How to Use Lemon Rinds in Compost


Some experts advise not putting lemon rinds in the compost bin ( because they cause the compost to become too acidic and discourage worms. Others, like George Brookbank, author of "The Desert Gardener's Calendar," say it's perfectly acceptable. Compost turns kitchen refuse including lemon rinds into rich organic material for the garden. It's an easy way to grow green. Put lemon rinds in a baggie and keep in the fridge or freezer until you have enough to add to the compost. If you don't use many lemons, you can add them one at a time to the compost pile.

Step 1

Chop the lemon rinds into small pieces so they will decompose more quickly.

Step 2

Spread the rinds out evenly to avoid having the compost become too acidic in one area. Cover with a layer of brown material like dead leaves and a layer of green material such as garden clippings.

Step 3

Cover with a shovel or two of dirt. Rinds will attract flies as does any kitchen refuse. The dirt masks the odor, discourages flies and triggers the decomposition process.

Step 4

Add a handful of nitrogen-rich fertilizer to the compost pile occasionally.

Step 5

Continue to build the compost pile with brown and green materials, including lemon rinds.

Step 6

Wait two months after the compost bin is full. Test the compost to see if it's ready to use by spreading a few shovelfuls on the ground. The compost should smell earthy, not like garbage, and have a crumbly texture with no recognizable pieces of the ingredients. The color should be a rich brown.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid using meat and eggs in your compost pile as they attract rodents.

Things You'll Need

  • Lemon rinds
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Green matter
  • Brown matter
  • Shovel
  • Soil
  • Fertilizer


  • Compost This: Lemons
  • "The Desert Gardener's Calendar," George Brookbank, 1999

Who Can Help

  • Arizona Master Gardener Manual
Keywords: lemon rind compost, lemons in compost, lemons compost bin

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.