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The Best Things to Add to a Compost Bin

Some materials or better than others for composting because they break down easily and produce compost faster. Not only is having the right type of material important in the composting process but so is having the right mix of materials. For example, brown, or carbon-rich, items supply carbon during the composting process for microbes to eat, and green items provide nitrogen and protein to accelerate the composting process.

Fresh Grass Clippings

Use fresh grass clippings that have not been treated with herbicide for composting. Fresh grass clippings release nitrogen and help heat up the compost pile quickly. They are easily available after mowing the lawn or weeding the garden. Avoid weeds that contain lots of weed seeds, as the seeds may not compost and prevent problems once the compost is used in the garden.

  • Some materials or better than others for composting because they break down easily and produce compost faster.

Fresh Manure

Fresh manure contains microorganisms that help start the composting process. Also, fresh manure attracts insects that lay eggs in the compost and accelerate the composting process. Avoid fresh manure that comes from animals that have been fed hay or grass treated with herbicides--which may not break down in the composting process.

Crushed Leaves

Crushed leaves become immediate food for the organisms that break down material in the compost pile because the pieces are small and readily available for composting. Large twigs and stems take longer to compost.

Straw or Hay

Straw or hay adds carbon-rich material to the compost pile. It is easy to find in bulk and usually does not contain weed seeds.

  • Fresh manure contains microorganisms that help start the composting process.
  • Also, fresh manure attracts insects that lay eggs in the compost and accelerate the composting process.

Large Animal Bedding

Large animal bedding that was used for cattle or horses is a valuable addition to the compost pile because it contains animal waste that has a high nitrogen content as well as the carbon-rich hay, straw or sawdust.

Compost

Adding compost is one of the best ways to boost a garden's ability to thrive without the use harmful chemicals. Carbon-rich, or "brown" matter, includes items such as tree bark, leaves, twigs and paper. Microorganisms such as bacteria, already present in the decaying matter, work together to break the pile down. A well-balanced compost pile produces usable compost in several weeks to several months, depending upon the size of the heap. Straw, shredded paper and chunks of plain corrugated cardboard are also excellent brown-matter add-ins for your compost pile or bin. * While fallen, dead branches count as brown matter, fresh garden clippings, such as pieces from pruned shrubs, are green matter. The paper filter counts as brown matter, completely welcome in the pile. A compost pile that heats up as it should will kill any weed seeds present. Breads, pasta, dairy and meat products, bones, animal waste, and kitchen grease or oils should not be added to a compost bin. Also avoid putting any materials treated with potentially harmful chemicals into the compost pile, as these may either kill the microbes that help break matter down or they may introduce harmful chemicals to the compost and to the areas where compost is spread. Try these sparingly at first to ensure they break down in a reasonable amount of time. Get started by selecting a shaded area that's easily accessible, since you'll add materials and water to it from time time. Always cover the green matter with 5 inches or more of brown to help keep insects and vermin away. Sprinkle the pile with water if it feels too dry, or whenever you add dry brown matter. A tarp over the top of the pile isn't required, but it helps keep the moisture in. If you feel a compost pile or homemade bin is too messy or difficult to deal with, consider a pre-made composting bin such as the barrel-shaped style designed to either roll or turn on a spindle. Expect it to take several months before the compost in a pile three feet tall is ready. Compost is considered gold in the garden, and it has several uses: * Add fresh compost around garden plants in layers up to 3inches deep as a mulch.

  • Adding compost is one of the best ways to boost a garden's ability to thrive without the use harmful chemicals.
  • Also avoid putting any materials treated with potentially harmful chemicals into the compost pile, as these may either kill the microbes that help break matter down or they may introduce harmful chemicals to the compost and to the areas where compost is spread.

Compost

Adding compost is one of the best ways to boost a garden's ability to thrive without the use harmful chemicals. Carbon-rich, or "brown" matter, includes items such as tree bark, leaves, twigs and paper. Microorganisms such as bacteria, already present in the decaying matter, work together to break the pile down. A well-balanced compost pile produces usable compost in several weeks to several months, depending upon the size of the heap. Straw, shredded paper and chunks of plain corrugated cardboard are also excellent brown-matter add-ins for your compost pile or bin. * While fallen, dead branches count as brown matter, fresh garden clippings, such as pieces from pruned shrubs, are green matter. The paper filter counts as brown matter, completely welcome in the pile. A compost pile that heats up as it should will kill any weed seeds present. Breads, pasta, dairy and meat products, bones, animal waste, and kitchen grease or oils should not be added to a compost bin. Also avoid putting any materials treated with potentially harmful chemicals into the compost pile, as these may either kill the microbes that help break matter down or they may introduce harmful chemicals to the compost and to the areas where compost is spread. Try these sparingly at first to ensure they break down in a reasonable amount of time. Get started by selecting a shaded area that's easily accessible, since you'll add materials and water to it from time time. Always cover the green matter with 5 inches or more of brown to help keep insects and vermin away. Sprinkle the pile with water if it feels too dry, or whenever you add dry brown matter. A tarp over the top of the pile isn't required, but it helps keep the moisture in. If you feel a compost pile or homemade bin is too messy or difficult to deal with, consider a pre-made composting bin such as the barrel-shaped style designed to either roll or turn on a spindle. Expect it to take several months before the compost in a pile three feet tall is ready. Compost is considered gold in the garden, and it has several uses: * Add fresh compost around garden plants in layers up to 3inches deep as a mulch.

  • Adding compost is one of the best ways to boost a garden's ability to thrive without the use harmful chemicals.
  • Also avoid putting any materials treated with potentially harmful chemicals into the compost pile, as these may either kill the microbes that help break matter down or they may introduce harmful chemicals to the compost and to the areas where compost is spread.
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