Can you put citrus in compost?

citrus fruit can be composted

Yes, putting citrus fruit into your compost has many benefits, as long as you balance the acidity in your compost pile to counter the acidity boost that citrus will bring to the pH balance of your pile. Also, if you are vermicomposting, you may want to avoid adding citrus fruits altogether, as certain worms prefer not to eat citrus, which can slow down the decomposition process in worm compost bins, but in regular composting systems, adding citrus fruit and peels is perfectly safe and has several benefits. 

The strong scent which is produced by citrus fruit can deter pests, rodents, and other unwanted animals, and keep them from digging around in your compost. The reason composters have avoided composting citrus fruit in the past is because the chemical oils present in citrus fruit were believed to harm the beneficial insects that live in your compost and help speed up the decomposition process in your pile.

However, studies have shown that the chemical oils which are present in citrus fruit break down very quickly, so there is no danger of the oils being a threat to beneficial insects in your compost system. When citrus fruit and peels break down, they add nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus to the humus, all three of which are important nutrients that your soil needs to help plants thrive. 

When composting citrus fruit and peels, use the following tips to help speed up the decomposition process and keep a good pH balance in your compost.  Cut or tear the peels into small pieces to help speed up the composting process, as large peels take a long time to break down and can slow down the decomposition process.

If the acidity level of your pile increases from adding in citrus products, balance out the pH by adding in more grass clippings. To keep mold from growing on your citrus peels in your compost and to keep your pile breaking down at a steady speed, keep your pile’s temperature as hot as possible by turning the pile every few weeks.

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