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Can I Compost Oranges?

(From the Fruit category | 5 comments - join the conversation)

orangeYou can compost oranges – but not in huge amounts and there are a few things to keep in mind.

Firstly, the rind/peel is a great protective layer for the fruit – perfect for its journey to us but a hindrance to speedy composting. If for some reason you’re throwing away whole fruit, split them open to aid decomposition.

Secondly, too much citrus fruit/peel can disrupt the balance of your compost heap. If it becomes too acidic, it might cause problems for the bacteria that breaks the stuff down into compost.

Also, many types of compost heap worms or wormery worms such as tiger worms don’t like d-limonene, an antiseptic substance found in fresh citrus peel. The d-limonene disappears as the peel rots though so your worms will prefer it if you leave it out of the wormery/compost heap until it’s green and furry.

Basically, the odd bit of citrus fruit is fine but too much – for example if you’re making acidic juices from a lot of fruit every day – might cause problems. (Some people keep a separate compost heap/bin for problematic stuff – it’ll compost down eventually and won’t get in the way in the meantime.)

In the future, if you don’t think you’ll use up oranges before they’ll go off, squeeze them and freeze the juice in ice cube trays for use in cooking, or slice them into wedges and freeze, to use as combined fruit and ice in the summer’s drinks!

Soon to go off oranges can also be used in baking and added to smoothies, jams and pureed sauces.

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  1. Thank you

  2. I layer my dustbin size closed compost bin and have noticed that when orange or easy peel citrus peel is in direct contact with a layer of lawn grass cuttings the peel or sections of whole fruit seem to break down noticeably faster than when in a layer of pure vegetable or garden fllower cuttings. Is this a valid observation?

  3. got 3 lugs of dented bruised oranges. I am juicing but the fruit inside the peel is good!
    Want sugar free low carb ideas of what to do with fruit.
    Freeze on trays? Not into ice cubes with juice.. Help

  4. I throw my citrus peels in the garbage dispenser to fight odors, so even without composting, they still go to good use.

  5. Hi
    I saw a recipe a while somewhere that said that oranges can be you’d as a pesticide & fertiliser. It went something like this:
    Peel & separate 2kg of oranges
    Place in large pot
    Place on boil for 10 mins
    then simmer, while continuing to mash, adding water when liquid reduces.
    Once all segment are mashed to a pulp, let cool.
    Pour into a plastic container for storing.

    USAGE: 1 2 10 parts
    orange 2 water

    I have looked & looked & looked & can’t find that recipe.
    My question to you is; am I remembering it correctly, is it both peel & flesh & do you boil it?


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