Fermented
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Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:38 pm
Location: ME 4b

Rhubarb leaves in compost?

Can I put rhubarb leaves in my compost? I've been told yes and no, so I never have, but it seems like such a waste of greens.

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Yes you can. The leaves are high in Oxalic Acid and are therefore very toxic to humans but, in the compost pile, the 8 carbon long acid is either broken down into smaller molecules or simply diluted. So, it is not toxic in the soil.

I have been composting the leaves of rhubarb for years and they are actually great. I don't have any nutrient values off the top of my head but you may wish to peruse the NPK tables in the organic forum to see if there is anything there.

Cheers, and happy composting! Don't forget those browns :wink:

Fermented
Full Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:38 pm
Location: ME 4b

Thanks for the info. Will add it to the lasagna.

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

I like to just lay the leaves (spread out) over the compost pile as a layer of greens and then add some mulched up leaves on top. Works great

Fermented
Full Member
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:38 pm
Location: ME 4b

I'll have large quantities, so will layer with leaves, squirreled pine cones, and old tires (just kidding).

But my next question is about seaweed. Is the salt content something that has to be dealt with? I told my wife I would just run it thru the washing machine. :lol:

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

The washing machine? Yikes! :D


Seriously though, the salt content of seaweed is pretty much negligable because most of the salt is washed away by rains. If you are worried (like I used to be until I discovered this fact) you can collect the seaweed in buckets and simply rinse it with water before adding it to the garden.

I add it every year and have friends who do the same and we have had no problems.

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