How to use pine cones in the garden? 5 surprising and clever ideas!

Pine cones make a great fall and winter decoration. Note: you should always cook them before using them as decoration, believe me! Most of the time, they hide unwanted pests and cooking them makes it easy to get rid of them. Bake them for about 30 minutes at 110°C. But can you use them for other purposes? For something more useful, like in the garden, for example? I’ll tell you exactly how to use pine cones in the garden with five amazing ideas! So whether you already have a bunch of them or are just starting to collect them, keep scrolling!

How to use pine cones in the garden?

Stunningly beautiful and extremely versatile, the pine cone can be used in so many ways. Did you know you can eat pine cones if you boil them? Personally, I don’t think that’s a good idea in the long run, even though they’re loaded with vitamin C. Digestion will be somewhat… Hard. In any case ! I have collected the most creative and useful ways to use pine cones in the garden. Let’s find out what to do with  pine cones in the garden !

in the compost

When pine cones decompose, they release many nutrients. So why not add them to your compost bin ? So, during the decomposition process, all of those useful nutrients will go into the compost pile. In this way, the mixture will be even more powerful. However, before doing so, you should know that pine cones are very robust, therefore difficult to decompose. I suggest you take them apart and sprinkle the little bits all over the place.

Pine cone bird feeder

The chirping of birds in the background in your garden is always a wonderful sound. If you want to attract more of them and live like a modern-day Snow White, why not build them a manger? It’s very simple, I’ve done it several times and the birds love it. Simply take your pine cone and roll it in peanut butter. Then you roll it in birdseed and let it dry. Add a string so you can hang it somewhere. The birds will come for more afterwards, so keep in mind that you may need to make more!

As a natural mulch

Mulch helps keep moisture in the soil and protect it from cold, wind and snow. You can put compost, shredded leaves , grass clippings , straw and…yes, you guessed it! Pine cones! Smaller pine cones can be loosely placed around trees and plants to act as mulch. They will do a great job of protecting plant roots while helping retain moisture. Be aware, however, that they are easily flammable, as they contain pine resin. So keep them away from fire, for example if you have a brazier in your garden.

DIY ladybug hotel

How to build a ladybug hotel? And what is it exactly? Ladybugs are always looking for a safe space to lay their eggs and hibernate during the winter. Very often, they use the crevices of old wood and dead stems. However, you can simply replicate this natural environment and create your own ladybug hotel. What to do with pine cones in the garden? A very classy hotel! Moreover, if you are interested, I encourage you to read the article by my colleague Amélie, a great admirer of flora and fauna, who explains how to make an insect hotel in the garden!

You will need:

  • Scissors
  • Strings
  • Chicken wire
  • Pine cone

Instructions :

  1. Cut a length of chicken wire 50-80cm long.
  2. Make a pile of pine cones in the middle of the chicken wire. It helps to press them together so that their scales lock and hold tight. You can also tie them with twine.
  3. Lift the edges of the chicken wire around the pinecones to form a bag.
  4. Fold back or cut off the excess chicken wire.
  5. Tie the top of the bag with twine.
  6. You can hang the hotel in a sheltered spot in the garden, or place it on the ground in the flower bed. Make sure it is protected from heavy rain.

How to use pine cones in the garden: drainage

You can put pine cones in containers and use them as drainage! And yes ! If you have a large planter to fill, you will quickly realize that land is rather expensive and that pine cones are… Free! So fill the container halfway with pine cones and put the soil on top. You will see that you will save time, money and your plants will be happier and more prosperous! So the next time you’re wondering, “What to do with pinecones in the garden?” », you have 5 answers!