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Materials to Compost

Keep this list of green and brown materials close to your compost bin so you can get the right mix of composting materials.

The key to quality composting is to get the right combination of nitrogen-rich (green) materials with carbon-rich (brown) materials. In the most nutritious compost heaps, carbon-to-nitrogen ratio is 30:1.

We know you’re busy, so make keeping track of your materials-in easy. Print off this sheet of compostable green and brown materials. Then staple it to your compost bin for a quick reference. (Laminate it first, of course, to withstand the weather.) We also left you space to track of which days you turn the pile.

If you don’t already have a compost bin, learn to build one out of wooden pallets.

list of materials to compost

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We compost using 3 wooden pallets assembled with plastic ties then added a hinged half-door in the front. This has held up for 2 years and works perfectly with kitchen waste combined with other green/brown from the yard. We also use a product called a "GeoBin" found online for grass clippings used in compost tea. Last, we have two piles of grass clippings directly on the ground composting which will be used in the coming months to plant roses in one and root vegetables in the other. Composting is great and saves money.
SteveSWAlabama, Atmore, AL
Posted: 8/2/2015 1:22:53 PM
What about the hulls left over from the newer seeds that I feed the birds? I have both heard not to put them in and to put them in. They seem to break down but they are the same color as my compost before I put them in, so I'm not sure if they really are being composted.
Ted, Redwood City, CA
Posted: 11/14/2014 6:05:46 AM
Good info.
Sarah, Marathon, ON
Posted: 6/25/2014 8:36:24 AM
I was confused with citrus fruit. In the past I did not excluded them & I don't believe I hurt my compost. Everthing seems to have fully decomposed. Then I read that's a no-no so I stopped. Now I read in the chart that it's okay as long as it's minimal (which was about the amount I used to toss-in). I think I will go back to tossing them back in.
Dante, Hyde Park, MA
Posted: 9/2/2013 9:53:15 AM

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