A composting bin

Can I put marrow in my compost bin?


You can put marrow into your composting bin!

Key info
Green material📂
2-4 weeks

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

Composting Zucchini, Summer Squash, and Other Cucurbits: A Comprehensive Guide

Can You Compost Squash and Zucchini?

Yes, we can compost courgettes, zucchinis, marrows, and summer squash. These vegetables, all members of the cucurbit family, break down relatively quickly in a compost pile. However, the thicker rinds of marrows may take a bit longer to decompose. To speed up the process, we recommend cutting the rinds into smaller pieces before adding them to the compost. Using a compost shredder can help break down the rinds more quickly.

Composting Squash Plants and Vines

In addition to composting the fruits of squash plants, we can also compost the vines and leaves. After harvesting the squash, chop the vines and leaves into smaller pieces and add them to the compost pile. This not only reduces garden waste but also adds valuable nutrients to the compost. Be sure to remove any diseased or pest-infested plant parts before composting to avoid spreading issues to next year's garden.

Tips for Composting Squash Plants

  • Cut vines and leaves into small pieces for faster decomposition
  • Mix squash plant material with other compost ingredients for a balanced mix
  • Ensure proper moisture and aeration in the compost pile
  • Monitor the compost temperature to maintain optimal conditions using a compost thermometer

Composting Other Cucurbits

In addition to zucchini and summer squash, we can also compost other members of the cucurbit family, such as:

  • Spaghetti squash
  • Butternut squash
  • Acorn squash
  • Pumpkins
  • Gourds
  • Melons (rinds)
  • Cucumbers

When composting these vegetables, follow the same guidelines as for zucchini and summer squash. Cut larger items into smaller pieces, and mix them with other compost ingredients for a balanced decomposition process. A composting bin can help contain the materials and maintain optimal composting conditions.

The Benefits of Composting Vegetable Scraps

Composting vegetable scraps, including squash and zucchini, offers numerous benefits for both the environment and our gardens:

  1. Reduces waste sent to landfills
  2. Creates nutrient-rich compost for improving soil health
  3. Enhances soil structure and water retention
  4. Supports beneficial microorganisms in the soil
  5. Reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I compost squash seeds?

Yes, squash seeds can be composted. However, if the compost pile doesn't reach high enough temperatures, the seeds may survive and sprout in the garden when the compost is applied. To avoid this, remove the seeds before composting or ensure the compost pile maintains a temperature of at least 130°F (54°C) for several days. The University of Illinois Extension provides more information on composting squash seeds.

How long does it take for squash to decompose in a compost pile?

The decomposition time for squash in a compost pile varies depending on factors such as the size of the pieces, moisture level, and temperature. Generally, smaller pieces of squash will decompose within a few weeks to a couple of months, while larger or thicker-skinned pieces may take several months to break down completely.

Can I compost squash that has gone bad?

Yes, you can compost squash that has spoiled or started to rot. However, avoid composting squash that shows signs of disease or has been heavily infested with pests, as these issues may persist in the compost and spread to future crops.


Composting zucchini, summer squash, and other cucurbits is an excellent way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich compost for our gardens. By following proper composting techniques and mixing squash with other compost ingredients, we can enjoy the benefits of healthy soil and thriving plants while minimizing our environmental impact.

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