Vegetables You Should Never Compost

The Do’s and Don’ts of Composting: A Guide to Vegetables That Should Not Be Composted


Composting is a wonderful way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. However, not all vegetables are suitable for composting. In this blog post, we will explore which vegetables should not be added to your compost pile to ensure a healthy and efficient composting process.

The Importance of Selecting the Right Vegetables

Choosing the right vegetables for composting is crucial because certain varieties can introduce pests or diseases into your compost, disrupt the balance of nutrients, or even slow down decomposition. By being mindful of what you add to your compost pile, you can avoid potential problems and achieve optimal results.

Vegetables That Should Not Be Composted

Citrus Peels: Too Acidic for Composting

Although citrus fruits are packed with vitamins and add zestiness in our kitchens, their peels should be avoided in compost piles due to their high acidity levels. Citrus peels take much longer than other materials to break down, potentially affecting the pH balance of your compost heap.

Onion Family: Pungent Aromas May Attract Pests

Onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, and other members of the onion family have strong odors that might attract unwanted critters like rodents or raccoons. These pungent aromas could disrupt the natural ecosystem within your composter by inviting scavengers looking for an easy meal.

Oily Residue from Avocadoes or Other Fatty Foods

While avocadoes themselves can be great additions in moderation due to their high nutrient content, it’s best not to include oily residues left from these fruits or any other fatty foods. Oils and fats can slow down the composting process and create unpleasant odors in your pile.

Meat, Fish, or Dairy Products: A Recipe for Disaster

Including meat, fish, or dairy products in your compost pile is not recommended. These items will attract pests and might result in foul odors that are difficult to eliminate. Additionally, the high protein content of these foods can disrupt the balance of nitrogen in your compost heap.

Large Stalks and Woody Material

Vegetable stalks such as corn cobs or fibrous plants like artichokes should be avoided unless they are finely shredded beforehand. Large woody materials take much longer to decompose than smaller pieces, which could slow down the overall decomposition process of your compost.


To ensure a healthy and efficient composting process, it’s important to be mindful of what you add to your pile. By avoiding certain vegetables like citrus peels, onions, oily residues from fatty foods, meat/fish/dairy products, as well as large stalks or woody materials unless properly prepared beforehand; you can maintain a balanced ecosystem within your composter while producing nutrient-rich soil for all your gardening needs. Remember: responsible ingredient selection plays a vital role in achieving successful composting!