Composting allows you to use not only plant residues, but also all available waste materials to produce a quality organic fertilizer. One of the strictest rules in making your own compost is that you should not use plant parts that are infested with pests or diseases. But there are exceptions to every rule. And one of the nicest possibilities is to use the residues of fruit trees in compost. This article will discuss such composting, in which we will examine, together with the thumbgarden.com website, how to use plant residues for composting, thus giving you the opportunity to get the intended harvest from the fertilizer.
It is not customary to use diseased vegetables or diseased plants from vegetable or fruit gardens for composting. In the case of root-rotted strawberries or sauerkraut, mold, and rust-infested perennial herbs, these must indeed be destroyed immediately and under no circumstances added to the organic matter piled in the compost pit.
But when it comes to bulk fruit, it’s not so simple. There are two opposing views on fallen fruit. Some gardeners are quick to destroy them, others – boldly – put them in the compost pile. The wiser choice is the “dangerous” second option.
Can I Put Fallen Leaves in the Compost Pile?
In the case of composting, there is no need to fear the pests and spores that live in the wind and that have caused premature fruit loss from beloved fruit trees. To prevent the spread of pests and diseases and to prevent the deterioration of fruit tree problems, it is indeed necessary to collect windrows from the soil under the trees as soon as possible. But do not rush to throw them away, bury them, or burn them.
Not only that, loose fruits that are slightly damaged and removed directly from the soil can be used quite successfully for making jams or other beverages (e.g. cooking involving temperature treatment). All other fruits, even the rotten and most wormy ones you don’t want to touch, should be safely collected and put on the compost pile.
The nutrients in the fallen fruit will speed up the compost maturation process, giving you a whole new quality of organic fertilizer. And all the minerals, vitamins, and trace elements in the fruit will only enhance the properties of your own handmade organic compost and increase the activity of beneficial microorganisms and worms. But the fungal spores, harmful bacteria, and worm infestations that cause fruit to fall off simply do not persist during the composting process.
In the same way that rust spores thrive at elevated temperatures, apple pests will simply burn off. Due to the elevated temperatures, all fall sources on the fruit trees will inevitably die and leave no trace.
If you are not sure whether the pests will multiply and harm your garden, let the compost mature for 2 years – then all the “excess” in it will certainly burn off. But a proper compost pile at the right temperature will prevent the survival of moths or scabs.
Just make sure that the compost contains manure and soil in addition to crop residues, grass, and fallen leaves, and that the layers are placed at the correct thickness in the compost pit to ensure that all necessary measures are taken. And using microbial fertilizers will ensure that you get the best results.
This compost with placed crop residues is safe to use on all ornamentals, crops, and even fruit and berry plants (if you have concerns, limit your application to ornamental gardens). Also, it shows excellent quality when applied to the soil during planting and when mulched into bedding loops.
What Kind of Crops Can I Put in My Compost Pile?
The question of which drupe-like kernels should be used is controversial. It is difficult to use berries unless you are going to compost them for several years: Plum, Prunus cerasifera, and Cerasus kernels will not have time to decompose. On the other hand, apples and pears are ideal. So are decaying berries of any kind that are discarded by the plant.