Dealing with Prickly Prunings

How to compost

Compost Safely

Which bin to choose

Your compost ingredients

Emptying your Bin

To Turn or not to Turn?

How long to compost?

Worms and Wormeries

Topical Composting

Kitchen Waste

Prickly prunings

Weeds and weeds

Too much Grass?

Leaves for leafmould

Seasonal Tips



Advice sheets
Unwelcome Guests

Prickly prunings
prickly pruningsRoses should be pruned in February and early March, or at least when severe winter frosts are past. Pruning, followed by a sharp frost causes dieback. These prunings cannot be composted as the sharp prickles will take a very long time to rot down.
Practically everything in the garden can be recycled and that does include rose and other prickly prunings. You can make a pile in a discreet part of the garden and it will gradually rot down over several years. While this is happening, you will have a perfect shelter for wildlife. Toads and beetles will shelter there and they will help control garden pests. Birds will feed on all the insects that live in the pile.

Even better, make a ‘Dead Hedge’, again in a hidden part of the garden. Drive a line of wooden poles into the ground, about 45cm apart and to whatever length you’d like. Make another line 45 – 60cm from the first one. You then stuff the prunings between the lines of poles. If you can get hold of willow wands, weave them between the poles and end up with an attractive garden feature!
Stringy climbers like clematis, ivy and honeysuckle clog up a shredder and rot down slowly, add them to your dead hedge or weave them round its poles.

If you live in the country you can burn prickly prunings on a bonfire but make sure it burns really hot and fast so that it doesn't give off lots of smoke to harm your lungs. Try barbecueing in the embers so you don't waste the heat!

More ideas about coping with woody stuff in Autumn Clearing
Find out what to do with sawdust, wood shavings and bark