Many people realize that the best way to preserve our planet is to protect it from activities and substances that are gradually impacting it negatively; that is why the world today is talking about going green.
Research has shown that more people, especially in the West, embrace a more eco-friendly way of doing things.
One of such ways is the use of organic materials which are composted as a source of fertilizer for our garden and farms instead of inorganic fertilizers that hurt our ecosystem and the
Composting is now the order of the day, and the beautiful thing about it is that you can compost many renewable things around us; one of those things are pineapples.
Pineapple, a tropical fruit as delicious as it is nutritious, can be used as a source of plant nutrients if they are composted.
Yes, contrary to what many people think, you can turn pineapple into compost and today, we will show you how.
Are Pineapples Good for Soil?
A large portion of the pineapple fruit is tough and inedible and must be discarded. Secondly, when pineapples are over-ripened, they are not fit to be eaten, and this is where composting comes to play.
Pineapples and their scraps can be turned into compost and added to the soil because it has the following benefits:
1. Soil Texture Improvement
Pineapple made into compost helps to improve the texture of the soil because they contain calcium which helps to improve the water penetration ability of the soil, making the soil less compact. The result is an increased yield of crops from such soils.
2. Compost Hydration
Composts need to be adequately hydrated to decompose faster and yield good compost. Pineapple naturally has a lot of moisture, and when it is added into the compost heap, it reduces the frequency of watering.
Secondly, it increases microbes’ activities, which are quite beneficial to the soil when the compost is added to the soil.
3. Source Of Nutrients For Plants
When pineapple is composted and added to the soil, they act like a fertilizer that supplies nutrients. Pineapple supplies calcium, phosphorus, vitamins, zinc, and Phosphorous to the soil, mostly macronutrients that plants need.
4. Increase The Presence Of Micronutrients On The Soil
There are lots of micronutrients that soils supply to the plants, and when these nutrients are in short supply, they affect the growth of plants. Pineapples residue in compost increases the presence and activities of fungi, beneficial bacteria and actinomycetes. These organisms add the micronutrients plants need while fighting off plants pests.
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Can you Compost Pineapple?
Many articles on the Internet say you cannot add pineapple to a compost pile because it is very acidic, but research has shown that you can compost pineapple.
The issue with composting pineapple is that they have a high citric acid content that preserves the pineapple instead of decomposing it; hence, before composting them, you can add a product that will reduce the acidic content of the pineapple. White lime, which is alkaline, can be added to neutralize the effect of the acid.
Pineapple flesh is excellent for composting because it has high water content, while the skin, crowns and skin are tough, which means it will take more time to compost. So, if you want to turn them into compost, you will have to cut them into smaller pieces.
Before you add pineapple to a compost pile, you should wash them carefully to get rid of a y pesticide residue which might be dangerous for the compost and the garden. You can also chop the pineapple into smaller pieces to aid in fast composting.
How Long Does it Take for a Pineapple to Decompose?
Because the flesh of pineapple is so moist and succulent, they decompose faster and turn into compost in 3 months.
The remaining parts of the pineapple, especially the rind/skin, are very tough and will take longer to decompose.
Sometimes it might take up to a year for the pineapple rind to fully decompose and turn into compost; you can hasten the process by grinding the pineapple rind in a compost grinder before adding it to your compost pile.
Is Pineapple Scraps Good for Plants?
Pineapple scraps are good for plants because they are rich in nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and other nutrients essential for plants to grow well. You can add them directly to the soil or turn them into compost before you add them to the soil.
You should ensure that you neutralize the pineapple with alkaline like white lime before adding it to the soil. Secondly, you should wash off any pesticide residue left in the fruit before adding it to the soil or compost.
What Can I do with Overripe Pineapple?
Pineapple easily gets overripe after a few days, but the good news is that you do not have to throw them into the garbage because you can put them for more useful purposes.
For starters, there are many recipes you can make with overripe pineapple, from pineapple bunt cake to pineapple juices, fruit salad and the likes.
Overripe pineapple can be turned into compost, as we have earlier stated, and they can add directly into the soil as a fertilizer. They can also be turned into compost tea, a liquid fertilizer that can be applied to the soil.
Can you Compost Pineapple with Worms?
Pineapple is a versatile fruit that can be put into a lot of use; one of such uses is in vermicomposting and compost tea preparation.
Vermicomposting is how worms decompose compost materials as they feed on them. Pineapple is not only great for traditional composting but it can also be fed to worms despite how acidic they are.
Pineapple has a high sugar content which is why worms love it, and this hence is used for vermicomposting despite the acid level.
The fact is that in every worm bin, the acid level can increase even if you do not add citrus or other acidic material to it. The trick is to add some compost conditioner or lime to the compost.
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What Fruits Cannot be Composted?
The first categories of fruits that should not be composted have high acid content that can kill the bacteria that decompose compost materials; these fruits include orange, lemon, lime and other citrus fruits, onion, garlic scraps and the likes.
The second categories of fruits that you should not compost are pickled foods. These foods have high salt that can destroy the delicate balance in the soil and even kill the dome of the beneficial organisms in the soil.
What Should You not Put in Compost?
The following materials should not be added to your compost pile because they might introduce harmful organisms to the compost, which will, in turn, get to the soil and the plants.
Some are not biodegradable and will not decompose in the short run. Some others have a chemical composition that is not Eco-friendly.
1. Meat And Fish
These foods are not included in a compost pile because they give off a stench that some wild animals like racoons, flies, rats and skunks love. These will cause these animals to always come to your compost bin to forage. You do not need these animals messing with your compost pile.
2. Dairy, Fats, and Oils
Just like meat and fish have scents that wild animals love and are attracted to, so also are dairy products like milk, butter, sour cream, cheese attractive to wild animals. So if you do not want to turn your compost bin into a dining table for racoon, squirrels, and skunks, then leaves materials out of the compost pile.
3. Insecticide or preservative-treated plants and wood:
You should never add any plant or wood that has been treated with preservatives or insecticides because some residue of these chemicals remains in the plants and wood, and these chemicals are harmful to plant.
Any wood that has been varnished, painted, pressure treated and stained is not ideal for your compost bin.
4. Diseased or Insect-Infested Plants
One of the easiest ways to introduce pests and diseases into your garden is to toss disease and pest-infested plants into your compost or garden.
You might say that the pathogen would have died after the long decomposition period at high temperatures in the compost bin, but in reality, these pathogens can withstand these temperatures.
Most weeds develop seeds quite fast, and these seeds are all that is needed for the weeds to spread in your garden. You can save yourself the stress of weeding the garden by ensuring that you don’t add such weeds to your compost bin.
The seeds of these weeds can remain dormant in the compost as long as the compost does not heat up to about 145°F and when the compost is applied to the garden, the seeds germinate and overrun the crops you need have in the garden.
7. Ash From Charcoal:
Even though a wood-burning fireplace and a fire pit can be composted, charcoal ash and coal ash should not be added to your compost pile because they contain a lot of sulphur make your compost too acidic for your plants. Secondly, they are usually infused with chemicals that might harm your plant when their compost is used in your garden.
8. Your pet’s waste:
The poop from your cat and dog should not find its way to your compost pile because it can be harmful to your garden.
Cats and dogs are usually carriers of diseases that can be transmitted to you, and their poop contains a lot of these pathogens.
If you compost them, you are simply infesting your compost with these dangerous organisms that may infect you when you apply such compost to your garden.
If you are a woman and pregnant, then you might be subjecting your unborn child to toxoplasmosis if you add cat poop in your compost.
How To Compost Pineapple Peel Effectively?
Pineapple peels are spiny and bulky, and one one of recycling them is to turn them into compost. The following steps will tell you how:
1. Wash the pineapple properly to get rid of any pesticide residue that might be left on the rind, then cup off the top and the rind of the pineapple, which now leaves the edible part, which you can keep properly for other uses.
2. Cut the pineapple peel onto smaller pieces because the smaller the pieces, the faster they will decompose and turn into compost. If you have a compost grinder, you can grind the pineapple peel so that you get finer pieces.
3. Now, mix the scraps of the pineapple that you now have with other green compost materials (these are materials rich in nitrogen) like vegetable peels, grass clippings, and the likes.
You should also add an equal amount of brown compost materials (materials that have high carbon content) like hay, wood chippings, pine needles and the like.
Remember that you never make compost with only green or brown materials; they must be all present to get good compost that will add nutrients to your plants.
5. Pour the compost material into your compost bin and ensure that the pile is moist because moisture is essential for the microorganisms that decompose these compost materials into compost. Very dry compost will take a longer time to turn to compost.
6. In 6 months to one year, all things being equal, you should have well-balanced compost that is God for your garden.
Can I Use Pineapple as Fertilizer?
Yes, you can use pineapple as a fertilizer because of its rich nutrient content. We have already established that pineapple is rich in most macronutrient plants need to thrive, and they also help make available the micronutrients that all plants need to grow and reproduce.
Pineapple can be converted into compost tea which is liquid fertilizer, and added to the soil or composted into solid composted. Either way, you get a nutrient-rich fertile that supply nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, amongst other elements and nutrients.
Conclusion: Pineapple in Compost
Pineapple is a delicious fruit that can be put into many uses. They can be composted and turned into manure for growing different plants.
Many people argue that pineapple’s acidic nature cannot be turned into compost, but in reality, you can use pineapple for both normal and vermicomposting; you can combat their high acid content by simply adding a line to the compost pile.
Meat, dairy products, oily foods, dog and cat poop, are some materials that should not be found in your compost pike because they can harm you and your plants.
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