To the layman, pineapple might seem an unsuitable fruit to include in your compost box or worm bin due to the acidity and the tough, dry skin and crown top.
But composting pineapple is possible, and it offers the environment, plants, and the soil innumerable benefits.
In this article, we’ll see how to turn your spiky pineapple garbage into gold!
- In Brief: Can I Put Pineapple in Compost?
- Benefits of Putting Pineapple in Compost
- Possible Issues Putting Pineapple in Compost
- How to Make Pineapple Compost?
Benefits of Putting Pineapple in Compost
he health benefits pineapple offers aren’t limited to humans.
They also contribute to better agricultural yield and have positive ecological effects. Continue reading to discover the benefits.
1. Great source of plant nutrients
Pineapple composting has been proven to be a great source of organic fertilizer for plants.
Pineapple composts contain nutrients such as vitamins, phosphorus, zinc, and calcium.
The vitamins help plants’ growth and serve anti-oxidant functions. Phosphorus assists in the plants’ general health and vigor.
Zinc helps with the activation of enzymes responsible for the synthesis of some proteins. Finally, calcium also plays a significant part in the growth and nutrition of the plant.
It maintains the soil’s chemical balance, improves water penetration, and reduces salinity in the soil.
2. Improves soil texture
Pineapple also helps to improve the soil texture. The presence of calcium helps with water penetration and eases compact soil.
3. Increases presence of microorganisms in the soil
Research published in the Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition found out that composted pineapple residue return (CPRR, as it is termed) increases the presence of fungi, good bacteria, and actinomycetes in the soil.
It also contributes to the increase in the activities of catalase, urease, invertase, and acid phosphatase in the soil.
These micro-organic activities offer the plants nutrients mineralization and antagonize plant pests.
4. Pineapple is versatile for composting
Pineapple waste isn’t only suitable for use in traditional composting.
Although pineapple is acidic, it has a lot of sugar, which attracts earthworms. It is, therefore, ideal for vermicomposting.
You just have to be careful with offering fresh pineapples.
The fresher it is, the more acidic. So, give it time!
In addition to its usefulness in vermicomposting, pineapple composts are also perfect for use in compost tea preparation.
No other fruit sees as much production waste than pineapples.
However, the composting possibilities of the residues and peels are a great way to recycle these wastes for a much more agriculturally-productive and cleaner planet.
Below is a video showing the processing of pineapple compost for large-scale farming in The Phillippines:
Possible Issues Putting Pineapple in Compost
Here are some of the main issues you may encounter when adding pineapple to your compost heap.
In addition to oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits, pineapple is one of the most unrecommended fruits for composting.
This is due to its acidic bromelain properties. Even for humans, this tropical fruit always has this burning feeling, especially when they are not fully ripe.
So, for you to use pineapple in your worm bin or compost bin, you have to tame its acidity first.
A good idea is to leave it to ripe so as to deaden the acidity before throwing them to the worms or sending them to the compost bin.
The juicy pineapple chunks have no problems with degradation. However, the tough peel and the crown don’t biodegrade easily.
Although it may take more time, these parts will surely degrade.
How to Make Pineapple Compost?
To make a pineapple compost, Caryn Anderson of Home Guide, recommends the following process:
Step 1: If you have a full-sized pineapple, wash it under running water to remove pesticide residue.
Step 2: Peel the rind of the pineapple as well as the crown top. Then, cut these tough parts into pieces so it can degrade faster.
Step 3: Cover it in your compost pile as you wait for it to degrade. You may add other kitchen wastes into the container while you wait for the pineapple to be basic.
Step 4: Mix with the pineapple scrap and other composts in the bin, green materials like weeds, vegetable peels, or grass. For added carbon, which will help in the composting process, add other brown materials like dry leaves.
For this, you can put the microorganisms into work for faster composting. You need to create an environment where microorganisms can procreate in abundance by using the power of moisture. Microorganisms thrive in moist environments. Having them in good numbers can get the job done faster.
The acidity in the pineapple reduces with time as it gets riper. However, if you can’t wait for the pineapple to turn basic, then you can add some deacidifying products like hydrated white lime. The white lime reacts directly with any acid, so this should solve the problem.
The nutrient benefits pineapple offers plants are too significant to be outweighed by possible issues such as acidity and the hardness.
Yes, pineapple can be added in compost, using the appropriate methods. These include cutting it down to smaller bits, adding green and brown organic materials, giving it time, and using hydrated white lime to reduce acidity.