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Can you make weed-free compost?

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Can you make weed-free compost?

Post  boffer on 12/31/2013, 12:08 pm

I came across this and got to thinking:
Our compost piles exceed 140F for at least 72 hours straight to kill pathogens and weed seeds.

Although the center of my compost pile gets plenty hot at times, I know that not all of the material in the pile reaches a temperature that kills weeds.   I use the lazy composter's method, so I can't complain about weeds in my compost.

Can you make nearly weed-free compost, or does it matter to you?
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Re: Can you make weed-free compost?

Post  jimmy cee on 12/31/2013, 1:02 pm

I love composting either way.
Out at my piles every chance I get, if when I use it seeds are germinating weeds, I just pull them out.
Even at that I do not have near the amount of weeds before starting SFG.
And their so easy to pul.
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Re: Can you make weed-free compost?

Post  camprn on 12/31/2013, 2:47 pm

Does a pumpkin or tomato seedlings count as weeds?  Shocked


Last edited by camprn on 12/31/2013, 3:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Can you make weed-free compost?

Post  sanderson on 12/31/2013, 2:49 pm

When I saw this, I thought "weeds" vs. "volunteer veggies." As far as volunteers, it seems everyone has a compost pile story about some super veggie growing in the compost pile. My volunteer story is that I had tomatoes sprouting like mad in all the pots and smaller boxes I winterized. I had dumped the old MM, removed roots, added lots of home made compost and put the mix back in the pots or boxes without mulch. I kept them lightly watered for the microbes?? Result was hundreds of tomato volunteers that were easy to pull.

As far as weed-weeds for me, nothing goes in the pile that I don't want to grow anywhere. The exception, lawn grass, is steamed in plastic bags in the sun for 2 days. I set the bags in black cement screed pans because I found the bottoms were kept cool by the earth, otherwise.

Answer to your question: I think religiously maintained Berkeley compost would be the only way to kill all the seeds. And even then, it might have to be solarized before using. All the other composts will have something survive the process. My thoughts, only.

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Re: Can you make weed-free compost?

Post  boffer on 12/31/2013, 3:08 pm

@camprn wrote:Does a pumpkin or tomato seedlings count as a weeds?  Shocked 

According to Kay's sig:
@walshevak wrote:Weeds are flowers in the wrong place
I suppose that goes for veggies too!  Very Happy
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Re: Can you make weed-free compost?

Post  plantoid on 1/1/2014, 12:40 pm

@camprn wrote:Does a pumpkin or tomato seedlings count as weeds?  Shocked

Old saying :-  A flower in the wrong place is a weed  Laughing 

 If you used the 18 day hot composting method exactly as described in the Berkley method there are no weed seeds or growth nodes on any roots  left alive to germinate / grow into things.

 
 Field grazed horse muck and hay fed stable muck of the same horses is notoriously full of all sorts of survivable weed seeds .. the Berkley method killed them and all tomato & curbit seeds dead in all seven of my compost bins..
I just hope I will still be fit enough to be able to carry on doing it for the next 20 years or so .
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Re: Can you make weed-free compost?

Post  camprn on 1/1/2014, 1:11 pm

I use the 18 day (25 day) method of hot composting and inevitably there are just a very few weed seeds in my compost. But most of the seeds that went in are either composted or no longer viable.

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Re: Can you make weed-free compost?

Post  sanderson on 1/1/2014, 1:55 pm

A new spot opened up on the other side of the orange tree.  I will be able to have a 3 x 3 x 3' cubic compost pile!!!   bounce  The current 3' round one could not be turned as required, churned, yes, but not turned.  I'm hoping this will allow me to make better compost.  This should mean less viable seeds.

You know you are a rabid gardener when you and spouse go out to dinner on NY Eve and end up discussing how to construct a new compost bin!!

Camp, that vintage veggie ad is a hoot! Where you you find these gems?
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Re: Can you make weed-free compost?

Post  camprn on 1/1/2014, 2:20 pm

@sanderson wrote:

Camp, that vintage veggie ad is a hoot!  Where you you find these gems?
Oh the internet is a glorious thing. Sometime you should go check out the wikipedia commons.  What a Face 

Hooray for 3x3x3! cheers 

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Re: Can you make weed-free compost?

Post  jimmy cee on 1/1/2014, 10:48 pm

@sanderson wrote:A new spot opened up on the other side of the orange tree.  I will be able to have a 3 x 3 x 3' cubic compost pile!!!   bounce  The current 3' round one could not be turned as required, churned, yes, but not turned.  I'm hoping this will allow me to make better compost.  This should mean less viable seeds.

You know you are a rabid gardener when you and spouse go out to dinner on NY Eve and end up discussing how to construct a new compost bin!!

Camp, that vintage veggie ad is a hoot!  Where you you find these gems?

If I ever talked about gardening at dinner with my wife...wow...
she would make me pay the bill
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Re: Can you make weed-free compost?

Post  sanderson on 1/1/2014, 11:18 pm

Jimmy, Fumble, you have to learn the art of Fumbling. Actually, he was happy to pay because I suggested taking a trip to NY this year. He has to work hard to get me to leave my cat and garden!! And, here I up and suggested a trip.
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Re: Can you make weed-free compost?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 1/2/2014, 12:19 am

My hubby laughed, Sanderson and said you're sick puppies, LOL!  He says he wouldn't allow it, (but he does all the time).  Mostly he just nods his head, say's "uh huh" and "when do you want me to build it for you?!"  tee hee hee  Laughing

Oh, and right now - my gardening talk has all be replaced by NFL Playoffs. I'm a HUGE Charger's fan and my boys just managed to go from a <1% chance to make the playoffs to being in them. So as long as they're still in it I might be a little scarce around here  Very Happy 
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