Composting can be a great way to make use of your garden waste, if you have the space for a compost bin and the patience to wait for your grass clippings, leaves, twigs and vegetable peelings to break down. However, composting doesn’t work for everything in the garden. Two of the most common types of garden waste are weeds and soil, neither of which should be added to your compost bin.
One type of garden waste you might not want to add to the normal compost bin is the invasive weeds you’ve just pulled up from the lawn or flowerbeds. The roots of these weeds can survive for a long time and if you dig them back into the soil with your homemade compost, they may spring back into life again. Rather than composting these weeds as you do your grass cuttings, you might want to weigh them down at the bottom of a water butt instead. Drowning the roots will prevent them from growing back and you will be able to use the nutrient rich water and mulch on your garden in just a few months. Growing some duckweed on the top of the water can help to prevent it from smelling too bad.
Adding soil to your compost bin would be a waste of time as it won’t turn into anything more nutritious. Arranging for a waste collection service to take any unwanted earth away is usually the best option if you need to get rid of it, but you should think ahead first. Landscaping can be as much about adding height as it is about removing soil to create ponds or sunken areas, so the soil you’ve just dug up could actually be very useful. If you’re planning on building raised beds, rockeries, or similar features, you should keep hold of all that free landscaping material. If you’re sure that you won’t need it, you can arrange for the excess soil to be taken away, along with any weeds or other waste you don’t want to deal with at home. Garden waste such as soil and weeds can usually be recycled or composted, so it won’t go to waste.