Heat will help reduce pathogens and allow the process to occur more quickly. So if I want to keep my composting C/N rations proportionately acceptable, I’ll have to reduce the “volume” of mulched leaves significantly. Then, when the old bin needed replacing, I started doing some research, and designed and built a spiffy three bin facility, with the features I had found lacking in the old bin. Thanks Robert, I wasn’t thinking along the same lines. This is often – though not always – achieved with … No. Yes. In fact a compost pile probably loses more nutrients. Why is this ratio so important for composting? To make the categories easier to remember it is often helpful to think of brown materials as hard, dry or … Over the summer we continue to fork and mix kitchen stuff in, along with a healthy amount of human compost activator (urine). Both are wrong. This does require some imagination because kitchen scraps are heavy and moist. Grass trimmings are the quintessential compost ingredient. This seems to work as within a few days my compost gets up to 160 or even 170 (if it gets this hot I have to aerate to cool it a bit). Thank you. Remember that you want to have a mostly even ratio of greens to browns … These issues can usually be remedied easily by tweaking the ratio. Green materials are high in nitrogen. I currently compost my food scraps together with pine pellets added to act as the “brown”. The GROUND stinks for a day or two where I pee ONCE. The two smells may be different. As you say, Mother Nature does it well. However, composting … Compost is just so useful, so I’d like to speed things up a bit, so I can use it quicker. Most commercial compost has a ratio of about 1-1-1. If it is made from yard waste, ie mostly plants I doubt it would burn the roots. . Other ingredients are also confusing. Come May when we are ready for planting it has disappeared into the soil. If you like this post, please share ....... December 10, 2020 • 57 comments, list of C:N ratios for common composting ingredients. 🙂. But many people who are new to composting wonder what is meant by creating a balanced browns and greens mix for compost. —————— Or do you want the cut& drop method to act as a mulch & not break down quickly? By composting your waste, you will be cutting down how much your family pulls to the curb. In really bad sandy soil it might be good to break the rule. Urea is one of the cheapest sources of nitrogen and just as good as any other source, except, that it will vaporize into the air. Here is a great chart provided by Planet Natural Research Center which provides different compostable materials and their estimated carbon-to-nitrogen ratios. While doing this, I was again reminded that original volume of un-mulched leaves was reduced dramatically to much less than 1/4. I did some research and learned the basics of how organic material decomposes and how a well-tended compost pile can make the composting process go much faster. In hot-dry seasons and cold-wet winters larger piles will work more effectively. Nitrogen materials are fresh or green, such as grass clippings and kitchen scraps. A 30:1 carbon-to-nitrogen ratio is considered to be a good number when it comes to green-to-brown ratio. What to add and how much is key to reaching the perfect balance of brown and green materials in your compost bin or pile. Get to know how different browns and greens behave in your system and curate compost ingredients to optimize moisture levels, troubleshoot problems, and af­fect the rate of decomposition. Often, these materials are brown, which is why we call them brown material. —————— If your compost pile starts to stink, you added too much nitrogen. The recommendations usually go something like this: The ideal C:N ratio is 30 parts brown to 1 part green. We are new to this and all the ratios and percentages are a bit confusing and overwhelming. There are times to break good rules. I have gutless low nutrient sandy soil, when planting new tree & shrubs can I dig homemade compost (mostly made from leaves & human urine) into the soil that will be in contact with the roots of the new trees & shrubs. But… there are other factors. Avoid composting animal products. Sign up for our newsletter. Note: to Robert I was unable to look at the Facebook page you mentioned as I don’t belong to Facebook so appreciate the answers on your website. ... a small avocado tree next to the compost bin and I believe the fumes released are affecting the leaves by turning … Citrus, rhubarb and the clippings of conifer, walnut, laurel and Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! b. hasten the fermentation process (bokashi). No. I am going to post on the FaceBook group to see the opinions of others. Although, I just started last fall, the other advantage was that I found it easier to mix up the material, by transferring one bin to a vacant one with a fork – as opposed to mixing with an aerating tool. I love your posts and I believe I’ve read all of them. Part of Composting For Dummies Cheat Sheet . Thanks! Using Finished CompostU. This website is a blog, and not designed to allow new questions. Homemade compost is invaluable in the garden – it’s a great soil improver, mulch and growing medium. Compost Maker. Dried vegetable peels (cucumber, carrot or potato) are they considered as greens or browns? Dry grass does have less nitrogen than green grass. The site and container. ... Green: 45: 0: … Does drying out used coffee grinds turn it from nitrogen to carbon? You need to have the right mix of browns and greens in order to make the right balance of organic material. No simple answer to that. I collect the leaves using my rear-bagger lawn tractor, dump them on my lawn, then finely mulch them with my lawn mower, collect them again with my lawn tractor bagger and finally, dump them in my compost bin. Adding a handful of Urea to a pile of leaves will speed up the process. Want to save and read this article offline later? Recipes for making compost usually tell you to combine the browns and greens in the correct ratios. Other than shredded newspaper, I have no easy access to browns. That to me would make much better sense than the 30:1 when those numbers mean nothing to me and down right confusing until reading and researching the subject. By October we have new leaves on the ground and about three good wheelbarrows full of dark black, crumbly compost. My compost works, but very slowly, as it doesn’t get very hot. It wasn’t speedy, but I was in no rush. There is a simple solution to this problem. Just spread the greens over the soil and they will decompose. You can add a much smaller amount of mulched leaves than unmulched. Layer & Bury Your Food Waste. It can also burn lawns if you use too much. Great article! The ideal ratio is 25-30 parts … If composting is slow, adding more will speed it up. Browns are any plant material that is brown, and includes fall leaves, dried grass, wood products, paper and straw. I realized the 30:1 method was the international way long before I even found this site to comment. Composting takes longer and takes place at lower temperatures. To compost well, heaps need a mix of woody, carbon-rich ‘brown’ waste (such as prunings, wood chippings, paper, cardboard or straw), and softer, nitrogen-rich ‘green’ materials (including leafy plant matter, grass clippings and kitchen vegetable waste).