Can I put pickle juice in my compost?

lindarose(z 7 b)November 23, 2009

I'm in NC above Raleigh. Lots of red clay. I'm new to serious composting. I've always put my kitchen garbage in the yard but now I have a compost heap. A pile. It's looking very good. I make my own pickles and have about four jars of pickle juice left, herbs included. Can I put this in the compost heap?

Probably a dumb question, but I've been saving these. Don't want to just put it down the drain.

Thanks, lindarose

PS: This is my first post to this forum, but I read your wonderful posts all the time.

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I don't put really salty stuff in my compost pile, so it just depends on how much salt is in your pickle juice.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 11:12PM
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I thought vinegar was toxic to bacteria which would make me wonder whether the pickle juice (which has vinegar in it, right?) would kill some of the micro-critters doing their work in the compost.

Though I've heard here numerous times that the micro-critters will "keep on truckin'" no matter what you throw at them (even though they might get slowed a little now and then.)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 11:46PM
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I normally drain the juice out and add the solid stuff to the compost but I don't really know the answer to your question. So from my standpoint, it ain't such a dumb question.

I suppose it would also depend on the volume of the pile, hot/cold, etc etc.


P.S. Welcome to the forum.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 12:10AM
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If you add it put it in one spot preferably on the ground I think it would retard the bacteria for a bit, but I don't Know. Very good question. Think I'll do a search.

Curt :-)

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 12:43AM
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val_s(z5 central IL)

Hi Linda - I'm not the expert here but I just thought I'd let you know that I do it (pour pickle juice on compost) all the time. I've never known it to be a problem.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 7:12AM
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It will depend on the volume of your pile and how much juice you add at once. A small amount of pickle juice in a fairly large pile will not be a problem while a large amount of juice poured onto a a small pile could stop the digestion process. So a 64 cubic foot compost pile will be able to handle without too much trouble a quart or two of pickle juice at a time while a 27 cubic foot pile would not be able to do that.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 7:32AM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

I would do it... if you don't want to pour it down the drain, feel free to come over to my house and dump it on my pile.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 9:46AM
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You can dump it on my pile. I do.

Your first post!!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 10:02AM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)

Not to deprive anybody but couldn't you throw it on the ground somewhere, on something you want to kill? Or pour it down the sink. From the point of view of the compost microherd it would be a salty acid bath. I don't see it benefiting the compost, or hurting the septic system.
Aren't you glad we're helping.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 11:42AM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

A friend of mine from HS, used to empty the juice out the pickle jars by drinking them.

IMO, if a stomach can digest it, so can my compost pile.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 12:11PM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)

Q: Why is a compost pile like the human stomach?
A: It gets you thinking.

The advantage of putting it on the compost over pouring it down the sink is what I don't see. Vinegar is acid, salt is petrifying. But I don't feel that strongly about it either way.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 1:15PM
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Let's simplify things a bit. Go out and get an earthworm. Pour the pickle juice on the worm. If it dies, don't pour it in the compost. If it lives, go ahead.

On the other hand, forget about sacrificing a worm and let's make common sense prevail. Dump the juice in the kitchen sink. Let the poor thing live and benefit your garden. :O)

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 7:36PM
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lindarose(z 7 b)

Wow!! Almost fell off my chair when I saw all the responses. Gee Willakers! Thanks everybody.

I like the idea of killing something in my yard I don't like. I think Wisteria would be good dead. In NC it is very invasive and has taken over my property. So I'll experiment and see what happens. Don't want to kill any critters.

My other thought is too put some baking soda in the drain and pour the vinegar juice over it. But I'm thinking the vinegar is probably too diluted to clean my drain. I'll try a little and see what happens.

Well, what can I say? Thanks again. You made my day.

Too fun, lindarose

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 8:20PM
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