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Will my compost heap heat up enough to kill off weeds and plant diseases?

Some heat can be generated in your compost heap. The more waste that you put into your compost bin at any one time, the greater the amount of heat generated. High temperatures can be achieved in large compost heaps especially where grass cuttings are incorporated. If you put your hand in a pile of grass it can get quite hot only a few hours after being cut. However, you are unlikely to generate high enough temperatures to kill off weeds in the 220-litre compost bin provided through the ‘Do Your Bit, Compost-it’ project.

You do not need to generate heat in order to make compost. However, you do need to be a bit careful about which weeds you put in the bin. The last thing you want to do when you spread your compost around your garden is to also spread weed seeds around! Instead of putting weeds into your compost bin, put them in a black sack in the sun for a couple of months until they are dead and turn into slime. Then add them to your compost heap. Annual weeds can go straight into your compost. All weeds that have turned to seed and perennial weeds should be avoided, particularly those with taproots or weeds that spread via rhizomes. Common culprits include celandine, bulbous buttercup, ground elder, crouch grass and bindweed; give them the black sack treatment!

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