newbie question--composting weeds

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newbie question--composting weeds

Post by Heidi Stum » Thu, 26 Jun 2003 03:57:21



Hi all,

Please forgive my ignorance, I am a newbie to gardening!  Is it safe to
throw weeds in my compost pile, or will they come back to haunt me once
I use the compost?  If it is not a safe bet, what do you all do with
your pulled weeds?  Leave them out to dry?  Toss them in the garbage?

Thanks!
Heidi

 
 
 

newbie question--composting weeds

Post by Doug Kante » Thu, 26 Jun 2003 04:23:10


I compost everything except bindweed, which will survive a nuclear
holocaust. After the end of August, when I know it'll get cold and
composting will slow down, the weeds go into the regular garbage. If I weed
near the end of October, I leave them on the surface to dry out, and the
snow deals with them.

I'm in Rochester NY. For other areas of the country, substitute "your
nastiest weed" for bindweed.
-Doug


Quote:
> Hi all,

> Please forgive my ignorance, I am a newbie to gardening!  Is it safe to
> throw weeds in my compost pile, or will they come back to haunt me once
> I use the compost?  If it is not a safe bet, what do you all do with
> your pulled weeds?  Leave them out to dry?  Toss them in the garbage?

> Thanks!
> Heidi

 
 
 

newbie question--composting weeds

Post by tmtre » Thu, 26 Jun 2003 06:41:53


I put all the weeds I pull from my yard in my compost bin. Although
I'm careful about removing any seeds of weeds I REALLY do not want to
have grow in my yard (just in case they do not die in the bin), for
example, burrs and goat heads (puncture weeds), these I throw in the
trash. Your compost heap *should* kill most of the weed seeds, either
by heat, or germination in an environment they cannot grow. The safest
thing, of course, would be to pull the weeds before they go to seed-
then there are no worries about having them in your compost.
Quote:

> Hi all,

> Please forgive my ignorance, I am a newbie to gardening!  Is it safe to
> throw weeds in my compost pile, or will they come back to haunt me once
> I use the compost?  If it is not a safe bet, what do you all do with
> your pulled weeds?  Leave them out to dry?  Toss them in the garbage?

> Thanks!
> Heidi

 
 
 

newbie question--composting weeds

Post by Julie Sloa » Thu, 26 Jun 2003 08:13:12


On Tue, 24 Jun 2003 19:23:10 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

Quote:
>I compost everything except bindweed, which will survive a nuclear
>holocaust. After the end of August, when I know it'll get cold and
>composting will slow down, the weeds go into the regular garbage. If I weed
>near the end of October, I leave them on the surface to dry out, and the
>snow deals with them.

>I'm in Rochester NY. For other areas of the country, substitute "your
>nastiest weed" for bindweed.
>-Doug

I'm in eastern Kentucky.  When I lived in southeast Tennessee,
bindweed was "my nastiest weed," but here hogweed and chickweed give
it close competition in the vegetable gardens.

I've just finished reading the "how do I prepare a grassy area for
planting flowers" thread, and y'all have inspired me to pull the old
newspapers out of the burnable brushpile.  

We have a ten-foot deep, 120-foot long sloped area between the front
fence and the street, and it's just awful to mow.  Along the fence are
a couple holly trees (yes, _trees_, they're forty and twenty years
old, respectively) and a fifty-year-old rose bush.  

When I moved here a couple years ago I planted wildflowers along the
fence, hoping they'd escape into the berm (or whatever you choose to
call that 120 x 10 grassy strip).  They've started, but at this slow
rate it will be years before I can forgo mowing.

This year I have a new idea:  I will plant flowering shrubs at
intervals along the fence, a big enough variety that I'll have
different colors and textures, and different things blooming for as
long as possible.  I've started with a lone forsythia spike.  So many
pretty shrubs bloom here in the spring, but I don't know the name of
many of them.  I'm better at identifying weeds and wildflowers.

Anyway, about the wildflowers:  The poppies along the fence are about
halfway through blooming and I've cut lots of seedheads; they're
drying in paper sacks in the garage, along with the forget-me-not I
collected earlier in the spring.  If I don't cut the seed-heads, they
escape into the yard, in the WRONG direction!

I guess now I should put newspaper down, and since *buying* topsoil is
out of the question, I should weigh down the newspaper with the
plentiful rocks in our vegetable garden, and the hell with what the
neighbors think?

I don't think my two-year-old compost pile is big enough to cover more
than a few square feet of newspaper.  Maybe I should just spot-paper
to begin with, like, around the roses, around the mailbox, under the
holly...?

I like this group, there are always nice folks and on-topic posts.
The trouble I have is my time is stretched between so many interests
and obligations I rarely involve myself with any USENET group for more
than a few weeks at a time.  That doesn't mean I don't want to be
here.

Juliebee in Kentuckee

         http://www.bobsloansampler.com/

Bearskin to Holly Fork:  Stories from Appalachia
    by Bob Sloan          ISBN: 1-893239-21-7

 
 
 

newbie question--composting weeds

Post by Julie Sloa » Thu, 26 Jun 2003 08:19:01


Whoops and there I posted such a long reply and didn't address the
original question.  I put everything into the compost pile (no bin
here, just a big pile), but during the spring and summer I turn it
frequently to try and keep weeds from taking over.  Mostly our compost
is just a breeding ground for bait-worms, though.  <g>

When weeds do grow in the compost I cover them with shredded newspaper
and a few forkfuls of dirt (pitchfork, that is).  The worms like this.
I've been too lazy to take my wheelbarrow next door for horsepoop, so
thus far I have a poop-less compost, but with all the coffeegrounds my
husband produces it's a rich one.

Juliebee in Kentuckee


these words:

Quote:
>I put all the weeds I pull from my yard in my compost bin. Although
>I'm careful about removing any seeds of weeds I REALLY do not want to
>have grow in my yard (just in case they do not die in the bin), for
>example, burrs and goat heads (puncture weeds), these I throw in the
>trash. Your compost heap *should* kill most of the weed seeds, either
>by heat, or germination in an environment they cannot grow. The safest
>thing, of course, would be to pull the weeds before they go to seed-
>then there are no worries about having them in your compost.


>> Hi all,

>> Please forgive my ignorance, I am a newbie to gardening!  Is it safe to
>> throw weeds in my compost pile, or will they come back to haunt me once
>> I use the compost?  If it is not a safe bet, what do you all do with
>> your pulled weeds?  Leave them out to dry?  Toss them in the garbage?

>> Thanks!
>> Heidi

         http://www.bobsloansampler.com/

Bearskin to Holly Fork:  Stories from Appalachia
    by Bob Sloan          ISBN: 1-893239-21-7

 
 
 

newbie question--composting weeds

Post by Beecroft » Thu, 26 Jun 2003 10:17:50


Quote:

> Hi all,

> Please forgive my ignorance, I am a newbie to gardening!  Is it safe to
> throw weeds in my compost pile, or will they come back to haunt me once
> I use the compost?  If it is not a safe bet, what do you all do with
> your pulled weeds?  Leave them out to dry?  Toss them in the garbage?

> Thanks!
> Heidi

A seperate compost for use in deep shade where weeds are unlikely to
grow is a good way of utilizing them.
 
 
 

newbie question--composting weeds

Post by Frogle » Fri, 27 Jun 2003 22:39:19


On Tue, 24 Jun 2003 20:52:19 +0100,

Quote:


>> Please forgive my ignorance, I am a newbie to gardening!  Is it safe to
>> throw weeds in my compost pile, or will they come back to haunt me once
>> I use the compost?  If it is not a safe bet, what do you all do with
>> your pulled weeds?  Leave them out to dry?  Toss them in the garbage?

>Generally 'annual' weeds such as grass, fat hen, annual poppies,  etc
>are safe to compost if they have not gone to seed.

>If annuals have gone to seed they are only worth composting if your heap
>is well made enough to produce enough heat to kill the seeds.

>Perrenial weeds should be dried & burnt.
>Or left to rot down in a water ***with a lid, or a thick black sack
>that excludes light 100%.
>You could also try feeding dried ones to worms in a worm bin if you have
>the patience

Hate to add a "ditto" post, but this was essentially what I would
advise. No problem adding weeds that haven't set seed (or are about
to). "Hot" (actively maintained) compost is supposed to be able to
cook many weed seeds into non-germination, but I have a lazy 'cold'
(not with today's forecast, of course) pile, and dump most weeds with
seeds into the trash bin. You also have to be a little bit careful
with roots in a cold pile. There are plenty of opportunists delighted
to be dumped on a nice bunch of organic media. In that case, if you
have some place you can toss 'em and make sure they're thoroughly
dead, they'd be OK for compost, too.