Home Backyard Composting Basics
In a successful pile you will find friendly bugs, worms, and micro-organisms that will do most of the composting for you. The following four essential ingredients provide these creatures with the best environment to do their “work.”
A healthy compost pile will contain the “big four”
1. Browns are carbon rich, dry, woody materials such as fallen leaves, hay, dried plants and weeds.
2. Greens are nitrogen rich, green, moist materials such as kitchen scraps, young weeds, and grass clippings. Your "green" sources will act as the activator in your pile. See the table below for examples.
3. Water your pile until it is moist but not wet, or the consistency of a wrung-out sponge.
4. Air added to your pile will significantly speed up its decomposition. You can do this by turning, or layering with bulky materials to create air spaces between materials
Fallen Leaves - browns
Finely chopped, woody prunings - browns
Pine needles - browns
Untreated wood sawdust - browns
Breads and Grains- greens
Tea bags - greens
Coffee grounds - greens
Egg shells - greens
Lawn clippings - greens
Young weeds - greens
Vegetable & fruit peels and scraps - greens
Manure from non-meat eating animals -
Meat & bones
Treated wood sawdust
Dog, cat, or bird feces
Bermuda grass, ivy & rhizome grasses
BBQ or coal ashes