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Garden Talk: Compost - can I add (??)

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DebraDwife
Monterey, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 23, 2013
8:04 AM

Post #9569787

Can I put weeds in my compost pile or will this just cause me all kinds of trouble when I use it??
Thank you!

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
Middle TN
United States
(Zone 7a)

June 23, 2013
12:03 PM

Post #9570018

A large pile with the right types and ratio of ingredients will (should) create enough heat to destroy the majority of weeds. If the pile is smaller, it might not heat up enough and weed seeds can then survive even through a long composting process.
DebraDwife
Monterey, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 26, 2013
1:51 AM

Post #9573558

Thank you Cville!

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

July 3, 2013
12:26 PM

Post #9585014

My piles are so small that they don't heat up much. I rely on a few things.

1. I already have so many weeds that a few more seeds won't make it any worse.

2. I figure that some weed seeds will sprout during the composting process, as I turn it and keep it moist. I certainly see a lot of peas and Brassica seeds sprout when I toss pea plants with moldy pods or greens that have gone to seed.

3. Hopefully, worms will eat some weed seeds and some will rot.

4. When I spread compost, I also scratch it in so it stays moist and doesn't die. Buried weed seeds won't sprout until they get turned up to the surface.

5. I try to mulch every bed with coarse bark chips. They keep the weeds from sprouting, and seem to make it easier to pull out entire roots when they do sprout. I suppose that's because they keep the soil moist and loose.

That said, I WOULDN'T compost weeds that had gone all the way to seed, IF I had enough other sources of organic matter to make enough compost. I'm always short on compost. I could use three times as much as I can make.

If I had a 'weed torch", I would crisp the seedheads before harvesting the weeds.
OldWrangler
Spring, TX

August 18, 2013
9:44 AM

Post #9634257

Turn the seeds so they face down. Then it won't matter if they sprout, the weeds will then be in China and they will get eaten.
fordpickup
Clinton, IN

August 18, 2013
11:49 AM

Post #9634354



CAUTION: OldWrangler B S tale above.

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
Middle TN
United States
(Zone 7a)

August 19, 2013
3:09 AM

Post #9634834

No doubt. :)
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 19, 2013
6:38 AM

Post #9634946

I agree with fordpickup!

We used to add weeds, long ago, but haven't done it in about 15 years. Some of those seeds can only cause grief.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

August 19, 2013
1:25 PM

Post #9635341

Maybe if I stopped composting weeds, I wouldn't have as many everywhere.

However, they show up everywhere I don't put compost, as well as everywhere I do put compost.

I think my main problem is that I don't always pull them before they go to seed - and you can't get ahead of the game that way.

Cville_Gardener

Cville_Gardener
Middle TN
United States
(Zone 7a)

August 19, 2013
2:06 PM

Post #9635380

Very true.

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