Some gardeners prefer to compost fruit peels outdoors to minimize fruit flies.

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Some gardeners prefer to compost fruit peels outdoors to minimize fruit flies.

Most plant-based materials can be composted, either industrially or in a backyard composter. Nevertheless, some products have qualities that require special handling. This includes most kinds of food scraps, which are more susceptible than yard waste to create smells and bring in insects. Fruit peelings are an outstanding example. They can be composted outdoors in a traditional pile or bin or indoors in a worm bin, but it’s necessary to appreciate their special requirements.

Items you’ll need

  • ‘Brown’ compost materials such as straw, hay, dried leaves or sawdust
  • Vermicomposting worm bin
  • Plastic wrap (optional)

Conventional Composting

Step 1

Chop your fruit peels, scraps and trim pieces into small pieces before composting them, especially difficult selections such as citrus peel and melon rinds. They’ll break down more rapidly, with less threat of producing smells or drawing in insects.

Step 2

Bury your fruit peels at least 10 inches deep in the pile. Covering the fruit waste will also assist decrease smell and pest troubles.

Step 3

Layer your fruit junks with carbon-rich ‘brown’ components such as straw, hay, dry leaves or sawdust. These balance the nitrogen-rich fruit, assisting keep the stack balanced and its useful bacteria energetic.

Vermicomposting

Step 1

Chop your fruit waste into small pieces before including it to the worm bin. Smaller pieces are much easier for the worms to eat.

Step 2

Add no more than a half-pound of waste to the bin for each pound of resident redworms. That’s as much as they can consume in a day, so including even more rises the risk of flies and odors.

Step 3

Bury citrus peel and banana peel deep in the bin. They frequently contain fruit fly eggs and larvae, and burying the peels minimizes the fruit fly populace (see Reference 2, page 14).

Step 4

Cover the surface of the bin’s soil with cling wrap to additional lower the possibility of fruit flies (see References 3).

Tip

  • If you discover that fruit flies have populated your vermicomposting bin, the Massachusetts Division of Environmental management advises building a banana-peel trap. Put a banana peel in a clear plastic container and make several small holes in the lid with a toothpick or completing nail. Put it near your bin. Within 24 hours, you’ll have trapped many of the fruit flies and can launch them outdoors (see References 4).