Is Cedar Compost A Smart Choice?

cedar compost

Cedar compost anyone?

You can compost almost anything, from kitchen scraps to chicken manure to yard waste (See Compost Types).

So, it’s inevitable to wonder if cedar compost would be a good idea.


After all, this wood smells great, and many of us have a lot of it on our properties.  But stop and take a minute to think before you put that cedar in your compost bin.  There are some reasons that cedar is a bad addition to most composting operations.  Here’s some information on why this wood isn’t right for your gardening operation and what you should do with it instead.

Cedar lasts a long time. One of the big reasons that so many decks and pieces of outdoor furniture are made out of cedar is that this wood takes a long time to break down.  It stays solid, doesn’t decay, and won’t end up being splintery or unpleasant, even when used outside.  Weather doesn’t really harm it much, and bugs aren’t interested in making their homes in it.  Those are great properties for wood that needs to function outside.  They’re terrible properties for wood that ends up in the compost pile, however.

Cedar’s fungus, bacteria, and insect repellent properties mean that it’s not going to do much in your compost pile.  You can toss it in, but it’s just not going to decay properly.  At worst, it might slow down the rest of the compost pile, too, by killing off the micro organisms that make composting work.  So keep cedar out of your composter if you’d like to have a coherent, fast working compost that’ll nourish your garden well.  Cedar just isn’t worth composting.

What cedar is good for. So what can you do with surplus cedar?  There are a number of different options available.  If you have a wood stove or fireplace, well seasoned cedar can be burned, though it’s not as good a choice as hardwood.  Cedar can also be used to build your compost bin – because of the properties that make it bad for composting.  A cedar compost bin can resist the bacterial action of the compost, and stay in good shape for long periods of time.  It resists weather, too.

You can also chip scrap cedar that’s not worthwhile for building and use it for garden mulching.  While cedar mulch isn’t great for your garden, it can be effectively used around shrubs and other plants that can tolerate an acidic environment.  Keep it away from the house to discourage termites, and you have an effective use for your leftover cedar.

Cedar compost just isn’t the right choice for your compost bin.  Fortunately, there are plenty of other things you can do with it instead, like frames for large wall clocks.  Take the time to figure out what your scrap cedar is good for, and you’ll have no problem finding a use for it.  Reusing and recycling everything is a great idea.  Just make sure you use it for the right thing. Lap Siding

If you’re not sure what they are exactly or if you want to ensure that you’re doing your composting the right way, you can find a good deal of information here.

There are a lot of things that you can use instead of cedar compost for your compost file.