It being that time of year, I have no shortage of half-rotten groundfall apples to rake up.
Being in the desert, the contents of the compost pile tend to sit dry, but if I dump my apples on there they’ll provide moisture and a ready habitat for detritus eaters, and tend to work through the old organic waste.
Since the last time I got apples, though, I’ve started putting more compostables directly in the garden as mulch, which has helped with water retention at the very least.
Is there a danger of dumping the apples directly around the plants? Will it be too much of some nutrient too quickly, or push pH too quickly or the like? Would it be better to dump it in the pile and shovel it in place next year?
I know that ground fall apples can provide a home for apple pests and exacerbate those types of problems. So I would think it would be best to at least spread them in some part of the garden away from the appletrees.
I also think the moisture value they could offer your compost would do it wonders. I'd vote for composting them, but I would at least make an effort to move.them away from the trees
Do you have chickens or livestock that you could feed the apples to? I chop out the bad bits and feed the rest to our chickens. The good bits from the windfalls can also be chopped up and covered with water in a large glass jar or food grade bucket with a cup of sugar, weighed down to keep submerged and covered with a cloth. After a couple of months, it will have fermented and you can strain out the fruit, bottle and transfer the liquid to a keg. I use the apple vinegar for dressings, add to the chicken’s water and drink a tablespoon when I remember.
I ended up hauling them to the compost pile. I know it will do the pile good and will probably break down two years worth of fibrous waste for me (we didn't get any apples last year due to a late freeze). Soon I'll have more good apples than I know what to do with, and I'll keep these other ideas in mind (especially interested in the apple brandy, though I'll have to get my brother to bring his still down).
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