Potato peels and citrus?

Tobyhanna, PA(Zone 5a)

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

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> 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

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

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.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

RIc--use < and >
: ^)

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Thanks, Sallyg.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

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

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

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.

Virginia Beach, VA

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


Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Honeybee, you may have a point there.


But I also compost everything, and hope that by fostering lots of biology, the good will outcompete the bad.

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

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

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

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

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

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

chop, chop

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

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.

Helena, MT

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.... .

Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

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.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

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".

Helena, MT

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.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

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.

Milton, NH

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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