The Q&A Archives: compost

Question: I was given a small compost tumbler, but I know next to nothing about composting. I've heard it's pretty easy. Can you help me?

Answer: I love composting, because there really is no "proper" way--no matter what you do, eventually everything will turn into compost. To speed the process along, you need four ingredients: carbon (browns), such as leaves, straw, shredded paper, woody prunings from the landscape; nitrogen (greens), such as grass clippings, kitchen fruit and veggie scraps, fresh clippings from the landscape, manure; water, and oxygen. An easy way to start out is to mix the carbons and nitrogens in about a 50/50 ratio. After placing your materials into the tumbler, add a shovelful of soil (contains beneficial micro-organisms). Turn the barrel every day or two to mix things together and add fresh material as you collect it. Compost will result from all your efforts. Enjoy the process!

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