Most kitchen wastes are biodegradable including vegetable peels. Both food and yard waste take up to one-third of the country’s landfill space and makes a contribution to ozone-harming methane gas when collected in large quantities.
Composting of vegetable peels helps to reduce how much garbage is produced while also producing free garden fertilizer. Combine your vegetable peels with high-carbon ingredients, shredded leaves being an example to achieve the perfect balance which turns your vegetable peels into a good compost for your garden. To make compost using vegetable peels:
1) Prepare your Kitchen scraps
Wash your vegetables thoroughly for cooking and collect the peels in a small bucket. Corn husks, kale leaves, winter squash shells, potato and carrot peels, edible stems, and seeds of vegetable e.t.c all make excellent compost.
2) Chop down Large Vegetables
Shred or chop large pieces of vegetable waste before adding them to your compost pile. A sturdy knife can be used for corn cobs and husks and as for the softer ones lime squash shells, you can either chop them or ground them in a food processor. At the end of each growing season, pull old vegetable plants from the garden. As for the diseased vegetable plants, burn or discard them rather than make use of the peels. Put together all the vegetable peels and take them to your outdoor composting area.
3) Tending your Compost Area
Combine your vegetable peels with other high-nitrogen materials to give a 3-inch layer. An example is grass clippings. Cover your vegetable peels and other nitrogen materials with a 6-inch carbon layer of ingredients such as sawdust, hay, or shredded leaves.
Have this combination watered until they are damp but not soaked. Additional layers of nitrogen and carbon should be added and water every few layers. Finish when the heap has gotten to a stage at which it is now 3 and 5 feet tall and wide.
Ensure to turn your compost pile frequently. When you notice that your compost had broken down into black, soil-like humus, till into your garden. You can also mix your compost with potting soil for container plants and then, have it laid over the garden soil during the growing season rather than store-bought fertilizers.
Want to make liquid fertilizer with vegetables? Read our step-by-step guide on how to make liquid fertilizer from kitchen waste.
If building your compost a little at a time rather than in layers, use one bucket of vegetable peels/scraps for every three buckets of carbon-rich materials such as hay and leaves.
Dig holes in an existing pile and bury the peels/scraps at nothing less than 6 inches deep. Doing this helps in reducing the risk of rats, flies, e.t.c from plaguing your heap. It also reduced the number of unpleasant smells coming from the heap.
You can have your vegetable peels buried directly into a garden but you can end up disturbing the roots of existing plants as you dig. Also, note that vegetable peels as well as other scraps release excess nitrogen as decomposition takes place as this may end up burning the roots of nearby plants.