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composting citrus

 
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I am doing some research on composting citrus peels.  I have heard in the past that it is not good to throw lemon, orange and grapefruit peels into the compost because the acidic fruit can wipe out some of the good bacteria.

Searching online, people say they compost o.k., just a little slower.  Certain worms and bug will leave the citrus alone but it will still compost.  Any comments or info on this anyone?
 
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I'm recycling this post because I have this same question. I know banana peels and apples cores are frequently cited as being good for compost, and because I kind of group all of them together never gave it a thought that orange peels would be bad (even though apples and bananas aren't citrus).

In one of the permie books I'm perusing, citrus is cited as a 'no-no' for composting. Why?
 
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I am glad you resurrected this post, because I wonder too. I've been putting my citrus peels into the garbage disposal, but would love to compost.
 
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citrus peels don't compost?

shhh... don't tell my compost bin that.  I don't want it getting any ideas.

 
pollinator
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yeah, we compost a fair amount of citrus peels. they go just fine.
 
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Maybe a bokashi bin would be the most optimal way to go?  
 
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News to me that you're not supposed to. I read a whole study about someone reforesting a reserve with orange solid discards from a juice production plant.

Here it is;
https://www.gardeningchannel.com/orange-peels-forest/

Compost your orange peels. Might change the Ph a little for a bit. By the time it's compost it won't matter any more.
 
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I have heard this too, but for me compost is how I responsibly manage my waste first and only creation of garden nutrients second. We have citrus trees and produce a lot of citrus waste, it all goes into the compost.

It certainly breaks down, I can't tell you what it's doing to the microbiology, but there are worms aplenty. Birds seem to like the seeds.
 
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If you're looking for an alternative to composting your citrus peels, dry them out and use them as firelighters. They burn long enough to get the fire going and have nice smelling smoke. Being part of a culture that still frequently cooks over a fire, citrus peels don't go to waste in this house.
 
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We also compost a lot of citrus, mostly lemon and lime peels. We use bokashi for all our food scraps but that is mostly to help manage kitchen waste while we are building up enough to make a compost pile.
 
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Here's an alternative to composting the peels; eat them ! I rub the peels with salt, put them in a mason jar and make sure it's covered by it's juices or added water. The peels will be easier to eat after fermentation, but you can cook them in tajines or such to soften them up even more.
 
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Patrick Marchand wrote:Here's an alternative to composting the peels; eat them ! I rub the peels with salt, put them in a mason jar and make sure it's covered by it's juices or added water. The peels will be easier to eat after fermentation, but you can cook them in tajines or such to soften them up even more.



You can also dry them and use them in herb bouquets for flavoring foods (a la France).
 
Paul Sofranko
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r ranson wrote:citrus peels don't compost?

shhh... don't tell my compost bin that.  I don't want it getting any ideas.



It's not that they don't compost, the stuff I read is that you're not supposed to toss them in the compost pile. I think I read further somewhere (I forget) that bacteria or other critters in the pile (or soil if you apply compost directly in the garden) doesn't like them. They'll still break down, but may take longer.

EDITED: Zoinks. The thing about bacteria not liking it is in the OP. :sheepish grin:
 
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We feed citrus peels to our cows... it sort of "pre-composts" them, you know?  We had a few that would not eat them, but otherwise our feeder cattle will eat them after a day or two.  I get pulp, etc from a local juice place and it is loaded with citrus peels.  I am glad that my cows "pre-compost" it for me.  
 
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Pre-bokashi, when I used large amounts of citrus I used to dig a trench in the garden, put the peels in, sprinkle some lime on top, and let it sit a week or two, then plant right on top. Works great.

(another thing to do with lots of citrus peels is to soak them in white vinegar to make limonene cleaning solution. I make maybe 5L at a time)
Thanks for the idea about drying them for firestarter. Definitely will do some of those (if I can get some to dry without moulding)
 
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I pick up from a small kombucha producer. One of the things they have is powdered organic citrus peel. Sometimes I see they have added wedged fruit as well. I will say this, it will compost. However, the piles that get citrus always seem to take 2-3 times the length of time needed for breakdown. Caveat - I rarely if ever turn piles. I rely on fungi, bacteria, and worms to process. I see a stark delineation where the worms avoid any citrus. You can definitely tell where the citrus was. The good part is that they don't use a lot and the wedges are removed when I dump into the piles. I have a small barrel composter I put those in.

I also stopped getting the high oil hops powder. The hops could be separated. They will compost but it takes forever and I'm not sure even oyster mushroom spawn would use that.
 
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I always compost citrus peels and they disappear completely like everything else. I have heard though, that composting non-organic citrus peels could be a problem because they have been treated with fungicides to prevent mold, and this might inhibit fungal activity in the compost. It made sense to me (on an intuitive level) :)
 
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