Can You Compost Strawberries?

By Paul Smart •  Updated: 04/12/22 •  6 min read

Can You Compost Strawberries? Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits purchased in the supermarket but if you are a keen gardener they are especially sweet if you grow them at home. However, if you have an excess of strawberries and the plants themselves, can you actually put them into the compost?

Strawberries will rot down extremely quickly in a compost heap and they are a suitable addition to it as they will add additional nutrients. Additionally, the spent plants will also compost down extremely well though these tend to take a little bit longer than the fruit. However, if you are needing to compost strawberry fruit that is an indication that you probably need to consider how to make the most of your strawberry crop.

If you have your own strawberry patch at home and you are producing a few strawberries each day but perhaps not enough to do much with, resulting in the fruit going off before you can use it. You may want to consider popping the fruit into the freezer bag immediately after picking it as that will allow you to build up a store of fruit that you can use in things like smoothies and in cooking to make the most of the strawberries are you have either grown or purchased.

Can You Still Moldy Strawberries To The Compost?

Strawberry fruit that has mold on them is already and is beginning to decay is what happens to the fruit when they are placed into the compost heap anyway so there is not a problem in adding them to the compost heap.

Can Compost Be Placed Onto Strawberry Plants?

Strawberry plants can contribute to building the compost in the first place but then can also be reapplied to your current strawberry crop to help them grow. The strawberries plants prefer rich moist and free-draining soil with plenty of nutrients and so will benefit from having compost added to the soil.

However, it is a good idea to use compost as a mulch rather than straw because it will serve two purposes of suppressing weeds and also adding additional nutrients to the soil over time leaving to an improved crop.

Can Strawberries Be Buried In The Soil?

If you don’t have a compost heap at home and you don’t want the strawberries to go to waste by placing them in the bin. An alternative to this is to dig a small hole and placed your strawberries into the hole and bury it. They will break down over time adding to the fertility of the soil.

However, the one disadvantage of doing this is that if you bury them in an area where there is insufficient oxygen the composting process will become anaerobic which means that it produces different by-products to conventional compost heaps. The by-products are things like methane, which are not nearly as beneficial for the environment as conventional composting.

What Else Can Be Composted?

Anything that is of an organic nature can be recycled through compost, this can include things such as kitchen scraps which include bread, pasta, rice, and vegetable peelings of any type. The only exception to this is things such as meat and dairy which is generally not recommended because they can attract a number of unwanted visitors but despite this, these materials will still break down.

However, it is also common to see advice in books and on the internet regarding not adding too much citrus or onion to a compost heap. However, my general experience has been that adding these materials to the compost is generally not a problem provided that the entire hip is not made of just those materials.

Additionally, you can get rid of a lot of cardboard waste through the compost heap as well as things like grass clippings. However, it is generally not a good idea to place cardboard in the recycling bin that is used to hold beverages such as disposable coffee cups and orange juice cartons. The reason for this is that these types of packaging generally have a plastic or wax coating on the inside of them to maintain the structural integrity of the packaging. This layer will not break down in a compost heap.

Can You Add Garden Waste And Weeds To Your Compost Heap?

Most garden waste is typically fine to add to the compost heat, however, if you’re adding things such as branches they need to be cut up into smaller pieces otherwise they will be extremely slow to break down in your heap. 

However if you have extremely thorny plants such as rose cuttings I tend to not place them into the compost simply because they are slow to breakdown and they are extremely unpleasant if you manage to prick yourself when you are transferring the compost out into the garden.

In terms of adding weeds whether we recommend adding to the compost greatly depends on the stage at which weeds are at in terms of their growth cycle and also the nature of a compost heap that you have in your yard.

If you are like many people and have a small compost that is less than three or 4 cubic feet and size it will typically not get very hot which will be insufficient to kill any weed seeds. So if you are removing weeds that have set seed it is advisable to place it in the green bin rather than in the compost as it is likely that when you spread the compost onto your garden you will also be spreading a range of weed seeds.

However, if you have a relatively large compost heap that is generating temperatures of 100F then you can pretty much add anything to the compost and it will get destroyed in the composting process.

If you do not have any idea whether your compost is reaching those types of temperatures the easiest way is to simply take a small amount of compost that you produce and place it on the surface of a small section of garden. If the compost heap is relatively cool you will have all manner of plants germinating in your garden bed.

One of the most common things that you will see is tomato plant seedlings popping up all over the place because many people add tomatoes to their compost heap.

I hope you found these articles useful and are able to successfully run your own compost heap at home. If you have any additional comments or questions please leave them in the section below.

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Paul Smart