Sticks in the Compost Pile

Have you ever wondered about putting sticks in the compost pile?  And I also mean dead flower stalks which are often similar to sticks.  I have had this question for a while about putting sticks in the compost pile.  Because what are you supposed to do with all the sticks and dead flower stalks that come from a garden and a yard (if you have any trees…) every season.

Experimenting with Sticks in the Compost Pile

So last year I decided to put sticks in the compost pile.  And dead flower and vegetable stalks.  I figured what the heck–I didn’t want to put them in the trash.  I also thought that they would provide air pockets in the compost because everything can’t squish together with sticks and stalks criss crossing in the compost pile.

Now a Year Later…

You live and you learn or should I say I live and I learn.  My compost is ready but the sticks and stalks have not composted.  They are really a pain in the neck as I dig out my compost.  They are so annoying.  I always have to pick them out.  Here is a picture of some sticks and sunflower stalks that did not compost in my pile.

It is a matter of opinion about how annoying these non -composted sticks and stalks are.  It  could be that it wouldn’t bother you at all.  In the meantime, I have decided that I am not including sticks in my compost pile anymore.  And that also includes dead flower and vegetable stalks.  Some dead flower stalks are just like sticks.  For example, sunflower stalks are large and rigid.  Pepper stalks are also quite rigid and hard.  So now I have a new dilemma.  What am I going to do with the sticks that fall from my trees and all the dead flower and vegetable stalks at the end of the season.  I do not want to send them to the landfill–that is for sure!  I am thinking about modified Hügelkultur.  I have already started working on this idea and will share more about it in my next blog post.