Compost is decomposed organic material, which can be used as a fertilizer and soil amendment.

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Can weeds be put into compost, or will they grow again when the compost is used?

I usually discard weeds but it occurred to me that they would probably be good for compost. Are there any steps I can take to use them in compost without having them grow again when I use the ...
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How hot can my compost get?

I went to stir my compost pile the other day, and to my surprise, when I dug into the center of the pile, I found that it was hot. As in, really hot. Once I removed the top layer steam was literally ...
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How often do you need to turn the compost heap?

If you have a compost heap, how often should you turn it? Does it make a difference if it's a simple heap (a mound on the ground) or in a tumbler? Alternately, is it even necessary to turn the heap?
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Does unused compost keep on getting better and better?

We have a compost bin to which I've been adding kitchen scraps (and some garden waste) over several years. I have never used the resulting compost (mainly because I have a ready supply of horse manure ...
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How should I speed up the decomposition of sickly sweet smelling giant compost heap?

I have created a monster of a compost heap on my property (3 meters, by 2 meters, by almost 2 meters tall) next to an old granite rock wall. Anyway, I mostly put all my grass clippings (primary ...
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How do I compost a large pile of branches and heavy shrub clippings?

This Spring, I pruned all my shrubs and pulled out a few pine stumps. My first thought was just to pile them all up on their own. I have never had good luck trying to compost such material with the ...
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Ant colony in my compost bin: are they beneficial?

I've got a smallish black plastic compost bin in my garden and I recently noticed that an ant colony has taken up residence. This has happened a couple of times in the past, but they tend to move on ...
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What is “Compost Tea” good for?

I have read that you can get a tumbler type of composter and collect the "juices" from the composter. This is referred to as "compost tea". Does anyone know what the real usage of this is? Some ...
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Why is it a problem to use manure as a fertilizing amendment over the long term?

I had my soil tested last fall. As part of the submission I checked the box that said I use manure as a soil amendment / fertilizer. In the results from the lab, they included a note that said that ...
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How long does it take for the compost to ripen?

I’ve got a compost bin (a big plastic box with air holes) that’s used by two or three families. We have been putting kitchen scraps and stuff into the composter for about a year now (mostly ...
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Should I insulate my compost heap?

I understand that compost heaps have an ideal temperature for the bacteria to decompose the material into compost. Living in the changeable Great Britain, the weather can be windy, rainy, sunny and ...
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Should I stop adding fruit and vegetable seeds to my compost

I put all my fruit and vegatable scraps in my compost including seeds. This spring is my first time adding my own compost to my garden. Now all those seeds are germinating. I got a good chuckle but ...
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What actually occurs for manure to become considered “well-rotted”?

I know that you shouldn't use raw manure on plants because it's bad for them, but I don't understand why. I know you should stack manure before using it (i.e. literally stack it into a big cone), and ...
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How can I keep my compost wet?

During summer my compost bin dries out considerably and slows down. We have hot dry summers. What should I do to keep the compost moist? Should I add water or will this rinse nutrients away?
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Is there any reason not to add commercially produced flowers to compost?

Is there any reason to avoid putting flowers purchased from the florist in compost? The flowers were gifts but are now wilting. Would florists or growers use anything on the flowers to preserve them ...
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Is it okay to pile compost on to the base of a tomato plant?

In previous years, I've noticed my tomatoes have root-like buds towards the base of the stem, but haven't wanted to experiment in case I wreck them. Anybody had any experience of this? Is it worth ...
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What can you do with oak leaves within a garden? Are they compostable?

We have a lot of oak trees on our property. Is there anything we can do with the oak leaves? They never really seem to break down, and because of that, I am afraid to try and add them to a compost. ...
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Is there an easier way to aerate my compost besides turning it?

I want to be a good composter, but turning my pile is backbreaking work. I was looking through a gardening magazine today and I saw a contraption that was basically a three foot long pole that had ...
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Should peanut shells be composted?

I have read that one shouldn't compost nuts or peanut butter because of their high oil and fat content. I am wondering if the same thing goes for peanut shells? I have a lot of peanut shells and I ...
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Rats have transferred poison into my compost. Is the compost usable on vegetables?

Delighted to observe that the rat poison we put down was disappearing. Less delighted to find some weeks later that they had moved it all to a larder in the compost. The poison is Slaymore (as far ...
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How do I keep red wiggler worms alive overwinter in the Northeastern USA?

I'm going to be moving into my first house soon in Westchester County, NY. I've done a lot of container and patio/balcony gardening and am looking forward to having a real backyard garden. I want to ...
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Should I add water to my compost heap?

I have a 1m x 1m x 0.6m compost heap. I was turning the heap yesterday and was surprised to find that most of the heap hadn't really decomposed, and was in fact quite dry. Should I be regularly ...
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Wormery failure in mass worm die-off … any advice?

Last fall our household of two people invested in a small, 3-tiered, commercially-available wormery that came with all components (bedding, lime, worms). All seemed to be going well until we brought ...
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Is spent cat litter an appropriate source of nitrogen for compost?

Is spent cat litter an appropriate source of nitrogen for compost? The cat litter used is made of recycled paper pellets so is rich in carbon. It doesn't contain the cat faeces because that is ...
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Composting Bins - DIY vs Bought

I want to start composting. I live in a house of 2, and a fairly large garden, in Australia, and I am renting (therefore do not want to spend a lot of money on something that I can't take with me). ...
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What is the risk of soil contamination via leaf mulch/compost?

Soil in the city I live in is quite often contaminated with nasty things like arsenic and lead. Levels are sometimes twice or more what's considered acceptable. For this reason, people usually ...
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What's the best way to increase the carbon content of compost heap in a grassy garden?

I've a small compost heap (1.2m x 1.2m x 0.8m), which is mostly formed of grass clippings. Thanks to this answer to another composting question, I now understand the C:N ratio. Unfortunately, there ...
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What are good sources for large quantities of “greens” for my compost?

I have a compost pile that has a lot of "browns" in it, dead leaves and wood shavings mostly. Can anyone recommend sources for large quantities of "greens"? I've been putting in my kitchen scraps but ...
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What procedure should I follow to compost bones, fat, and rotten cooked food?

I have read that composting things like bones and fat should be avoided as it can get smelly and attract pests. However, I expect that there are a lot of nutrients that I am wasting if I threw these ...
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How many coffee grounds are too many coffee grounds for composting?

I have a pretty steady access to about 4 pots of coffee worth of coffee grounds each day. I have heard coffee grounds are great for a compost pile, but I am wondering how much is too much? Is there a ...
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Can I put coffee filters into my compost?

I've heard that coffee grounds are a good "green"(nitrogen rich) to put in your compost, but I was wondering if I could throw the filter in there as well? They are the standard "accordion side" white ...
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Can kitchen waste be used as manure?

Can kitchen wastes (like potato peels, onion skins, orange rinds, egg shells, tea inside tea bags etc) be used as manure? If so, how to use them?  Right now, I'm just dumping them in soil, which I ...
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My composter has developed a sour smell and a lot of bugs. What am I doing wrong?

I set up a 7 cu ft rolling composter in my garden about 3 weeks ago and filled it about halfway with 1/3 food scraps and 2/3 cardboard/leaves/finished compost. My kids added more food scraps, so it's ...
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What is the difference between compost tea, manure tea, compost leachate and herbal tea?

We have seen several questions recently about compost tea. We have also seen questions about manure tea and at least one question that referred to compost leachate as "compost tea." What are the ...
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How do I compost lots of grass clippings?

I find that grass clippings tend not to compost well on their own, however we have lots of grass clippings to compost – so what do we do?
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Can these non-food items be composted?

I've seen discussions here and elsewhere, about composting news paper, cardboard, etc. But I'm wondering what considerations to consider when composting some specific non-food items. Some of the ...
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How dangerous are the roots of brassicas (cabbage, broccoli etc)?

I've read that putting the roots of brassicas in the compost is a bad idea because of the risk of disease. I've also read that you shouldn't even plant them in the same spot for three years! What ...
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Is it possible to recycle a Jack-o'-lantern into compost?

Since pumpkins are organic material, I'm assuming it would be okay to add them to a composting pile. Is there any reason as to why pumpkins shouldn't be composted?
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Should I return dead houseplant leaves to the pot?

I have a hippeastrum which is about 4 years old. When the flowers and leaves die, I've been cutting them off and putting them back into the pot on top of the soil. This is in the hope that they rot ...
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Compost Bin Full - Turning vs. Layer of Browns on Top

I have a small open compost bin, it's now full with layers of brown and green. I read somewhere that I need to turn it occasionally (weekly is ideal), and that I need to keep a 1-4" layer of browns ...
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How much coffee grounds should I add to my compost (and how frequently)?

I have been reading that spent coffee grounds can be used for fertilizer and/or composting and also came across this question on this site. I have a compost pile in the yard that holds roughly two 33 ...
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Composting Equine Pine and Rabbit Manure

My wife raises show rabbits, and about a year ago we switched to stacking cages with trays instead of hanging cages. (We switched to an insulted building in order to run an AC window unit due to heat ...
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Compost pile and bugs (2 questions)

First insect question: When I turned our compost pile yesterday, there was a lot of very rich smelling black soil, semi composted vegetables/plant/oak leaf matter, and a LOT of pill bugs. My wife ...
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How to Keep Compost “Hot” in Winter?

I live in Pittsburgh (i.e., Zone 6) and I started a compost bin in the 2nd week in October. (I know, I should have started earlier...) It has a lot of kitchen scraps, maybe 60-70%, but I've also been ...
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Compost has larva or maggots?

Inside of my compost which is only like five gallons I see hundreds of maggots or larvae. Is there a way I can dissect them and tell which species they are? I see some reports online that Black ...
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How much compost should I add to a clay soil for roses?

A few months ago I removed a lot of over grown shrubs; the soil is clay based topsoil on top of solid clay. The top soil is about one spade deep. I don’t think the garden has had any compost for ...
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How is compost made in the kitchen?

I just made this small compost container but I'm not certain how to use it. Should I just put the scraps in there and "let it do its thing" or are there other steps needed?
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Adding horse manure that has a lot of wood shavings to my compost?

If I am going to add horse manure that has a lot of wood shavings to my compost should I do anything special to make sure everything decomposes well?
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Why can't I compost dog & cat faeces?

Looking at this answer made we wonder again about why we don't compost dog and cat faeces. Any guide to composting will always caution against including dog (and cat) excrement (examples here and ...
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How to prepare urea for orchard composting?

I've been told to follow up an infestation of apple scab by composting any leaf litter on the orchard floor to destroy spores. I plan to haul away most of the leaves to my garden composter but a 5% ...