Items You Should Never Put in Your Compost Pile

Which Item Should You Not Put in Your Compost Pile?

Gardening enthusiasts and eco-conscious individuals alike have long recognized the benefits of composting. Creating nutrient-rich soil by decomposing organic materials not only reduces waste but also improves garden fertility and promotes sustainable practices.

However, for successful composting, it’s essential to know what items are suitable for your compost pile and which ones should be excluded. In this blog post, we will explore those specific items that you should avoid putting in your compost pile to ensure optimal results.

1. Meat and Dairy Products

Including meat scraps or dairy products in your compost pile is a big no-no. These items can attract rodents, pests, and other unwanted visitors to your bin or heap. Moreover, they tend to decompose slowly compared to plant-based materials while emitting unpleasant odors during the process.

2. Oils and Grease

Oils, cooking grease, or fatty substances may seem like natural choices for decomposition; however, they can significantly hinder the breakdown of organic matter when included in a compost pile. Oily substances form clumps that prevent air circulation within the heap or bin – an important factor for successful decomposition processes.

3. Diseased Plants

Avoid adding diseased plants or parts of diseased plants into your compost pile as this can lead to spreading diseases throughout your garden once you use the finished product on healthy plants.

a) Fungal Diseases:

Fungi spores often survive regular backyard compositing temperatures required for proper breakdown of organic material. This means that if fungal-infected material makes its way into your composter without reaching high enough temperatures (above 140°F), these pathogens might remain active even after months of composting. Consequently, applying this infected compost to healthy plants could lead to a fungal outbreak.

b) Bacterial and Viral Infections:

Similar to fungi, bacterial and viral infections can also survive the decomposition process. By avoiding diseased plant materials in your compost pile, you help minimize the chances of infecting your precious plants later on.

4. Weed Seeds

Weed seeds are tenacious little survivors that can withstand high temperatures during normal backyard composting. Adding weeds or their seeds into your pile may render all your hard work futile by reintroducing these unwanted garden invaders back into the soil once you spread your finished compost.

5. Pet Waste

Pet waste, such as dog or cat feces, should never be included in a traditional backyard compost system meant for edible gardens or flowers intended for cutting. These wastes can contain harmful pathogens like E.coli and parasites that pose risks to human health if used improperly.

The Takeaway: Compost Wisely!

To ensure fruitful results from your composting efforts while maintaining a healthy gardening environment, it is crucial to be mindful of what items go into your composter or pile. Avoid adding meat and dairy products, oils and grease, diseased plants (especially those affected by fungal diseases), weed seeds, as well as pet waste – they simply do not belong there! Instead, focus on incorporating a balanced mix of fruit/vegetable scraps (no citrus peels), yard trimmings/grass clippings (in moderation), leaves/paper/cardboard products (shredded preferably), coffee grounds/filters/tea bags (non-plastic varieties), eggshells/crushed nutshells – contributing towards an enriching ecosystem both within and beyond our gardens!