Orange peels - composting.

bejay9_10(zone 9/10)July 17, 2005

Not long ago, someone raised the question of how to compost orange peelings.

We have a very vigorous 20+ year old Valencia orange that produces it's heart out. As a result, we have lots of oranges for juice, and a lot of falling fruit - when we don't keep up with it.

As a result, there is always the problem of how to control the falling fruit - to keep rats and insects from becoming a problem.

I do compost everything - but hesitated to add the fruit peels to a compost pile that is in various stages of decomposing.

Recently, I decided to start a worm bin for coffee grounds and kitchen garbage offerings. I put them in a heavy duty styrofoam cooler (a cast off) and found a cover of plywood. Added kitchen garbage - coffee grounds, and covered with a shovel full of compost, placed it in a sunny location and hoped it would decompose. To my surprise, the "stuff" heated up (smoking even), and really began to work on the orange peelings. By shifting the pile from side to side - adding more peels to an empty area, then covering with the decomposed half, I was able to keep the heat intense enough to do the job quicker.

When I made a new compost pile, this "hot stuff" was buried in the bottom, to help the pile along. Then I started a new orange peelings, coffee grounds, shovel compost in the styrofoam cooler for the next "go-round."

This has been the best solution to "all those falling oranges and orange peelings after juicing" that were such a nuisance in the trash collection.

Just my 2 c's - FWIW.


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Good for you Bejay! You are a great recycler!

Did the worms survive all those orange peels?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 11:33AM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

You know - I actually wanted to make a worm bin, but couldn't find a ready source for red fishing worms (recommended).

I doubt if they would have survived anyway, the whole business probably would have cooked em. L -

Yesterday, I felt it had decomposed enough - so buried it deep in a new compost pile.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 12:59PM
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"If you build it, they will come."

Keep adding your wonderful "orange-powered" compost to your garden soil, & you won't have to find worms:
worms will find their own way.

(What a great idea to use the styrofoam cooler & compost your oranges in steps!)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 1:25PM
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I am a new at composting. After years of throwing yard waste in an old garbage can I was delighted to find I had usable compost this spring. Now I am putting a little more effort in to it. In addition to yard waste I am adding banana peels, apple cores, orange peels, coffee grounds and tea along with some vegetables. I read not to compost lime peels which made me worry about the orange peels. Am I ok adding them?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 7:45AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

The citrus peels are fine to add to compost. Whole citrus fruit with the peel intact may take longer to break down, but the peels from fruit you've eaten shouldn't cause you any problems at all.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 11:13AM
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