Using cola on your compost heap – the surprising hack approved by experts

Is soda the secret to a healthy compost heap? Experts discuss the garden tool that may be hiding in your kitchen

woman putting leaves on compost heap
(Image credit: CasarsaGuru/E+/Getty Images)

A cool cola in the garden is the perfect remedy for a hot summer's day – in more ways than one. While it's no secret that this soda is enjoyed by green-thumbed enthusiasts everywhere, it is less known that your garden is partial to a little fizz, too. 

If you're looking to upgrade your composting at home, this surprising yet simple technique will lead to a healthier pile that will boost your plant's health. And, its benefits don't end there. Here's how to use your leftover party cola to elevate your garden design ideas in time for summer. 

Planting a plant in glazed terracotta pot, adding ericaceous compost

(Image credit: Dorling Kindersley ltd/Alamy Stock Photo)

Why use cola on your compost heap? 

'It might seem like the last item to be useful in the garden, but a cola drink actually has its uses,' says Jason White, the founder and CEO of All About Gardening (opens in new tab). The expert explains that adding some cola into your compost heap will 'jumpstart' the process of breaking it down. 

'This is because the acid in the cola drink assists and boosts the composting process of the pile, while the sugar in the drink attracts microorganisms which are helpful in accelerating the breakdown process,' he says. 

And Jason isn't exclusive in his support for this unconventional tip. Tom Hilton, the managing director of National Greenhouse (opens in new tab), similarly notes the benefits of adding cola to your compost. 

raised garden beds growing vegetables

(Image credit: Photimageon/Alamy Stock Photo)

'When adding cola to your compost heap, you don't need to worry about it being flat,' Tom says. 'A can of cola will do for a square foot compost pile to break down the brown and green materials quickly,' he adds. 

'You just simply pour it over the pile once a week and watch your heap decompose in a speedy fashion.' 

Alongside its benefits for your compost heap, Chris Bonnett, the founder of Gardening Express (opens in new tab), adds that it's a secret weed killer too. So if you're looking for how to get rid of weeds, this could be the solution. 

Couch grass roots (rhizomes) dug from a garden

(Image credit: Rob Anscombe/Alamy Stock Photo)

However, when using cola on places like the driveway, Chris adds that this tip comes with a warning as it can stick to the hard surface and attract bugs. 

Will you try the cola hack?  

Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Gardeningetc, Livingetc, and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.