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I was wondering - is it ok to put ivy prunings and moss on the compost heap or will they regenerate?

I have a lot of cripsy brown rhododenrdron leaves too - they are such sturdy leaves will they compost down or would it be best to just burn them all?


Do you have a council green collection?-put them in there


I happily put moss on my compost heap and have not found a problem.  I would not put ivy on there - I've had enough problems trying to get rid of it I wouldn't want to run any risks.  As for the rhodo leaves - they seem to take for ever to break down in woodland, so I presume they'd take for ever in the compost heap too.  I think I'd put them in a brown bin or burn them, or if you have enough room for a really wild corner then I'd put them there for hedgehogs etc to use when making nests/hibernacula etc.

I'd also compost moss, but not the ivy. Rhodo leaves if they were green would take a long while to break down. I'd compost them if they were crispy brown - as long as they're not crispy brown due to sickness

Gardening Grandma

I've been burning stuff and putting the ashes on the compost. Is this OK?



I read up on that Gardening Grandma, as I burn quite a bit of stuff like bank details etc (dont trust a shredder). I mostly throw mine on a patch of ground that I cant see but the blackberries seem to love it.

There are lots of conflicting articles on using ash in the garden (I think it depends on what your growing and what your soil ph is.

On the subject of ivy and moss, I never put them into compost as I'm not 100% sure of any consequences. I usually leave my Ivy to break down then burn it (same with blackberries). Moss goes in my recycling.



Of course, at this time of year rake the moss out of your lawn and leave it in heaps for the birds to gather for their nests 


ooohhhh good thinking Dove


same goes for pet groomings, when I brush off the cat beds get lovely thick clumps of fur, I pull out of the brush and stuff it into the fence, it's usually gone in a day or so.


Always put my dogs hair in the garden, birds seem to love it


Putting moss out for birds is a great idea, as is piling rhodo leaves for hedgehogs so that's sorted.  There is no garden refuse collection here but I have plenty of room to burn the ivy clippings.

I chop up old blackberry prunings to use round plants to keep cats off - they must be dead though or they will sprout!

On the wood ash thing - my daughter puts it around her polytunnel as a slug barrier - works pretty well too.

Gardening Grandma

My  older relatives used to put the ashes from the coal fire on the garden, as did many miners. Their soil was black and friable but I don't know what it did to the fertility. Using ash as a slug barrier is a good idea.

Some good tips here. I'd not thought about leaving the moss for the birds. Ash does keep slugs at bay - I also use coffee grains

Ash in compost is fine as long as  it's well incorporated into the compost


That's interesting quercus - I've had a few bonfires recently - paper, cardboard and garden clearings and prunings and was wondering about adding it to the compost heaps a bit at a time.

Just a thought - I now have compost ready to use from last year and was thinking about using some of it to grow cucumbers and courgettes in a cold frame (later) do I need to add anything to it or is it ok as it is?

Amazing how obsessive composting is! A whole new gardening adventure!


The ash from burning twiggy garden prunings is high in potash - use it around your fruit bushes 


Nightgarden, why don't you just add paper and cardboard to your compost without burning? It's a good source of carbon and breaks down easily.

I use compost for top dressing, but also add a small amount into the soil I'm planting in e.g. raised beds. It's great for lots of veg

Another tip for anyone who works in an office where they use printer toners, or if you ever replace a toner in a printer at home. The toners are usually packed in "egg box" type of cardboard. It's a great addition to compost. 


Quercus-rubur, yes - I do add paper and cardboard to the compost heaps but also start bonfires with it and burn any glossy paper that doesn't rot down so well.

I too add compost to rows before sowing or planting, just a skim to get things going!

The Artist

Some good tips here, never thought of leaving my cats fur combings out for the birds etc to use for bedding. As for the composting I'm using a beehive style composter. Only had it for a year and today I was surprised to find the bottom part actually had compost in it. Yippee!!! I also have a wormery which ive been using for some time and while the two items cannot quite cope with all my 'green' rubbish, most goes into one of them. The wormery is excellent for putting shredded bank details and addresses in. Absolutely no way you could piece togather anything once the worms have had a nosh. 

Rhododenrdron leaves can be used as a fertilizer just spread it over the fields it is a natural fertilizer.

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