Name: Elizabeth B.
In the last few years my garden has been invaded by poison hemlock plants
(common in the rural country near my town, so I presume windborn
seed). At first I treated them like any old weed, pulled them out, and
composted them. Then, after I figured out what they were, I got
worried. I contacted botanists at the university, here and asked them if
the toxic compound breaks down to nil or safe levels in the process of
composting (keep in mind that my compost pile is the slow, mostly cold
rot kind - not lazy, just busy :-) ), or if I should find another
disposal method. Well, since the people I contacted were mostly
specialists, they were not sure. This year, I had more of the same
invasion, so contacted the County Extension Service for help, but was
turned away, they refused to help stating that they did not want to take
away potential work for the contractors who deal in weed eradication (if
you can believe that! I mean we are talking about highly toxic stuff
here!) I am rambling . . .I know. Do you think that the agent in
hemlock would decompose enough via composting?
I do not have any special data on this, but my position
would be...why risk it. Dispose of the hemlock and
any other questionable materials differently and you
can use your compost without concern or doubt about
Thanks for using NEWTON!
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Update: June 2012