Can I Compost Garlic? (All You Need To Know)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Garlic is a bulb plant that is quite similar to onions.

It is a common ingredient in many dishes and it is known for its health benefits. This plant contains medical properties which are able to fight against certain diseases.

But, there have been a lot of speculations that garlic is also beneficial to the soil.

If you aren’t clear about this as well, then this article is for you. This article answers the question “Can Garlic Be Composted?” Keep reading to find out! 

Can I Compost Garlic?

Can I Compost Garlic

Yes, garlic can be composted. When used as compost, garlic has numerous advantages. For garlic to be very effective in compost, it needs to be chopped into bits.

Garlic has tendencies to re-sprouting if they are used in its full state. If garlic re-sprouts, it would cause harm to the plants, hence, it is best to cut them into tiny bits.

One of the main benefits of composting garlic is that it helps to improve the quality of the soil.

When garlic decomposes, it releases nutrients that are beneficial to plants.

These nutrients help to promote healthy growth and can even help to improve the flavor of fruits and vegetables.

However, garlic should be used sparingly because it has the potential to harm living things in compost.

This results in a decrease in the decomposition process.

Continue reading to learn more about composting with garlic.

Can You Put Garlic And Onion In Compost?

Tossing onions and garlic into your compost is a terrible idea. When used in excess, garlic can be damaging, imagine how terrible it would be when combined with onions.

Onions aren’t a bad choice on their own, but when combined with garlic, they not only kill worms but also destroy certain microorganisms in the soil.

It also slows the rate of decomposition of the entire compost, assuming that decomposition occurs at all.

When composting onions, onion peels are the best choice. This is because onion peels do not sprout.

When using onion peels, it is important to bury them 10 inches inside the soil. This is because rotten onion peels have a disturbing smell.

However, if you intend on using the onion itself and not its peels, you have to chop it into bits to avoid the shoot re-sprouting.

And this should also be buried deep into the soil to avoid a bad smell.

Onions should not be used in vermicomposting, in other words, they should be used in composts that contain worms.

Due to the high acidity level and the strong smell of onions they can damage the worms in a compost bin leading to a decline in decomposition.

Here is an article I wrote on can you compost eggshells

Can You Put Garlic Peels In Compost?

Garlic peels make an excellent addition to compost.

Garlic peels are a great way to add nutrients to your compost, and the best part is that you don’t have to spend any money to do so.

All you have to do is avoid throwing away your garlic peels.

Garlic peels can provide potassium, calcium, iron, copper, and magnesium to your plants. It can also be used to boost their disease resistance, growth, and reproduction.

Garlic peels have no negative effects on the microbes in the compost pile. As a result, they can be composted.

These peels can also be used to relieve muscle cramps and induce sleep, cooking, skincare, and hair dyes.

They can also be eaten with other foods such as bread, soup, and stew.

What Should You Not Put In Compost

Here is a list of things that are big “Nos” when it comes to composting.

1. Pesticide-treated plants: Plants that have been treated with pesticides should never be an option when it comes to composting. The chemical residues in them can cause harm to beneficial micro-organisms in the compost. The chemical residue can also affect the plant itself. 

2. Waste from dogs: The waste from dogs should never be used as compost. This is because the feces of dogs contain certain parasites and bacteria that when introduced into the soil affect plants and in turn affect humans when consumed. This also applies to the feces of cats as well. 

3. Weeds: Weeds are popularly known as unwanted plants, they don’t need to be planted to grow. Using weed in your compost is such a bad idea; this is because they can re-sprout. 

4. Glossy paper: Most magazines have glossy covers; they are usually coated with clay minerals that may contain addictive such as polyethylene. Due to their content, they won’t break down properly if used as compost. 

5. Waste Cooking Oil: Cooking oil shouldn’t be used as compost; they have the potential of attracting rodents which can cause potential harm to the compost. 

6. Meat and Fish: Meat and fish develop an offensive odor when they are used as compost. Regardless of burying them deep into the soil, they still smell bad. Also, they are not a good idea because meat-loving animals may dig up your compost just to eat them, and this may destroy your compost. 

7. Latex Products: Artificial latex products such as balloons shouldn’t be used in compost as well. This is because they aren’t 100% rubber and they contain synthetic additives which aren’t good for compost. 

8. Bioplastics: Bioplastics are actually compostable but they are very picky with which compost they decompose in. They only decompose in industrial composts.

9. Citrus peels: Citrus peels just like garlic can be used in compost but in very minimal amounts. Citrus is highly acidic and can destroy the micro-organisms and worms in the compost.

10. Coal Ash: It’s easy to assume that coal ashes are suitable for composting, but they aren’t. This is because it contains high sulfur and iron content that can kill plants.

Also check out this article on using a bin for composting 

What Vegetables Should Not Be Composted?

Here is a list of vegetables that should not be composted.

  • Diseased vegetables
  • Weeds
  • Leaves that have not been treated with pesticides
  • Vegetables with animal oils or food

Can You Compost Garlic Mustard?

Although garlic mustard is used by some farmers, it is best not to use them for composting.

Garlic mustard is a weed and this makes them unsuitable for composting.

Garlic mustards aren’t just weeds; they are also invasive plants that deprive other plants of access to moisture, sunlight, and nutrients.

Another major challenge with garlic mustard is its seeds, if their seeds get into compost, they will germinate.

They can be used as compost if their seeds are completely removed.

The seeds can be prevented from having a negative effect on the compost by grinding it to powdered form.

That way they don’t stand a chance of germinating.

Does Garlic Affect Compost Worms?

Garlic may affect the worms found in the compost if they are added in excess.

Since garlic is highly flavored, it should be used in small portions, this way, it will have no negative effect on worms.

However, it is best to avoid garlic in the worm bin. While the worms may break down garlic, the smell may be more than they can handle.


Garlic can be composted, but there are a few things to keep in mind, such as not adding too much at once and making sure it is chopped up well.

Composting garlic is a great way to recycle garlic skins and other parts that you would normally throw away.

Instead of throwing away your garlic skins, you can add them to your compost pile.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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