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Bad Pickles for the Compost Pile?

Posted by nancedar z7 NCWakeForest (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 5, 08 at 18:00

Last year I made wonderful sweet pickles and B&B's but the sliced dills were soft and not appetizing. I have maybe 20 quart jars of them to get rid of. Can I put them in one of my compost bins? Each bin holds about 2 cu. yds. of "in process" compost and I use it after 2 years of turning and adding and watering. By volume the majority is pickles, then vinegar, water, salt, garlic, dill, and other spices. I would think each jar only holds a half pint of liquid but my concern is the salt absorbed by the cukes. Our native soil is acidic with a clay and sand loam that is quite rich in organics in the acre or so of the veggie garden (thanks to the amendment of my compost over the past 8 years). I would hate to disrupt that balance by adding salt which I have no idea what it would do to the pH or what residual effect the salt would have on my native or amended soil. Is there a counter-reagent for salts? I am not concerned about the vinegar since I think it neutralizes itself in the pile.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Bad Pickles for the Compost Pile?

Here is a link to a thread from last fall about composting pickle juice. That person had juice from a 5 gallon bucket of pickles, so it should be about the same. The consensus on that thread seemed to be that it would probably not have much impact on the compost since it was small in comparison.

The salt won't affect the pH, and I don't think it would cause problems in your area because there's not all that much and it will readily leach out with rainfall.

RE: Bad Pickles for the Compost Pile?

Agree there is no problems with adding them to your compost bins. We cleaning out the canning cabinets annually and all the out-dated products go into the compost piles - pickles included. As Bp said, salt build-up isn't really a worry as it will readily leach out of the soil with rain. Just like the vinegar, composting neutralizes most everything in time. ;)


RE: Bad Pickles for the Compost Pile?

Thanks. I plan on making better dills this year, learned my lesson. "If it doesn't taste right going in, it isn't going to be right after it is canned." Glad to know that those cukes have a purpose after all. Knowledge and compost to cover the mistakes.


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