A composting bin

Can I put dehydrated vegetables in my compost bin?


You can put dehydrated vegetables into your composting bin!

Key info
Green material📂
1-6 months

Get the right balance of brown and green composting materials in your bin with our expert guide.

Dehydrating Vegetables for Composting: A Complete Guide

Dehydrating vegetables before adding them to your compost pile can provide some useful benefits. However, it also comes with some important considerations. This complete guide covers everything you need to know about dehydrating vegetables for compost.

Why Dehydrate Vegetables for Composting?

There are a few key reasons why you may want to dehydrate vegetables before composting them:

Extends Shelf Life

Drying out vegetable scraps allows them to keep for much longer before being added to the compost pile. This gives more flexibility in when you can compost them.

Reduces Moisture Content

Fresh vegetable scraps can contain a lot of moisture which can lead to anaerobic conditions. Removing moisture through dehydration helps maintain aerobic conditions needed for effective composting.

Reduces Volume

Dehydrating reduces the overall volume of vegetable scraps, making them easier to store and transport to your compost pile or bin.

Enhances Nutrient Profile

The dehydration process concentrates nutrients and minerals into the vegetable matter. This can help enhance the nutritional quality of your finished compost.

How to Dehydrate Vegetables for Compost

Dehydrating vegetables is a simple process:

Selecting Vegetables

Almost any vegetable scraps can be dehydrated, including roots, stems, leaves, husks, and pods. Good options include carrot tops, onion skins, bell pepper cores, broccoli stalks, and more.

Washing and Drying

It's important to wash vegetables before dehydrating to remove dirt and debris. Make sure no moisture remains on the surface before placing them in the dehydrator.

Using a Dehydrator

Spread vegetables in a single layer on dehydrator trays. Set temperature between 95°F to 115°F and dehydrate until completely dried out, usually 6 to 12 hours.

Air Drying

Onion skins, husks, and pods can be air dried by hanging them in a warm, dry indoor area with good air circulation. This can take 1-2 weeks.

Oven Drying

Oven drying is possible by placing vegetables pieces on a baking sheet on the lowest possible oven temperature setting with the door propped open. Monitor closely to prevent burning.

Storing Dehydrated Vegetables

Once dried, vegetables should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. They will keep this way for several months.

Using Dehydrated Vegetables in Your Compost

When adding your dehydrated vegetables to compost, follow these guidelines:


Expect dehydrated vegetables to take 1-2 months to fully break down as they rehydrate and decompose. Breaking them into small pieces first speeds up this process.

Balance Browns and Greens

Use dried vegetables as a source of browns, balancing them with nitrogen-rich green materials like fresh grass clippings and food scraps. Aim for equal volumes of browns and greens.

Mix Thoroughly

Incorporate dehydrated vegetables throughout compost pile, mixing them with other organic materials. This prevents dense pockets that can limit oxygen circulation.

Monitor Moisture

While dehydrated vegetables bring little moisture into the pile, watch that materials don’t become too dry. Add water or fresh greens if pile lacks enough moisture.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take dehydrated vegetables to break down?

Expect dehydrated vegetables to take 1-2 months to rehydrate and fully decompose. Breaking them into smaller pieces before adding to your compost speeds up this process.

Can I put all vegetable scraps into my dehydrator?

While most vegetables can be safely dehydrated, some may become overly dried out or discolored. Experiment with small batches first. Soft leafy greens tend to dehydrate well.

Is it necessary to dehydrate vegetables before composting?

It’s not essential, but it helps extend storage time and reduces moisture content. For best results, use a mix of both fresh and dehydrated vegetable scraps in your compost.

What setting should I use to dehydrate vegetables?

Aim for a temperature range of 95°F to 115°F to properly dehydrate most vegetables without cooking them. Herbs and leafy greens dry fastest, in just 4-6 hours, while denser roots and stems take 10-12 hours.

Following these guidelines for dehydrating vegetables will allow you to create highly nutritious, balanced compost that fuels plant growth in vegetable gardens and landscaping beds alike.

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