What CAN Be Used to Compost

Anonymous added on July 20, 2015 | Answered

My husband preps gardens for those who only want to plant, feed and eat their harvest. BUT, with our turnips, OMG, I LOVE turnips, but these taste NASTY! I spit out the first bite (sh!). I asked him if he used anything to feed them besides Nutrigrow. After an unconcerting sight, he said the neighbor found a DEAD OPPOSSUM in the alley-way. So hubby took the rotting carcass and YES, he used it, along with vegetative Nutra grow on the lowest ground of dirt. Is this why the turnips taste like "just say NO"?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 20, 2015

Poor nutrition on the plant will cause them to taste icky. While technically, eventually the corpse of the opossum would feed the soil, while it is breaking down, it actually takes nutrients from the soil to fuel the decomposition process, which robs those nutrients from the plants and this results in poor flavor. So it is not so much the body that caused the taste issue, but the lack of nutrients caused by the break down of the body.

I don't like to recommend that meat be composted in any situation. Technically in the long run, it does add nutrients to compost and soil, but the risks you take when doing this outweigh the benefits in my opinion. Meat in the compost or soil not only attracts unsavory characters (mostly omnivores like raccoons, skunks and other opossums who will attack your plants after finishing off the meat) but can also harbor disease in the compost or soil.

In the future, your husband should throw any wild animal carcasses into the trash rather than the garden.

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