“Is really ok to use weeds when doing compost? Do you have to make sure that they are in a certain stage of growth? Because I really don’t have the time to study them as I pull.” Question from Erin of Kirkwood, Missouri
Answer: You can certainly put weeds in the compost pile if they meet two criteria: (1) They are not sickly or obviously diseased, or (2) they are not noxious weeds, such as bindweed or Canada thistle, that have set seed. I would also avoid trying to compost any perennial weed roots. A well-tended compost pile should heat up enough to kill weed seeds, but when it comes to noxious weeds, I would not take the chance and recommend that other gardeners apply the same precaution. The heating process in the compost pile can also kill any diseases, but once again, I think it’s smarter to err on the side of caution.
Black Gold Horticulturist
Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.
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