The fresh juices of carrots, apples, peaches and wheatgrass are a refreshing and nutritious start to a busy day. While you may use the pulp in cooking or put it out for the birds, a juicing family produces a lot of pulp every week. Rather than throw the excess pulp away, reduce your household waste by using it to make fresh, healthy compost. Once it's properly decomposed, you can use the homemade compost in your garden or to make potting soil.
1 Put the compost bin in a convenient location in the garden or a hidden corner of the patio. In an urban garden, a plastic compost bin, large plastic storage bin with air holes drilled in the sides or tumbling compost bin may be a better choice than an open compost pile.
2 Layer 1 part juicing pulp with 3 parts brown ingredients in the compost bin. Continue adding alternating layers of green and brown ingredients. Green ingredients include juicing pulp, kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, fresh grass clippings and manure. Brown ingredients include dead grass and weeds, dried leaves, fireplace ashes, sawdust, shredded paper, and straw.
3 Sprinkle the compost ingredients with water. The ingredients should be moist, but not dripping wet. If you squeeze a handful of the compost and a drop or two of water drips from your hand, it's just right. If the compost is too dry, add a little more water. If it's too wet, add more brown ingredients to absorb the excess moisture.
4 Monitor the temperature in the compost bin with a long-stemmed cooking thermometer. When it reaches 155 degrees Fahrenheit, mix the compost ingredients with a pitchfork, or dump them out, mix them together and shovel them back into the bin. Repeat each time the temperature of the compost reaches 155 degrees.
5 Dig a hole in the compost, and add more juicing pulp as you produce it in the kitchen. Cover the pulp with the developing compost and more brown ingredients. Because the pulp is already broken down into small pieces, it will decompose rapidly in a hot composting process.
6 Mix the contents of the compost bin every week after the initial decomposition process slows and the temperature drops. When the compost is reduced to a dark, crumbling, soil-like texture, it's ready to use in the garden.
Items you will need
- Compost bin
- Juicing pulp
- Brown ingredients
- Green ingredients
- Long-stemmed cooking thermometer
- If the compost smells or attracts flies, mix it thoroughly and then cover it with an extra layer of brown ingredients.
- A tightly covered container under the sink can serve as a transitional step, holding the juicing pulp for a few days until you have time to add it to the compost.
- Save your shredded bills to use in your compost as a brown ingredient.
- Wear gloves, safety glasses and a breathing mask when working with the raw compost ingredients, and wash your hands and tools thoroughly afterward. Manure may contain harmful bacteria such as Escherichia coli, also known as E. coli.
- Don't use human, cat or dog feces in the compost. You risk adding parasites and harmful bacteria to the compost.
- Use proper lifting techniques when moving the compost bin and shoveling to protect your back.
- Purdue University Extension: Household Composting -- Methods and Uses for Compost
- University of Florida -- Florida's Online Composting Center: Composting Methods
- Washington State University Kittitas County Extension: Common Composting Questions & Answers
- University of Nevada Cooperative Extension: Composting Yard and Vegetable Wastes
- Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images