I have Creeping Bellflower growing in my yard. It is listed locally on the Invasive Species list but I'm not looking to get rid of it.
I've seen that the young leaves and roots can be eaten. My question however is this...is it ok to compost these green leaves before they flower? Creeping Bellflower grows fairly quickly without any input from me and I'd love to use it as a green material in my compost. I posted this question in my localgardening Facebook group and the people here are worried about composting it as it is an aggressive "weed" and they are afraid of spreading it.
Has anyone tried composting the green parts of the Creeping Bellflower? Or is my local FB group right and I should put it out with the yard waste?
Anaerobic composting, what I've started calling "Wet Composting", is a good way to compost invasive or potentially invasive plants. You get a big tub, trashcan, or whatever will hold water, fill it with the weeds, then fill it with water, put a lid on it, and leave it for a couple months. It becomes a disgusting-smelling but nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer which you can put on your plants. The water-logged and thoroughly dead remains of the invasives can now be put in your regular compost heap.
I don't have experience with creeping bellflower specifically but I have composted some very invasive weeds with no problem, even though most local people burn it or send it to landfill. If you know how it usually spreads and do things to prevent it from spreading that way, and you are okay with the 1% risk of having to weed an area where it survives anyway (ideally a spot already infected by the weed, maybe the area where you pulled it up originally), then I don't see why not.
The area where I live is under constant assault of scotch broom, which I chop down at ground level before it goes to seed and use for mulch/compost on my property, which is already covered in decades of dormant scotch broom seed ready to pop up as soon as the soil is disturbed. I have dragged around big piles of this stuff and in 2 years I've only seen 2 new plants pop up on my property, and they're easy enough to kill. The only catch is that I actually do have to check my property and take out those new plants before they go to seed, but I was going to do that anyway.
Google says creeping bellflower spreads by seeds and runners. I've dealt with aggressive runnering plants in the past by chopping them up really small and sticking them in a bucket for a few months until I'm sure they're good and dead before adding to compost. No promises that it will work for the bellflower but it's what I would try.
when you're going through hell, keep going!
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
posted 4 months ago
Thanks for the advice. I already use the "stench bucket" method to make a comfrey tea (which might also be considered an invasive weed by some:))
I'm not sure if my neighbours or family will be that thrilled to discover that I have another stench bucket brewing but I'll give it a shot. Seems a shame to let all that green material go to waste otherwise.