The holidays are coming quickly upon us, and many of us deck the halls with real pine trees or wreaths of pine. The refreshing smell of pine resonates fondly with the time of year, but let's be honest, the clean-up is a pain. If only there were a use for all of those leftover pine needles...But wait! We can help. We have a few ideas to help make this year’s cleanup a little easier, by making those needles useful. Here are our picks for the Top 5 Uses for Pine Needles:
Turn Pine Needles into a Mulch for Your Acid-Loving Plants:
There are a number of plants that benefit from the acidic properties of pine needles. Pine needles do not become compacted, so soil can easily breathe. Blueberry bushes, Rhododendrons, Holly and Azaleas thrive in a pine needle mulch. Simply use a garden fork to mix the needles into the soil, and watch your plants grow!
Make Natural Cleaning Products:
Boil water and steep the pine needles. After, strain the needles and use the remaining water to clean the surfaces in your home! Pine needles have antibacterial properties, and leave a fresh, clean scent behind!
Alternatively, fill a mason jar with white vinegar and loads of pine needles. Place the lid on and put it in a cupboard for 6 weeks. After the 6 weeks, you can place the liquid in a spray bottle and use as a regular household cleaner!
Alleviate Headaches, Naturally:
Using a few simple ingredients, you can create your own homemade headache balm. The recipe calls for chopped dry pine needles, dried mint leaves, olive oil (or sunflower oil), tamanu oil, beeswax, and peppermint essential oil. The result: a pleasantly scented salve to help relax and ease a headache.
Sooth Your Weary Soles:
Take a few minutes and pamper yourself after the whirlwind of the holidays, using your dying Christmas tree! Gather a handful of pine needles, toss them into a foot basin filled with warm water. Place your feet in the warm water for 15 minutes, breathing in the light scent of pine. Lightly pat your feet dry and enjoy the newly relaxed feeling.
Craft Excellent Fire Starters:
Using a muffin tray, line the tray with muffin paper. Place pine needles in the tray and add melted wax. Allow the wax to cool into small disks. Place the disks in a mason jar until you’re ready to use them. Build your fire as usual and place the disk beneath the kindling. Light, and enjoy the warmth!