Can you put carrots in compost?

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Can you put carrots in compost?

Here’s another vegetable that generates peel and trimmings. All of which can be fed to the pet rabbit. But what if you don’t have a rabbit to tidy this up. Can you put carrots in compost?

You can put carrots in compost. The peel from carrots will rot down into compost very quickly. The green tops of carrots will also rot into compost. Both the peel and tops of carrots are ‘greens’. Add some carbon-based ‘browns’ to balance the compost.

The peel won’t need to be chopped as this will easily, and quite quickly, rot. The tops may need to be chopped into smaller pieces to help the process along.

Carrots from the shop go black, I have a tip for this.

Some people experience carrots turning black after they’ve been stored. This only happens with bought carrots. When they do this, they look very unappetizing and most people throw them into the compost bin. They will rot, of course. Having turned black they are well on their way to becoming compost. You probably won’t have to bother with chopping them.

When you see them in the shop they look fresh, and they are, but it doesn’t seem to matter how you store them, they just don’t keep for very long. Even if you put them in the refrigerator, they will turn black and slimy. Why is this and what can we do about it?

The carrots that you buy at the supermarket tend to be mechanically washed and the process that’s used tends to damage the outer skin. The reason given for such aggressive washing is that it’s necessary for hygiene purposes. The washing process shortens the storage-life of the carrot which means that you need to eat them quickly or they will go off.

The advantage of home grown carrots is that, firstly they can stay in the ground for longer or until you want them and secondly, they won’t be subjected to any high powered washing procedures. You can also store carrots, that have been lifted from the garden, in sand or topsoil. This can be done in a bucket or some other suitable receptacle. The idea being that, having pulled them from the ground, they are re-buried in sand or soil to maintain an ideal level of moisture.

Can you put carrots in compost? Yes, they will rot very quickly.

Here’s a tip on how to store shop-bought carrots

I have a procedure that I use that ensures that shop-bought carrots last longer in storage, without turning black. I learnt this the hard way, and it works.

When you acquire a bag of carrots, either collected or delivered, from a supermarket, try this:

  1. Empty the bag of carrots into a bowl of cold water.
  2. Leave the carrots fully submerged for 10 to 12 hours (you could leave it overnight).
  3. Open out 2 sheets of newspaper, one on top of the other.
  4. Drain the carrots but don’t dry them. They need to be wet.
  5. Place the wet carrots, laying in the same direction, on the two sheets of newspaper.
  6. Cover with one more sheet of paper.
  7. Roll the paper and carrots into a bundle that resembles a ‘Swiss roll’.
  8. Put the rolled up bundle into the original plastic bag and place it in the refrigerator.

Doing this, it’s possible for carrots to stay fresh for up to 3 weeks, sometimes longer. The outcome from this procedure does vary. Some consignments of carrots fair better than others but it will bring an end to the blackening of the skin. On occasions, you may see white hair roots growing out of the carrots after a number of days in storage.

Related questions

Can I grow carrots in compost?

Don’t be tempted to grow carrots in just compost, especially if it’s compost that you’ve made yourself. Home produced compost will be much richer and higher in nutrients than any that you buy. Bought compost is, often, mainly peat and coconut hair.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use your own compost. Just make sure that you construct an even mixture of, your compost, sand and some top soil. This will make good use of the nutrients that your homemade compost will provide, without overdoing the nutrients which may be detrimental to the young carrot plants.

Can you grow carrots from carrot tops?

You can’t grow carrot roots that can be eaten from carrot tops but you can grow a rather decorative plant from a carrot top. This could then be used for flower arranging or just as a decorative plant in itself.

This is something you could do for a bit of fun. Looking around, I’ve found a couple of ways of doing this. You need to take a fresh-cut carrot top that has some green foliage attached. You could then try this:


  1. Push 2 cocktail sticks through the carrot top, at right angles to each other. Then place the carrot top in a shallow dish so that the sticks keep the underside of the stump above the floor of the dish. Then add water until the level reaches the underside of the stump. Roots will reach down into the water and new growth will generate.
  2. Place a single layer of marbles in a shallow dish and fill with water until the marbles are just submerged. You then place the carrot stumps on top of the marbles so that the water is touching the underside of the stumps.
  3. Find a shallow dish and place 3 or 4 layers of newspaper in the bottom. Make this wet but not puddled. Place the carrot stumps on top of the wet paper. In a few days you should see roots spreading out and the carrot top will start to flourish

Enjoy your carrots

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What else would you like to know?

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Image source:


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