Can You Compost Avocado (Pits, Skin, Seed) For Eco-Friendly Gardening

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Eco-friendly gardening has gained widespread popularity among gardeners, inspiring them to incorporate sustainable practices into their daily gardening routines. But can you compost avocado? Fortunately, composting this unique and special fruit is a timely and relevant addition to your day gardening endeavors.

Composting pits, skin, and seeds is a safe, eco-friendly practice that enriches your garden and reduces waste. Avocado pits offer carbon, its skin for additional nutrients, keeping it under 10% contribution for a balanced mix, and the fruit’s flesh for added moisture within your composting pile.

closeup of whole and cut green avocados with pit on table in sunlight

Today, I will guide you through the step-by-step process of effectively composting your avocado pit, skin, and any leftover meat. Starting your compost pile should be straightforward, and in this article, I’ll provide you with a list of best practices, potential challenges, and valuable tips to maximize the benefits of these avocado leftovers in your gardening endeavors.

Humble Highlights

  • Discover why avocado pits and skins are compostable and biodegradable so you can add them to your backyard compost to boost the growth of your garden AND become a sustainable green thumb!
  •  Save time with these outrageous techniques so you can process these unique fruits into smaller pieces to help them decompose faster and unlock their nutrients for your flourishing garden.
  •  Discover how to tell when avocados have finished composting in your pile AND the best uses to get the most out of them so you can reduce household waste and help provide your plants sound nutrients throughout the year!

Composting Parts Of An Avocado: Why Is It Eco-Friendly

Composting your avocados involves breaking down all their parts —  pits, skins, and seeds — into a nutrient-rich soil amendment through a natural breakdown process facilitated by their enzymes.

can you compost avocado pits

The process is eco-friendly because you recycle organic kitchen waste, reduce landfill contributions, and enrich your garden soil without using harsh, synthetic chemical fertilizers. Understanding how to compost these parts effectively can enhance your garden’s health while supporting a more sustainable lifestyle. 1

Avocado Components Suitable For Composting

When you include parts like pits, skins, and seeds in your compost heap or worm bin, you’re turning waste into a valuable resource for eco-friendly gardening.

Incorporating avocado peels into your compost enriches the pile with necessary carbon, but remember, these skins tend to break down more slowly than other fruit peels. To speed up the process, cut them into smaller portions with a pair of kitchen shears or a knife, like other fruit scraps, before tossing them into your compost.

can you compost avocado

Incorporating avocado flesh and seeds into your compost enriches the pile with valuable organic matter. Avocado flesh adds moisture, while avocado seeds can provide welcome carbon to your plants. However, it’s important to note that avocado seeds may take longer to decompose than other materials.

Benefits Of Composting Avocado For Eco-Friendly Gardening

When you incorporate avocado components, such as peels, pits or seeds, and flesh, into your compost, you’re converting three varieties of organic waste into a nutrient-rich soil amendment that benefits your garden and the environment. In short, when composting avocados, you allow the scraps to break down efficiently to nourish your garden sustainably.

Avocado PartBenefit in CompostTips for Composting
PitsSource of carbonBreak down the pit to reduce their size
SkinNutrient-richCut finely to decompose quicker
Avocado FleshAdds moistureMix with carbon-rich materials
Whole fruitFull utilizationCompost all parts, ensuring balance
ScrapsReduces wasteInclude kitchen scraps like veggies

Humble Tip:
To make the most of composting avocados, break down the pits, finely cut the skin, and mix the flesh with carbon-rich materials. Consider layering avocado components and other kitchen scraps and garden waste in your compost bin to enhance your avocado composting efforts further.

How Long Does It Take For Avocado Parts To Decompose

You’ll find that while the flesh of an avocado decomposes relatively quickly, the pits and skins can take significantly longer, often several months to a year or more, to fully break down in your compost, depending on how finely ground or sliced they are. 2

It’s practical to crush your avocado seeds using a hammer in a towel or place the pits in a durable blender while cutting the skins into finer strips using a knife. These actions help accelerate the process, ensuring they eventually decompose with the flesh and other organic materials.

Composting Avocado Pits: Techniques And Considerations

When you’re composting avocado pits, it’s vital to remember that they’re a source of carbon, not nitrogen, in your compost pile. If you crush your pits and mix them within your pile, they’ll break down more quickly, integrating smoothly into your composting process. 

can you compost avocado peels

To ensure the avocado pits have fully turned into compost, turn your pile and check if they’ve broken down entirely and no longer look like avocado pits. As with all mature compost (humus), the final result should yield dark, crumbly, and earthy-smelling soil with no clearly identifiable materials.

Optimizing Avocado Pit Decomposition With Layering For Worms

When adding avocado pits to your compost bin, layer them with other materials. Start with a layer of brown materials (e.g., dry leaves or shredded newspaper), then add a layer of green materials (e.g., kitchen scraps).

Additionally, worms in your compost bin will help break down the avocado pits over time, so sprinkle crushed avocado pits between these layers. Repeat this layering process to create a habitat where worms can efficiently break them down and actively contribute to the overall breakdown process. Remember, worms and other beneficial microorganisms play a vital role in compost breakdown. 3

can you compost avocado skin

Use Avocado Pits For Nitrogen In Composting

Avocado pits, though carbon-rich, also provide a bit of essential nitrogen for composting. The right carbon-to-nitrogen balance, also known as the C:N ratio, is crucial for efficient decomposition, as nitrogen fuels the microorganisms responsible for breaking down organic matter.

To achieve ideal composting conditions, target a C:N ratio of approximately 30:1, which means there should be 30 parts of carbon for every one part of nitrogen in weight.

However, since avocado pits are not as nitrogen-rich as other materials, they must be complemented with nitrogen-rich “green” materials, such as kitchen scraps, untreated grass clippings, or coffee grounds.

Humble Tip:
For efficient compost breakdown, crush avocado pits before adding them to your compost pile’s core. Smaller pieces increase the surface area for microorganisms, aiding in breaking down complex organics.

These microorganisms use carbon and nitrogen from the avocado components as energy and nutrient sources, generating heat to speed up composting and potentially helping eliminate pests and weeds.

Plenty of growers are naturally curious about what materials they can toss into their backyard compost pile. Check out this excellent video that explains if composting avocados (among other things) is worth it in your garden!

Using Blended Avocado Pits In The Composting Process

Mixing finely crushed avocado pits into your compost speeds up their organic compost breakdown process and makes the soil amendment richer, making  your eco-friendly gardening efforts more efficient. 4

Here’s how to do it safely and effectively:

  1. Make sure to cut the avocado pits into tiny portions before blending.
  2. Use a robust blender or trusty hammer to pulverize the pits into a coarse powder.
  3. Add the blended avocado pits in the center of the compost pile where the temperature is hotter, aiding quicker breakdown.
  4. Even when blended, avocado pits take longer to decompose than other food scraps. Be prepared to be patient and provide them time to integrate into your compost fully.

How Can You Tell If Avocado Pits Have Finished Composting

It’s a good idea to check your compost periodically. If you’re left with fine, dark material that looks like rich soil, smells earthy, and is semi-moist like a sponge to the touch, you’ve likely achieved mature compost, called humus.  

can you put avocado pits in compost

Since the skins and pits of avocados may take longer to break down, ensure they’re not recognizable, and the compost has a uniform texture.

This process will be faster if you initially crush the pits with a hammer or place them in a blender or food processor. Remember, avocado pits can reproduce and grow, so completing the process is recommended, especially if you want to avoid sprouting within your compost pile. 5

Humble Tip:
While waiting for your avocado pits to fully compost, practice patience and occasionally turn your pile at least once weekly to encourage proper airflow, moisture, and decomposition. When you reach a final product of crumbly dark soil without identifiable materials, your compost is ready to spread in your garden. 

Composting Avocado Skin: Best Practices And Potential Issues

Best Practices

Here’s how you can ensure a balanced compost mix:

  1. Cut the avocado peel into smaller slices or pieces for your organic matter to break down quickly.
  2. Like kitchen scraps and untreated grass clippings, adding the avocado skins to your compost incorporates nitrogen into your heap, essential for decomposition.
  3. Limit its contributions to 10% of food waste to maintain a healthy compost mix.
  4. Ensure the compost pile remains moist but not waterlogged to facilitate microbial activity.
  5. Aerate by turning your compost pile regularly.
how long can you compost avocado pit

Potential Issues

Here are some of the potential issues you need to look out for: 

  1. Due to their thick and course exterior, these unique fruits have a slower decomposition rate than other fruit peels.
  2. Risk of prolonged composting process due to the slow breakdown.
  3. Potential impact on the overall balance of the compost pile if avocado skins comprise a substantial portion of food waste.
  4. To mitigate these issues, finely chop avocado skins, blend or crush the pits, and restrict their contribution to less than 10% of food waste in the compost for a healthier and more productive mix. Additionally, turn your pile with a trusty garden fork several times weekly. 6
  5. Difficulty in achieving proper moisture balance in the compost pile due to the dry nature of avocado skins, potentially affecting decomposition efficiency.

Suggested Solutions

By implementing these solutions, you can effectively manage avocado skins in your compost pile.

  1. Finely chop the fruit before adding them to the compost to address the slower decomposition rate. Smaller pieces break down more quickly.
  2. Maintain a balanced compost mix by combining them with other green and brown materials. By keeping your pile balanced, you’ll help offset the potentially negative impacts, like mold germination and proper moisture levels, while ensuring your heap keeps decomposing correctly.
  3. To prevent avocados from dominating the compost pile, restrict their contribution to less than 10% of your food waste (kitchen scraps) input.
can avocado seed be composted

Conclusion

Composting your leftover avocado materials is more than merely a matter of disposal. Instead, it’s a conscious step toward a more environmentally friendly future. As you diligently crush the avocado pits, finely cut avocado skins, and witness their transformation into nutrient-rich soil, the benefits will extend far beyond your garden.

The nutrient-rich compost produced from avocado waste is a natural fertilizer, enhancing the soil’s fertility and promoting healthier plant growth. Your flowers will bloom more vibrantly, your vegetables will be more robust, and your overall garden ecosystem will flourish.

Beyond the immediate garden benefits, you’ll reduce the strain on landfills and the environmental toll of waste disposal. Composting avocado waste helps divert organic materials from overcrowded landfills, where they would otherwise emit harmful greenhouse gasses. This reduction in landfill waste directly contributes to a cleaner, healthier environment.

Embracing this eco-friendly practice may seem like a small step for any backyard gardener, but it represents a significant stride toward sustainability. Feel free to turn that avocado waste into a valuable plant resource.

Do you currently toss your used avocados into your compost? We’d like to hear how you do it so you can share your success with other like-minded growers. Drop us a line below and spill!

SOURCES

  1. National Library Of Medicine, National Center For Biotechnology Information – The Effects Of Avocado Waste And It’s Functional Compounds In Animal Models On Dyslipidemia Parameters
  2. Wikipedia – Avocado
  3. SpringerLink – Vermicompost Significantly Affects Plant Growth: A Meta-Analysis
  4. MDPI – Avocado Waste Biorefinery: Towards Sustainable Development
  5. University Of Missouri – Making And Using Compost
  6. University Of Florida – When Is Compost Ready?

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