Seeds Surviving the Composting Process…

4th May 2017. While looking at my recently acquired and potted Morianga, I came across many plantlets making their way up from the compost I used through the mulch (thin layer of cut palm and banana leaves).

I recognise these plantlets as tomato plants. I grow tomato plants and compost spoilt tomatoes, so it is not surprising that tomato seeds are in my compost. Urban composters have to realise that some of the time, if not the majority of the time, having a small compost bin and slowing adding compostables bit by bit will often result in a cool compost bin: one where the temperature of the composting material does not rise beyond the temperature where seeds are deactivated. Even if the temperature can reach the deactivation temperature, most times our urban compost bins cannot hold the temperature for long. According to what I understand, for seeds to be deactivated, the seeds must be exposed to high temperatures for a certain amount of time for the seeds to be deactivated. Sadly for most of us urban container composters, it may be difficult for us to get all seeds deactivated in our compost bins.

Oh well, one just needs to be a little more hardworking in weeding! And besides, more greens for the compost bins! 🙂


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