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Can I Compost Bamboo?


November 7, 2015

I'm cutting down tons of the local "bamboo" (really a phragmites or something?) in my ABQ yard - some dead, some green.  I have a compost pile.  I'm wondering:  how well does the bamboo compost?  - should I use just the leaves, small shoots, dead root "burls", or chopped-up stems?  Does it take forever?  Is it good for my garden?  Do I have to worry about the green bits sprouting or taking root?  Any other thoughts?  I hate to throw out all this organic material if I can compost it successfully.  Thanks for any advice you can provide!


Answer by JH: Yes, you can compost bamboo but you are right in thinking it is best to reduce the hard stems to smaller pieces to encourage faster decomposition. If you have a cold compost pile, depending on how much bamboo you are composting and what the mix of greens and browns is, it could take many months. If you have a hot compost pile, the process will be much quicker.

If you want to learn more about the difference between hot and cold composting methods, check out the class schedule on our website

Thanks for your question and best wishes.

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