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Can I compost ivy? (and other compost help, please)


By Paulac

I struggle with understanding what I can and can't put in the composter - what weeds will survive and end up being spread around my garden when I use the compost!
Please can anyone tell me if it's OK to compost ivy? (The other thing I have a lot of at the moment is a weed which comes up now with spear-shaped leaves, has a flower around a spike which turns into a spike of red berries and grows from a sort of odd-shaped bulb that is offset from the leaf stems, so you have to dig it up, or the bulb shears off from the leaves and stays in the ground. I know not to compost the berries, I'm sure the leaves would be OK, but what about the bulbs?)
Incidentally, what do people do with the garden stuff they don't compost?
Please can someone help?



Ivy will root and grow in the compost.So stick it all in a black bag first so it rots to a mulch,then chuck it on the compost heap.
You can burn stuff you cant compost and then put the ash on the heap or on the garden.

2 Mar, 2008


The other plant you describe sounds like a Arum - I tend to leave them unless they really are in the wrong place - then I just dig them up and compost them - cut the bulbs up a bit, after all, onions rot down easily, don't they! I quite like them, they look quite fresh and 'architectural'. In fact, I'm going to buy some of the more unusual variegated ones for a shady area in my garden! You ask what NOT to compost. Well, no perennial weed roots and seed heads, thick prunings, bindweed to name a few. Not too-thick layers of grass cuttings or you'll get a slimy mess. Same with dead leaves. Mix the last two with shredded paper first.

4 Mar, 2008


Thank you both - I've been doing it wrong (nettle roots went in there today!). Am going to get some old compost bags and have a go at rotting the perennial weed roots and ivy (we haven't got anywhere suitable for a decent bonfire). Perennial seedheads (e.g. dandelion and thistle and the arum) will go in the bin.
And yes, it is an Arum - I vaguely remembered it being called "lords and ladies" from when I was a child and I double-checked:
and the onion comparison makes sense, so I'll relax and carry on putting them in. (Even though I'd been breaking off the seed spikes when I saw them, they are coming up all over the place this year, including masses in a "lawn" bit under a weigela, where the grass has given up, so they've got to go.)
Thanks again for helping.

5 Mar, 2008

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