Composting weeds

by Don
(Wellington, New Zealand)

Dear 'No Dig',

I have just mowed and trimmed the lawn. The clippings are a mixture of grass and weeds. Some websites say that grass is good for compost but weeds are not. Other sites say that weeds are OK too. What is the answer to this puzzling conundrum?

Yours truly,
The Mower of Mortimer Mansions.

Comments for Composting weeds

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Nov 07, 2011
Grass Clipping Compost
by: Kiwi George

Hi Don from another Wellingtonian. I have been gardening No-Dig organically for about 8 years and use every bit of compost material I can get my hands on to fill my 5 compost bins for my 7 bed No-Dig garden. I too have read all the "expert" opinions on composting weeds but I put the lot in the bin with plenty of horse/sheep/seaweed and if any weeds grow from the compost I cover the beds with every year the soil is so loose they pull out easily. Besides, the weeds have absorbed the goodies from my compost so I recycle the nutrients they have gathered through my bins again and guess what, I have very few weeds left after second time round. Have fun

Nov 09, 2011
Putting weeds in compost
by: Jessie

My dad says the tax office have a saying called "The source principle", as in "where did your money come from?" So too with compost, where did the material come from? If it came out of the soil, it should go back to the soil.

Weeds and seeds will compost down like any other plant and if some bits are still alive, they can be removed later. Good hot compost will decay everything sooner and return all the nutrients to the soil that the often deep roots of weeds have extracted from way down and are in their leaves. If you doubt your compost gets hot enough to kill weed seeds, just dump the weeds and clippings in a pile out of the way and let it all die in its own good time, turning it over to get it baked by the sun when you can.

If you have mown your lawn and it has weeds that have flowered and gone to seed, you have been remiss and you would be wise to mow before this happens again! And if you don't like mowing, why not go the whole eco trip and turn it all into a vegetable patch --- or just leave it as a wild meadow to attract the birds and bees. Your gardening friend, Jessie.

Nov 09, 2011
Weeds? Woes? Or wonder?
by: hotchaiguy

I have been composting for many years and have found, as mention earlier, that most of the weeds go the way of all else in the bin. I try to mow the weeds before they are thrown into the bin, so they are quicker to break down. Thing I experience that bothers me is the shreded leaves that get thrown into the bins. There is usually a big pocket of these that son't get decomposed. This year I am taking in my neighbor's leaves, so there will all the more to deal with. What I am trying to do is mix some free compost from our town as wellas, any green material. This green material is harder to find now. Coffee grounds are not avaiable via Star Bucks from now and until Spring. Any more ideas ? Thanks

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