Watermelon is the tastiest and most refreshing fruit in the summer. And since it’s widely consumed, a lot of watermelon rinds go to waste. While enjoying the juicy fruit, have you wondered if the rinds can be used for your plants? Well, being rich in nutrients, the rinds can be used as fertilizer. But can you compost watermelon rinds? Let’s dig in to find out.
Watermelon rinds are compostable as they are rich in Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and fiber and act as organic material for soil. Plus, the water content in the rind helps keep the compost bin moist. However, add small chunks of watermelon rinds to your compost pile for faster decomposition.
How to Compost Watermelon Rinds?
Watermelon rinds are rich in nitrogen and water, making them a great source of green matter for your compost bin. Moreover, they can be composted easily, just like many other food materials, through regular composting, hot composting, and vermicomposting.
If you wish to add the rinds to your regular compost pile, you just need to cut them into small pieces and toss them into the pile.
However, if you want to set up a new compost bin, here are the steps you need to follow for composting effectively.
Step 1. Chop the Watermelon Rind into Small Pieces
The best way to compost watermelon rinds is to add small chunks of the rind to the compost bin. So, gather all the rinds you want to compost and chop them.
Watermelon rinds are large and occupy more space in your compost bin. If added as a whole, it will disrupt the space for adding other materials to your compost pile.
Step 2. Prepare the Compost Bed
To start with, prepare a bed of brown materials by adding dried leaves, shredded cardboard, paper towels, dried twigs, and small wood chunks.
Brown materials are carbon sources and help prevent bad odor in your compost pile. Moreover, they keep the compost pile aerated.
Step 3. Add Green Materials
Now, mix the watermelon rind pieces with other food scraps and make a layer of green materials over the brown ones.
The green matter is rich in Nitrogen and provides a suitable environment for microorganisms to thrive.
Step 4. Repeat the Layers
Now, fill the bin with some brown materials over the greens and repeat the process until you are sorted with all the waste materials. Seal your compost pile with a firm layer of soil and cover it with a lid.
Step 5. Maintain your Compost
Keep watch on your compost pile for regulating temperature and moisture. When new materials are added to the compost heap, mix it thoroughly to ensure that oxygen and moisture are distributed evenly.
Your compost will be ready in around 35 days. You can use this finished compost in your garden to enrich your soil nutrients and improve soil structure, aeration, water holding capacity, and drainage.
Composting Watermelon Rinds via Vermicomposting
You can compost watermelon rinds effectively through vermicomposting as red wigglers love to eat rinds. Worms require a moist environment to reproduce and continue their life cycle, and melon rinds contain water and keep the bin moist. Therefore, melon rinds would be a great addition to your worm farm.
If you have a worm bin already set up in your home or garden, toss a few chopped watermelon rinds into your bin without further ado.
Nevertheless, if you are new to vermicomposting, here are the quick steps that will help you set up your worm bin from scratch.
Step 1. Set Up a Worm Bin
Choose a dark place and set up your worm bin. Drill holes in the bin for aeration and drainage and cover it with wire mesh to prevent the worms from moving out.
Step 2. Prepare the Bedding
Make an 8-inch layer of bedding in the bottom of your worm bin with shredded paper. You might also use shredded cardboard or egg carton for this.
Spray the bedding with water to make it damp. Now add some soil to provide grit for the composting worms to digest the food.
Step 3. Add Watermelon Rinds and Other Food Waste
Collect the watermelon rinds and any other kitchen scraps you want to compost, such as eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags, fruits, vegetables, potato peel, banana peel, citrus peels, etc.
You need to cut the rinds into smaller pieces as it might be difficult for the worms to break down the large rind. Also, chop other food waste before putting it in the bin to help it decompose faster.
Avoid tossing meat and fish scraps, dairy, oils, or the poop of your pets into your worm bin.
Step 4. Add Worms
Now, it’s time to bring the worms. Add the red wigglers to your worm bin and see them enjoying the food within no time.
Since worms like to dwell in dark places, make sure to cover your worm bin with wet straw, cardboard, or gunny bags to make sure light does not enter your worm bin.
Step 5. Maintain Your Bin
Turn your worm bin once every 15-20 days for aeration. Also, monitor your worm bin regularly and check the moisture content. You can add more rinds and other food waste every week.
Step 6. Harvest the Worm Casting
To harvest worm castings, scoop out the compost from the corner of your worm bin and dry it under the sun for a few hours.
However, to make the harvesting process easier, toss the watermelon rinds in the corner of the bin. Composting Worms get attracted to the rinds and start acting upon them. This way, you can easily collect the vermicompost from the bottom without disturbing the worms.
Benefits of Composting Watermelon Rinds
If you are having a second thought about composting the green skin of watermelon, here are the benefits you should know.
- Watermelon rind acts as a healthy green material in your compost bin and aids in the process of decomposition.
- Watermelon rind contains nitrogen, minerals, and water and is an excellent soil additive.
- It reduces waste in landfills and helps to reduce the carbon footprint.
- It is a cheap source of organic fertilizer and reduces the use of costly fertilizers.
Additional Tips for Composting Watermelon Rinds
Composting watermelon rind is a great way to reuse them at your home. Here are some tips you need to help you compost melon rinds effectively.
- Do not put the watermelon rinds on the top of your compost pile. Instead, make sure to bury them inside to distribute the moisture levels in it evenly.
- Chop the watermelon rinds into smaller pieces to hasten the decomposition process.
- You can also use peeled watermelon rind for composting.
- Avoid using too many rinds in your compost, as it will make your compost pile compact and musty.
- Add adequate amounts of brown material to your compost pile as the rinds have excess water.
- Maintain aeration in your compost pile by turning it at regular intervals.
How to Make Fertilizer from Watermelon Rind
Watermelon rind is rich in nutrients and acts as a great addition to soil. It can be used as a natural liquid fertilizer for your plants. Here are the steps you need to follow to make watermelon rind fertilizer.
- Take a few watermelon rinds and cut them into fine chunks.
- Add them into a plastic bucket and soak the rinds in the water.
- Add jaggery powder and mix it well.
- Now cover the bucket with a lid and leave the mixture for fermentation.
- Within three days, the rinds will be fermented. The white foam in the bucket indicates that fermentation has been completed.
- Now stir the mixture and strain the liquid. You can toss the leftover watermelon rinds into the compost bin.
- Dilute the liquid fertilizer with two liters of water and use it on leafy greens and flowers.
Other Ways to Use Watermelon Rinds at Home
Now, you know watermelon rinds make a nutritious composting ingredient. But, do you know they have other uses too?
Well, yes. Besides being used in your garden, this nutrient-rich, high in fiber ingredient can also be used in your kitchen to make some delectable dishes that will not only satisfy your savory cravings but also keep you healthy.
Let’s see the different dishes you can make from watermelon rinds.
- Make Watermelon Rind Pickle
- Make Rind Chutney
- Prepare Watermelon Rind Gazpacho
- Making Rind Jam
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does watermelon rind take to decompose?
Watermelon rind generally takes up to 35 days to decompose fully and gives nutrient-rich brown humus that acts as organic fertilizer for plants. For better results, cut the green rind into smaller pieces, as the large rind will take longer to break down.
Are watermelon rinds good for plants?
Watermelon rinds are great for plants as they add organic matter to the soil. In addition, the rinds contain some vital nutrients like Nitrogen, Magnesium, Phosphorous, fiber and boost the nutrient uptake in plants.
Can you put melon seeds in compost?
You can use watermelon seeds for composting. Dry the seeds under the sun or roast them in an oven to avoid germination in your compost pile. You may also crush them before adding them to the bin.
Can you put a watermelon in the worm farm?
Worms love to eat watermelon as they are high in sugar and filled with water content. However, beware of tossing them in limited quantities as the excess water content could make the compost moldy and attract pests.
Composting is an eco-friendly method and adds essential nutrients to your plants. So this summer, whenever you have scooped the watermelon flesh, do not forget to toss the rinds into your compost bin.
And after learning about composting the seasonal fruit, if you want to learn whether you can compost banana peels, we have covered it all for you.