Rhubarb is a popular crop for home gardeners, but there is still controversy about whether the rhubarb leaves may be composted. So, can rhubarb leaves be composted? Yes, you can compost rhubarb leaves safely.
Composting rhubarb leaves
Yes, composting rhubarb leaves is completely safe. Rhubarb is a vegetable, although most people serve rhubarb in fruit-like dishes, it composts much like other forms of garden leftovers.
Many composters are perplexed since, while rhubarb stalks may be eaten, the leaves are dangerous to consume due to high levels of toxins.
The substances included in rhubarb leaves can be harmful if dogs or children play in or nibble on compost containing fresh amounts of leaves, therefore avoid this at all costs.
Aside from that, the natural disintegration of the leaves occurs pretty rapidly, so the hazardous substances are dilute enough to cause no harm.
Will the substances that remain in the compost harm your plants if you distribute them in your garden?
No, fully-processed compost formed from rhubarb leaves, even in huge amounts, will not maintain levels of toxic chemicals that make it deadly to plants.
How to Compost Rhubarb Leaves
Rhubarb leaves are simple to compost if the following procedures are followed:
Step 1: Finely chop the leaves
Chop the leaves with a sharp knife or kitchen shears. While you may compost the leaves whole, the stiff fibers within will break down more faster if you split them up.
Step 2: Determine the nitrogen-to-carbon ratio
Add around four parts carbon material, such as shredded leaves, cardboard, or sawdust, for every container of rhubarb leaves.
Adjust the component content to meet the demands of your compost at the moment, ensuring that moisture levels are not excessively wet or dry.
Step 3: Combine everything
Mixing your compost components frequently is the best method to speed up the process.
Turn the material every few days to ensure that all of the material makes its way to the middle of the pile, where all of the microbial and heat action occurs.
Step 4: Keep going until the job is done
Once your rhubarb leaves are processed, make sure to monitor the moisture and heat levels inside the compost on a regular basis.
This reduces the possibility of smells and helps keep the fungus and bacteria happy, allowing the compost to finish faster.
Is Rhubarb Acidic?
Rhubarb leaves have an acidic taste. The stalks and leaves contain oxalic acid, a caustic and poisonous chemical when consumed in sufficient numbers.
Oxalic acid is a chemical produced by rhubarb plants as a defensive strategy. People can safely consume typical foods containing this acid at low quantities, such as Swiss chard and spinach. Human bodies naturally manufacture minute quantities of this acid.
Is it possible to compost rhubarb?
Yes, you may compost rhubarb, as well as the leaves if you’ve grown it yourself. Rhubarb leaves are deadly if eaten, but after a few months in your compost heap, the toxin level will be so low that it will no longer be a concern.
Can rhubarb leaves be composted in the UK?
Composting rhubarb leaves is completely safe. Although the leaves contain a substantial amount of oxalic acid, the acid is swiftly broken down and diluted throughout the decomposition process.
Growing rhubarb for pies, bread, jams, and other sweets is a popular gardening hobby. So, why throw out rhubarb leaves when you can turn them into a vital component of your composting system? There’s no reason why you can’t compost the leaves.