Making Compost From Onions For Home Garden

Introduction to making compost from Onions

Onion skin and peels have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and contain many useful substances like Sulphur, Potassium,quercetin, phosphorus, zinc, iron, vitamins,iodine, pectins, saponins, flavonoids and so on. Organic compost is a helpful garden addition. It fertilizes and offers nutrients to plants without adding harmful chemicals. Organic compost also lets you recycle kitchen food scraps. Compost is purely decomposed or decaying organic matter, created during the process of composting. Compost can be produced by a variety of methods and ingredients. As its ages and the dead or living and animal material break down fully, compost becomes stable. When these organic materials are no longer decomposing, they create a rich black soil known as ‘Black Gold’ or ‘humus’.

A step by step guide to making compost from Onions

Compost is one of the most convenient and easy ways to return organic matter (such as green garden waste or food scraps) into the soil. The nutrients in compost are recycled to grow healthy plants. Compost is the essential building block of a healthy garden.Onions are possibly the most commonly used vegetable in all world cuisines. But most of us throw away their peels and outer skins. That papery covering may appear like just throw-away packaging, but you will be surprised to study they are nutrient-dense and have many household uses as well.The outer skins of Onion provide an excellent source of vitamins like vitamin A, C, E, and numerous antioxidants. The skins of Onions are also a rich source of flavonoids, particularly quercetin, anti-inflammatory, and a potent antioxidant.

 If you are not using earthworms for making your compost, you can drop Onionpeels and skins a little deeper into the compost bin and get a nutrient-rich compost in the final result. But You should avoid adding them in your worm composting bin because earthworms hate Onions and similar odorous substances.Onions are a basic source of organic matter like any other vegetable. But it depends on the type of Onion waste you’re thinking of putting in your compost bin. Onions can be composted, but with a few caveats, and some composting technics can be more effective than others.

Onion skins and scraps do not harmfully affect the microbes present in your compost pile. While it is okay to add Onions to your traditional compost pile, you can add these garden annuals with caution. Because Onions are an odorous food,strongly aromatic, you run the risk of attracting pests and wildlife to your compost pile. Due to general odors from rotting food matter, compost piles attract critters; so, it is important to have a barrier in place. Reduce the attraction of pests buys burying odorous foods, like Onions, in your compost at a depth about 10 inches or more.

What is compost?

Decomposed organic material is called as Compost. Compost is made with material such as shredded twigs, leaves, and kitchen scraps from plants.To gardeners, compost is considered “black gold” due to its several benefits in the garden. Compost is a great material for garden soil. By adding compost to clay soils makes them easier to work and plant. In sandy soils, the addition of compost increases the water holding capacity of the soil. By adding organic matter to the soil, compost can help improve plant health and growth.

Composting is also the best way to recycle leaves and other yard waste. As an alternative to paying a company to haul away leaves, you can compost the leaves and return the nutrients to your garden. Instead of buying peat moss, save money, and make it your compost!

Compost improves soil structure

Most gardeners donot start with great soil. Whether yours is hard and compacted, stony, sandy, heavy, or wet, adding compost will improve its water-holding capacity,texture, and fertility. Your soil will slowly become fluffy and brownthe ideal home for healthy plants.Adding compost moderate’sfertility and pH problems, so you can concentrate on the pleasures of gardening, not the science of your soil’s chemical composition. Unlike inorganic or organic fertilizers, which need to be applied at the right time and in the right amount, compost can be applied at any time and in any amount. You cannot over-apply it. Plants use just what they need when they need it.

Advantages of making compost from Onions

  • It improves your soil quality, healthy plants, and higher yields.
  • Helps add valuable nutrients to your soil, acting as a natural slow-release fertilizer for plants and microbes.
  • Saves money by removing the need for expensive, chemical fertilizers that may harm the environment and humans.
  • Decreases the need for frequent watering by helping the soil hold more moisture while still allowing the excess to drain away.
  • Helps reduce and prevent the disease and pests and increases soil life.
  • Assists in balancing soil pH (the measure of soil alkalinity or acidity). A buffer for soil imbalances that helps reduce plant stress.
  • Significantly increases soil structure so roots can easily expand and access nutrients.
  • Incorporates organic matter to feed macroorganisms and microorganisms that maintain healthy soil.
  • Compost enriches the soil with nutrients for plant growth.
  • Releases nutrients slowly so they do not leach away as some synthetic fertilizers do.
  • Improves soil structure.
  • Promotes drainage and aeration in clay soil.
  • Enhances moisture and nutrient retention in sandy soil.
  • Reduces soil compaction.
  • Suppresses soil-borne diseases and pests.
  • Attracts earthworms, nature’s best soil builders.

General tips for making compost from Onions

Onions have a relatively low pH thatmeans they’re acid. This is one of the reasons some people advise against using them in compost and it’s said that Onions have an inhibiting effect on bacteria which makes them longer to compost.Bacteria in a compost pile are the best thing and it’s responsible for the majority of the hard work, therefore in theory anything that destroys bacteria is bad.This being said, with a lot of common-sense composters add Onions to their bins without any adverse effects. So long as you are not adding extreme amounts, the “negative” properties of Onions will be balanced out by the rest of the rotting material.

Compost is generally alkaline, and the acidifying effect of Onions is balanced by the other material you mix in those are chalk or crushed eggshells can be added to balance the acidity if you add a large number of Onions.

How can you use onion compost for the garden?

  • Add compost as an ingredient to increase the quality of your potting mix.
  • Use compost to slowly feed your plants over a long period as an alternative to expensive chemical fertilizers.
  • Apply as mulch on your gardens and pots to protect plant roots from sun/wind damage, prevent erosion, and reduce soil diseases.
  • Spread over your lawn as a top dressing, to add nutrients and fill in openings to encourage healthier grass roots and thatch.

Composting Onion skins

Onionpeelings and skins are a normal part of general household kitchen waste when you cook. You can compost these without any kind of pre-treatment.

In case if you miss this: Terrace Organic Vegetable Growing.

Composting from Onion skins.
Composting from Onion skins.

Worm composting with Onions

“Vermicomposting” or worm composting is becoming very popular. Though, it’s generally recommended to steer clear of Onions in a wormery.

A worm environment needs to stay near to pH neutral. And as mentioned above, Onions contribute a high level of acidity. And also, worms breathe through their skin, and Onions can irritate their breathing system.

Making compost from onions peelings

The issue at what timeof composting Onions is similar to the potato in that the Onion wants to grow. To avoid new shoots from sprouting from the Onions in compost piles, again, cut it up into halves and quarters before tossing it into the compost bin. Onion skins and scraps do not result in the growth of more Onions, but they may add an unpleasant aroma to the pile and lure pests or wildlife. DecomposingOnions do smell extremely bad. When composting Onions, bury them at least 10 inches deep, or more, and be aware that when you turn the compost pile, the possibility of an unsavory aroma of rotting Onion may stop you in your tracks for a moment. In general, the larger the piece of Onion added to the compost, the longer it takes to decompose. Of course, this rule applies to all large organic scraps whether vegetables, fruit, and sticks. Also, if the odor is of primary concern, adding crushed oyster shells, newsprint or cardboard can aid in eliminating or, at the very least, controlling noxious smells.

Making compost from whole Onions

In general, when it comes to whole Onions is to cut them up before putting them into compost.Remember those Onions you left too long time and they began to sprout;this is the only reason why you need to cut them into smaller pieces. If you forget about them long enough Onions will attempt to reproduce, which is why you see them sprouting. By cutting them up you’ll avoid them growing inside your compost bin.And as with anything else you compost, the smaller the pieces, the earlier they will start to break down. You will be giving your compost a helping hand.

Can you compost moldy Onions?

You may have some Onions that are past their prime. So much so that they’re starting to go moldy. You can put these into your compost without any worries. Mold is fungi and it’s a natural part of the decomposition process. You will find mold growing in your compost bin as the fungi start to break down organic matter.

Compost process from Onions

Composting is an easy way of recycling that involves decomposing everyday kitchen waste into a rich soil called compost.

Identify Your Composting Spot – Composting can be done at various places ranging from your kitchen, terrace or roof, balcony, tabletop, or sink. The best place to start composting is outdoors, even start the process of composting inside your home.

Segregate your Waste – Start separating your edible kitchen waste like fruit peels, vegetable peels like Onion waste, small amounts of wasted cooked food, etc. in one container. Fill another container with dry waste like dried leaves, newspaper chunks, sawdust, and packaging material, etc. Close both containers to avoid infiltration of bugs, worms, and flies.

Construct Your Composting Bin – Select a container and it can be anything, from a bucket to a garden pot or normal dustbin. Drill around 4 to 5 holes around the container at different levels to let some air in easily. To avoid any spills place a paper or tray underneath your container. Layer the bottom of the container with soil.

Initiate the Composting Process – To maintain the wet waste and dry waste balance, add food waste and wet waste at alternative levels in the bin. Forexample, if you add one cup of food wastes like fruits or vegetables, add one cup of dry wastes like dry leaves, sawdust, newspaper scrap too. Do not forget to add soil one once in every week. To fast up the process, you can add semi composted soil to your compost.

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