Seeds: Compost or No?

05 Oct

After you’ve been composting a while, it becomes second nature to toss everything green or produce related into the scrap bucket.  Peels, skins, leaves, husks … but what about seeds?

Technically, there is no reason not to compost them.  Practically, my experience says no.

Why?  When compost is “cooking” it gets “hot”.  Literally, you want your pile to heat up so that microbes break down the organic material.  If you are willing to put in time turning the pile every few days and tinkering with a specific ratio of browns (carbon materials) and greens (nitrogen materials), then by all means throw in your seeds.

If you prefer the Easy, Lazy, No Turn Compost Method, toss your seeds in the trash!  I routinely get rid of cucumber, melon and winter squash seeds because there are SO MANY in one fruit.  And they simply don’t decompose.  They are SUPPOSED to resist unfavorable conditions so they can live again!  If add lots of seeds to your compost mix, in addition to the few seeds that sneak by and volunteer in your garden come spring, you’ll be overrun by a plethora of unwanted veggie visitors.   I don’t know about you, but weeding is enough of a chore without ensuring extra garden greens.

Here’s my daily bucket.  And having said all that, guess what?  Since there were relatively few seeds and lots of pulp in my butternut squash, I threw them in!  A classic case of do as I say, not as I do.

kale & squash bucket 10.5.13

What you can see (clockwise top to bottom):

  • basil stem & leaf
  • tough stems of kale
  • butternut squash pulp with seeds (argh)
  • butternut squash peel
  • half of a lemon

What I made with all of that:

  • Lemon Basil Pecan Chicken Salad
  • Cider Sauteed Kale with Roasted Butternut Squash (see photo from last week – it was so good we had to have it again!)



Posted by on October 5, 2013 in Compost How To, The Daily Bucket


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “Seeds: Compost or No?

  1. JudyLou

    April 30, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Thank you, that was really helpful. It is day one of composting for me and whilst cooking dinner I hesitated to put in the butternut squash seeds. I think I shall continue to leave them out for the most part. As a novice composter and gardener I am very pleased to come across your site!


    • wedigyummy

      February 12, 2015 at 10:46 am

      Thanks for stopping by and your comment. Smart move! I’ve continued to toss the majority of seeds in the trash. I like having a few volunteer seedlings in my garden, but I’d rather not have a whole party of uninvited guests!



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