throw cooked veggies in compost?

champagneJune 16, 2010

Will cooked vegetables break down in the compost? I use a large aluminum trash can with holes all around it and it's about 3/4 full. I do this to keep rodents away. I can't say it gets as much air as it should, but it seems to work OK. I made a soup stock with lots of leftover veggies and want to put the veggies into the compost now. But I'm worried they will just get all moldy.

Any advice? Thanks!

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I found this thread by Googling it -- didn't find it on the garden web search! It does answer some of my question, but I thought cooked veggies did not break down like the raw version. So I'm still not totally sure.........

Here is a link that might be useful: previous thread on cooked veggies

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 1:38AM
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pippimac(New Zealand)

I learnt that "what has lived, can live again". eg, you can compost anything that was alive at one point.
That's presuming vermin and disease aren't issues, but my compost's full of supposed no-nos like dairy, meat and cooked leftovers, as well as cotton clothes and various things I suspect won't break down, but I've shoved them in anyway.
I'm not worried about 'toxins' in my compost, I reckon a good lungful of city air'll do more harm than the mouldering banana cake and shiny paper.
Only thing I avoid is poo in compost for veges.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 6:31AM
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pippimac(New Zealand)

Meant to say 'carnivore' poo; herbivore poo's another story!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 6:36AM
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My thought is...
If their fresh throw them in, if their cooked throw them in, sautéed, boiled, fried, BBQ, candy coated, baked, broiled, stir fried, steamed, on a sandwich throw them in (including the bread) point is that in any form of Veggies are fine to compost....because the alternative is to throw them in a land fill.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 8:59AM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil(Zone 6a - MO)

Yes, they will compost just fine. Don't worry about occasional bits of meat, salad dressing, Alfredo sauce, etc. It'll all break down.

Make sure you add some brown stuff to counteract the nitrogen - leaves, shredded paper, etc.

I'm more concerned about your metal trash can - it will corrode away enventually due to the heavy bacterial action, constant moisture and weak organic acids produced during the process. Are you sure it's aluminum, or is it possibly a standard galvanized trash can?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 12:54PM
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I have put cooked veggies into my compost since I started composting in the 1960's and have never seen any problem with doing that. The cooked veggies are usually digested by the bacteria before any raw veggies are because they are already partially broken down by the cooking.
The only problem I ever saw was related to the amount of moisture those cooked veggies had and in the garbage can composter I initially used only very careful management of that moisture kept me from having a vile smelling, soppy, undigested mess.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 1:15PM
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Thank you, everyone. I will toss 'em in, then! They have been boiled with no salt, fat, etc. I was worried about mold, mostly.

Toxcrusadr, yes, it's a galvanized trash can. I had my nomenclature mixed up momentarily.

Thanks again, all.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 1:39PM
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Moldy vegies wouldn't be a problem----moldy food in your refrigerrator is simply mother nature at work in you refrigerator, talk about cold composting! lol

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 2:03PM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil(Zone 6a - MO)

Yeah, mold is all part of the process. You are not the first to ask that question, and no offense intended but I always find it a bit amusing that people worry about putting rotten stuff in the compost. That's what the compost DOES... :-]

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 4:29PM
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When you find vegetables or fruit with mould on them that is an indication that the bactreria and fungi that will be digesting them, and converting them into plant food, are at work just as they would be in a compost pile.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 8:17AM
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