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Can I Compost Bindweed?

(From the Garden waste category | 2 comments - join the conversation)

bindweedNo, don’t compost bindweed.

Bindweed, whether an undesired weed or a desired pretty flower, shouldn’t be composted because it’s so dang determined to regrow.

The tough, creeping roots can regrow from a small fragment just an couple of inches long and it is aggressively self-seeding, with each plant producing up to 500 seeds which can remain viable for 20-30 years!

Even if your compost heap is hot/efficient enough to break down the roots, the seeds can hang around in the compost once you’ve spread it back on the garden and voilà, bindweed a go go.

It’s just not worth the risk.

(CC-SA photo by Fabelfroh)

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  1. I accept that bindweed is aggressively committed to its own survival, so I certainly don’t try to compost it in my own heap. However, I am tempted to put it (along with stinging nettles) into the green bin that the local council provides for composting garden waste. Am I then storing up trouble for those who buy the council’s soil improver?

    • The council uses an industrial thermo composter which composts at temperatures around 60deg centigrade. This makes it possible for bindweed and stinging nettles to be turned into compost. If you want to do it at home it’s more complicated. You need to drown or dry the plants first. Both takes several weeks, but works well.

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