If the C:N ratio is too low (excess nitrogen) you will end up with a stinky pile. High quality compost, possessing a full-diversity of biology, is the key to brewing quality compost teas. They are also the items that tend to heat a compost pile up because they help the microorganisms in the pile grow and multiply quickly. Composting is the process that turns vegetable scraps and other organic materials into lovely soil. The simplest method for determining the correct compost ratio is to maintain a 2:1 ratio of browns to greens. Finished compost has a C/N ratio of 20 - 25:1. Compost Ingredients. 5. equivalent. Using the calculator is very easy. The ideal carbon-to-nitrogen ratio for a compost pile is 25 to 30 parts carbon for every 1 part nitrogen. Brown items include dry leaves, straw or hey, eggshells, wood, pine needles, sawdust etc. If you have the right balance of nitrogen rich green material and carbon rich brown material - in other words a Carbon Nitrogen ratio of about 25 - there is at least some hope that you will succeed. Carbon provides both an energy source and and the basic building block making up about 50 percent of the mass of microbial cells. Compost ingredients can be divided into two basic categories, Brown Materials such as leaves, hay, straw and paper, and Green materials such as grass clippings, fresh manure, vegetable trimmings and most green plant cuttings. Composting reduces food waste, enriches soil, requires fewer chemical pesticides and fertilizers, lowers your carbon footprint, and saves you money. Carbon and nitrogen are essential ingredients in your compost. For this reason, it helps to become familiar with appropriate ingredients for compost. I'll list a few that I know and keep the greens and browns in separate lists for easy reference. Use 6 inches browns to 2 inches of greens. One of such important point is to make a note on the Carbon-Nitrogen ratio (C/N ratio) while you prepare the compost pile. Different food sources and techniques used to produce the compost will offer differing results. To reach the ideal Carbon to Nitrogen ratio of 30:1 in the compost pile add equal parts of balanced nitrogen and carbon rich materials. Composting Grass Clippings. Compost scientists have determined that the fastest way to produce fertile, sweet-smelling compost is to maintain a C:N ratio somewhere around 25 to 30 parts Carbon to 1 part Nitrogen, or 25-30:1. Grass trimmings are the quintessential compost ingredient. But before we delve into how much of each ingredient to use, here is a quick overview of the types of materials that we will be adding to our compost pile. How to Compost Compost Ingredients. Although leaves will compost slowly by themselves, they can benefit from additional nitrogen. It would be a great help to me and probably to other rookies here to have a list on the sight for compost ingredients when I run low. You need to fill in how many “parts” of each compost ingredient you are planning to add to your pile. Compost is the very best food you can give to the plants in your garden. This process recycles various organic materials otherwise regarded as waste products and produces a soil conditioner (the compost).. Compost is rich in nutrients. That means if you’re working with grasses and leaves, add about 66% leaves and 33% fresh grass clippings. A compost heap with a predominantly wooden carbon source will eventually lose the ideal carbon:nitrogen ratio, slowing the process down and causing it to become smelly. Recipes for making compost usually tell you to combine the browns and greens in the correct ratios. 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