With your indoor or outdoor compost bin, you can create your own natural fertilizer. In this smart mix of green and brown waste, we often find food waste as well as household waste. Rivetless tea bags, coffee grounds, eggshells, fruit and vegetable shells… There are many possibilities here. However, if you consider your composter too much of another bin, you may damage it. Foods added to compost can indeed destabilize it, break it down badly, promote bad odors, or even invite pests. Find out which of them are prohibited in compost and what should be added in small amounts to keep it healthy.
1) Leftover meat or fish
Fish and meat waste, such as cooked foods, require high temperatures to decompose properly. However, this is a condition that our compost bin does not meet. In addition, these are dangerous foodsattract animals to your compost (bedrooms, rats, etc.). They can additionally promotes bad odors. It is therefore recommended to add very small amounts. Be sure to cover them with 10-20 cm of humus to reduce the risk of attracting unwanted ones.
2) Too much citrus peels
In addition to being very thick (and therefore difficult to break), the peels of lemons, oranges and other grapefruits have the disadvantage that they are very acidic. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from putting small pieces of it in from time to time. However, keep in mind that it may be too much unbalances the pH of your compost. In addition, these fruits are, unfortunately heavily chemically treated during rearing and harvesting. Therefore, they are covered with bactericidal substances that are very harmful to the microorganisms working in your compost bin. Better keep these precious shells to give a good scent to your household vinegar!
3) Waste dairy products
Over time, dairy products can macerate and release unpleasant odors. Leftover butter, milk and other cheese skins can also suppress your compost and attract all pests. From the point of view of healthy compost, it is therefore better to avoid these foods or in any case limit them as much as possible!
4) Seeds: watch out for compost!
Some foods, such as tomatoes or pumpkins, have seeds that can germinate quickly in a compost bin. So be careful if you decide to throw food containing seeds in the trash to avoid nasty surprises!
5) Rhubarb leaves and garlic
Are there any leaves left over from the jam or rhubarb pie? They’re really toxic, and that’s why they’ll stay in our hands once we’re done. While there are many ways to recycle and use these leaves intelligently, adding them to compost is certainly not one of them. In fact, this waste has a a powerful insecticide that can damage your compost. For the same reason, garlic should also be avoided in compost (or added only in small amounts).
6) Fats are among the bad compost foods
Oils, mayonnaise and fats in general are difficult to decompose at low temperatures. The oil in the compost can also slows down its decomposition process by reducing air circulation. This is therefore detrimental to obtaining high quality compost. Fat is also a habit attract rodents. If you really can’t take them to a recycling center, you can spread them on your compost stack or on a soaked carbon tray (paper or cardboard). However, do it in very small amounts.
7) Be careful with compostable foods that are difficult to break down
Certain foods should not be banned from the compost itself. However, it is necessary take precautions before adding them, otherwise they cannot break down properly. This applies to shells of dried fruit (walnuts, peanuts, etc.) or to shells of seafood (oysters and mussels) which are finely grind just like cabbage stalks.
Eggshells and other potato peelings are great additions to your homemade fertilizer of the future, but cut into small pieces to facilitate their disintegration. As for corn cobs, don’t forget the drying step before crushing them. This will help mix them more effectively. Finally, trim the peel of the avocados or pineapples that are too hard and add the bread sparingly and crumbly so that the compost does not suffocate.
Remember that in addition to these foods, other elements should be banned from compost!
This is especially true for bioplastic bags, which are ultimately not very biodegradable. Sick, stuffed or dead plants with parasites (aphids, etc.) must also be strictly prohibited. They may contaminate your compost and thus the rest of your garden when spreading. Of course, this also applies to weeds that have gone into the seeds and spread quickly around your green area. Finally, residues of plants treated with lawnmowers or pesticides or herbicides must be kept to a minimum.