csibona
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Composting Mandarin Oranges

Generally I don't compost citrus fruit because they can petrify before they compost in my composter. Are there any issues with composting mandarin oranges? It seems like they have thinner rinds so perhaps would not be an issue.

Thanks for any insight.

cynthia_h
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I try not to compost any fruit, whether citrus or other type, whole. I cut them into halves or quarters and then toss them into the compost. That way, they don't get a chance to petrify! :twisted: Compost is their fate and they can't escape it! [evil laugh]

Don't worry: the mandarins will break down just fine. Peel them a little to give an entryway to the compost critters, and all will be well.

Happy gardening.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

mommybusybee
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I actually just asked my mother-in-law about putting fruit into my composter (I'm new to all of this as well).

Her motto was always that if it oxidized, it wasn't any good. Obviously, citrus fruit won't do that, but the excess sugars could have an adverse effect on it. As mentioned, I'm going by my mother in law's word.

Also, I'm not sure where you're from, but I'm from a very large city.
I managed to find this composting site specifically for NYers and it's certainly helped me. Maybe it'll help you too:

http://www.nyccompost.org/

Good luck! :)

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smokensqueal
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Throw them in there. They will compost. But like cynthia said don't throw them in whole unless you want them in there a long time. I compost all our left over fruit. Very rarely is it a whole fruit usually the skin or core only but we go through I don't know how many mandarin oranges and they have no problem composting.

rot
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10 percent rule rules

..
Follow the ten percent rule and you should have no worries.

I compost citrus all the time. No issues. Have worms. Have fungus.

We get a lot of those thick rind lemons and I like to split them with a shovel to facilitate to process.

To sense
..

csibona
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OK, so from what I gather people put orange rinds in the compost too? I've always avoided putting orange rinds in the compost pile. I've been composting for about eight years. I use a tumbler, does that effect things?

StorageSmart2
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csibona wrote:OK, so from what I gather people put orange rinds in the compost too? I've always avoided putting orange rinds in the compost pile. I've been composting for about eight years. I use a tumbler, does that effect things?


Just out of curiosity, why do you leave the orange rinds out? I put orange pieces (never a whole orange) in my vermicompost, but try to limit the number that go in, because I've heard that too much citrus isn't good for the worms. When I do put citrus in, whether oranges, lemons, or whatever I don't discriminate parts of the fruit (except the seeds. I'm superstitious and believe seeds in compost is bad luck).

scoobdoob808
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Interesting, I had never heard not to put Citrus in compost. I have always put it in my pile compost and I still plan to put it in my tumbler now that i have one but I will definitely cut it up before putting it in.

Thanks for the new info.

csibona
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I don't recall where I had originally heard not to put orange peels in. I do remember talking to someone at an event where they were composting just about everything and they said it was OK to put the orange peel in the compost bucket. When I asked about it he said that their compost program is well managed and the compost pile reaches a high temperature that breaks down almost everything. He said that in my own composter the peel may petrify instead of turning into compost. So, that was a second reference to not compost orange peel. I guess I will try and see what happens in the tumbler.

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applestar
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Considering how quickly citruses and their peels can get moldy and soften, I don't think there's any chance citrus won't break down in the compost. I do think they may bring down the pH if used in relatively large quantities.

If the peels "petrify" in the compost, your pile is probably too dry....

csibona
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applestar wrote:Considering how quickly citruses and their peels can get moldy and soften, I don't think there's any chance citrus won't break down in the compost. I do think they may bring down the pH if used in relatively large quantities.

If the peels "petrify" in the compost, your pile is probably too dry....


Thanks for the info. My composter is the opposite of dry (overly moist is a better description). I'll try composting oranges and see what happens.

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