Need Gardening Advice

greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Composting & Soil Fertility

I have just ran into a scenario this week I have never ran into before in my years of gardening.

I always pull all my crops and cut them down and use them in my compost pile unless I run into a crop which did have some kind of disease. I do not want the disease to spread to my fresh compost.

But this year, one of my beds is being chewed up alive by bugs. The rest of the garden looks great. So it is time to thin out all these chewed up plants.

So where do I put them... burn pile or compost pile?

Now seriously, a compost pile is the process of decomp by bugs. But since these bugs are creating problems with my garden plants, do I want those in my compost pile? Are they going to be hanging around in there and spread to my other garden beds later in the compost?

What's your ideas?


  • chimboodle04
    chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    If it were me, it would depend on the type of compost you have. If you had a hot pile, I would throw them in since it would most likely kill any undesirable bugs, eggs etc. If you have a cooler pile though, you might be better off burning it just to be safe...

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    I would burn them just to be on the safe side.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,395 admin

    I would also burn them. Even in a hot pile some of the bugs might escape to the edge where it is not so hot and lay eggs. Then they would just be taken back to your garden in the compost. I burn all plant infestations but I am rural so it is easy for me to do that.

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @greyfurball Burn them. If you can don't' forget to try to id the assailants so you know what you're fighting. And try not to let any escapees get to any of your other beds...Let us know how it goes...

  • silvertipgrizz
    silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @greyfurball an aid for you in your battle against the bad bad bugs:

  • Bryce Langebartels
    Bryce Langebartels Posts: 47 ✭✭✭

    @greyfurball So sorry these bugs are winning against those plants! I think if you could get them into the middle of a hot compost pile you would kill them off, but I agree with the others that this is too risky. One other idea would be to find a neighbor with some chickens and offer them some healthy snacks! :)

  • tinarock
    tinarock Posts: 37 ✭✭✭

    I would not compost the bug infested plants. I like the burn it idea, and i like the chickens idea.

    That Bugs for Growers site has some kind of a tracker on it, which my browser warned me about when I visited it.

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I wouldn't put them in my compost. What about your worm bin? I've seen some videos where people feed them everything under the sun.

  • shaley1357
    shaley1357 Posts: 33 ✭✭✭

    I think it depends on the bugs. Some bugs would leave the plant they are on once it begins to die or is disturbed by cutting. They might infest your other beds. I'd spray the bed with a soap and oil mix to fix the bugs in place and likely kill them. Then you can dispose however you want.

  • erikawinterton
    erikawinterton Posts: 98 ✭✭✭

    I definitely see the concern! I also agree with some of the comments above: that much depends upon your compost pile. If you have a hot compost pile that will offgass and heat to decompose it will likely terminate anything that is infesting your plants. However if you use mushrooms, worms, or other methods that are low heat. You'll want to avoid adding potential spreading pests to those beds. I like the idea of burning them or even starting a hot pile just for things like this.

  • Helen South Australia
    Helen South Australia Posts: 42 ✭✭✭

    I personally wouldn't put it in the compost. Better not to take the chance that the bug larvae may survive.

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    To everyone... yes you all are thinking very much like I was so I am not willing to chance it just for a little bit more "greens" for my compost pile. In the burn pile they went this morning. Thanks for all your input!