Can You Compost Limes?

There are many things that can go in your compost bin. It’s not just for leftovers and other organic waste that can’t be thrown away any other way. Even if something doesn’t seem like it would break down easily, if it was alive at one point and is made of plant materials, you can probably compost it.

Although, there are some things that will keep your compost from working well. If you want to get the most out of your compost, you should avoid putting certain things in it.

If you’ve found yourself wondering “are limes compostable?”, “how do I do it?” and “how long will they take to compost?”: you’ve come to the right place.

Can you put limes in the compost?

Yes, limes are compostable. Adding limes to your compost pile will contribute to creating a nutrient-rich fertiliser that you can use in your garden.

Can you put them in the waste bin?

If you don’t have a compost bin, you can put fruit in the appropriate roadside collection bin but biodegradable materials like limes are better off being in a compost pile.

Disposing of organic or compostable waste like fruit in landfill can contribute to the release of potent greenhouse gases like methane, which has around 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide.

Methane emissions are significantly reduced by composting suitable food waste and organic materials.

How to compost limes

You should chop limes up into smaller pieces to help it decompose quicker.

As a green material, you should be adding limes and other green nitrogen-rich materials then a layer of brown to cover it. Remember to use a garden fork or a stick to poke holes in your compost every couple of weeks to mix the pile up.

How long will limes take to compost?

It takes around 6 weeks for limes to completely decompose in a compost. Because they decompose relatively quickly, you can add them to your compost fairly regularly. Only particular bacteria will consume the d-limonene chemical found in the skin of citrus.

Limes discarded on the ground or buried in the ground will take longer to decompose.

Are limes a green or brown material?

Limes should be considered a green material when composting.

Materials that are green, like limes, are often more wet and softer recently-living organic material; and are a source of nitrogen (one of the four essential ingredients) for your compost. Green nitrogen-rich materials provide a lot of the vital nutrients that microbes need to speed up the process of decomposition. Ideally your compost mix should consist of about 1 part of green material for every 4 parts of brown material.

Composts rely on green materials like limes to add the neccessary proteins and other nourishment for the microbes to thrive to the pile.

Will composting them attract pests?

No. Limes will not attract pests. Citrus fruits actually act as a natural deterrent to keep pests away from your compost.

Composting considerations

When composting limes, you should avoid adding too many limes and other citrus fruit as they will overload the compost by changing the pH level.

Omar Agor-Wood
Omar Agor-Wood

Omar is a digital marketer by day for one of the UK's largest environmental consultancy companies, and is writing like the world depends on it for Pick Ethical at night. He has a passion for hiking, bouldering, and making a fuss of his dog.

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