Can You Plant Seeds in Your Compost?

seeds in compost
Planting seeds in compost is a great option if you're looking for an easy way to start your garden. The moisture and nutrients in the compost help the seeds to sprout and develop into healthy seedlings. Plus, the warmth of the compost helps to hasten the germination process.

 Can You Plant Seeds in Compost?

The answer is yes, you can plant seeds in your compost!

However, there are a few things to remember when doing so:

  • Make sure that the seeds you are planting are not from treated plants. These seeds may have herbicides on them that can be harmful to your compost pile and the plants that you are growing.
  • Seeds need oxygen to germinate. If your DIY compost pile is too dense, the seeds may not get enough oxygen and will not grow. To avoid this, turn your compost pile regularly so the seeds can get the oxygen they need.
  • Plant the seeds in an area of your homemade compost pile that gets a lot of sun. Seeds need sunlight to grow, so planting them in a shady spot will not be as effective.

 Can You Grow Seeds in Compost Alone?

Good question! The answer is yes and no. Seeds can germinate and grow in compost naturally but will likely not thrive. This is because seeds need more than just nutrients to survive.

While your compost does provide some of these things, it falls short in others. For example, seeds need light to germinate, but once they start growing, they quickly use up the oxygen in compost. This can cause their growth to stall or even die.

Water is another essential element for seeds. Compost can hold some water, but not as much as seeds need to grow. This is especially true if the compost is allowed to dry out.

Can You Plant Seedlings in Compost?

Seedlings are young plants that have just germinated from seeds. Once they sprout, they must be transplanted into garden soil to continue growing. But can you plant your, say, veggie seeds in compost instead?

The answer is yes! You can plant seedlings in compost. It’s a great way to give them a boost of nutrients. The compost will help them germinate faster and grow stronger.

Just avoid high temperatures, or the seedlings will die. The ideal temperature for compost is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

6 Best Seeds to Use

If you’re looking to add some seeds to your compost heap, there are a few things you should remember.

Not all seeds are created equal when it comes to composting. Some seeds will fare better than others, and some may not survive the composting process.

Second, it’s important to plant the seeds properly. You’ll want to make sure they’re buried deep enough in the compost so that they can germinate and grow.

Here are a few seeds that are known to do well in compost:

  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Radishes
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Pumpkins

These seeds are all relatively small, so they won’t need to be buried too deeply. Just make sure they’re covered with a few inches of compost.

When Should You Start Seeds?

This depends on many factors, including your climate and the type of seeds you are planting. 

In general, most seeds should be started indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date in your area, and this will offer them a head start on the growing season.

You can check the National Gardening Association website for more information if you’re unsure when the last frost date is in your area.

Starting seeds indoors is a great way to jump on the gardening season, but there are a few things to note. One of the most important is to use a sterile growing medium. This will help prevent your seeds from getting moldy or infected with diseases.

You can buy sterile growing mixes at most garden centers or on Amazon, or go the DIY way by mixing equal parts of perlite, vermiculite, and peat moss.

Once you’ve got your growing medium, you’ll need to plant your seeds. The depth will depend on the seed type, so check the instructions on the packet. In general, most seeds should be planted about twice as deep as they are wide.

After planting, water your seeds gently with a spray bottle or misting nozzle. You don’t want to soak them, just make sure the growing medium is moist.

Put the seeds in a warm, sunny spot and keep an eye on them. Once they start to sprout, you can move them to a slightly cooler location if necessary. Just be sure they are getting plenty of light.

If you start your seeds off right, you’ll be well on your way to a great gardening season!

How Do You Care for Compost and Seed Starts?

Like any other plant, seeds need water, sunlight, and air. The compost will provide nutrients for the seeds as they grow.

Use a spray bottle or watering can to lightly mist the soil to water your seeds. Be careful not to overwater, as this can drown the seeds. You’ll know the seeds are getting enough water if the soil is moist but not soggy.

For sunlight, place your seedlings in a sunny spot near a window. You can use grow lights if you don’t have access to natural sunlight. Be sure to give the seedlings 12-16 hours of light per day.

Finally, ensure the compost is well-ventilated to prevent mold and mildew from growing on the seeds.

When Do You Transplant Seedlings Outside?

So, the days are getting warmer, and the sun is staying out longer. That can only mean one thing: it’s time to start thinking about transplanting your seedlings outside. But when is the best time to do it?

You’ll need to consider when you’ll transplant your seedlings. But, first, you’ll need to know your area’s average last frost date. You can find this date by checking the Farmer’s Almanac or Cooperative Extension office.

Once you find out the average last frost date, you’ll need to look at your seedlings and see how they’re doing. If they’re looking healthy and starting to outgrow their pots, it’s probably time to transplant them.

If you’re unsure whether your seedlings are ready to be transplanted, err on the side of caution and wait a few more weeks. Better to wait too long than to risk them being killed by a late frost!


Discovering composting as a way of life or even better, as nature’s way of recycling, Ana dedicates her time to trying out new methods of composting at home. Her goal is to share everything that she’s learned in the hopes that it will help others discover the amazing rewards of composting.

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