How to make compost with weeds and pruning remains

how to make fertilizer from weeds

It is possible to create compost using weeds. You have the option of using five different methods to ensure that the resulting compost is completely free of weeds. At first it may seem more complicated to compost weeds. However, we are going to give you some tips to learn how to make compost from weeds.

In this article we are going to tell you how to make fertilizers with weeds and what aspects you should take into account.

How to make compost from weeds

make compost with weeds

To ensure that weeds do not proliferate in the compost, it is essential to take care when selecting which weeds to include. Special attention should be paid to the specific weed species, as well as their structure and life cycle. While the seed heads have not yet formed, you have the opportunity to nourish the annual weeds such as lamb's quarters or common nettle with a newly created compost pile. This way you can be sure that these particular weeds will not emerge again.

Perennial weeds, such as wild violets, should have more special treatment. It is essential to employ one of the corresponding techniques mentioned below, specifically solarization, light deprivation, or drowning.

hot composting

To achieve thermophilic composting, also known as “hot composting,” it is essential to handle the compost pile carefully to raise its temperature to an optimal level of approximately 140 degrees. A properly managed hot compost pile will often emit steam as the organic matter is transformed into nutrient-rich humus, thanks to the activity of bacteria, insects and other beneficial microorganisms.

By increasing the heat of a compost pile, it is possible to eradicate weed seeds, insect eggs, pathogens and other undesirable elements. This technique can also be used to compost weeds. However, some gardeners may choose to refrain from adding particularly unattractive perennials, especially if you are unsure of the temperature of your pile.

To achieve the desired level of heat in the compost pile, it is essential to incorporate a balanced mix of green and brown materials, along with adequate air circulation and humidity.



Solarization is a process similar to precomposting, where the power of the sun is harnessed to eliminate weeds. By allowing weeds to dry completely and begin their decomposition process, you can confidently add them to your compost pile.

When it comes to solarization and composting, the main difference lies in the method of weed management. Instead of grouping them in a pile, Solarization involves spreading them in a thin layer on a heat-absorbing surface, such as a black tarp or, ideally, a solid slab of cement or asphalt. This ensures that all weeds are exposed to high temperatures, replicating the conditions of a hot compost pile.

Keep in mind that unlike a compost pile, which requires moisture, it is preferable for solarized weeds to be crispy. This process usually takes a few weeks during the hottest summer months. It is important to mention that solarization is not as effective during other times of the year.


Drowning is an effective method for removing weed seeds and perennial weeds. To perform this task, you must follow these steps: Start by placing the weeds in the base of a barrel and securing them in place with heavy stones.  Fill the barrel with water.

For a minimum of six weeks, let the mixture sit. To ensure optimal results, it is advisable to cover the barrel tightly, either with a lid or fine mesh, to discourage the proliferation of mosquitoes. Once the contents have broken down enough, empty the barrel into the compost pile. If you want, you can strain the water beforehand and use it to hydrate the plants in your garden. The liquid not only provides hydration, but also acts as a gentle fertilizer. Any remaining pulp located at the bottom of the barrel can be incorporated into the compost pile.

light deprivation

quality compost

If you are faced with the challenge of controlling weeds or getting rid of uprooted dying weeds, light starvation can serve as an effective method to eradicate them. One way to achieve this is to cover live weeds with mulch.

To prevent weed growth in the soil, you have the option of using an organic or inorganic material as mulch or ground cover. This material will effectively block light, creating a barrier that inhibits weed growth. Inorganic options include black plastic, while organic alternatives include cardboard.

To effectively combat weeds, It is essential to follow proper procedures without looking for quick solutions. An effective method involves the use of a light barrier, which has been shown to be very effective in the short term.

Plastic containers are used for composting. If you have a small amount of weeds to deal with, compost bins constructed from black plastic are a great option. These systems not only prevent light from reaching the weeds, but also increase the temperature of the compost pile compared to a normal pile. For example, the use of a dryer allows the indoor compost to be properly aerated, ensuring it reaches the heat needed to quickly kill weeds.


To deprive light, an alternative technique is to place weeds and grass clippings inside black trash bags, seal them tightly, and let them sit in the sun for a few months. Only when the weeds have turned into an unidentifiable slimy substance, they should be added to the compost pile. The powerful combination of intense heat and complete darkness will effectively hinder the survival of any seed.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about how to make compost with weeds.

Composting from pruning remains

pruning, composting

Create compost from pruning remains It is an excellent way to recycle and obtain high-quality natural fertilizer. In addition to being cheap, ecological, it allows you to get rid of annoying remains. To do this, the steps are very simple:

  1. Collect pruning remains from the bushes, trees and plants that you have pruned. If they are very thick branches, you could reserve them for firewood, if you have a fireplace.
  2. Leaves and small pieces would not need special treatment, but if they are branches, especially if they are thick, you should shred them to speed up the composting process, since larger pieces are more difficult to decompose, and will take weeks or even months. For this you can use an agricultural crusher.
  3. Mix the pruning remains with other organic materials, such as paper, food remains (organic: coffee grounds, egg shells, fruit peels and peels, etc.). All of this can be used.
  4. Add water and turn the mixture regularly. And wait (it will depend on the size of the pieces and the climate) until you obtain a rich, dark-colored compost to be able to fertilize orchards, gardens and pots.

It is important to note that not all pruning materials are suitable for making compost, for example if the plants are infected with diseases or pests, it is better to throw them away instead of adding them to the compost to avoid contagion.

As for composting bins, you can use the same composters and accelerators that I recommended above for herbs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *



  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.