The Q&A Archives: composte

Question: how do I create a compost bin? What should I use/avoid in my compost?

Answer: I like to tell beginning composters that you don't need a calculator to compost. Everything rots eventually! However, the process does work much faster if you mix about an equal volume of green and brown materials and keep it uniformly moist. Leaves are terrific carbon sources. Here are some green, or nitrogen, sources in addition to kitchen scraps: fresh garden and landscape trimmings, manure (but don't use dog, cat, or pet bird droppings, which may contain parasites), grass clippings, and weeds, but not if they've gone to seed or spread with runners. There's also a packaged compost starter which is also a source of nitrogen. If you still don't have much green matter, I would recommend trying to shred leaves as much as possible before putting them in the bin. If you don't have a shredder, throw them on the lawn and run a lawn mower back and forth over them. Just mix toegther your green (nitrogen sources) and brown (carbon sources) into your compost bin, toss on a shovelful of soil (which contains bacteria)) to get the compost process started. Remember to keep the pile uniformly moist and to turn it to provide oxygen for all those little microorganisms doing the work. Good luck!

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