Quick Answer: Can We Compost Bell Peppers?
Yes, we can compost bell peppers and their stem as it does not have capsaicin. They rot down quickly after chopping in a regular compost pile. You may avoid adding seeds to prevent them from sprouting in a compost pile. Do not add disease-attacked bell peppers into the compost pile. You may also vermicompost bell peppers.
This is a quick guide to composting bell peppers at ease.
I have compiled the do’s and don’t’s of composting bell peppers along with several other tips.
Read down to know more!
Can We Compost Bell Peppers?
Yes, we can compost bell peppers or capsicum. They are general vegetable waste and may rot down quickly in the regular compost pile. Their stems may also be decomposed.
Also, bell peppers don’t have capsaicin and so they, maybe composted with ease by the compost worms.
You may compost cooked bell peppers but in small amounts.
Bell peppers are susceptible to many soil-borne pathogens. It is preferable to avoid adding diseased bell peppers to the compost pile.
How To Compost Bell Peppers?
Bell peppers may easily be composted in a home compost pile or bin. You may add whole peppers and the stem attached.
Here is a step by step guide –
1. Add bell peppers to the compost bin – Collect the whole old peppers. Chop them into smaller pieces to help with the decomposition process. They are nitrogen-rich food scraps.
Some gardeners prefer washing the seeds off the membranes and discarding them. It helps in preventing the seeds from sprouting in the compost bin.
2. Mix carbon-based materials – As the capsicums are greens, you may mix them with carbon-based materials to balance the compost.
You may add pulp trays, straw, wood chips, twigs, dried leaves, and shredded paper. You may shred them into pieces to facilitate breakdown.
3. Maintain your compost – Water the pile and cover them to retain moisture and heat. Turn the compost over to add more oxygen. The organic matter will compost over time.
Can Compost Worms Eat Peppers?
Yes, compost worms may eat bell or sweet peppers. They are not spicy as they don’t have capsaicin. They have zero Scoville Heat units and do not have fiery sensation.
Capsaicin is a chemical compound found in chili peppers. It binds to the pain receptors in the tongue when the person eats a hot pepper.
It sends a signal to the brain that the pepper is hot.
Worms are sensitive to capsaicin and may avoid them due to their heat. So, they avoid eating hot peppers.
It is preferable to add them to a separate pile that does not use composting worms.
How To Prevent Bell Pepper Sprouting In Compost?
An ideally heated and spacious compost pile will prevent the bell pepper seeds from sprouting. The compost pile must attain a temperature between 130-170oF. It has to be turned continuously if the temperature falls below 100oF.
The composting pile should have enough space for the decomposition to occur. It also requires adequate moisture and proper levels of carbon and nitrogen.
Some gardeners suggest washing the seeds before adding them to the compost.
It may prevent the seeds from sprouting. Alternatively, you may remove the unwanted plants after they sprout.
How To Vermicompost Bell Peppers?
You may compost bell peppers using red wigglers in a bin. You may obtain compost over time using the migration or leave the lid off method.
You may choose a 50l container with air holes in the lid. Place in an ideal, warm location. The red wigglers do not tolerate cold.
Prepare suitable bedding (three-quarters) with shredded newspaper and potting soil.
Add red wigglers in small quantities which can be gradually built up.
Cut the bell peppers into small pieces and bury them under the bedding material to avoid flies. You may obtain compost over time.
You may check this time-lapse video of composting red pepper:
What Are The Alternatives To Composting Wrinkly Old Peppers?
You may use old wrinkly peppers and freeze, dehydrate, or roast them other than composting. Take care that these peppers are not rotten.
The different options available are
- Roast and freeze the bell peppers. You may toss them in pasta sauce, soups, and sandwiches.
- Roast and blend them into a dip or hummus.
- You may dehydrate them and sprinkle them over soups and pasta for additional flavor.
- You may can or pickle to store them.
You may keep the seedlings if you can identify them. It should be in an ideal location and season. They may not grow well if you pull them out. Let them grow through the season and you may get some good yields. You may get rid of them if you notice that they are weeds.
No, it is preferable not to add the diseased capsicums to the compost bin as they may survive in the compost. The compost pile should reach a temperature of 141-145oF to kill these pathogens. Most home compost piles may not reach such a high temperature.
Yes, you may compost cooked bell pepper but in small amounts. However, you need to balance the carbon to nitrogen ratio. Check for moisture levels and excess levels may lead to smelly, anaerobic decomposition. Take care that they are not heavily greased.
I hope this article has answered your queries regarding composting bell peppers.
You may use certain tips mentioned above in successfully composting them.
Also, please do share your ideas on composting bell peppers.