Unlock the Hidden Benefits: Including Orange Peels in Compost for a Thriving Garden

Can You Put Orange Peels in Compost?

Composting is an excellent way to reduce kitchen waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. While most people are aware of composting fruit and vegetable scraps, there might be some confusion when it comes to orange peels. Can you put orange peels in compost? Let’s dive into this topic and find out!

The Benefits of Composting

Before we discuss whether or not orange peels can be composted, let’s quickly review the benefits of composting:

  • Reduced Waste: Composting allows you to divert a significant amount of organic waste from landfills.
  • Nutrient-Rich Soil: The end result of the composting process is a dark, crumbly substance called “black gold.” This nutrient-rich soil amendment revitalizes your plants by providing essential nutrients.
  • Sustainability: By creating your own compost, you contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle and decrease reliance on chemical fertilizers.

The Breakdown Process

In order for organic matter like fruit peels to decompose efficiently in a composter, certain conditions need to be met. Proper ratios of carbon (or “browns”) and nitrogen (or “greens”) must exist within the pile. Carbon materials include items like dried leaves, wood chips, or cardboard – while nitrogen sources consist mainly of food scraps like fruits or vegetables.

This breakdown process requires oxygen, moisture levels between 40-60%, and regular turning or mixing to aerate the pile. When these elements are balanced correctly, beneficial microorganisms break down the organic matter into usable humus over time.

The Orange Peel Dilemma

Now, let’s address the big question: Can you put orange peels in compost? The short answer is yes!

The Compostability of Orange Peels

Orange peels are considered “greens” due to their high nitrogen content. However, they also contain oils and acidity that can slow down the decomposition process or create an unfavorable environment for certain plants.

To ensure successful composting with orange peels, it is recommended to follow these guidelines:

Chop or Shred:

Cutting the orange peels into smaller pieces before adding them to your compost pile will accelerate the breakdown process. By increasing surface area, decomposition becomes faster and more efficient.

Moderation is Key:

Avoid overwhelming your compost with an excessive amount of citrus fruit scraps. A balance between carbon-rich materials (such as dried leaves) and nitrogen-rich items (like orange peels) should be maintained for optimal results.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Slimy Pile?

If you notice your compost pile becoming slimy or developing a foul smell after adding large amounts of citrus waste, it may indicate an imbalance in carbon-to-nitrogen ratios. In this case, add more carbon materials like dried leaves or straw to restore equilibrium.

In Conclusion…

The inclusion of orange peel in your home composter can contribute positively if done correctly. Remember to chop/shred the peel into small pieces and maintain a balanced ratio with other organic matter within the pile.

In summary: Yes! You can absolutely put orange peels in compost – just make sure you follow our tips for success along the way!

Composting is a wonderful way to reduce waste, create sustainable practices, and produce nutrient-rich soil for your garden. So why not make the most of those leftover orange peels and turn them into valuable compost? Your plants will thank you!