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Wednesday's Composting Tip

Composting Pernicious Weeds

Pernicious weeds (e.g. couch grass, bindweed, ground elder, horsetail), roots of annual weeds (e.g. nettles and dandelions) and any weeds that have got seed heads on them should not be added to your normal compost heap. However, they do still contain valuable nutrients, so it is good to try and compost them in a different way.

Here are a few suggestions.

1. Create a 'nasty weed' heap. Put your nasty weeds into separate bin, or pile them on to a sheet of black plastic on the ground. Cover tightly to keep light out and leave until all signs of plant life have disappeared – this is likely to take 2 or 3 years. This compost can then be used as normal.

2. Create a weed bag. Use a strong black plastic bag (use an old potting compost bag turned inside out) and fill it with the weeds. Add some fresh 'greens' on top (e.g. grass clippings or nettle leaves). Tie the top of the bag tightly and store it in a sunny spot and leave for 6 months. You should then find the bag contains a black smelly sludge, with no signs of plant life. This can be safely added to your normal compost heap.

3. Create a drowning bucket. Put the weeds into a black bin or bucket, then fill with water. Add stones to weigh the weeds down to ensure they are completely covered with water. Cover to keep the light out. Leave for several weeks, until you have a bin full of black, smelly, slimy mess with no signs of plant life! This can then be added to your normal compost heap.


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