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Compost carbon to nitrogen ratio

Discussion in 'Composting' started by Mike, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. Mike

    Mike Might know the answer Administrator

    Messages:
    849
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Planting Zone:
    6b
    Anyone can throw a bunch of leaves in a pile and slowly turn it into compost, but if you're wanting the best compost you'll want to make sure you have the proper Carbon to Nitrogen ratio.

    The ideal compost C:N ratio is 25-30:1, the below table should help you keep your carbon to nitrogen ratios in check.

    Browns = High CarbonC:N
    Ashes, wood 25:1
    Cardboard, shredded 350:1
    Corn Stalks 75:1
    Fruit Waste 35:1
    Leaves 60:1
    Newspaper, shredded 175:1
    Peanut shells 80:1
    Pine Needles 80:1
    Sawdust 325:1
    Straw 75:1
    Wood chips 400:1


    Greens = High NitrogenC:N
    Alfalfa 12:1
    Clover 23:1
    Coffee grounds 20:1
    Food waste 20:1
    Garden waste 30:1
    Grass clippings 20:1
    Hay 25:1
    Manures 15:1
    Seaweed 19:1
    Vegetable scraps 25:1
    Weeds 30:1
     
    Hangman likes this.
  2. Northernfox

    Northernfox Active Member

    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Planting Zone:
    3a
    I would love to learn more. I rely on static piles and luck ;)
     
  3. Rolex

    Rolex Active Member

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    West Knoxville, in East Tennessee
    Planting Zone:
    6b
    I've always made a habit of keeping a separate pail for ALL the kitchen scraps and dropping it into a hole in the back of the garden. In the spring it's always dug up and tilled into the soil. That includes eggshells and bones, fat, either raw or cooked and anything past its time such as bread or milk.
    If you leave it undisturbed for one summer and mix it with leaves, the amount of earthworms that will do the work for you will amaze you.
     
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  4. the1honeycomb

    the1honeycomb Active Member

    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    Triad NC
    Planting Zone:
    7
    I keep my compost pile in the back with the chickens and they are great about adding their nutrients as well as stirring up what is out there! I add everything to it except meat and meat bi products. I don't want to attract coyotes near my chickens!!!
     
  5. MB3

    MB3 Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Planting Zone:
    6
    my perpetual issue is having mostly greens/ N sources (kitchen scraps) but not many or any sources of browns.
     

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