composting fallen fruit apple, pear, peach, veges? good or bad?

greenhousekendraJune 14, 2010

This is my first year with a large compost pile. It was left here by the last owners. We also have some fruit trees, crabapple, apple, pear and peaches and I also have a vegetable garden. What are general rules on composting fallen fruit from trees? What are the compost rules for plants from the garden. For example compost my tomato suckers but throw away a diseased tomato plant?

What is the difference between hot and cold composting?

I'd like to just throw everything in there since I will not be using any of the compost until next year. Does amount time make a difference? For example, if I compost a diseased plant will it cause problems next year after a freezing winter in Kansas?

Thanks!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ericwi

I compost anything and everything that was ever green and growing. Our pile is about 1/2 shredded maple tree leaves, & the rest is garden refuse, sticks, raspberry canes, and sunflower stalks. I only remove compost once a year, in late May/early June.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 10:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
west_texas_peg(8a West Cen TX)

My chickens get first shot at any fruit, then the rest goes in the compost pile. Right now that is apricots. Having a great harvest this year...first one for my two trees.

I trimmed my daisies back today...will haul the trimmings to the compost pile tomorrow morning while it is cool.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 10:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

People that practice what is called today "conventional" gardening methods (use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides) will tell you any diseased plant material should not be composted and must be thrown away and they do that and still have problems with plant diseases and insect pests. Those of us that have practiced true organic gardening have found that we can compost diseased plant material and will not have much of a problem with plant diseases. I have corresponded with people all over the world that had the blight problems on potatoes, tomatoes, peppers until they made their soil into a good, healthy soil that would grow strong and healthy plants. They have found, over the years, that if they do not add fresh compost to the soil where they grow those plants every year signs of blight will reappear.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 7:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lazy_gardens

Rules? We don't need no stinkin' rules!

What are general rules on composting fallen fruit from trees? It attracts bears and raccoons. If you don't have pests like that, make layers a fruit or two thick, covered with dry something to keep the bees and wasps away. By spring it's composted.

What are the compost rules for plants from the garden. Whatever you clipped off or pulled up, toss it on.

I compost everything - that fungus on your tiomatio plant becomes food for the compost microorganisms.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 8:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ericwi

There aren't too many rules, stinkin or not, that apply to composting. But it would be wise to remember, if you build your pile big enough, it will, sooner or later, catch fire!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 2:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
curt_grow

Bears and Raccoons yes but Badgers? We don't need no stinking Badgers! Compost away mate!

Curt~

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 12:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greenhousekendra

This forum is a funny bunch!

Thanks for the answers. I'll be reading more to learn more. Fire.. huh?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 10:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
snoggerboy(RSA)

composted a dead duck one time...
never saw hide nor hair (err feather) of it again.

You wanna hot heap ? the sugar from fruit will help a lot. I put a cup of molasses in water when making heaps = Steaming HOT !

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 12:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sfallen2002(z5 IA)

Fire both symbolic (pile heating up can be said to 'catch fire') and literal. Some of us with agriculture in our family history have tales of barns burning down due to the straw/hay in the barn catching on fire (as it would if it gets rained on and put away damp).

Microorganisms may be small but you get enough of them working away and .. things happen.

Hot piles mean (generally) an active pile. Materials heat up, cool down, pile gets turned, heats up again, etc etc. Cold means pile materials up, if it heats great, if not so what, let it work for a while - year or three - and you get compost.

Most of us find you get compost faster with the hot method, but use what you like/what works for you.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 8:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

It is not the size of the pile of organic matter that cause the spontaneous combustion, it is how the material is stacked. There needs to be just enough moisture and air, both, that will allow the bacteria to work and generate sufficient heat to cause the organic matter to reach ignition temperature and then it will burn. This is why most everyone that knows will tell you that the internal temperature of your compost pile should not be allowed to exceed 160 degrees.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 7:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lloyd

From what I understand it is several conditions that are required before spontaneous combustion might occur.

No documented cases of spontaneous combustion have been reported for compost piles smaller than seven feet.

Apparently, size does matter.

;-)

I've exceeded 160F numerous times, yet to have a fire.

Lloyd

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 4:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
curt_grow

Anybody 451 F Thanks

Curt~

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 4:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
emily06

"What is the difference between hot and cold composting?
sfallen is right that "hot composting" means an active pile that is layered correctly, moistened regularly , tossed when the temps begins to fall, etc, thus creating decomposition and temps that are hot enough to feel when you stick your hand in: 130 - 160 F. "Cold composting" is when you throw the compost materials to your bin or pile and let 'er lie. The higher temps are not created; it takes quite a bit longer, but rot does happen eventually. I call it the Lazy Person's method, and I practice a modified version: Occasional tossing, watering, etc., but not reliably. I get compost 2-3 times a year.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 6:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Apparently Lloyd is beginning to understand that compost piles can spontaneously combust, and apparently those people at the University of Minnesota have not talked with the people at the state office that handles fire reports because I am quite sure that many reports detail spontaneous combustion of small, backyard, compost piles that set buildings afire.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 7:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lloyd

Apparently kimmsr hasn't learned to comprehend what he reads. If he can find one quote from moi that says I don't believe spontaneous combustion can happen, I'll buy him and his family a steak dinner.

Your problem kimmsr is that you post stuff that is outright wrong or made up and you often attribute it to other organizations. When asked for the links you usually state you can't find them, the links no longer exist or there is some new research available.

Maybe you should contact the U of Mn to tell them of all your vast knowledge of documented small compost pile fires, I'm sure they'd be thrilled to hear from you. lol. While you're talking to them, make sure you educate them on your made up fact that the size of the pile has nothing to do with spontaneous combustion.

Lloyd

P.S. By the way, how much real rubber is in a tire? (snort)

P.P.S. Sorry to OP for hijacking the thread but sometimes incredible inaccuracies ought to be challenged.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 9:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greenhousekendra

Good reading, thanks for all the information. Cleaned up the yard and I have a silly smile on my face every time I take it all to the compost. Composting makes gardening more fun!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:46AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Clay
Moving to a new home with a blank canvas and landscape...
dnamama
Need alternative nitrogen source
Ok, here goes. Don't laugh if I sound stupid. Or...
ernie85017
How quickly can I lower pH of soil in order to plant acidic plants?
I'm hoping someone can help me with my dilemma! I...
stillasprout
Weeds and pollinators
Spring is just around the corner, uh huh yes it is,...
kimmq
Berm and Top Soil/Tilling?
I plan on creating a low berm - about 6 inches tall...
Bob Sislow
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™