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bad to compost.. ?

Posted by vieja z7NM (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 17, 11 at 22:05

I have understood that one should not compost some things in the garden & that black walnut shells, leaves & husks are some of those. Is that correct? I do compost most of kitchen wastes & shade tree leaves (ash, mulberry, cottonwood, etc.) & have really improved our mainly natural caliche soil over the years so that our garden soil is a dark,rich easy to dig consistancy now but a relative was going to compost the black walnut leaves, etc. & I was concerned!

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RE: bad to compost.. ?

It depends on a number of things. How long you let your compost "finish" and what percent of the pile is from the walnut debris are probably the two biggest. I compost some but my pile decomposes for a year and the walnut leaves and twigs are only about 10% of the pile. Shells never decompose and husks can be messy so I avoid those. I freely use my compost on tomatoes (very sensitive) with no ill effects.


RE: bad to compost.. ?

The shells of the Black Walnuts are so hard that it is difficult to compost them, so any juglone they might contain will not be easily added to compost. I have composted Black Walnut leaves for years and have seen very little adverse affects from that. I have also shredded the Black Walnut leaves and spread them around the lawn where there was a good growth of Quack Grass and did observe the Black Walnut leaves suppressed that grasses growth, but that it encouraged the Perennial Rye grass also growing there.
Most all of the juglone Black Walnuts will have is in the roots, although some small amount will be through out the tree. Some plants are very sensitive to juglone (tomato/potato/[pepper for example) while others are not adversly affected at all.

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