Avocado has been known by many to provide many health benefits, which is why many do not shy away from enjoying a nice healthy serving of the stone fruit. However, the same nutrition it offers to humans may also come in handy for plants.
So, can you compost avocado? Yes, you can compost avocado. You may add avocados to your compost or compost them altogether; know that each component of the fruit will take a different time to break down. The flesh, considering its soft texture, will take the shortest time to break down completely, while its tough-as-hide exterior will ordinarily take longer.
Composting avocado is a bit trickier than composting other fruits and vegetables. To learn everything you’ll need to know about composting this fruit, read on.
When to Include Avocado in Composting
The awesome avocados you use to prepare guacamole and other dishes are an excellent source of nitrogen, which makes them great components of a healthy compost heap. There cannot be a better place for avocado peels than a compost pit.
Still, they do not break down as fast as you would ordinarily expect them to. It is highly likely that you will find them in the final compost. You can have avocado peels in your compost any day, just be sure to cut them finely and provide sufficient time for them to break down.
Avocado is often added to compost along with other food scraps for overall balance. If you are about to empty your fridge and toss another bunch of withered grapes or cabbage, consider starting to build a compost pile, which you can also enrich further by adding avocado peels and pits.
How to Add Avocado Peels to Compost
Start by removing the fleshy part for your consumption, and leave some behind on the covers. You shouldn’t have to scrape the skin clean for composting. Proceed to cut the skins using kitchen scissors or a knife to small pieces (two square inches).
Cutting the skins into small pieces is crucial to speed up the process of decomposition and allow them to mix better into the rest of the compost pile. You can also crush them to reduce their size.
Balancing out the brown and green parts of your compost pile is essential to provide a perfect blend. Avocado peel is partly green but mainly brown, but it being so tough ensures that nothing is required to balance it.
As soon as you have shredded all the peel, add it into the compost pile with the rest of the food scraps. In case you are just starting your pile, put the rind in the green layer. If your pile is already established, bury the pieces in the middle of the pile.
Tips for Composting Avocado and Other Food Scraps
- If you plan to start a new compost pile, ensure that your municipal council allows it. While it may seem unnecessary to control the generation of compost, the piles have been known to attract mice, possums, rodents, and other nuisances to the compound if not well secured.
- The avocado peels must make no more than 10% of the food scraps in your compost pile. These rinds are rather tough, which means that the more you add to your pile, the longer it will take to decompose the rest of the material in it.
- You may add the avocado peels to both a hot or dark pile, though it will take even longer to decompose the rest of the material.
- If you want to add avocado pits to your compost pile, consider crushing them with a powerful blender. These smaller fragments will be easier for bacteria and fungi to work on. You should also consider placing them at the center of the compost pile where the temperature is higher so that they degrade faster. Running them through a seed oil extractor can also work well to reduce its size.
Additional Scraps to MIX With Your Avocado Pits and Peels:
- Vegetable and fruit waste regardless of what they look like, including rinds and cores
- Old flour mixtures such as bread, donuts, cookies, pizza crust, noodles, and spaghetti
- Grains such as green grams, rice, barley whether cooked or uncooked
- Coffee grounds and tea bags (ensure that the tea bags are made of recyclable material). They are a great source of potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen.
- Pulp from juicing fruits and vegetables
- Old spices
- Well-crushed eggshells
- Corn cobs and husks
If you have all these items and are ready to create a compost pile, get an easy-to-secure kitchen compost pail.
You can place the pail underneath your kitchen sink and empty it depending on the amount of waste you generate or when a smell starts to emanate from the bin. You also want a pail that is easy to clean, has a handle, and a tight-fitting lid.
What You Do Not Want to Compost Together With Your Avocado
All the items listed above plus avocado peels make for a great compost pile, but you may be tempted to add some more items in a bid to speed up the decomposition of the avocado peels and pits.
Composting is a rather complex and sensitive process, and if done wrong or has the wrong components, things could go south.
Cat and dog droppings
If you live on a farm, you may have watched the addition of horse, cow, or chicken droppings into a compost pile or even directly into the soil. These contain organic matter and nutrients such as urea that boost the quality of the soil.
However, those belonging to cats, dogs, and other carnivores are highly advised against. These come with parasites and other forms of bacteria that will do your vegetable garden more harm than good.
Teabags with non-recyclable tags and wrapping
If your tea bags have rayon, plastics (PVC, polyurethane, etc.), or any other synthetic material, they will never degrade, and traces of them will be found in your final compost heap. If you are in doubt, open up the bag and spill its beneficial contents onto your pile.
Fish and meat scraps
These types of food scraps will decompose just as well as others would, even considerably faster than avocado peels and pits. However, their smell alone will be a magnet for rats, household cats, raccoons, and even maggots.
Meats, whether red or white, will emit an unbelievable stench that will annoy your neighbors and make you regret that you ever attempted to make compost!
The tags on your fruits and vegetables
If you have any fruit on the brink of going bad that you would like to compost, consider removing the labels first. Most of these labels are made of a food-grade form of plastic, which makes them completely impossible to degrade.
These tiny labels will often miss your eye and will end up in your compost pile, where they will wreak havoc. Remove these stickers as much as you can before disposing of anything in the pile. If it is too sticky, cold water will help lift the sticker from the fruit surface.
Last on the list are synthetic fertilizers, which, in addition to having the minerals and nutrients your garden needs, also have other inorganic elements that may kill the microbes you need to degrade the elements in your pile.
Composting avocado is a great way to get some extra use out of this fruit, whether it’s partially eaten or entirely whole. However, there are a few things you need to remember when placing it in your compost. If you’re confused about anything, read through the guide once more; it should clear everything up.