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How to Dispose of Diseased Plant Material and Weeds

Disposing of weeds, their seeds, insects and disease organisms that are usually not destroyed in less-than-ideal compost systems can be a challenge.

Start with a call to your local municipality and ask about disposal options. Many communities allow you to dispose of invasive plants in the garbage when they’re placed in a clear plastic bag and labeled invasive.

Some gardeners place problem plant material in a clear plastic bag and let it cook in the sun. This may be effective, but you can’t be sure the temperatures are hot enough to kill the pests.

Burning is effective but not permitted in many communities and has a negative impact on air quality.

Burying diseased material can help reduce the source of future infection of some diseases.  Dig a hole, fill with plant debris, mix with soil then cover with an inch or two of disease-free soil.

A bit more information:  Speed up decomposition of buried material by shredding it before burying. Mix the shredded material with soil then cover with several inches of disease-free soil. Then disinfect your equipment with a disinfectant spray to prevent spreading the disease to healthy plants.

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