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weeds in water

 
gardener
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Location: N. California
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I had trouble getting my compost to heat up.  Now the chickens wont leave it alone, so no matter how high I get it piled up the chickens make sure it is spread around in no time.  Rather then fight this, I will just go with it and not worry about the pile heating up.  You can tell things are definitely braking down and looking pretty good.  
I read on this site about putting weeds into water to kill the seeds.  I want to do that to all weeds that may have seeds so I don't have to worry about the compost heating up or using compost that may contain weed seeds in it.  The problem is I can't find the post I read this in and don't remember how long the weeds need to stay in the water.  If anyone knows would you please let me know.  I think this is my solution to successful composting.  The water will kill the seeds, and the chickens worms and time will do the rest.  Thanks
 
gardener
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I am very curious about this, too; especially with things like crab & bermuda, that have seeds too small for me to see.
Even if I can get the pile to heat up, I'm always worried that there's a ton of seeds near the edges or top, where the temp isn't as high.

Hopefully someone will clarify for us!  
 
Kc Simmons
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Based on the experience of others in this thread https://permies.com/t/8171/fermented-weed-soup-compost-tea it seems that just soaking in water isn't very effective to kill the seeds.

I wonder about soaking them in a (sealed) bucket/barrel out in the sun? Kind of like imitating a car that's been sitting in the summer sun all day, possibly cooking the seeds? It would probably go anaerobic quickly; maybe it could be reinnoculated & oxygenized after a short time, or added to an active, aerated compost pile?
 
pollinator
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Sounds like your chickens are doing what they are great at - scratching through the heap to eat seeds, bugs and new shoots. I would expect compost that had been thoroughly turned and scratched by chickens to be fairly weed free.

 
Jen Fulkerson
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thank you Michael, I didn't think of that.  I feel better about using the compost in my garden.  It looks like something I want to use, I was just worried about the weeds.  
It's funny how the obvious is right in front of my face and I didn't even see it.  We have been having quite warm weather for this time of year.  In the mid to high 70s (no global warming my *^%)  Weeds have popped up and are growing vigorously everywhere.  Nothing is growing in the compost.  
You have given me food for thought.  I was going to start a new compost outside the chicken yard, and cover it with chicken wire to keep the escape chickens out of it, maybe I don't need to do that.  What do you think?
 
Michael Cox
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One of the guiding principles of permaculture is to integrate, not isolate. When we plan carefully whole can be greater than the sum of the parts.

Chickens and compost are a match made in heaven:

 
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