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Composting Fruit Pits


July 5, 2012

Can apricot and cherry pits be composted? I bought a compost bin and have been saving vegetable and fruit scraps along with coffee and tea grinds, but wasn’t sure whether to throw in the pits of fruit. I’ll hold off on throwing the pits into my pile until I hear from you.


Answer by WR: I throw my apricot and cherry pits into my compost. They do take quite a while to decompose, but they will eventually break down, especially in compost that doesn’t get hot (like mine). What I do is, after the compost is finished, I put it through a screen (with about 1/4 inch mesh). This will take out the pits, twigs, avocado peels, etc. that haven’t broken down completely. Just throw those back in to the next batch of working compost. If you don’t want to bother to screen your compost, you might want to avoid putting the pits into the compost or hand-pick-out the worst offenders. They won’t really hurt anything but will end up in your garden or wherever you use the compost. Or, I guess you can soak/boil your pits and grind them. I’ve never tried this but, hmm, might be interesting. You might want to do a Google search for “screening compost” (without the quotes) to see some pictures, etc. about that. Your compost is “finished” when it smells good, the original stuff is unrecognizable (except the big woody things you’ll be removing), is completely cool, and looks like rich crumbly earth. If it still has any sliminess, smells, etc. it should work a little longer.

It sounds like your compost is rich in nitrogen-rich things: food scraps, coffee, tea. If it starts smelling bad or is slimy you might want to balance it with carbon-rich things such as dry leaves. I’ll attach a flyer that lists nitrogen vs. carbon things to compost.

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