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Composting walnut shells?

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Composting walnut shells?

Post  ksbmom on 11/8/2011, 7:04 pm

We tend to eat a lot of nuts this time of year at our house - my question is, can we compost the walnut shells? I've done some research and seem to find some say it's OK, others say walnuts have a chemical in them that inhibits plant growth, and that even a few will be detrimental. We're not talking pounds of nuts here, but I don't want to put anything harmful in my compost. Anyone have any input?


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Re: Composting walnut shells?

Post  Lavender Debs on 11/8/2011, 7:12 pm

Black walnut TREES are supposed to be toxic to garden plants (not sure if that includes the fruit), but so is fennel and that can be grown in the garden. Just keep it away from beans.

I would use the shells as mulch around the garden to keep cats out.

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Re: Composting walnut shells?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/8/2011, 8:11 pm

I heard about the toxicity of walnut trees but a friend of mine had a veggie garden planted around a walnut tree. He really did grow some nice stuff.

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Re: Composting walnut shells?

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 11/8/2011, 8:56 pm

Most of the walnuts you buy in the shell are English walnuts. Those are not toxic. The walnuts that are toxic to certain veggies are BLACK walnuts. Normally they are purchased already shelled. They are smaller and have a "prickly" looking shell encased in a green husk. Black walnut trees produce juglone which can be toxic to horses and certain veggies...the biggest being tomatoes. Thus, the old-timers will tell you about "black walnut wilt" which is what the juglone in the tree does to tomato plants. Sad There are varying opinions about composting any part of a black walnut tree.

Here is a thread where I have included some of the extension service links about black walnut toxicity as well as pictures and information on how to identify black walnuts. Enjoy! Smile


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Re: Composting walnut shells?

Post  ksbmom on 11/8/2011, 8:59 pm

Thanks Black Walnut! That was very helpful. You're right - the nuts we eat are English walnuts, so no worries. Many of the posts I read on the net didn't specify a type of walnut. I knew the SFG folks would know the answer!


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