What Not To Compost And Why

Equally important to knowing what materials can be added to the compost pile is what materials must absolutely be left out of your compost pile — unless you’re looking for problems. Below is a list of materials to be left out of your compost pile and why.

What Not To Compost

- Rotting meat, fish, fats and dairy products are likely to smell and may attract four footed visitors

- Insect-infested or diseased plants may persist in the compost

- Materials contaminated by synthetic chemicals or treated with herbicides or insecticides should never be used because they will contaminate your compost

- Weeds with mature seeds, and plants with a persistent root system (like crabgrass, ground ivy, or daylilies,) may not be killed by the heat of the compost

- Leaves of rhubarb and walnut contain substances toxic to insects or other plants so most people choose not to compost them

So again, know that these materials must be left out of your compost pile — or you could be very sorry.

Talking about rhubarb reminds me of this little story about using fish as fertilizer:

As a child I lived on a farm nestled along the Bay of Chaleur in New Brunswick where the villagers’ mainstay, of course, was fish. After the raw fish was cleaned and certain parts were salvaged for meals or for freezing, my mother would bury the unwanted portions around the rhubarb. Boy would we get beautiful rhubarb!

So if you want strong beautiful plants or if you have a plant which seems to be failing, go to the nursery, get yourself a bottle of liquid fish fertilizer, and use on your plants (Directions on bottle are easy to follow). Liquid fish fertilizer is almost as good as worm castings.

The next post will explain the steps involved when Building a Hot Compost Pile.

Meanwhile, have a beautiful day. Stay healthy; stay happy!


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