Parrot Feather Into Compost?

holly_bc(Zone 7B VanIsle)April 24, 2012

Our pond had become over-run with parrot feather and we seriously need to get it out of there. I'm wondering if it will cause some other problem if we put it in our composting bins?? While I know it as a water/pond plant, I really don't want it popping up in the garden.

Whaddaya think?

Thanks H

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

While Parrot Feather, or Parrotfeather ("Myriophyllum aquaticum"), might need water to get started it is considered an invasive species since it can root along its stem and it spreads that way. Like many other former aquatic plant species this has adapted to growing on just moist soils. You can compost this, as long as it is well buried in the compost pile so it has no access to sunlight.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 6:40AM
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holly_bc(Zone 7B VanIsle)

Thanks so much kimmsr for replying. Our compost bins and piles do not get much sunlight. That said I'm not sure I want to take chances. If I can clean out the big one, then maybe I'll put some boughs down (of which I have MANY) and put the PF on top of that. Then throughout spring and summer re-pile it all up with other garden stuff as the seasons go by. There must be major good nutrients in it so I guess it would be a good thing to add to a compost pile but I surely don't want it appearing anywhere else!

Your reply much appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 3:29AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Keep in mind that sunlight is not a necessary component of the composting process. Some people think sunlight is needed to get the material to heat up but that is not true. Bacterial activity causes that heat generation when the Carbon to Nitrogen ratio, moisture level, and amount of air in the mix are about right. Different bacteria work at different temperatures.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 6:35AM
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