Can I Compost Fruit and Vegetables?

Can I Compost Fruit and Vegetables?

Composting is a fantastic way to reduce waste, create nutrient-rich soil, and support the environment. For those of you looking to dive into composting or just wanting to ensure you're doing it right, this post is for you.

We’ll explore which fruits and vegetables you can and can't compost and some things you should definitely avoid, however do you need to avoid them when hot composting?


Fruit & Vegetables Can I Compost? Decay
Apples Yes Fast They will decompose quicker if they are chopped/quartered
Avocado Stones Yes Slow Nuts and stones are designed by nature to resist bacterial breakdown, avocado skins will also likely be visible in compost
Bananas Yes Fast Banana skins and stalks are soft and have weak fibres so decompose quickly
Broccoli Yes Medium Stalks and florets, cut large pieces to less than 4cm
Cucumber Yes Fast Take care if adding in large amounts - you may need to add shredded paper
Grapefruit Yes Medium Avoid adding to wormeries
Juice Pulp n/a Medium If adding pulp from juicing, take extra care to add bulking agent and balance excess water with shredded paper
Lemons Yes Medium Avoid adding to wormeries and in limitation so not to make compost too acidic.
Lettuce Yes Fast Take care if adding large amounts - you may need to add shredded paper
Limes Yes Medium Avoid adding to wormeries
Mango Yes Fast  
Melons Yes Fast The seeds are likely to survive cold composting.
Onions Yes Fast Avoid adding to wormeries, outer skins are like plastic so may be visible in finished compost
Oranges Yes Medium Avoid adding citrus fruit peel to wormeries
Peaches Yes Fast Stones will take longer
Pears Yes Fast Spoilt, rotten or windfall pears, chop into quarters before adding to the heap  
Pineapple Yes Slow The yellow flesh will compost quickly. Ensure the waxy leaves and skin are chopped up (<4cm)
Potatoes Yes Fast Chop whole potatoes (<4cm)
Pumpkin Yes Fast Seeds are likely to survive cold composting
Sweetcorn Yes Slow Corn cobbs - chop these up if possible less than 4cm 
Tomatoes Yes Fast Take care if you add these in large amounts - you may need to add shredded paper

What Fruits Can Go in the Compost Bin?

Almost all fruits can be composted. From apple cores to banana peels and even the last bits of your strawberries, your compost bin will happily accept them. These organic materials break down, releasing nutrients back into the soil, which can then be used to support plant growth. Remember, it's not just the flesh of the fruit but also the seeds, stems, and peels that can go into the compost.

What Fruits and Vegetables Can You Normally Not Compost?

While most fruits and vegetables are compost-friendly, there are a few exceptions when cold composting, however when HOT Composting follow the rules and there are no exceptions (ensure your HOTBIN is over 40°C):

  • Citrus Peels: Oranges, lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits have peels that can be slow to decompose and may make your compost too acidic, potentially harming plants.

  • Onions and Garlic: These can repel earthworms, a vital component of healthy compost.

  • Diseased Plants: If your fruits or veggies showed signs of disease, don't compost them. They might spread the disease back into your garden.


3 Things You Shouldn't Compost - But You Can HOT Compost:

  1. Meat and Dairy Products: These can attract pests and do not break down easily.
  2. Oils and Fats: These can create a barrier in your compost, preventing aeration.
  3. Synthetic Chemicals: This includes pesticides or non-organic fertilizers, as they can harm beneficial organisms in the compost.


Can You Put Cooked Fruit and Vegetables in Compost?

Cooked fruits and vegetables can be composted, but there's a catch. If they've been cooked with oils, sauces, or spices, it's best to avoid adding them. These additions can slow down the composting process and potentially attract unwanted pests. If you've steamed or boiled your veggies without adding anything, go ahead and toss them into the compost bin!

To make your composting journey even more efficient and stress-free, consider a HOTBIN. Take a look at our HOTBIN product range and never throw away any fruit or veg scraps again. These bins are designed to speed up the composting process, allowing you to transform your kitchen waste into garden gold in no time.

Composting is an eco-friendly way to repurpose kitchen waste, turning it into nutrient-dense compost for your plants. While most fruits and veggies are compost-safe, it's good to be aware of the few exceptions. Remember, the key to successful composting is a balance of materials and ensuring you have the right tools for the job. Happy composting!

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