5 Best things to compost
Interested in starting a compost pile? Want to know the best things you can add that will make the process easy and create great compost. Then this article is going to help you.
Compost is known as “black gold” to the gardening world because it is amazing for your garden and free if you make it yourself. Composting cuts down methane and nitrous oxide, feeds your plants, and reduces your waste. Really it is a win win win situation. You can check out this article to help you start composting whatever your budget and space.
The basic “recipe” for compost gets you great results:
- 1-2 parts Greens – wet/fresh ingredients (high in nitrogen) such as fruit & vegetable scraps, fresh grass, coffee grounds, tea leaves (don’t use tea bags unless you know they don’t have plastic in them).
- 3 parts Browns – dry ingredients (high in carbon) such as shredded newspaper, dried leaves, dried grass, cardboard, or straw
Following this mix is going to get you most of the way there but there are some things you can add which will supercharge your compost heap.
1. Fruit and Vegetable scraps
This is one of the classics that everyone thinks of when wondering what to put in a compost heap and for good reason. They are a great source of nitrogen and like most things will decompose faster if cut into small scraps.
Tip: remove the seed cores before adding them to the compost heap. I learnt this the hard way when some bonus butternut squash appeared in with my tomatoes!
Bonus tip: discourage pests and flies by burying the fruit and vegetables under brown material.
2. Coffee grounds, filters, and tea leaves
I am a coffee lover, my wife is a tea lover so I make loads of this stuff. Coffee grounds are another great source of nitrogen and worms love the stuff too. If you use filters then throw these in too as long as they don’t contain plastic. Teabags are also ok to put on the compost heap if the bag is made from natural material like cotton and doesn’t contain plastic.
Tip: don’t add too many coffee grounds or tea leaves on at once. Make sure you mix it with plenty of carbon-rich material like paper, sawdust, dry leaves.
3. Paper products
Most paper products can be composted but avoid plastic-coated paper. Paper and cardboard are low in nitrogen and high in carbon.
4. Wood Ash or Sawdust
There are loads of good uses for ash and sawdust around the garden just make sure the wood isn’t treated, painted, or stained as the toxins will be harmful to your plants.
Neither brown nor green, more an additive
The main element present in eggshells is calcium but there is some protein and trace amounts of strontium, fluoride, magnesium, and selenium. So eggshells are a wonderful addition to your compost heap. The bonus is that you really can’t add too many eggshells to your compost heap (unless you run an egg farm) so you don’t need to worry about your balance when adding them. The only thing to consider is that if you just chuck them in the compost they will take years to break down so break them into small pieces first. This is the best way to prepare eggshells for composting.