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Weeds in the compost Empty Weeds in the compost

Post  hitchhiker90 on 5/14/2019, 8:31 pm

Silly question.  I have a compost bin and its been doing well with very few weeds growing out of it. It consisted of mostly grass clippings, some leaves, and then some vegetable scraps. Recently I added some soil to it because it was buried under a bunch of leaves for years and it feels like the weeks have been shooting up since I did that.  Is it normal to have weeds in the compost bin? If so do you pluck them out or stir the compost around and bury them? I tried to pluck them out as best as I could.
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Post  OhioGardener on 5/14/2019, 8:44 pm

@hitchhiker90 wrote:Silly question.  I have a compost bin and its been doing well with very few weeds growing out of it. It consisted of mostly grass clippings, some leaves, and then some vegetable scraps. Recently I added some soil to it because it was buried under a bunch of leaves for years and it feels like the weeks have been shooting up since I did that.  Is it normal to have weeds in the compost bin? If so do you pluck them out or stir the compost around and bury them? I tried to pluck them out as best as I could.

No such thing as a silly question, especially on this forum!  It is not normal or common to have weeds in the compost bin, but it is not all that unusual either.  To kill the weed seeds, the compost needs to heat to 130ºF for at least three days. If the compost does not heat to that level, and stay that hot for at least 3 days, the seeds will survive and germinate later.  Also important is that the compost stays hot after turning so that both the seeds in the middle of the pile, as well as the seeds that were on the outside are exposed to the heat.

The soil that had been under the pile for years had lots of dormant seeds in it just waiting to be brought to the surface so that they could germinate. If you added them to the compost pile after the heating process was done, those seeds got a very rich and welcoming environment to germinate and start growing.
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Post  hitchhiker90 on 5/15/2019, 8:52 pm

How do you get your compost temp up to 130? I haven't put a thermometer in mine but I would guess its max temperature is whatever the outside temperature is.  I have never seen steam or anything coming off of it nor felt any heat from it.
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Post  OhioGardener on 5/15/2019, 9:06 pm

The microbial activity creates the heat.  A proper balance of "greens" and "browns", along with adequate moisture, allows the microbes to feed on the organic material. This results in rapid multiplication of the microbes, which creates more and more feeding on the organic material to break it down. That activity creates the heat. As food source diminishes, the feeding slows down and the temperature begins to drop. I use a compost thermometer to monitor the status of my compost.

Mother Earth News has a good article on How to Make Compost that you might find interesting.

Planet Natural also has a good article titled Home Composting 101.
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Post  hitchhiker90 on 5/15/2019, 9:36 pm

Thanks OhioGardener, I'm going to check out those links.  Pretty sure my brown and greens in the compost aren't balanced but I'll figure out a way to balance it.
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Post  ralitaco on 5/15/2019, 10:19 pm

@hitchhiker90 wrote:How do you get your compost temp up to 130? I haven't put a thermometer in mine but I would guess its max temperature is whatever the outside temperature is.  I have never seen steam or anything coming off of it nor felt any heat from it.

Here is a LONG thread on this forum about Hot Composting...
Are You a Hottie?
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Post  plantoid on 5/17/2019, 4:58 am

Just to make you happy  Laughing 
 Quite a lot of weed seed can stay dormant in the soil for 20 years of more ( think of the  Poppies in Flanders field from world war one ).


Early on not long after I joined the site I made a big mistake of using just horse muck & urine soaked wood pulp bedding  from horses that were hay fed and grazed on crass fields .   Their digestive system does not kill weed seed unlike the same product out the back end from of a cow , sheep , goat,  pig rabbit  or llama.  
Consequently I grew a jungle of weeds where I used the first batch of compost despite doing the hot composting method with everything . 

To sort out the 330 cubic litres of the remaining finished compost batch I made a frame of wood four inches deep , laid it on some polyethene sheet filled it with finished compost then watered it well & slipped a clear poly sheet over then &  weighed it down round the edges . It wasn't long before the weeds came up , I took off the sheet left it for a few days to get the weeds into rapid growing stages and then weed killed it with Roundup , repeated the exercise three times  till nothing grew through  . then used that as a composted manure  
on my veg beds .   

Dave 
 PS
Before putting it on the veg beds  I  did a trial test grow mixed some with some bed soil in a 12 x9 x 2 inch deep seed tray before it was put all over the beds . Using peas soaked in water for 24 hrs & radish seeds , they all germinated so it was proved safe to put in the beds .
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Post  hitchhiker90 on 5/17/2019, 6:23 pm

@Ralitaco  Thanks, I'll check out that thread and hopefully get a few tips.

@Plantoid That sounds complicated but glad it worked out for you.
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Post  sanderson on 5/20/2019, 2:47 am


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Post  trolleydriver on 5/20/2019, 8:41 am

"took off the sheet left it for a few days to get the weeds into rapid growing stages and then weed killed it with Roundup , repeated the exercise three times  till nothing grew through  . then used that as a composted manure  
on my veg beds ."


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Post  CapeCoddess on 5/20/2019, 6:01 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:"took off the sheet left it for a few days to get the weeds into rapid growing stages and then weed killed it with Roundup , repeated the exercise three times  till nothing grew through  . then used that as a composted manure  
on my veg beds ."


Roundup ...   What a Face What a Face What a Face
Wait... What?!

Edit: oh... I see. OMG !!
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Post  ralitaco on 5/20/2019, 8:04 pm

Sanderson, that is why you are the admin and I am just a minion
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Post  sanderson on 5/22/2019, 1:22 am

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Post  ralitaco on 5/22/2019, 7:58 am

@sanderson wrote:I love Minions! I love you
rahrah
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Post  OhioGardener on 5/22/2019, 10:48 am

Weeds in the compost Love_m10
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Post  ralitaco on 5/22/2019, 9:19 pm

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