You may be wondering if you can put pineapple in your compost pile and will it mess it up or slow down the entire process. All parts of pineapple, including the flesh, crown, or stem and the tough exterior, can be composted, but it's best not just to throw it all in your compost. The different parts of a pineapple need to be broken down separately to expedite the composting process so you can compost the pineapple.
How To Make Fertilizer From Pineapple Waste?
The different parts of pineapple are very different from each other. The flesh is very juicy and moist, while the other parts, including the exterior, the leafy top, and the core, are harder and drier. Pineapple ages very quickly, and many times before you know it, the entire fruit is overripe, and you will have food waste from it. The answer is yes to "Can you compost pineapple."
This food scrap waste can be reduced in size by composting, and you get a great product from it as well. Wonderful fertile garden soil is created from composting pineapple waste properly.
The juicy inner flesh of a pineapple is soft, and it breaks down pretty fast to decompose. However, the harder parts of the core, pineapple peels, and the stiff leaves at the top are dry and hard and take much longer to begin the break breakdown process.
When you have items in your compost that break down very slowly, it will kill some of the beneficial microorganisms and worms needed for the process to complete. In order to have your compost ready quicker, you need to separate the harder portions of pineapple scraps and cut them into small pieces, so they don't slow down your entire process.
Does Pineapple Compost Smell?
Pineapple has a high sugar content and smells sweet. It stands to reason that it may emit a sweet smell after it is in your compost pile or bin. But it's a nice scent that's fruity in nature. This can also attract worms to your compost so they can add to the beneficial microorganisms and micro-organic activities to complete the process faster.
How Long Does It Take For Pineapple Compost to Decompose?
The flesh of the pineapple will decompose quickly since it is high in moisture. The harder parts of a pineapple, the core, rinds, and crown at the top, will take more time to decompose fully, and they are water-resistant.
If you properly chop the harder parts up into small pieces, it speeds up the process, so it would take about 3 to 6 months to a year in an outdoor compost pile to decompose completely.
Composting Pineapple in Six Steps
You can learn to compost pineapple in six easy steps:
Rinse and Prepare the Pineapple
If you have an entire pineapple that you want to compost, it's best to rinse the outside well under running water to remove pesticide residue that has been sprayed on it while it was growing.
Adding a lot of pesticide residue to your compost can be bad for your compost pile, and it can also harm your gardens and vegetables because they can remain in the final product when the composted pineapple residue return. Then all of your hard work will be for nothing.
Manually Break Down the Tough Part
Cut the tough part of the core, tough leaves, and hard outer flesh into very small pieces before adding them to your compost pile. These pieces take much longer to break down than the soft flesh, and it will speed up the decomposition process by cutting the harder parts up.
Store or Consume Any Edible Parts
If your pineapple was ripened to your liking, you can eat the fleshy parts and edible flesh and store the leftover pineapple in your refrigerator for later.
Mix the Pineapple Pieces Into Your Pile
After you add your pineapple skins in pieces to your pile, you should mix them in with a shovel if you turn it manually or rotate the handle on an outdoor bin to mix the new addition into the other ingredients.
Keep Your Pile Moist
Add some water as needed to keep your compost pile moist before turning it each time, but not to the point of being very wet, or items in it will smell.
Balance Your Ratios and Acidity (if Needed)
You don't want your compost to be too acidic, or it can burn all of your vegetable gardens, flower gardens, and potted plants. We all realize that pineapple is highly acidic and other citrus fruits, but the acidity level drops as it ripens.
As pineapple decomposes, some of the natural chemicals and some of the acids will remain, but in such a small quantity that it will be broken down enough to use in your compost. You may need to balance your brown organic materials and other green materials.
If you add pineapple to your compost very often when it's in season or in a large quantity from hosting a large party or celebration, then it may be too much acid to break down very well. Pineapples will increase the nitrogen level in your compost pile, and if you add a lot, you will need to reduce the acid--particularly citric acid that is high in fruits. Anything you add to your compost heap with acid will be preserved and slow or even stop the decomposition of the materials.
You can also add more pine needles, brown materials, and shredded cardboard to reduce the acid level and grass clippings to increase the moisture level.
Your best solution to compost pineapple is to add hydrated white lime to your compost bin to reduce acidity. White lime is a great solution to lower acidity, and it works really well for pineapple citric acid. By lowering the acid level with hydrated white lime, the decomposition process of pineapples speeds back up instead of being preserved by the acid.
It's super easy to add hydrated lime to pineapples in your composting process. Hydrated white lime is available at garden centers. You simply sprinkle it on top of the pineapple that you are adding at a rate of about a 1/2 cup per pineapple. White lime reacts directly with the acid to lower it. Hydrated white lime is ground-up limestone.
Benefits of Putting Pineapple in Compost
Improving Soil Texture
There are several major benefits of adding pineapple and other fruit to your compost bin. When the final product is finished and used to mix into the soil of your vegetable or flower garden, it improves the soil texture in compact soil. The calcium derived from the pineapple will help the soil with water penetration and this, in turn, helps to loosen very compact and heavy soils into a more light and fertile loam. This will ensure better crops and flowers on your plants, shrubs, trees, and bushes of all types for positive ecological effects.
The Pineapple Has A High Moisture Content
Like most fruits that you eat, the high moisture content in the pineapple flesh will add moisture to your mixture in your compost. This will eliminate the need to add water to your compost bin or compost pile to decompose food scraps and other items, such as fruit, to break down properly. All juicy fruits will help with this part of the process.
Pineapple Is Versatile For Composting
Your compost is a balance of nitrogen and carbon in order to work properly. When these two items are present in the correct ratio of about 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen, the decomposition works much more quickly to create lovely fertile soil quickly. Nitrogen is derived from proteins, and carbon is derived from sugars in fruit.
These items are needed in order for certain microorganisms in your compost to multiply and speed up your process. Pineapple has nitrogen in the fleshy inner fruit that is juicy, and it also contains carbon in the harder parts of the peeling and stems. So, it contains both items needed in your compost bin. You can also make compost tea with pineapple waste.
Compost tea preparation is done by steeping compost for several days for a concentrate to use as fertilizer for your plants.
It is Ecologically Friendly
The addition of items to your compost is ecologically friendly because you are using food scraps, other fruits, and other waste items to reduce the amount in landfills and create a very useful item of fertile soil that you would otherwise need to purchase.
It is An Excellent Source of Plant Nutrients
Pineapple composts make a great addition to organic fertilizer as an agriculturally productive product for all of your plants because they have vitamins, zinc, phosphorous, and calcium naturally. These items help plants grow, and they serve as antioxidants. Calcium helps with the nutrition and growth of plants, and phosphorous help their general vigor and health. Zinc provides plants with enzymes to synthesize some of the proteins in plants.
Increases the Presence of Micronutrients in the Soil
Composting pineapple increases the presence of fungi, actinomycetes, and good bacteria in the compost mix. It also contributes to the increase in acid phosphates and catalase in the soil as beneficial micronutrients to fertilize plants and ease compact soil.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you compost pineapples with worms?
You certainly can. In fact, the sugar in pineapple attracts beneficial earthworms to your compost pile to quicken the process, and it's great for vermicomposting or the act of composting with different species of worms. Worms tunnel through the compost pile to allow air and moisture into it.
Can you compost fresh pineapples?
Yes, you can compost any fresh pineapple as long as you cut the hard portions into smaller pieces.
Can you compost old pineapple?
Yes, you can compost old pineapple that is overly ripe and not good to eat.
Can you compost the whole pineapple?
Yes, you can compost the whole full-sized pineapple as long as you know what to do with pineapple skin and cut the harder parts into very small pieces before adding them to your pile.
Is pineapple skin good for plants?
Yes, pineapple skins in your compost are great for acid-loving plants, such as corn, cucumbers, turnips, and squash, as well as azaleas and hydrangeas to use as a pineapple fertilizer.
Can you compost weeds?
You can compost weeds and grass clippings, but it's essential to put them in the middle of the pile so that the heat generated will kill the seeds, or your completed compost will add weeds to all of your plants. Don't add weeds with plant pests on them.
Can you compost tomatoes?
Yes, you can compost tomatoes, but keep in mind not to use this compost on plants unless they are acid-loving plants, as tomatoes contain quite a bit of acid in them.
Can you compost banana peels?
Yes, banana peels can be composted, and they add a high level of nitrogen to your finished product.
If you are composting your personal food scraps, other fruits, organic materials, and vegetable peels at home, you should consider a countertop option to a place near your kitchen sink, such as a Lomi. It takes up little space and produces nutrient-rich dirt that can help you compost at home, with very little work on your part for more composting possibilities over traditional composting.