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Ground elder in compost bin

Our compost bins are on soil and we have a ground elder problem which of course will spread if we use the compost.  We want to start a new compost bin but a concrete base is the only thing we can think of.  Would that still work or can someone think of a good alternative idea?





  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    Have you had a problem with ground elder growing inside the compost bin ?

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190

    I wouldn't advise compost bins on concrete, they work best when worms can come up from the bottom and have a good old munch at the stuff you put in. I suppose people buy worms, but I don't.

    Don't ever put ground elder in the bin as even half inch of root will grow.

    I would suggest digging it out, by hand, tedious , but the only thing I find that works, then make sure you don't transfer any of it to your beds. I think a lot of people are plagued with ground elder, your not alone in this, I have loads of it, and am just taking it steady and digging it out.

    Don't ever use a rotavator on it, you will just chop up the roots into more pieces and it will spread even more.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Chris 7Chris 7 Posts: 102

    Once you've dug it over try putting some plastic over the ground to kill off things due to lack of light.

    Also,  in the past I've 'painted' the ground elder leaves with a systemic weedkiller .. this kills a lot of it after a few months .   The trouble is it does come back as once its there its there for good !


  • Ground elder is the bane of my life!! Little and often with the weeding.  Don't know about the compost issue as mine goes straight into the general bin or is burned.  

    Horrible stuff.  It's awful how many roots it has - it's never ending image  I'm trying the roundup gel on the stuff this year.  

    I would be interested in what ideas people have for compost bin bases - we don't have any compost bins yet but will be putting some in in the next couple of weeks.  I wanted concrete but based on the comments above, this doesn't seem to be a good idea!

    What other bases do people have? 

  • I have 2 compost bins, both on concrete behind my shed.  I - or should I say my husband - turns the compost and we have never had any trouble with them being on concrete.  We end up with lovely compost.

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190

    Do you put worms in there Lindylou?

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • marshmellomarshmello Posts: 683

    My compost base is heavy duty weed membrane, not the cheap stuff you can buy from wilkos/poundshop. The stuff that last for years, as opposed to months.

    Although it doesn't stop the bindweed and marestail, it does help to reduce the level of attack. MY compost bins are double the size of your average bath and I have two of them, both homemade. Once a year the contents of both are emptied and any roots I find are removed.

    Yeh, try blasting the area with weed killer and repeat the process if need be. Weeds are a pain.

  • No - no worms.  I do find some in there but think they just get in there from when I add weeds etc.  Think they are in the soil attached to the weeds.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    My dalek bins are on very compacted earth, but also I add a shovel of horse manure at the start of a new bin, that seems to supply those little red worms.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,871
    Lindylou333 wrote (see)

    No - no worms.  I do find some in there but think they just get in there from when I add weeds etc.  Think they are in the soil attached to the weeds.

    You're not adding perennial weeds to your compost bin are you?  Not with the roots still attached? 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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