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These are growing in their hundreds in the compost.  They could only have come from the woodland leafmould.  Does anyone know what they are at this early stage?

Pete8

The ones in the pot could be cleavers (little velcro balls) 
No idea what the sprouts are - I'd pop em in a stir-fry :)

nutcutlet

looks like Goosegrass, Galium aparine

BobTheGardener

Agree with previous posters, Galium aparine aka Cleavers, Goosegrass, Sticky Willy and a host of other common names.  Bit of a nuisance when the seeds get into compost as they will nearly all germinate at some point in the year.

Thanks for your comments.  I thought those tiny and shiny black balls could be identified but I can't find them when Googling.

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Pete8

The black seeds do look a bit brassica-like, but that's not much help really.
I think the reason you have seeds germinating in your compost is that it didn't get hot enough in the composting process.
If you can get the heat up enough,  - by adding the right materials (inc. cardboard) and turning it a couple of times - it'll kill most seeds.
You're not alone, I get things germinating from my compost too, but not too many.
It's best not to add any perennial weeds that have seed heads to the compost bin.

Pete8:  You're right the seeds are germinating because of the lack of temperature.  With my method this will happen.  All fruit, veg and seaweed is put through a food processor, chicken poo is dry crumbled, mature leafmould is fine sieved, then continually turned.  The temperature ranges from 5 to 18 degrees only depending on the season so it never cooks like traditional compost.  However, in side by side tests it produces 40 per cent more fruit than using John Innes.

Pete8

Sounds like wonderful stuff you're making there Oc!
I don't make 'proper' compost either as I put in a lot of shreddings from tree prunings which take years to break down, but it does get hot and even steamy sometimes. I use it as a general mulch - and also get weeds appearing from compost seeds.
I recall Monty taking the temperature in his compost heap last year - it was 60c!

Pete8:  I read somewhere that cold composting may take extra time but retains more nutrients.  Pity the method can't be mechanised as continual re-crumbling by fingertip is a labour of love (I can only produce about 600 litres each year! 

Pete8

That's 600 litres more than I do ;)

My 'method' seems to work for me - my 3 bins get filled mostly with shredded prunings and dead plants in the autumn - and plenty of weeds all year round. Lots of cardboard (thanks Amazon!) and grass clippings. I give them a turn in spring and again in summer and by Oct it's good enough as a mulch, then I start again.

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