Forum home Problem solving

Compost Problems

I have this year sieved my first batch of home made compost, to find I have 2 problems.

1 The compost dries out very quickly, much quicker than the bought stuff.

2 There appears to be lots of dormant seeds in the compost which are now germinating at an alarming rate. I was careful about the material I put in the composting bin and cannot understand where the seeds have come from.

where have I gone wrong ??


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Are you using this for container growing or sowing seed or as a soil conditioner?

    You may not be doing anything wrong -the fact that dormant seeds are germinating  is because a home composter may not heat up enough to kill them off.

  • I use the conmpost as a conditioner around the garden. Have had a few surprises along the way strange plants popping up. Always try to be careful what goes into the compst bin but there is always a few mishaps. I wouldnt worry too much about it.

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619
    I always get zillions of seedlings coming up from home made compost. I think 90% are tomatoes. They aren't really a problem, and most are recycled in the compost bin. I do try not to put seed heads from weeds into the bin, but forget me nots, nasturtiums, poppies etc all go in. Sometimes I get a nice surprise - back in the day, when we had summers, I've had fruiting butternut squash and melon from my compost.
  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    My compost bins grow potato's usually from skins? they find their way through a plastic cover and a wooden lid, I find them waving about like Union jacks at the Olympics.
    We know figrat that Air Heat and Moisture make good compost plus a sensible mix whilst making the heap. Heat is the main factor which is why Green waste compost can be ready in four weeks they pile it high and turn it often.
    I throw one of my piles into the barrow every couple of weeks then shake it back in with a large fork, you can feel the heat and see it steaming in summer. As it goes back I damp it not wet it, with my magic man made milk bottle mixture added to a watering can with a spray nozzle then cover and leave.
    You may have used it too soon or it has not had enough moisture, it possibly has not been hot enough which happens with small bins and standing them in a warm sheltered place helps, hiding them in dark places with no sun will not help make compost. Such compost is normally used as a mulch or top dressing, I never use it in seed trays. I do use it in refilling pots mixed with loam and grit.


  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    Forgot to mention that I harvested a couple of pounds of spuds last guessed, from home made compost!

  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,058

    Unwanted seedlings from homemade compost when used as a mulch, now means that anything I dont want an excess of, does get put into my council garden waste wheely bin. Their systems really get hot & so the seeds dont survive. Ok an excess of Mysotis & Aquilega were very pretty but took quite an effort to sort out.

    BTW always put potato peelings into my bin & yes, the odd potato plant also pops up.

    I also use bought seed compost. Am lazy & dont always seive mine, nor do I want to use my microwave to sterilise it. J.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    NB. Home-made compost and bought-in compost are not the same thing.  Though now that bought-in compost is made from the green waste that ends up at the tip they may get nearer over time.

  • Just found a really good tomato plant at the back of the border another surprise from the compost bin. Its amazing what you find when you turn out the heap. Last time a found a vegetable peeler and four teaspoons i wondered where they had gone.

Sign In or Register to comment.