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Organic Gardening: Cabbage in compost

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Forum: Organic GardeningReplies: 6, Views: 97
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Lynnwood, WA
(Zone 7a)

December 31, 2010
6:39 AM

Post #8284760

I was watching a video about making saurkraut and she said cabbage leaves shouldn't go in the compost. I have and will continue to do so but for what reason might she have said that?
Brady, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 31, 2010
7:36 AM

Post #8284820

My question is about citrus peelings. In or out?
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 31, 2010
9:29 AM

Post #8284946

Some folks think cabbage leaves decomposing are particularly stinky. I dunno, maybe it would be tacky to dump a truckload of rotting cabbage next to your neighbor's house, but just including a normal proportion with the rest of your composting I can't imagine bothering anyone.

There's some particular bacteria for the citrus peel, so depending on whether you have it in your pile, they might be slower than some other things or not. Some folks think the citrus adds lots of sugar and makes the pile warmer.
Central, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 1, 2011
7:30 AM

Post #8286337

Cabbage Leaves - chop into small pieces - they compost just like anything else "green" - don't let them settle into a "layer", mix in well with "browns".

Citrus Peel - OK in small amounts - it's the oil in the peel that, in large amounts, is caustic to microorganisms and larger pile inhabitants. Orange Oil is used as an insecticide! Never use citrus in a worm bin - kills the worms.

Sugars feed microorganisms and add the breakdown of organic matter - unsulphured molasses or feed grade molasses is all you need to supply "energy". I use 2oz/gal as a pile drench - works on leaf mulch piles, good for a kick-start when turning and mixing a pile.

Ms. Tommie
Rosemont, ON
(Zone 4a)

January 1, 2011
7:52 AM

Post #8286370

I'm stunned to learn that citrus peel is not good for compost, as I've been composting oranges, lemons, and grapefruits for years and years and they have broken down fine! I guess the right bacteria must be present in my compost bins. I have either a grapefruit or freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast every morning, and use fresh lemon juice for cooking, so I compost citrus quite a lot. I compost cabbage also and have not noticed any smell, but I do cover every fresh compost deposit with a layer of soil (in summer) or wood stove ash (in winter). I remember my father having to bury his compost heap one year when a neighbor complained of it smelling, but he never used to add any soil, he just tossed vegetable refuse into a shallow pit and covered it with grass clippings. It was a pretty hot pit, and broke everything down quickly, but it gave off quite an odor!
Lynnwood, WA
(Zone 7a)

January 1, 2011
7:53 AM

Post #8286371

Molasses is in my garden supplies cupboard now too. The other thing I like to add into my kitchen scraps is old beer. A friend gave me 8 cans of old cheap beer she didn't want and that's in the cupboard too, should have poured it all out in the garden yesterday, for New Years Eve LOL
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 10, 2011
1:52 PM

Post #8302984

Yeah, I put citrus in with the worms all the time.

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