Nutrients in kitchen scraps

jennijenjen(z9b FL)July 17, 2012

Hello! I used to have a list of what specific nutrients are found in different kitchen scraps but can't find it anywhere and googling didn't work.

Since I do trench composting, I'd really like to find out what nutrients are in the watermelon rinds, carrot juice pulp, banana peels, etc.

If anyone has a list they'd like to share, thank you so much!

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toxcrusadr

I haven't seen such a list, but I do know that compost with a variety of ingredients is the most diverse and rich in nutrients. I had my backyard compost tested last year alongside a bunch of commercial products, and it was at or near the top on every parameter.

I'll be watching with interest to see if anyone else has data.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 10:46AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Like this? Unfortunately, it lacks a LOT of very common items. I do some sheet and trench composting also and it seems like very basic info that is actually very hard to find, at least last year when I kind of gave up and just decided to put whatever I have wherever I "feel" like it should go at the time.

Watermelon rind is an awesome temporary (usually disappears within 2 weeks) mulch around a plant that keeps drying out faster than others, but I doubt it has much nutritional value. Something that "melts" so fast seems kind of pointless in the compost pile, it's 9-something?% water, so basically carrying it all the way to the pile is a long heavy walk to approximate dumping water on it. Same thing with other liquids. Sure would like info to make a decision about the optimal place to put them though. My compost pile does not need supplemental moisture but the beds do.

The thread from last year may have something useful to you, in general if not specific.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 11:33AM
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jennijenjen(z9b FL)

Thanks for the link, purpleinopp. The watermelon rinds are probably doing alot of good for my sandy soil.
We go through alot of green tea bags and it's nice to know they add more nitrogen than coffee grounds, it's just a bit tedious tearing open the bags.

I didn't know hair had so much N, either. We make carrot juice every few days & I'm still curious about the carrot pulp.

Toxcrusadr, I've been keeping an eye out for a container to compost in since we have to worry about critters, but till then I try to make the trench mixture as diverse as possible.

-Jen

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 1:16PM
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toxcrusadr

Those teabags will eventually disintegrate on their own, since they're made of paper. In the meantime, they are obviously porous too, so the microbes will get to work on the tea leaves inside even if you don't tear them apart. I just throw the whole thing in.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 1:41PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

The only bags that will not break down in compost there the ones from mighty leaf tea because they are silk. Coffee filters make good compost. It is hard to say what minerals and such that stuff has but it's not like feeding a body, just put in a lot of organic matter.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 1:48PM
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gardengal48

Since silk is an organic material, it will compost/decompose just like any other organic product.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 1:54PM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

for us it is not a concern, we just use them and the composting worms in the garden along with soil bacteria convert them to nutrients for the plants, and we use green type hay's and sugar cane mulch to top it all with this keeps the soil well fed and the plants happy.

tuck all our spent vege' plants under the compost as well, no science needed just replicate how nature might do it.

len

Here is a link that might be useful: lens straw bale garden

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 4:50PM
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luckygal(3b)

While I'm not totally indifferent to the nutrient values of various kitchen scraps, when I trench compost I regard it as attracting and feeding the worms so anything they eat has value. It's the worm castings that have the high nutrient value IMO.

I doubt any table of nutrient values could be 100% correct as there will be different amounts of nutrients in veggie scraps depending on where and how they are grown. I eat mostly organic, altho buy it, so I *hope* there is high nutrient value but there are few guarantees of that.

The following link has nutrient values of some foods we eat and one might get an idea of which nutrients may be higher in one veggie over another. However, apparently veggie skins have higher mineral values than the inside of the veggie so that may not be reflected in the table. I'm supposed to eat the skins but won't unless I grow it.

It's known that bananas are high in potassium which is why many people bury the peels near their roses which require potassium to thrive.

Here is a link that might be useful: nutrient value of some foods

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 6:03PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

I regard it as attracting and feeding the worms so anything they eat has value. Well said & good point.

It's known that bananas are high in potassium which is why many people bury the peels near their roses which require potassium to thrive. Gramma was right about this one!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 6:09PM
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toxcrusadr

Someone was making those doggone plastic tea bags though, the triangular pyramid shaped ones. I wonder if they quit when all the compost wackos complained, or if they're still doing it?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 10:29AM
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toxcrusadr

This was alluded to earlier but I think it's worth repeating. If you look up the nutrient value of a food, bananas for example, it's going to be based in the part you eat, unless the test was done by someone interested in composting the other parts. K may be concentrated in the banana flesh but be much lower in the peel. Or not.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 10:55AM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

look at citrus the skin has more of the nutrient ie.,. vit' C, i believe that in all those things, the potato skin will have the best of the nutrient value, so banana skins will be the same well at very least no less than the main body of the fruit.

len

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 1:37PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

OMG that list is high on the potash for bananas (%50)! My hibiscuses are going to love my compost! I feed my bin banana peelings everyday!

Whoah dog poo has high phosphorous content!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 1:14AM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

toxic did you look at the list? It says SKIN and STALK with 2 separate values. Its a pretty neat list. You should check it out.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 1:18AM
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gardenlen(s/e qld aust)

not good to use dog or cat poo in food gardens, they have nasties to pass onto us humans especially those of us who don't wear gloves.

len

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 4:01PM
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jennijenjen(z9b FL)

I actually cut up all my food scraps after they've been in the freezer awhile. It feels like I'm fixing dinner for the garden!

Here's the meal that went into one bed today - banana peels & some old banana, apple cores & skins, watermelon rinds, carrot pulp & tops, sunburned parsley, and green tomatoes.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 10:11PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Hair is made of keratin, a protein, and can be converted to useable Nitrogen for plants by the Soil Food Web. Hair can be a good N source but not a readily available N source.

Here is a link that might be useful: Composition of hair

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 6:57AM
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