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Green versus Brown Compost Materials

The Right Mix

To turn kitchen scraps and other materials into compost, your composting project needs the proper mixture of "Browns" (also called Carbons), and "Greens" (items containing Nitrogen). Greens containing nitrogen, get the decomposition process started, and keeps it going.

The ideal mixture is a ratio of 4 parts Nitrogen to 1 part Carbon.

The acceptable range, for a properly working compost pile, is 60% to 80% green materials. A higher amount of green materials can result in a gooey,  messy, ammonia smelling pile. Too little nitrogen, and the compost will not decompose, or will do so ever so slowly.

Tip: The more types of materials that you put into your compost mix, the wider the range of essential plant micro-nutrients in the finished product. 

Identifying Green and Brown compost materials:

Green (Nitrogen) Compost Materials

Brown (Carbon) Compost Materials

Composting Tip: To speed up decomposition, mix and turn your compost regularly.



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