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Soil and Composting: Pine Cones

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Forum: Soil and CompostingReplies: 4, Views: 89
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0rainwatersm
Portland, OR
(Zone 8a)

March 11, 2011
2:05 PM

Post #8420686

I have tons of pinecones from a huge Fir tree in my back yard. Has anyone ever laid these on their garden beds as a mulch or should I just put them in the compost bin?

Thanks for your ideas!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 12, 2011
10:46 PM

Post #8423578

Seems like that would make a nice fluffy mulch. Good for keeping the soil cool, maybe not a great weedblock.
realbirdlady
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 13, 2011
5:45 PM

Post #8425022

lol Fircones does just sound wrong...

The only reason I can think of not to use a pile of them as mulch is if you're the sort of person who's always sticking your bare hands into the soil. Seems like it could be scratchy? If you were organized enough to wear gloves (and shoes) that wouldn't matter.

I'd guess they decompose a lot slower than most of what is in your compost bin, so probably that wouldn't be a good idea.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 14, 2011
6:07 PM

Post #8427276

If you ran them through a chipper before composting, i would expect them to break down about as fast as wood or bark.

Soferdig
Kalispell, MT
(Zone 4b)

March 22, 2011
9:50 PM

Post #8444270

I have both fir cones and Ponderosa cones and I run them through my Debris loader (shredder) and put them in the compost for soil structure. They take about a year or two to break down. Makes a great hotels for worm and salamander families. I usually produce about 6 yards of start that breaks down to 2 yards a year so I compost everything but sticks. I have used them for mulch but they don't hold in the moisture and arent too pretty when shredded. Many different shapes and ugly.

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