Citric Fruits In A Wormery System

Worm Composting...

“We farm with nectarines and have a lot of undersized fruit atorvastatin 10 mg. Would worms survive on an orange diet and how would you construct such an operation?” ~ Joan Heatlie

Hi Joan,

Orange and citric fruits have two problems in a wormery system.

– Citrus peelings have a oily layer on the peelings, also known as limonene. Limonene covers the surface making it harder to break down by microbes and worms.

– The citric acid will push the pH of the system down, making it more of an acidic environment.

With citric fruits you will find the rind (inner layer of the peeling) can break down really well when separated off. The meat can also be used as long as the pH of the system is controlled through the addition of some alkaline material such as lime to neutralize the system.

If you have large amounts of citrus fruit, separating the zest from the rind is of course impractical. To overcome this, you will need to pre-process the waste to make it suitable and ready for feeding into a wormery. You will need to shred the waste into smaller pieces so that micro-organisms can reach to start breaking down most of the material.

Next you will need to partially compost it, adding it with lime to create the right conditions for it to break down naturally.

When the material is broken down partially, this can then be added into a wormery system like any other fruit waste and shouldn’t cause many problems.

However, for a good healthy system you will need some sort of carbon material as well to create a balance C:N ratio.

You may also add shredded carbon material in the pre-composting step if space allows it. That way you can skip a step and dump all the contents directly into the worm farm, where it will breakdown really quickly.

Give it a try in small quantities, and build it up as it goes!

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