Sweet Gum Balls in the Garden/Compost

Tahlequah added on March 4, 2011 | Answered

I got some bags of leaves from a neighbor and then realized that they had alot of spiney sweet gum balls in with the leaves. . . will they decompose in the garden and/or should I put them in a long term compost bin. . . how long will they take to bread down. . . . I don't want them in my garden if they won't break down.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on March 5, 2011

They will only break down if you have a "hot" compost pile. If your compost pile stays cool, the seeds will not break down and you should not place them in the pile. A hot compost pile is one that is turned and watered regularly and gets to an internal temperature of more that gets above 100F.

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