Put a Cork in It!

Literally. We’re putting cork in our flower beds with this DIY mulch made from wine corks! Why? First, mulch is essential to protecting your landscape by helping plants retain water. Also, it’s a great way to reduce waste. Next time you open a bottle of wine, don’t throw away the cork. Save it, and once you have a good stockpile of corks, you can repurpose them into mulch.

It’s important to note: You only want to use natural cork for your mulch. You can tell whether a winemaker uses natural cork or synthetic plastic cork by the feel. Natural cork will be rough and textured, where synthetic will have a smooth, plastic feel.

Once you’ve sorted your corks and weeded out any synthetics, you’re ready to start breaking them down into smaller “chips.” This can be done using a high-powered blender or with a knife and cutting board. If you choose to put them in a blender, work in small batches so the blades have room to evenly chop the corks rather than turn them into a fine dust. If you prefer to go the manual route, chop corks into ¼”-½” pieces. This size will allow for adequate water seepage when watering.

It will take a significant amount of corks to fill an entire bed. So, invite your friends over to help a “worthy cause” or ask your local bars and restaurants if you can have the corks they plan on throwing away. Who said drinking wine wasn’t good for the planet, right?