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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Green + Brown = Gold

This is the view from my workplace, stunning isn't it.
More than that though it is a great resource for free compost ingredients.

We talked the other night about keeping a compost sweet and active and keeping it simple we talked about layering brown ingredients (carbon) and green ingredients (nitrogen). If your compost slows to a halt and is dry and dusty it probably needs more grass clippings, weed tops, vegetable scraps...if it is too slimy and sour it probably needs more brown, like straw, shredded paper/cardboard, dead leaves.

You can get as techy as all get out talking about composting but you really can't go wrong with this simple rule of thumb and good old fashioned personal observation, ie: looking at and sniffing your compost pile for general health. Having ingredients on hand so you can create various thin layers sets you up for success and don't forget, keep the pile a bit loose allowing air to get in and accelerate breakdown.

What you are looking at above is gold!
Take the kids to the park and make a game of collecting up the leaves into bags.
Take it home and dump it out on the lawn.
Mow it; you are using the easiest method known to cut and shred the material into a great compost size and the added benefit is that you are getting a mix of lawn clippings in too. It's a perfect green and brown mix for dressing into the layers of your compost! Free!
By now you will have pulled your corn stalks and they are perfect for layering into your compost between levels to keep the pile open and airing.
Beautiful rich humus will be yours for top dressing your beds come spring.

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