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Q.Composting Food Waste

Zone Derby | Mikmus added on January 31, 2023 | Answered

Gardeners are discouraged from adding citrus or onion-family waste to compost heaps, as these damage the micro-organisms in there. A little while ago my partmer heard one of the panellists on Gardener’s Question Time say that they didn’t know why people bothered with compost heaps. Instead, the speaker just scattered their food waste directly on the soil. Are they right? If so, does the concern over citrus/onion waste apply in this case too?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on January 31, 2023

Much of my time is spent studying microorganisms, especially those found in soils. I can say with certainty that the common gardener will not have NEAR enough Allium family waste to harm the microorganism in the soil. It isn't uncommon to find microbes, such as Trichoderma, on the outside of onions and garlics, and they are fantastic at breaking down these plants, despite the sulfur content. This same concept would apply to citrus! I'm sure that you have noticed Penicillium and Aspergillus, both, growing on the peel at some time or another.

Now let's move on to how we keep our piles...

Some of us scatter, and some of us keep piles. Personally, I do both! I do like to keep mine in bins, mostly, for the control. I can keep a close eye on ratios and what the end texture results in.

These collections of articles will offer quite a bit of information that you can browse, at your leisure:



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