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Soil and Composting: Potato peels and citrus?

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PAgirl60
Tobyhanna, PA
(Zone 5a)

February 11, 2013
4:07 PM

Post #9415889

Hi all,

I always add kitchen waste to my compost piles (veggies, coffee, grounds, egg shells etc.) but can I also add potato peels and lemon/orange peels? Is there anything in the veggie family that you shouldn't add? I've heard you shouldn't add onions. Is that true? Thanks in advance. :O

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 11, 2013
4:14 PM

Post #9415896

>> Is there anything in the veggie family that you shouldn't add?

Not that I heard of, but there might be something. Unless you can get your pile really hot, avoid things that you know are diseased, if that disease might spread to something you grow.

I found that rhododendron leaves don't break down noticeably over 4-5 months.


When I add tough skins like avocado, melon or squash, I chop them up first, just so they will break down faster.

Well, also, I chop them because I like chopping with a Chinese cleaver or French chef's knife!

This message was edited Feb 11, 2013 5:17 PM

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 11, 2013
4:15 PM

Post #9415898

I really don't know WHY any of those things would hurt compost. I put them all in. THey tell me its bad- I want to know why.

I go to university and Extension service sources. Some bad advice is passed along by writers who don't research well.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 11, 2013
4:16 PM

Post #9415900

RIc--use < and >
: ^)

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 11, 2013
4:17 PM

Post #9415904

Thanks, Sallyg.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 11, 2013
4:23 PM

Post #9415913

Chopping is good. Sometimes I finish the vegetable prep by chopping the big stems etc too, bfore going in the compost bowl.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

February 12, 2013
7:31 AM

Post #9416499

I don't grow potatoes, but do buy organic ones. Because potatoes are in the same family as tomatoes, I don't put the peels in the compost incase they carry a disease.

I do grow tomatoes, but don't put their stems/leaves in the compost for the same reason.
bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

February 12, 2013
4:20 PM

Post #9417012

I put all fruits/ veggies when I clean my refrigerator.IIn other words I compost almost everything.

Belle

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 12, 2013
4:46 PM

Post #9417029

Honeybee, you may have a point there.

http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/todo_now/faqs2.php?ids=160

But I also compost everything, and hope that by fostering lots of biology, the good will outcompete the bad.
steadycam3
Houston Heights, TX
(Zone 9a)

February 12, 2013
4:50 PM

Post #9417034

I once wore out a blender trying to "hurry things up". Now Im not so zealous. I need my blender for smoothies!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 12, 2013
6:29 PM

Post #9417166

I have seen blenders cheap at goodwill. That would be the thing to do. Have a compost blender in the garage.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 12, 2013
6:56 PM

Post #9417189

Or a big knife or cleaver and some solidly mounted plywood.

chop, chop

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

February 13, 2013
8:23 AM

Post #9417645

sallyg - Thanks for the link. I'm British. My dad taught me not to put potatoe peelings in the compost 60 years ago.

I have two blenders, one in the kitchen for smoothies and soup, the other in the garden room to pulverize eggs shells and scraps I want to bury directly into the garden during the hot summer months.

Rick-Corey - I have a very old scar on my hand - the result of trying to chop something while being distracted.
mraider3
Helena, MT

February 17, 2013
12:11 AM

Post #9421550

Maybe I'm beating a dead horse y'all but I say add worms. No compost is complete without worms!!! Red Wigglers belong in the garden is my moto and I'm sitckin to it... .
Seedfork
Enterprise, AL
(Zone 8b)

February 22, 2013
3:09 PM

Post #9428180

Yes add the potato peels and the citrus. Just be prepared to pull a lot of sprouting potato vines. I have read not to add to much citrus if you are growing worms in the compost, but other than that I know of no reason not to add all you have. It does take a long time for both potato peels and citrus peels to decompose, but they do.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 22, 2013
3:18 PM

Post #9428202

Lately I've been keeping an elongated compost pile.

I add slow-to-decompose stuff to the far left, and faster stuff near the middle.

I rake the outer, dry layer from right to left, so the un-composted stuff is "demoted" to the left part.

I move the "digested" stuff from the middle-center to the right-hand part of the pile, to "finish off".
mraider3
Helena, MT

February 23, 2013
2:45 PM

Post #9429162

There ya go Corey, windrow composting. I pushed Mantis again to build a windrow auger. If they can build an auger snow blower they certainly can build an affordable compost windrow auger.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 25, 2013
2:52 PM

Post #9431445

It's always comforting to learn that there's a name for something I stumbled into doing. It suggests that I'm stumbling in some good directions.

For example, "pile that junk wood in one place until it rots, and maybe throw some soil and plants on top" is called hugelculture.
Sarah321
Milton, NH

April 21, 2013
7:48 PM

Post #9492560

I have found that dry onion skins are more of a dry "brown" than a wet green, so they take longer. Also peach, plum, cherry type pits don't break down for me. And I'm still finding dry peanut shells at the bottom of my pile.

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