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Green and Brown - What To Put in Your Compost

There are two colors you need to learn about before you start composting: green and brown. Those colors, in the right ratios, will turn ordinary coffee grounds and wood chips into two other colors: "black gold". Okay, it's actually a very dark brown, earthy substance, but you get the idea. The trouble is, many people are unaware of what they should put in a compost bin or tumbler in the first place. Here's a rundown of what can go in and what has to stay out of your compost pile.

Greens include materials like kitchen scraps, such as fruit peels or crushed eggshells. It does not include meat, bones, dairy products, oils or grease. Keep these things out of your compost pile, as they do not decompose properly and will make the pile smell horrible. Plus, meat in a compost pile invites every critter you have tried to get rid of over to your house for a free meal. Rodents and wildlife will start scouring your yard looking for more food sources, ruining gardens and messing up the pile.

Browns include materials from your yard, such as dead leaves and plants, grass clippings, sawdust and yard debris like chopped up tree branches. Manure from grass eaters like cows are okay, and can actually help speed up the composting process since they are high in nitrogen. Fertilizers and manures, the kind of browns added to plants to make them grow, are something you can put in a compost pile; human and pet manure is strictly forbidden. Not only is it incredibly gross, but also full of diseases and parasites that you just don't want to have mixed in with your plants.

Black and gray materials, like ashes from wood, limes or charcoal from barbecues should also stay out of the compost bin. These materials have too much alkaline, which messes with the pH level of the compost batch. Plants will not thrive in high amounts of alkaline, so leaves these things out. Additionally, keep out weeds, contaminated plants, anything that involves pesticides, or very wet or soggy matter. Wood and tree branches are great, but use a wood chipper or chipper shredder to chop them up into smaller pieces that your compost batch can digest easier. Lastly, do not put metals, plastics or glass in the compost pile-start a recycling bin in your home and put these materials in there. Remember, your compost pile is not a garbage heap, but a place to harvest your black gold-the best color in composting.

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Source: www.articlecity.com