Can You Compost Peach Pits? | + information about peaches and drupes
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With a backyard compost pile or an indoor Bokashi bin, you never need to worry about having space in the kitchen trash for things like old salad greens or fruit peels. But some types of produce waste can stump even the experienced composter!
Pits are an inevitable part of enjoying the delicious fruit of a peach. While not edible, you might be hesitant to relegate your peach pits to the normal garbage bin. On the other hand, can peach pits go in compost?
Rest assured, peach pits are safe to compost with the rest of the fruit! Just be aware that the hard exterior of a peach pit can take years to decompose on its own.
Related Article: Can you compost cherry pits?
What Is a Peach Pit?
A peach pit — sometimes called a peach stone — is the protective covering around a peach tree seed.
The entire pit is not a seed. Rather, there is a smaller seed inside the nearly unbreakable outer shell.
In the botanical world, peaches belong to a group of fruit called drupes. Other drupes include cherries, plums, and apricots. All drupes feature hard pits and are also known as ‘stone fruit’!
Can I Put Peach Pits in Compost?
Yes, you can safely compost peach pits!
Placing old peach pits in your compost won’t cause any harm. You can safely toss the pits along with any other parts of the fruit.
But you shouldn’t expect composted peach pits to break down overnight. Or even within the year…
How Long Do Peach Pits Take to Decompose?
Before adding peach pits to your backyard compost, be aware that it can take several years for pits to break down!
Of course, time in composting is all relative. The faster your composting system breaks down material in general, the quicker you’ll see those peach pits disappear. (But it will still take longer than you think!)
How to Compost Peach Pits
Tossing peach pits in the compost rather than the kitchen trash is as simple as that! There’s no need to separate them from the rest of the peach or do anything else.
Some avid composters opt to speed up the decomposition process by soaking fruit pits before composting. Soaking peach pits in boiling water prior to composting will soften the hard outer shell.
Small pits (like cherry pits) can also be ground up with a food processor after soaking. However, peach pits may be too big for the average food processor to safely handle. Proceed at your (and your kitchen appliances’) own risk!
When adding peach pits to your compost, try to distribute them throughout the pile. Pits closer to the bottom of your compost will break down faster and are less likely to germinate.
Sifting your compost at the start of each season will easily remove any peach pits that are yet to break down. Just toss them back into the compost pile for another year of decomposition!
If any whole peach pits do make it into your garden beds, no worries. Again, just place them back in the compost to continue breaking down.
Is Composting Peach Pits Worth It?
Will peach pits add a ton of volume and nutrition to your compost? Probably not. But there’s still reason to compost them instead of throwing them in the garbage.
Even if peach pits take several years to decompose in compost, that’s less time than they’ll take to break down in a landfill. And there’s no guarantee that the nutrients inside will make it back to the earth in a landfill.
If your compost pile is very small or you’re not interested in waiting years for the peach pits to break down, consider setting them aside to be reused in crafts or DIY projects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Grow A Peach Tree From A Pit?
Yes, you can grow a peach tree from a peach pit! After all, peach pits exist to transport and protect the tree’s seeds.
Growing a new tree from an old peach pit is a great science experiment for young kids. You can break open the pit’s outer casing to reveal the seed inside. The seed can then be germinated inside your fridge (this can take several months!).
Keep in mind that growing peach trees from seed isn’t the best strategy if you want to grow your own fruit. You’ll see much better results planting an orchard seedling sourced from a local greenhouse!
Will Composted Fruit Pits Turn Into Seedlings?
It’s certainly possible for composted fruit pits to grow into seedlings. But it’s very rare.
If any peach pits in your compost do sprout, you can either remove the seedling (to destroy or plant in the garden) or bury it further into the compost. Rest assured, you won’t find a peach tree growing out of your compost bin anytime soon!
Do Peach Pits Contain Cyanide?
Many fruit seeds, including peach pits, contain a compound related to cyanide. This compound only turns into cyanide when metabolized by a person or animal.
A handful of peaches don’t contain enough cyanide to harm a human. Plus, the hard pit prevents us from accidentally eating the poisonous seeds.
There’s also no evidence that composting peach pits (or using that compost in the garden) poses any real danger!