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Green Thumb
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:01 pm
Location: Merritt Island, Florida

composting question - seeds

I started my compost pile this year in Feb, I live in Florida. I read all the books I could find on composting while starting it, as well as alot of online info.

Well I have done a great job, it really gets hot and it never smells and there are all kinds of little creatures in there doing whatever it is they do.
It lloks great. I started to use some of the compost in May to side dress, add to new pots and beds etc. Well it was then I noticed a problem, and it was about a week later that I read new material that said " do not put any seeds from veggies/fruit in the compost" Well that was too late, I had already seen many new sprouts for cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and tons of Cantaloupe (ggod lord) growing everywhere. Yes I can pick them and toss them, or leave them, my question is. Will a compost pile ever break down those seeds, or is the damage done. I have made a point to stop tossing seeds in, but I only have room for one pile, so I do not have the luxury to use one pile and create a new one. I usually have to sift anything I take out of the pile to use it as there is always fresh or partially broke down items in there. Any suggestions, I do turn my pile reguarly and move it around, but I am not sure what becomes of the seeds. Thanks in advanced! :shock:
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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Part of your trouble is the part about using your compost before it is really finished "sifting out the fresh or partially broken down items." As long as you are doing that, you will probably have volunteers. But as MG said, I don't see that the volunteers are a big problem. If you don't want them, they are easy to pull, or you can leave some to grow.

My compost has usually not heated up very much so I always got lots of volunteer tomatoes and sometimes squash where ever I put my compost (but nothing else and no weeds). I pulled all the tomatoes, but last year some squash popped up in flower beds. I left them and they were the only ones I got to eat squash from, since the zucchini vine borers got the ones I actually planted on purpose.

But I changed what I do with my compost and it heated up more, so this year I didn't have any volunteers. I never worry about putting seeds in the compost; too much fuss for my style to de-seed things.
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