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Is It OK to Compost Old Veggies

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Is It OK to Compost Old Veggies

Post  rabbithutch on 5/20/2014, 5:28 pm

We seem to be the worst at using the veg we buy in the supermarket and much of it seems to wilt away before we use it.  We frequently toss tomatoes and peppers and lettuce and other greens.  Since I've started the compost pail routine, I decided to try putting the bell peppers and tomatoes in the compost pail with the other veg that does not contain seed.

Have I made a mistake?  I don't think my compost pile is hot enough to kill seeds.  Although I doubt any seeds will survive and take root, I wondered if there might be any harm from tossing them in.

TIA 
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Re: Is It OK to Compost Old Veggies

Post  plantoid on 5/20/2014, 7:01 pm

Look into compost 101 thread from start to finish ...to learn how to make a good balanced compost . Tomato seeds often do survive a poorly make composting session .

 In compost 101 you'll learn how to get the heat up using air and a bit of high nitrogen stuff, as well as how to cover the heap , keep it moist so the heat pasteurises the middle .

Once the temps reach about 140 oF 7 start to drop a tad you then turn the middle out to the outer edges and the outer edges go into the middle light water spray it as you rebuild the heap and re- cover it .
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Re: Is It OK to Compost Old Veggies

Post  camprn on 5/20/2014, 7:23 pm

@rabbithutch wrote:We seem to be the worst at using the veg we buy in the supermarket and much of it seems to wilt away before we use it.  We frequently toss tomatoes and peppers and lettuce and other greens.  Since I've started the compost pail routine, I decided to try putting the bell peppers and tomatoes in the compost pail with the other veg that does not contain seed.

Have I made a mistake?  I don't think my compost pile is hot enough to kill seeds.  Although I doubt any seeds will survive and take root, I wondered if there might be any harm from tossing them in.

TIA 
nope, go right ahead. if you happen to sprout a renegade vegetable plant you can leave it, transplant it or remove it as a weed. It is all good!

+1 what plantoid said!

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Re: Is It OK to Compost Old Veggies

Post  Elizabeth on 5/23/2014, 11:45 am

I am a little confused.  You said "compost bucket".  Are you trying to compost in a bucket or is that your transport?  Hopefully transport.

When I first started composting I had a loose pile.  Since I live in a subdivision it got kind of messy and the neighbors did not appreciate my effort to make use of kitchen scraps, leaves and grass clippings.  Now I have 2 4'x4'x4' bins, made from scrap lumber and chicken wire, adjacent to each other.  The front is 18" tall.  Makes it easier for me to turn from one bin to the other.

Vegetables rarely "go bad" at our house but if they do I remove the seeds and cut them into smaller chunks - 1" - so they will compost quicker.  The trimmings from the fruits and vegetables used in my kitchen are cut into smaller chunks and the seeds are removed.  I just don't want the hassle of pulling the random volunteer plant from the compost.  I don't always turn my bins as frequently as I should so they don't always get hot enough to kill seeds. 

Depends on how much time and effort your put into the maintenance of your compost. 

Hopefully you have a mixture of browns and greens going into your compost and not just kitchen scraps.

Good luck
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Re: Is It OK to Compost Old Veggies

Post  camprn on 5/23/2014, 12:23 pm

I throw everything into the compost and don't faff about with removing seeds and what not because it's all going into the bin to rot.

Here is a thread about compost containers we all use.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t9800p120-show-us-your-kitchen-compost-container?highlight=show+us+your

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http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Re: Is It OK to Compost Old Veggies

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 5/23/2014, 1:24 pm

I am growing virtually all heirloom seed plants.  I throw everything except cantaloupe seeds in the compost (I do allow just a little of them) and let my pile heat up as high as it will.  Out of that I get quite a few starts in my garden.  If they're well placed I leave them, if there are too many I pull the up or give them away to neighbors and friends.  

My natural garden starts always see to catch up to my early greenhouse starts and they're a lot easier!  Any "weed" plants are certainly easier to pull up than regular weeds anyhow.

It's so easy that I have 7 or 8 spaghetti squash growing in a garden with virtually no work on my part and I have families that can use the help lined up to take the excess fruit when they're ready.
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