Detailed List Of Ingredients

Each item should be under 20 percent of total


Hay (including salt hay) Leaves

Grass clippings (dried) Old sod

Reject or spoiled garden produce Vegetable and fruit peels Newspaper (shredded) Eggshells (crushed) Stable or poultry manure Tea bags

Caution - Limited Amounts

Each item should be under 10 percent of total

Corn cobs Shredded twigs Shredded bark Pine needles Hedge trimmings Wood shavings Sawdust Coffee grounds Peanut shells

0 percent

Diseased or pest-laden materials

Meat or bones


Whole eggs


Seeds and fruit pits Cat or dog manure Bakery products Dairy products

Supper plate scrapings or kitchen scraps black-hat, anaerobic operation that's a stinking, slimy, gooey mess. Grass clippings have to be dried before adding them to the pile or stored for later addition. It does seem like an oxymoron to dry the grass clippings only to moisten them in the compost pile, but now I'm sure you can see why we do it that way.

I compare it to my mothers meatloaf. She would dry bread and then crumble it to make bread crumbs. She would then add milk to moisten everything. If she had just added moist, fresh bread, it would have gotten clumpy and gooey. The compost is similar. If material is put in wet, it packs down in clumps preventing air from entering the pile, and then it rots and smells.

So spread your grass clippings out on a tarp or the driveway, turn them a few times with a rake or flip your tarp before storing them or adding them to your compost pile. How long? Until the grass is brownish and dry to the touch. It depends on the sun, humidity, and rain, as well as the climate of your location.

Mix and Turn

This is a good time to remind you that the center of the pile is where most of the action is. It will be the hottest (up to 150° F or 65° C), the moistest, and with the most white-hats running around decomposing the ingredients. Knowing all that when you turn the contents of one compost bin into another, you will be putting the top of A into the bottom of B—assuming you have two bins or piles side-by-side—then you make sure you put the outside material of A into the inside of B. Get it? It's just like the

The Backbone of the Square Foot Gardening Method

theory that opposites attract. Mix in (at the same time) opposite colors, wetness, size—everything opposite for the fastest operation. In other words, brown with green, wet with dry, coarse with fine. Thats all easy to remember—just think of opposites attracting and you 11 have a great operation.

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