Composting Update :: Got Brown?

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Green, green, green, green…Spring is here, and everything is green. I love it, but my compost pile likes brown too. That’s why I took the opportunity after last week’s hail storm to rake up all the green leaves that were in my yard. But instead of putting them directly into the pile, I am letting them brown-up so I can add them later.

Keeping a good balance of greens (nitrogen) and browns (carbon) is critical to a successful pile. In the Summer months, browns are hard to find – so anytime you get a fresh fall of green leaves, save them in a separate pile and add them later. So, I have a little tiny leaf pile next to my compost pile, which is sprouting all sorts of goodies from the bottom…more on that after the jump.

Here are some notes on our pile:

  • It’s either time to start a new pile, or begin sifting out finished compost from this one. There is definitely some ready to use compost in there, but I have to separate it from the recently added organic material that has yet to break down.
  • I turn the pile regularly, but don’t really get all the way to the bottom. So, we have tomatoes and pumpkins growing out of the bottom inch or so. I don’t have the heart to pull them, even though they are probably consuming some of the compost.
  • I might make a square pile next time. The rounded edges make it difficult to turn thoroughly. The good news is that the brown leaves around the perimeter serve as camoflauge, which helps keep the pile from becoming an eyesore.

That’s it for now…happy composting everyone!

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