avocado pits linger, suggestions?

awyb(10/11 SoCal)January 23, 2009

Hi. Any suggestions for a "mistake" I've already made? We eat a lot of avocado in my house, maybe one per day. And I just dumped all the pits into one of my compost tumblers (the one closest to the kitchen). One per day for maybe 5mos, ending a few mos ago when this bin got full . Well the compost is almost done. Everything well rotted and looking nice. EXCEPT for the avocado pits. In hindsight, I wish I'd cut them in half (or more) prior to composting them. Too late now. I really don't wish to screen the compost, that was one reason for waiting so long on it in the first place, to make all of it pretty well decomposed. If I must, I will. Before I resort to that, thought I'd ask here for recommendations for otherwise dealing with it? Thank you in advance for any advice, sympathy (ha!), etc.

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val_s(z5 central IL)

Hi AW -

Since your bin is full and your compost is almost done, I just don't see how you can get around screening to get the pits out. Are you going to be using the compost all at once like on a garden area or are you just going to be using it in dribs and drabs like in putting shovel fulls around plants or in containers?

Can you just pluck them out as you come to them and throw them into a new pile?


    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 8:32AM
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It doesn't matter a whit if some things in your compost break down faster than others. You have an eternity for that avocado pit to break down. Unless you are using your compost for seed starting (or carrot rows), there is no need to have fine compost. Chunky compost works fine in the garden; I believe that it works better. I know that my clam shells and eggshells are often chock-a-block full of worms. I call a half an eggshell in my garden 'worm habitat'.

I just apply my compost when it's (generally) ready, forking it in or applying it to the top of the soil. I rarely notice if something chunky gets tossed down. I routinely throw clam shells in my compost bin, because I don't care if it takes an "eternity" to break them down.

If I found the bright white of an eggshell (or an avocado pit) offensive to see sitting there on top of my soil, I'd toss a handful of mulch on top of it.

You can recompost your pits. Or you can toss them under a favorite, low shrub. You can bury them in the garden. You can crush them before you put them in the bin, but that always sounds like a lot of effort to me, for nothing.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 8:35AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Annpat is right. Compost doesn't have to be beautiful or "finished" or fine to be beneficial to the garden.

Stuff keeps right on composting even when spread in the garden so screening isn't required - it is purely optional. Pick them out if you wish or pitch them aside or smash them with a hammer. Plant them and grow another avacado tree. ;) Or just leave them. All will be well.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 11:32AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

And if perchance you find a sprouting avocado in the garden, pull it out before it gets a good roothold.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 3:01PM
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awyb(10/11 SoCal)

Thanks Annpat, Dave, Jean and Val. Even chucking all hundred plus of them under a bush does sound easier than screening the compost. Due to lazy gardening (and good weather), I generally start all my seeds (or most of them at least) in the garden, but I'll just make sure I don't sow any of them under a pit and should be just fine. Thanks again for the suggestions.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 3:50PM
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I have two avocado "trees" growing on my counter in a big pot. They were in my chunky compost put into the garden in 2007. I pulled up one as a weed, saw the huge pit attached to it and with a little TLC managed to save it. As winter was closing in, I found another in the corn and dug it up purposefully and put it in the same pot.

The funny thing is that I'd tried three or four times to grow an avocado from seed in the house, putting toothpicks in them and suspending them in water. I don't know why I wanted one and now that I have a couple I'm not sure what to do with them. They won't survive the winter outdoors and they won't yield fruit unless they get big. They're not attractive as a house plant. But I'm sort of glad to have them. This summer I'll put them outside and divide them into their own pots. I need to cut them down again so they grow more side branches.

Some of the avocado pits that were in my compost were husks, but apparently a few were still good enough to sprout. I likely didn't turn my pile enough.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 4:40PM
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