Weeds in the Compost Pile?

I just read this little gem of wisdom in the comment section of another blog vegetablegardener.com and I don’t want to forget about it. I know I’ll never find it again if I don’t record it myself.

The blog discussed whether to toss, or not to toss, weeds into your compost pile.

There are pros and cons to each side, but you definitely don’t want to spread MORE weeds all over with your garden that send seeds or root bits piggy packing along in your new finished compost.

One visitor suggests…

Yes, plants need air… even roots and seeds, so if you put all your suspect weeds, seedheads, running roots, etc, in a bucket of rainwater for several weeks, all the living vegetative material will die and start to smell… well, ‘fragrant’. The liquid can be used as a feed, as it will contain soluble nutrients (like nettle tea, comfrey tea)or you can tip the whole lot on the heap. This is a guaranteed way of dealing with all roots, seeds, regenerative stems… everything. I’ve even done this with Japanese Knotweed, one of the most difficult to kill plants.
John ‘Compost’ Cossham, York, UK”

I love this idea and I think I’ll try it.

3 thoughts on “Weeds in the Compost Pile?”

  1. Lisa, I think if you compost the weeds, the seeds are destroyed. So, I think it’s safe and even desirable to compost the weeds. They provide desirable “greens” in the compost mix of green and brown.

  2. I usually do compost the weeds, but I always wondered how many seeds I was spreading around with my black gold. I never wanted to sacrifice the nitrogen because I don’t use conventional fertilizer on my lawn and never collect that many grass clippings to add to my pile. This is a nice idea also because I think my pile has been pretty dry in the past…

  3. I have always composted my weeds, and haven’t had a weed problem when using the compost. I’ve been composted honeysuckle and English ivy, after letting the roots sit exposed for a little while, and had no ill effects. If there are weeds where I used to the compost, it is obvious where they came from (my laziness at weeding when I first saw them, because, “It will be easier to pull it up when it is a little bigger.”). If your compost is hot enough to melt snow (as the title of your next post suggests 😉 ), then the weeds shouldn’t be a problem at all.

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