxygen for oxygenation.
  • A very fine and accurate mix of green and brown feedstock for perfect decomposition.

The reason why moisture content is very important for maintaining good compost is that it is very necessary for the action of bacteria that works in the process of decomposition of pine cones. At an accurate moisture level, these bacteria can feed on pine cones and decompose them properly; otherwise, these bacteria are unable to perform their action. 

The Other aspect is good structure and availability of oxygen to the compost. Good structure and proper density mean that the structure is made for air can easily circulate inside the compost. This make oxygen available to the compost substances. Oxygen is needed for bacteria and microbes decomposing the substances inside the compost. Obviously, if there is no adequate supply of oxygen, these bacteria will die or won’t be able to work properly against the decomposition of pinecones.

And last but not least is that the compost needs a good amount of organic waste in a very balanced form. Organic waste can be easily divided into two different types that are green organic waste and brown organic waste. Green organic waste is easily available as green feedstock, and it has good moisture content as well. Moreover, green organic waste is very fast in composition, and it also contains high levels of nitrate as well. 

On the other side, brown organic waste is very high in carbon content. This high carbon content will make organic waste take longer in the composition process, but it provides a good structure to the compost with greater availability of oxygen. Hence it is better that you use a very balanced type of organic waste that has both green organic waste and brown organic waste in equal quantity.

Other Uses of pine Cones:

Various other things also require some dry and hard organic materials. Pine cones can be a very good substance for such tasks. A common beneficial use of pine cones, can be used as mulch. Large Pine cones are not the most ideal for mulching. However, smaller ones placed around garden plants. They can act as mulch and create a beautiful ambiance in your garden as well. 

They are great for keeping the plant roots covered and protected. Also for the moisture held inside the soil. This pine cone mulch will work exactly like the store-bought mulch. The best part is it is available for free to you, unlike every other mulch you use. However, you have to be a little cautious about using pine cones because they are very flammable due to the pine resin inside them.

You must also make sure that you do not use pine cone mulch around the area where you usually grill or have a fire pit. And you must also prevent any fire or Spark from reaching the mulch that you have spread in your garden if it is made by the pine cones. Pine cones can also be used for providing a very nice home for ladybugs. You can be generous enough to keep some Pinecones under Shady and tall plants so that various bugs can use them as their home and find refuge inside.

The best part about providing ladybugs a refuge is that they are great for eliminating pests and ladybugs, and they also eat aphids, so it is a great idea to keep your garden plants safe and healthy. Some people also choose to use pinecones as decorative and aesthetically pleasing stuff. It is one of the most fun ways of using Pine cones inside your garden. It can be very decorative and aesthetic to have Pine cones decorated around your garden borders. 

You can also line up pinecones like natural borders, or you can just cover up the ground with them. They will not only aesthetically make the soil look beautiful, but they also retain the moisture inside the soil, which is very beneficial for the soil’s health. Not only does it maintain the health and moisture content of the soil, but it also protects it from various harmful substances.

Another innovative way of using pine cones is you can use them for making a bird feeder. 

Birds are very good for a healthy garden, and you should be very welcoming to these beautiful little creatures. Using pine cones, you can craft your very own bird feeder. It is very easy to make a pine cone bird feeder because all you have to do is cover your pine cone in peanut butter and then roll it in birdseed so that they attach to the pine cone. 

The other use of pine cones can be container fillers. Filling all the containers with heavy dirt can be very expensive, and pine cones can be one of the best alternatives to fill large planters. They do not only cost you less but also improve the drainage system of your planters and fill a lot of space with less weight. It can save you your time as well and can help you to have a very good planter with better nutrients as well.

Summing Up:

Pine cones are great for use in compost making; however, you have to be very considerate while deciding the composition of your compostand adding equal amounts of brown organic material, green organic material, and water.