Materials for a Compost Heap

Lots of materials are suitable for a compost heap. Pile in a mix of green and brown organic materials to help them heat up, when biological activity will then be at the highest.
Organic material includes plants and most items that have been growing. Avoid droppings from carnivores such as dogs but other manures are fine.
Type of Material

Ashes from untreated wood potash – use small amounts, it can make the pile too alkaline
Bird & Chicken droppings are high in nitrogen, beware seeds.
Cardboard and manila envelopes tear or shred and dampen
Bio-activator applied as a liquid or activator like Garrotta
Coffee grounds tea bags and filters

Comfrey leaves or water soaked in comfrey.
Chemically treated grass mowings use after six months
Diseased plants but if your pile doesn’t get hot enough, it might not kill the pathogen.
Eggshells crush and crumble
Hair but not in big clumps
Hedge Clippings finer the better
Kitchen waste- vegetable matter, fruit and vegetable peelings – uncooked trimmings
Leaves from broadleaved trees decompose slowly, shredding helps them break down faster.
Manure horse, cow, pig, sheep, rabbit – good nutrient source.
Newspaper shredded to breakdown and mixed with green matter
Pine needles and cones – acidic and decomposes slowly.
Seaweed good for trace elements
Soil with worms in very thin layers.
Sawdust, chipped trees and wood shavings mix with green material and do not use too much or pile separately.
Weeds dried out on the path then added. Don’t use seed heads
Turf pile separately grass to grass roots to roots to make loam.

Good quality compost pail

Book Cover

Wooden framed compost heap

Green 220 litre compost bin


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  1. What to do with Garden Non-compostables | Gardeners Tips - November 8, 2010

    […] Read about beginning a compost heap to get more tips and ideas. […]

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