I have a small area in my backyard to which I'm starting to add barkchips for weed-avoidance and water retention. It contains newer small trees and bushes.

My question is whether adding generous amounts of peanut and pistachio shells would -1) do nothing 2) will enhance the area 3) will harm/detract from the area Google seems to suggest that to do that would be primarily be for aesthetics, but I'm wondering if the different textures might need advantageous.

  • Pistachio is usually salted. Do you know if the nuts were salted?Be sure they are not salted, because adding salt to your gardens is usually not good.
    – benn
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 7:58

3 Answers 3


Probably fine as long as they are NOT SALTED variety. Salt kills plants and you cannot get it out of your soil once there.


Apparently you have not heard of any desalination processes,... as yes it can be difficult to remove, but not impossible, ... You can separate the soil from the salt, by boiling the salt minerals out of the soil, ... it is a lengthy process, but it will give you the desired results, ... certain types of salts are attracted to certain minerals, such as iron, or other types of minerals, but you would have to figure out the specific gravities of those combinations, ... & then find the process, that best suits your needs, ...

  • The question is, 'Any advantages/disadvantages to add...? They did not ask about salinity. Are you saying they need use desalination before using the shells or are you commenting on someone elses comments perhap those of benn?
    – GardenGems
    Commented Dec 24, 2019 at 23:11

They will end up being nothing more than a nice looking mulch that will slowly decompose as all natural mulch do. It will not damage the soil, unless as other have pointed out they are salted peanuts. These shells, especially the pistacio shells are slow to decompose. If you plan to add a lot continuously you end up with a compost piles of shells that will continue to get taller unless you figure out the rate of decay to the rate in which you plan to add to the pile. If it's a one time thing, no big deal. Go for it. If it is a business looking to get rid of lots of shells, it will just a pile that gets taller and taller, where the bottom of the pile is made up of some nice rich compost that will feed the soil. Or you can dig out and use in your garden, but it will be a very slow process. It will not hurt anything, but they will be slow to decompose one their own. By adding other materials, like grass clippings, and leaf mulch you can speed up the process.

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