Composting

Rhubarb Leaves in Compost


Gasman262 added on April 26, 2015 | Answered

If the leaves of rhubarb are poisonous, why put them in a compost pile? The question is self evident - why put poisonous material into a compost pile that will be returned to a garden?


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ANSWERS
shelley
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on April 27, 2015

Compost containing decomposed rhubarb leaves can be safely worked into the soil of vegetable gardens. The leaves do contain poisonous materials (oxalic acid and soluble oxalates), however, these rapidly decompose in the compost pile and do not negatively impact compost quality. Oxalic acid and soluble oxalates are also not readily absorbed by the roots of plants.

Sources:
http://helios.hampshire.edu/~nlNS/mompdfs/oxalicacid.pdf
https://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/1997/5-2-1997/rhubarbsafe.html

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