What to Put in Your Compost Bin
Composting is a fantastic way to reduce waste, enrich your garden soil, and promote sustainability. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or just starting out, knowing what to put in your compost bin is key to creating nutrient-rich humus for your plants. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of determining what can be added to your compost bin for optimal results.
The Green Ingredients
The green ingredients in your compost pile provide nitrogen and moisture, which help break down organic matter efficiently. Here are some examples of suitable green materials:
- Grass clippings: After mowing the lawn, gather up those grass clippings and add them to your compost bin.
- Fruit and vegetable scraps: Don’t throw away those banana peels or carrot tops! Toss them into the compost instead.
- Coffee grounds: Used coffee grounds are not only great for making a morning cup of joe but also an excellent addition to your compost pile.
- Plant trimmings: Pruned leaves and small branches from your garden make wonderful additions as well.
The Brown Ingredients
Brown materials contribute carbon content and help balance the nitrogenous “green” waste. The following items work well as brown ingredients:
- Dry leaves: Gather fallen leaves during autumn or collect them throughout the year if available. Shredding them beforehand accelerates decomposition.
- Newspaper/Cardboard: Tear up old newspapers or cardboard boxes into smaller pieces before adding them; they should be free from colored ink or plastic coatings.Eggshells: Crushed eggshells add calcium to the compost and can help balance the pH level.
- Straw or Hay: A small amount of straw or hay can be used, but avoid using too much as it may clump together.
Avoid These Materials
While many organic items are great for composting, certain materials should never make their way into your compost bin:
- Dairy products: Milk, cheese, and yogurt attract pests and produce unpleasant odors in your pile. Avoid adding these dairy items.
- Meat and fish scraps: These will also attract unwanted critters like rodents and can lead to foul smells in your backyard.
- Glossy magazines or colored paper: These contain chemicals that are not ideal for a healthy compost heap. Stick to plain newspapers instead!Fats or oils: Grease from cooking is best kept out of your compost bin as they don’t break down easily and may create an undesirable environment.Weeds with seeds or invasive plants: Be cautious when adding weeds to your pile; some weed seeds might survive the decomposition process.