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Shredder and compost

Hi folks. Hope you are keeping well and safe. I am one of those lucky people with a garden.  I am a keyworker but at the weekend making the most of being outside. We like others have no garden waste collection and are struggling with the extensive tidying. Although having great fun. If I buy a shredder can I put it on the compost. I have laurel ivy weeds. Please advise. Take care. Blessings to you x


  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    If you put roots of perennial weeds in your compost - shredded or not - they may keep trying to grow in the heap, or later when you use the compost.  Same goes for seeds of annual weeds.  Shredding and composting the top growth should be OK.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,233
    I wouldn't shred laurel, it can release cyanide gas.  I don't shred weeds that are full of seeds, or dock roots or dandelion roots.  Most hedge prunings such as privet , hawthorn, beech, ivy,  etc shred up well. Shrubs that are pruned after flowering such as buddleia, viburnum, Philadelphus will also shred well. If you have brambles or elder, that will  shred well. nice and soft for the blades.  I mix shredding up with grass cuttings, the pile will usually heat up then and you get a good compost. I also shred all the kitchen waste, fruit skins, veg peelings etc. Do not put cooked food in , it attracts rats.  An Alko impact shredder will chop finer, than the quiet screw Bosch type that chunks the stems rather chopping them up fine.  Look on ebay or facebook and you can often find one that has been hardly used for £30 or so.
  • PurpleRosePurpleRose Posts: 538
    I dont put any weeds in my composter.  They all go in the garden waste. I find that if you put them in the garden bin, after a day or so they have less volume anyway.  Everything else goes in the composter, grass cuttings, dead headed flowers, stalks etc....

    As a key worker too, the garden is helping to destress and focus on something other than the extra daily stresses this virus has brought.  I am so grateful that I have a garden, so far it has been my sanctuary in these scary times.

    Sending you my best wishes - stay safe  :)
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    I would not shred laurel either. If you leave it out in the sun, it will go brown and crisp and you should be able to get a lot more into the council bin, if it is not full already.
  • WilderbeastWilderbeast Posts: 1,415
    Yes laurel does give off cyanide but to be of any harm you have to be in a small enclosed space with a about 50tons of material to shredd. I use laurel as my best compost feed it has a fantastic mix of greens and browns and if your lucky to have lots of it it will heat a heap up very quickly. Oh and the cyanide does smell lovely just like fresh marzipan
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,536
    I've shredded laurel lots of times, keep upwind if you're wary.
    I stick weeds in mine, just not bindweed and docks.
    When it comes time to empty the bins, you can normally spot anything which isn't rotted and either fish it out and dispose, or put it to one side and add it to the "new " stuff.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    I also shred laurel but I do take care to stand upwind, just in case.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,210
    I am still alive and I have shredded a huge amount of Laurel over the last few weeks. Never noticed any odour of marzipan either, but then this is a windy garden.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    I don't know how much marzipan you'd have to eat to reach toxic levels, but it would be fun finding out.   :)
  • WilderbeastWilderbeast Posts: 1,415
    @josusa47 I'm with you there, that's 1 eating competition is like to enter 
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