sixshooter
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Location: Davison Mi

My Seeds in Compost Dilemma

So over the past year i kept and maintained my first compost pile. I probobly have a couple hundered pounds of nice dark stuff. My problem is when I added vegertable scraps, i added tons of tomatoes that were dameged, pepper cores etc. basically i probobly have alot of seeds in the pile. Is this going to be a huge pian in my butt when i spread it through my beds? the pile was warm but i don't know if it ever got pipin' hot. it already has some sprouts poppin through.

cynthia_h
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It takes a fairly hot compost pile to kill tomato seeds.

I found out the hard way back in Berkeley. I had a bumper crop of Roma tomatoes one year--they got ahead of me, even when I was making spaghetti sauce--and a few spoiled on the vines. :(

I threw them into my compost pile, which was just inside a south fence, so it got very little sun and thus made very little heat. I was just a beginning composter, and there wasn't the info available on hot vs. cold composting then that there is now, at least not where *I* could find it. :wink:

So...the next season, we turn the BioStack and get the nice, finished compost out of it and distribute it around some rose bushes and new veggie plants.

About a week later, the ground around all of those plants looks like I rolled tomato-plant-colored sod under them...Took a GOOD look.. What are these?! Baby tomato plants!!! Hundreds and hundreds of 'em.

It looked like every single Roma seed had sprouted a plant.

Because I still make cold-process compost, I no longer compost tomato seeds. They go into my yard-waste container for composting at a commercial location, which I'm very sure is a hot-process system.

It all depends on how warm your compost got, and (sadly) I don't have the exact temp for killing tomato seeds at hand.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

rot
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lay it on thick

 
If you lay it on thick, anything you don't want that pops up will come out easily enough.
 

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applestar
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I've got tomato seedlings popping up everywhere... it got me thinking -- WHY am I going crazy trying to GROW these things inside? Of course I know the answer is that I'm trying to grow good tomatoes from seeds of SPECIFIC varieties (well, that and getting them started early for earlier harvest), but who's to say that these little babies WON'T produce tasty tomatoes? Especially if you've been growing heirloom varieties in the past....

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!potatoes!
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last year i tilled up a brand new spot (had been lawn for 8+ years at least) for a garden, and one corner had some serious cherry tomato volunteers, got probably a couple gallons of fruit off of them...i might have liked to plant what i wanted in that spot, but they were so vigorous i just decided to go with it...tomato seeds can stay dormant but viable a long time. even so, i compost 'em. it's what mulch is for, right? keeping the 'weed' seedlings from sprouting or at least easier to deal with?

sweet thunder
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It's potatoes and squash for me. The squash are everywhere! But yes, they do pull out easily.

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rainbowgardener
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compost sprouts

Agreeing with what people have said. Everywhere I use my compost I get a few baby tomato and/or squash plants. Not hundreds like someone else had, but I can always tell where compost was put, by the volunteer tomatoes and squash. It doesn't seem to be a big problem. As noted, they pull easily, for me there's not that many, and I don't get any noxious weeds, even though lots of weeds go in the compost bin. Occasionally if it's not in a bad space I let one of the volunteers grow, it's not such a bad thing...

cynthia_h
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You would've had to be there to see my tomato-sprout sod. Weeding them normally, one by one, was like pulling up thick bluegrass blade by blade. :shock:

I finally gave up and, reluctantly, used my hoe. "Reluctantly" because the roots of my new roses were still quite shallow, and I was afraid of injuring them.

Cynthia

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applestar
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If something like that happens again, maybe it would be easier to newspaper mulch them (doesn't have to be newspaper, but you know what I mean)

Since I found a HUGE growth of deadly nightshade under my apple tree AND my apple tree is doing so well this year, maybe Rose (family) and Tomato (family) would make good companions/guild members if their sizes, etc were compatible.

rot
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Occasionally if it's not in a bad space I let one of the vol

 
I make sure to water the poppies growing in the cracks in the sidewalk. They're the state flower you know.
 

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