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I've spent several weeks hand-digging out dock and other obnoxious weeds from our pastures. There's a couple cubic yards of it now in the back of the pickup. I was considering hot-composting this in a separate pile and covering it in thick black plastic to cook it sufficiently to kill off the roots.

Has anyone hot-composted dock or other hardy roots such as these?

Other ideas?

Aside: We don't use herbicides here on the farm as a general rule so anything I do to these needs to be a herbicide-free solution.

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Assuming you can make a good identification and verify they are safe to consume, do you have any livestock that would be interested in eating them? I've found that a good way of for-sure killing certain plants is to pass them through an digestive tract. (This doesn't work for, say, blackberry seeds though.)

My other suggestion would be to put them in a single layer on top of the black plastic for a few weeks so that they are thoroughly dried out. Then you can do the hot composting. I've got some weeds that have really aggressive stolons and this is the only reliable way I've found to kill them -- baking them before trying to compost.

  • Thanks for the answer. No, none of my livestock will eat these. If I had some pigs here on the farm, I'm sure they would eat these - heck, I could have utilized them to root them up! I like your suggestion of spreading these out atop the plastic first. You're right - that'll bake them rather than just heat them up in a moist environment. – itsmatt May 31 '13 at 1:25

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