A favorite snack for many to enjoy regularly is pistachio nuts. Whether you are eating them in their natural form or using them as a topping for your dish, pistachios come with a lot of shells after you have eaten them. When it is time to dispose of the nut shells, consider adding them to your compost bin or compost pile as a way to eliminate food waste.
Keep reading to see how pistachio shells can be good garden soil for your outdoor plants and your house plants. Understand how they are good for potted plants, and how to properly make your own compost with pistachio shells.
Are Pistachio Shells Compostable?
Yes, pistachio shells are compostable and work well in a compost heap. They are like walnut shells and other nut shells that give texture to the compost and can be composted once you are done with them. The nut shells on a pistachio are hard and will take some time to break down, but they are a great addition to compost.
When your potting soil has a blend of pistachio shells in the compost, it will add bulk to your compost and allow it to last longer. This bulk allows the compost to retain nutrients and disperse them as needed, making it harder for plant diseases to take effect and retain moisture within. This is critical if you are planning to reuse your compost on your garden and outdoor plants. They are not easy to repot like house plants, so they need a compost that has a delayed nutrient release.
By adding pistachio shells to the compost, they also help retain moisture so that your compost is balanced properly and the soil has a good balance once you apply the compost to your plants. When you add compost to your plants, you are reducing the danger that comes with chemical fertilizers because they are getting the right minerals.
Chemical fertilizers fill their potting soil with synthetic materials which can do more harm to your plants over time. It is important to keep in mind that while it is compostable, pistachio shells can take some time to break down. Depending on if they dried out first before being added to the compost or if they were added wey, it may take a few years to get a full breakdown of pistachio shells in the traditional compost bin.
Are Pistachio Shells Biodegradable?
Since pistachio shells are a natural byproduct of food, they are biodegradable. They will start to decompose once they have started drying out. If they are left out as food scraps in a landfill, the breakdown will take a few years or longer because it is not in a composting environment.
When these pistachio shells are added to compost piles, the breakdown process has already started, giving these shells a chance to start their process sooner and being the cycle. As they start to break down, they will turn brown but remain solid and have a dried crunch texture until it is broken down completely.
Additional Benefits of Pistachio Shells
If you have added some pistachio shells to your compost and have some leftover, there are a few for them.
- Add them directly to the plant soil. Sprinkle a few unsalted pistachio shells that have been crushed around your plants to encourage proper soil drainage and water retention. This is especially important if you have a few plants that are having issues retaining water.
- Add to your landscaping mulch. Your shrubs and plants that are starving for some acid will appreciate the additional layer of protection that suppress weeds down and deter snails. Use these shells as a fire started in your wood stoves. You can add them to your fire in the place of fire kindling linked a wood chip and get your fire started.
How to Compost Pistachio Shells
If you have some pistachio shells and you are ready to add them to your compost, then make sure you are following the steps below.
- First, you want to make sure that you soak your pistachio shells in water. This is a critical step to take especially if they are salted pistachio shells.
- Let them soak for a few hours and then remove them from the water, stripping the salt from the shell.
- Set them to the side once you have gotten out the pistachios and come back to them after you have cleaned up.
- If you have a short term compost that you are working on, you want to go ahead and start chopping up the shells into smaller pieces. The larger the pistachio shells are when they get into the compost, the longer it will take for them to break down. You want to chop them up, almost in dice sizes before adding them.
- Set them out for one to two days, and then slowly disperse them into your compost.
- As you add it to your compost bin, sprinkle in some of the shells first and then let the compost spin.
- Continue adding the shells in small amounts and rotating your compost bin. This is critical so that they all don't bulk up in the same area and cause an imbalance in your compost.
There are several benefits to adding pistachio shells or any nutshell to your compost. The natural bacteria and moisture that is required to keep your compost balanced need a substance added that will encourage water retention. These pistachio shells once they are added to the compost will soak up the moisture around them, and release naturally through the breakdown process.
Another benefit of pistachio shells is the fact that they deter slugs and insects that could damage your compost. The compost environment offers a healthy supply of bacteria and natural moisture. If it is invaded by insects or pests, it could break down your compost in a bad way. The smell and fragrance that come from these shells are not attractive to a lot of pests and will naturally keep them away from the compost, protecting it.
Compost Unsalted Pistachio Shells
It is critical that you add unsalted pistachio shells to your compost, whether they were already unsalted or you had to soak them and remove the salt. If you have just a handful of shells with salt on them and you are adding it to a large compost, then you do not have anything to worry about.
However, if you have a lot of shells that are salted or a small compost bin, you need to take additional measures. It is critical that too much salt does not get into your compost. Excess salt in your compost will strip out the good bacteria needed for the process and make the compost vulnerable to unwanted invasions.
If you are composting outside in a traditional compost, then you will get lots of use out of your pistachio shells for the next couple of years. As organic matter in these conditions, the environment currently can slow or increase the rate of compost breakdown.
If you have a composter indoors that you are using, you should slowly add your pistachio shells to the compost. If you have a lot of shells to add, consider using only a handful at a time for the compost and then using the rest of the shells for one of the few uses for pistachio shells. They have the ability to help with the carbon footprint one way or the other.
How Long Do Pistachio Shells Take to Decompose?
While traditional decomposing on pistachio shells takes one or more years, Lomi has a way to change that and break down the pistachio shells faster, offering a more sustainable option for your food waste. Because Lomi is constantly breaking down the waste, it can take biodegradable products like pistachio shells and break them down in months as opposed to years.
Lomi has the ability to take all food waste and cycle it evenly so that it is balanced and maintains the perfect environment to become compost. This dirt can be used as back into your plants inside your home or your garden. If you do not have your own plants, you can recycle them to a friend or neighbor, just so that it is sustainable and reduces landfill waste.
If you consume a lot of food waste or just want to be proactive with the waste that you generate, it is time to compost the leftovers you have like pistachio shells. Pairing this food waste with others in your Lomi gives you the opportunity to decompose evenly and provide organic matter compost for your plants. Tackle food waste one day at a time with Lomi and re use pistachio shells to your advantage.