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Can I compost peanut shells?

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Can I compost peanut shells?

Post  Miss Mousie on Tue 14 Dec 2010 - 23:49

My husband was wondering if we could compost salted peanut shells. I said I didn't think so because of the salt. He thought that in the compost bin with the rain, elements and the natural decomposition that it wouldn't be a problem. Anyone know the answer to this?
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Re: Can I compost peanut shells?

Post  Chopper on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 0:27

With no scientific backing at all, I would side with your husband. I think the salt in peanuts is negligible when mixed with the other ingredients plus one watering/rain would wash it out.

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Re: Can I compost peanut shells?

Post  LaFee on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 0:27

depends on how many there are -- a handful, no problem...the sweepings from the floor at the Ground Round, not so much! You might want to given them a good rinse to knock off some of the salt before pitching them onto your pile...and a good soak would soften them up and hasten the decomposition process, too.

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Re: Can I compost peanut shells?

Post  Odd Duck on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 11:21

I would agree with LaFee and Chopper in saying that a small amount won't hurt a thing. A large amount should be rinsed off before adding. I probably wouldn't go over 20% of the total volume of the pile in shells to be safe. If you're less than 10% of the total volume, I might not even rinse them if they're mixed in with other stuff (unless they're super salty). If you're talking about a few handfuls in a big volume, definitely don't bother rinsing.

Happy composting!

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Re: Can I compost peanut shells?

Post  jumiclads on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 12:36

Just a question! Why would they salt peanut shells when you crack them open and eat the peanuts and leave the shells. Does the salt get on the peanut itself?
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Re: Can I compost peanut shells?

Post  Chopper on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 12:42

jumiclads wrote:Just a question! Why would they salt peanut shells when you crack them open and eat the peanuts and leave the shells. Does the salt get on the peanut itself?

I *believe* that the peanuts are boiled in salted water and then roasted or otherwise cooked dry. That way you do not have to open the shell to salt the peanuts themselves. But the shell gets salty too.

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Re: Can I compost peanut shells?

Post  LaFee on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 13:23

I think you're right Chopper.

Yes, Mick, the peanuts inside the shell can be quite salty.

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Re: Can I compost peanut shells?

Post  jumiclads on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 13:28

Well you learn something every day. I have never heard of that before. Thanks
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Re: Can I compost peanut shells?

Post  LaFee on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 15:02

those mad 'mericans...they'll eat anything!

(Salted peanuts in the shell are a traditional favorite at sporting events in the US...they're delicious, and you can throw the shells on the floor.)

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shells on the floor

Post  ander217 on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 15:36

There is a local farm store chain here which holds "peanut days" every year. They have huge bins of free salted peanuts all through the store for people to grab and shell as they shop. You just throw the shells on the floor. At the end of the day the shells can get pretty deep. I have a neatnik friend who can't stand to walk in the store during that promotion but I think it's fun.

Now you've got me wondering what they do with all those shells at the end of the day. Hmmm. Might be worth it to ask.

BTW, Jumiclads, although peanuts are cooked briefly in salted water before roasting, many folks in the Southern US also like peanuts boiled in the shell until tender. To me they taste like blackeyed peas.
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Re: Can I compost peanut shells?

Post  cautery on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 20:20

I'm used to do a LOT of work in Oilfield Production (e.g. flowing back wells after fracs etc...) You want to make darned sure that you don't put ANY salt-bearing materials in your garden. Salt does not go away and will accumulate in your soil. A relatively low chloride level will markedly reduce vegetation growth...
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Re: Can I compost peanut shells?

Post  davidclubb on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 21:58

Good thread. We are rice farmers in Southeast Texas. One of the problems that comes up every 100 years or so is salt in the water. We had a 100 year hurricane about 3 years ago, and had to wait for the salt to wash into the ground, so we could pump water throughout the irrigation system. Some farmers were able to use the water affected, and produced a very nice crop this year.
The reason for this post is to keep you aware that salt will compete with your veggies for moisture. So, my preference would be to find an organic market that sells unsalted unroasted peanuts, and save the shells for your compost.
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Re: Can I compost peanut shells?

Post  Miss Mousie on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 23:23

Very informative! Thanks for your replies everyone. The reason I asked is that my husband has a snack of peanuts some evenings and wondered if the shells could go in the compost. Well, I don't think I will try it. I don't need any problems. I think I goofed up my mel's mix this summer and will need to fix it before spring. I think I didn't have enough good sources of compost.

Thanks again!!
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Re: Can I compost peanut shells?

Post  ander217 on Thu 16 Dec 2010 - 5:29

Miss Mousie (Thu Dec 16, 2010 1 am) wrote: I think I goofed up my mel's mix this summer and will need to fix it before spring. I think I didn't have enough good sources of compost.

Join the crowd. I also goofed by missing the part that said a 3.9 cu. ft. bale of compressed peat moss will make 8 cu. ft. when opened and fluffed. We just dumped the whole bale onto our tarp and mixed it in with the compost and vermiculite. Our mix wound up with twice as much peat as it should have - definitely not good in a year of record high temps and drought.
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peanut shells

Post  fishma on Sun 3 Feb 2013 - 9:00

I was wondering if composting with peanut shells is beneficial to your garden? Very Happy
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Re: Can I compost peanut shells?

Post  yolos on Sun 3 Feb 2013 - 20:40

by fishma on 2/3/2013, 12:00 pm

I was wondering if composting with peanut shells is beneficial to your garden?

Yes you can and they are beneficial. See this site.

http://www.ehow.com/how_5642920_compost-peanut-shells.html

"Peanut shells are excellent for composting because they are full of fiber and decompose quickly."

But as others have said, careful with the salted peanuts.
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Re: Can I compost peanut shells?

Post  littlejo on Sun 3 Feb 2013 - 21:22

I'm glad this thread has been revisited! Lately(last couple of yrs) folks have taken to frying peanuts in the shell, then sprinkling on the seasoning, bbq is a pretty good one, then the peanut is eaten, shell and all. crunchy,and full of fiber, pretty good.

Peanut shells are good in compost. If using a lot, be sure to rinse off salt or seasoning first. Peanut shells would be good as mulch for asparagus, for asparagus likes the salt.
Jo
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