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Weeds as compost

 
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I have a question about using weeds with immature seedheads for chop and drop mulching.

I was watching this video:



At about the 1-minute mark, he's saying to take loppers to cut the weeds down and put them in a compost pile.

Wouldn't it make more sense just to drop them where you want the nutrients returned to the soil?

j
 
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Great question, I probably will not do enough justice to answer your question but hopefully I can show a few angles to consider.

Chop and drop has its pros and cons. One con is that it can be unsightly while it decomposes and gets intermingled with the soil. I might mow my yard and side chute a fair amount but sometimes there is TOO much grass and matting starts choking out growth. Could I shake it around and try to do a big even application? Maybe... But I am a lazy gardener!

Composting allows a product to be made of a variety of materials that contain varieties of NPK, minerals, microorganisms, and other goodies. Balancing your carbons to your nitrogens will more than likely require more than a small lot generates. I find my compost piles to be a great waste stream diversion from my household which now encourages growth when applied to plants.

One of my first Permie-ish books that I read was Compost Everything and it touches on not only the fertilization benefits but the tilth benefits compost gives soil. Compost as organic matter has a positive impact on garden soils. If compost is hot processed, you can introduce the compost without the worry of weed seeds which chop and drop might not if you are too late to the chopping.

There isn't really a 'right' way to do anything, but the variety of things you can do is pretty vast!
 
Jim Garlits
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Great points, thank you.

j

Timothy Norton wrote:Great question, I probably will not do enough justice to answer your question but hopefully I can show a few angles to consider...

 
pollinator
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I really like the Epic Gardening podcast, I listen to Kevin and his guests often and learn a lot!

I think in this case either way works fine.
 
Riona Abhainn
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Another idea for weeds is biocharring.
 
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I think in general chop and drop does make the most sense. Because it’s easier. But sometimes it isn’t. In the fall, I have beds and beds of annual vegetables to clean up and they’ll generate mountains of e.g. tomato vines. It’s easier to just have a place to throw them and get back to work on the veggie beds than to cut them up smaller, figure out where I want them and take them there. And it’s not like having compost next year is ever a bad thing!
 
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Jim said, Wouldn't it make more sense just to drop them where you want the nutrients returned to the soil?



You are right. that is the easy way.

Do some of your other plants need fertilizer?

then make weed tea.

Win, win for both.
 
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