It’s a problem every gardener has to face – what to do with those invasive, perennial weeds such as Dandelion, Buttercup, Bindweed and Ground Elder. Perennial weeds can’t be thrown in the compost bin as their roots will survive for several years, only to spring up when the compost is spread on your beautifully prepared garden beds.
It’s better to preserve the nutrients by keeping them on-site rather than throwing them in the bin or offsite in your local composting scheme. So how do you deal with these tricky plants? One solution comes from another of Mike Feingold’s tips – ‘The Bucket of Death’.
The Bucket of Death is a container with a hole in the bottom, and filled with weeds with a weight placed on top. The weeds decompose over time and ooze a thick black liquid which can be caught in a container underneath. The liquid produced is a concentrated fertilizer and can be used at the ratio of one capful to a watering can.
How to make The Bucket of Death
Choose an appropriately sized container for your land. Mike uses a large metal barrel on his allotment, but in my smaller garden I’ve opted for a large patio container.
Cut an ‘X’ into the bottom of the container. A round hole is easily blocked but this ‘X’ shape allows the liquid to escape. You can do this by drilling holes and then using a file to remove the material between them.
Make a platform or support to hold the bucket with space underneath for a container to catch your liquid fertilizer.
Fill the bucket with weeds and add a weight on top – a large large flat rock is ideal. I had a spare container of the same size so placed a few heavy rocks inside and use it to spread the pressure across the whole surface.
Over time the weeds will decompose and release their nutrients below. Eventually they’ll be completely dead and you can finally add them to your compost pile or use as mulch, but do be sure they’re completely dead.
Happy composting 🙂