Onion scraps in compost?

mustard_seeds(4 -Onalaska Wisconsin)February 23, 2009

I have read somewhere not to compost onion peelings - can't remember why it was discouraged. Other places I see people mentioning they add onion scraps. What say you?

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takadi(7)

If you can't compost it, it's probably poisonous, nuclear reactive, or an inconvenience due to pests and such. You might be getting confused with advice for vermicompost, as it is said that worms don't like alliums. I've never had any trouble however

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 12:21PM
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Lloyd

"it's probably poisonous, nuclear reactive, or an inconvenience"

I made a supper like that once!

:-)

They (onion scraps) take a while to break down, but they eventually break down. I throw them in.

Lloyd

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 12:26PM
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joebob

I turned my pile this weekend and came across something that smelled to high heaven ----feces like !!!---

Turned out to be a partially decomposed onion---my 16 yr old son helping me turn the pile got a kick out of it ----"Dad----did you take a dump in your pile ???!!!"--:)

I had to reassure him I had not gone that far off the deep end ......yet -----

Anyway ---they will decompose but will smell pretty nasty for a while ---keep 'emm covered-------

JB

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 12:59PM
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mustard_seeds(4 -Onalaska Wisconsin)

Well, I do not have a worm bin, except for whatever critters might find their way to the compost. So I won't fret if hubby tosses the onion scraps in the bin. He uses the majority of the onion while cooking so hopefully I will not have the same experience as Joebob!

Rachel

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 1:25PM
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Lloyd

I wanna know how the heck Joe got a 16 Y/O to help him?

That would be something to know and should be put in the FAQs!

Lloyd

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 1:33PM
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leira(6 MA)

I have successfully composted onions and other alliums in both traditional and vermicomposting systems. When I'm feeling virtuous, I make a point of cutting them up small before tossing them in, but sometimes I'm lazy. They've never failed to compost.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 1:50PM
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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

I've added whole onions that start to mold in the cupboard and haven't had a problem w/ them. Occasionally I put in a rotten orange w/ out breaking it up and they will still be around after 2 or 3 turns, very moldy, but don't really do well till they get stomped, or chopped w/ a shovel. The onions on the other hand, I haven't even seen.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 4:56PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

A very simple rule about what can go into the compost is if you could eat it you can compost it, plus a lot of vegetative material that you would not eat can be composted.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 7:30PM
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kiddo_1(NE OH 5)

Lloyd, I made a supper like that once! ROFL

Actually, I'm sorta convinced that onion scraps help keep some of the critters out of my CP.

Kris

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 8:04PM
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ajpa(z6 se PA)

I use a lot of onions & garlic in cooking so they go in the compost bin. Which my 7yo said "smells good", remember?
:D

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 9:55AM
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luckygal(3b)

"Actually, I'm sorta convinced that onion scraps help keep some of the critters out of my CP."

That might be why we've never had a problem with critters in our compost - we eat a lot of onions and garlic.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 11:29AM
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cali1023

Onions and their friends garlic, shallots and leeks all grow underground as bulbs (they're part of the lily family). They have naturally occurring compounds that stave off bacteria and fungi, which helps them survive for a long time underground. Therefore, they aren't the most easily compostable thing in your kitchen...I think the onion has to be very old and "weak" before the bacteria/fungi can win the fight and chomp it up. Onions will compost, it takes longer than it takes a banana peel.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 12:28AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

I've noticed that onions stick around forever in my compost pile. I assumed it was because they thrive underground so it's like a natuarl growing environment for them.

I've even had growth in some dried up green onions I threw in. The roots actually grew and the stalks turned green again.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 9:46PM
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dipsandtets

Came across this -
http://www.terawarner.com/blog/2011/08/an-easy-guide-to-composting/

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 3:02PM
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