any kitchen vegs to avoid

jimfnc(7aNC)February 21, 2014

Have a tumbler barrel. Are there any vegs to avoid? Like seeds (apple, peppers, etc).

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paleogardener(9)

Very few things to avoid composting & no vegetables are on that list. Do avoid any diseased garden plants. Tomato and pumpkin seeds will survive the composting process, but the volunteers are easy to identify & yank if desired.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 9:38PM
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poaky1

I thought that onion skins, celery and iceberg lettuce were not good to compost. I may be wrong, maybe they are harmless, but don't add much in the way of nutrients?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 7:12PM
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paleogardener(9)

The bigger variety of stuff in the pile the better. Celery, lettuce & onion skins are greens that may not contribute many nutrients but their decomposition & consumption by microbes will contribute to the pile achieving a high temperature.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 7:31PM
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toxcrusadr

Any particular thing may not contribute much, but the point is to divert it from the landfill and return it to the soil, so in my book there is no contribution too small.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 1:40PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

That's a bizarre list of banned stuff, poaky1;-) Where on earth did it come from? Lettuce??? I can't think of anything more innocuous.

I work on the principal that if it ever lived it can go in the compost. Over the years this has included tatty cotton clothing, lumpy feather pillows, old doormats, deceased gerbils meat, dairy and any plant.

I'm with toxcrusader - it's not just about plant nutrition - it's also about waste reduction and recycling.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 1:49PM
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toxcrusadr

We won't even get into the annpat ban on baked goods! :-p

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 10:37AM
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mckenziek(9CA)

I don't think seeds will be a problem in a tumbler. They may very well sprout in the bin. But most of them will probably die in there, too due to lack of light and the tumbling action. I think you can put all kitchen waste in there. But you will need to add dry stuff to keep the moisture under control. Dry leaves, or dry grass or straw or something. Sawdust.

Good luck!

--McKenzie

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 11:57AM
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Natures_Nature(5 OH)

Compost should reach a temp of around 160 F for a few days, no seeds or disease will live in that.

In general:

Add any plant to the compost

Keep cooked/proccessed animal foodstuff out of the compost

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 12:21PM
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lazy_gardens

I compost almost anything .... including the cottontail rabbit I found floating in the pool. He's buried deep in a pile that's almost full and ready for the ageing. (I have a no-turn pile)

Don't make it harder than you have to. Just keep a good mix of "browns" (paper, sawdust, dry leaves) to greens and it works.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 1:23PM
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toxcrusadr

A tumbler may not heat up due to its small volume and the gradual addition of kitchen waste rather than in one big batch. Also if the ambient air temp is cold. But I don't worry too much about temp necessarily, and as someone said, volunteer veggies, if they sprout, are easily pulled up. Put it all in, add some browns as suggested, observe and adjust.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 12:05PM
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poaky1

Floral UK, I listed Iceberg lettuce specifically, because it is not high in nutreints compared to other lettuces. I am sure no harm would occur in composting it, onions and celery.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 6:09AM
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greenman62

i had heard/read that onion and garlic is bad, especially if you want worms.
maybe that was JUST for worms, not sure now ?

i have used lettuce a few times, its good stuff.

do NOT put ANY OILS in it...
baked potato with butter, pasta with olive oil etc...
all no no.
careful with stuff like salads for oils, AND vinegar, pickles etc....
while vinegar isnt really bad, it can change the PH.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:17AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

The non-garlic thing is for worm bins ie vermicompost, not a general purpose heap in the garden.

poaky1 - do you believe there's a relationship between human nutrition and what's good for the garden so significant as to warrant sending lettuce to landfill rather than composting it? IMO the amount of nutrients they contribute is irrelevant set against the convenience and common sense of getting rid of them quickly and easily and avoiding sending them by oil-based transport to one of the increasingly scarce holes in the ground.

greenman62 - I'm not sure about the necessity of the capital letters. Small quantities of oils will not bother the compost heap at all. Have you seen adverse effects from scraping your pasta leftovers in to the bin? If so I've been doing it 'wrong' for years.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 2:50PM
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greenman62

"Have you seen adverse effects from scraping your pasta leftovers in to the bin? If so I've been doing it 'wrong' for years. "

actually i have, but since you obviously think of yourself as the master here
sharing the info would do no good.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 4:59PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Your point of view is of interest if you would be prepared to discuss it and give more information. Perhaps you could share your reasons for vetoing oils?

I do not consider myself a 'master' in any way. I just don't want newbies to get the impression that making compost is difficult and hedged about with restrictions and rules which they transgress at their peril. You yourself say you are 'not sure' about the Allium embargo but on the other hand you maintain that lettuce is 'good stuff' - without evidence for either statement, so maybe you are not a master either?

We all do it differently and as one wise old poster used to say, IALBTC. It's just rotting vegetation - really not worth getting tetchy over.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 6:17PM
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mustard_seeds(4 -Onalaska Wisconsin)

I used to get a lot of volunteer seedlings from tomato and pepper seeds that were thrown in the compost. Preferred to not deal with so many seedlings so I stopped adding those seeds to my bin. I roast my winter squash seeds so that is not an issue. All the rest of my veggie scraps go in.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 10:50AM
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