Composting allows you to use not only crop residues but also all available waste materials to produce high-quality organic fertilizers. One of the strictest rules in making your own compost is that you should not use plant parts infested with pests or diseases. But there are exceptions to every rule. And one of the more popular possibilities is the use of shredded fruit trees in compost.
It is not customary to use diseased vegetables or diseased plants from gardens and orchards in compost. In fact, in the case of strawberries infected with root rot or perennial herbaceous plants infested with pickles, molds, and rusts, these must indeed be destroyed immediately, and under no circumstances should they be added to the organic matter piled up in the compost pit.
But when it comes to windfalls, it’s not so simple. There are two opposing views on the issue of crop residues. Some gardeners are quick to destroy them. Others feel free to compost them. And the “dangerous” second opinion is the wiser one.
CAN I COMPOST WITH LOOSE FRUIT?
When composting, there is no need to be afraid of loose fruit pests and spores causing your favorite fruit trees to shed prematurely. To prevent the spread of pests and diseases and the deterioration of fruit tree problems, it is indeed necessary to collect the air-dried material from the soil under the tree as soon as possible. But don’t rush to throw them away, bury them, or burn them.
Not only can fallen fruits with minor damage be removed from the soil immediately, but they can also be used quite successfully for making jams or other beverages (such as cooking, which involves heat treatment). Collect all remaining, even rotten and wormy ones you don’t want to touch, and put them on the compost pile.
The nutrients in the fallen fruit will accelerate the compost maturation process and achieve a whole new quality of organic fertilizer. And all the minerals, vitamins, and trace elements in the fruit will improve the properties of your own organic compost and increase the activity of useful microorganisms and worms. But the fungal spores, harmful bacteria, and worm infestations that cause fruit to fall off do not persist during the composting process.
Where the same rust spores thrive at elevated temperatures, apple pests are burned to death. Due to the elevated temperatures, all sources of rust on the fruit trees will inevitably die and leave no trace.
If you’re not sure whether pests will reproduce and harm your garden, let the compost pile mature in this way for two years – then everything “extra” inside will burn off. But the right compost pile at the right temperature will not allow either moths or crusts to survive.
Just make sure there is manure and soil in the compost pile and plant debris, grass, and tumbleweeds, and make sure you compost the layers to the correct thickness in the compost pit with the correct measures. And using microbial compost will ensure that you get the best results.
This compost with crop residues placed in it is safe to use on all ornamentals, crops, and even fruit and berry plants (if you have concerns, limit your application to ornamental gardens). Moreover, its superior qualities are shown by applying it to the soil during planting and mulching it in bedding strips.
WHAT TYPES OF CROP RESIDUES CAN BE COMPOSTED?
The question of which type of windfall to use is not clear. If you compost the peels of drupes, it is difficult to use them unless you compost them for several years: the peels of plums, cherry plums, and cherry fruit simply do not have time to decompose. Apples and pears, on the other hand, are ideal. The same goes for discarded rotting berries.
More related information about Composting