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Thread: Is this garden waste suitable composting?

  1. #1
    Icarus is offline Germinator
    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Default Is this garden waste suitable composting?


    I recently started doing a proper tidy of my back garden (in prep for putting in a beehive), and I have become a bit obsessed. It seems that in the back corner the previous owner had cut back the Firs and dumped it all in a big pile (over 5 years ago).

    Some of the wood is decaying and crumbles in the hand (with a white powder/fungi on it). The other stuff is hard and I have put through a garden shredder. This has left an approximate 1 foot high pile of detritus under where the branches etc had been dumped. It looks quite root heavy (a lot of Ivy in the area) and I think it was all dumped on some grass.

    I bought a compost bin the other day, as I plan to start a vegetable patch soon and now this has me thinking that this would be good to add, though I'm a complete novice and have no idea. Would this layer be suitable to add to a compost bin (when rubbish, wrappers, plastic bags etc removed), and if not could I make it suitable?

    I hope that the pictures are ok (it wouldnít let me upload from my phone direct, because Iím a new member? So has to link them) and this makes sense, Thanks for looking.

    The red line is to show how high the branches were pilled up.

    Jungle Jane likes this.

  2. #2
    nickdub is offline Early Fruiter
    Join Date
    Jul 2017


    If its not in the way I'd leave it for a while and just add fallen leaves when available. As it is the branches etc will require quite a bit more time to decompose, but when fully broken down it would make a good mulch for soft fruit or an addition to a growing medium for something like blueberries.

    Another reason is that tidy gardens are generally very bad for wildlife - so something which can look like a bit of a mess to us can be a "des res" for bugs etc.
    lottie dolly, 1Bee and Icarus like this.

  3. #3
    burnie is offline Veggie gardener
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    I put stuff that's not composted down through my shredder, that usually speeds it up(including sprout stems), as Nickdub says, it will be on the ericaceous side of the spectrum, so careful where you use it.
    lottie dolly and Icarus like this.

  4. #4
    lottie dolly's Avatar
    lottie dolly is offline Gardening Guru
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    north leicester


    MY only concern would be the ivy,pick it out and burn it,or take tip,
    Another nutter ,wife,mother, nan and nanan,love my growing places,seed collection and sharing,also one of these

  5. #5
    Snadger's Avatar
    Snadger is offline Dundiggin
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Durham. Pink Panther territory


    A good compost heap is a mixture of browns and greens. Put alternate layers of grass cuttings and your browns and you should be ok.
    Jungle Jane and Icarus like this.
    My Majesty made for him a garden anew in order
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  6. #6
    Icarus is offline Germinator
    Join Date
    Jan 2019


    Thanks for the info guys, The material is in the way, as a new fence is going down the side and round the back (that small concrete boundary on the side has a 10 foot drop to a river the other side, and itís on the boundary with commercial land behind).

    Iím going to compost as much of the mulch and rotting wood as possible once I remove and burn the root mass. I also picked up a big plastic bin to store wood chips, which I plan to make a mulch with.

    Does that sound reasonable? Any other advise would be appreciated (Iím a novice). Also the compost is going to primarily be for several vegetable patches.

    Weird last question, if I use standard Roundup weed killer on a weed can I then add it to my compost heap? The label says it kills to the root but is then broken down in the soil. What are the ingredients I need to avoid in weed killers to make them compost friendly?

    Thanks again.
    lottie dolly likes this.

  7. #7
    veggiechicken's Avatar
    veggiechicken is online now Warning!! Contains Nuts
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Sunshiny South Wales
    Blog Entries


    Why do you need to use Roundup?
    Have you read about the impact of Glyphosate on bees?
    Best you do, especially if you're considering siting a bee hive in your garden.
    lottie dolly, rary and Icarus like this.
    Make 2019 the Year of Random Seed sowing
    All we are saying is..........Give seeds a chance.

  8. #8
    Mark_Riga is online now Rooter
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Mid Cheshire


    Glyphosate (roundup) is not recommended for general use, particularly where veg are going to be grown. I would wear rubber gloves as a precaution and only in flower bed or initally to gee rid of pernicious weeds you are not prepared to live with. It can remain in soil for 6 months or more. A lot of bread samples are found to contain it. It may degrade quickly (days) or slowly. to sites to look at:

    Glyphosate General Fact Sheet

    or use a web search.

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