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What and What not to Compost
The following items can be added to your compost pile:
 

An Alphebetical listing and description Of Specific Organic Materials:

Click on a letter to find the organic material you are looking for.

A B CD E F GH I J KL M N OP Q R ST U V WX Y Z

A

ALFALFA HAY
Nitrogen (13:1). Compost in compost pile.
ALGAE
Nitrogen. Provides a good source of trace elements.
ANIMAL PRODUCTS
Recommended that you do not compost. See Food Wastes.
APPLES AND APPLE PEELS
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.Leaves may be composted in compost pile.
AQUATIC WEEDS
Nitrogen. Compost in compost bin.
ASH
Neither Carbon nor Nitrogen. Compost wood ash only in thin layers or add to finished compost. Some texts say not to use ash at all. Others say to use it as long as no chemicals were used on the materials which were burned.Rodale's book says that wood ash will increase the alkalinity and salinity of the soil, and should only be used if a soil test indicates acidic soil which needs additional potassium to be balanced.


Do not use ash from coal or charcoal. It may contain substances that harm plants.



B

BANANA PEELS
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.Although I have not tried it myself, the Winter 1997 issue of Garden, Deck and Landscape magazine says you can plant banana peels just under the soil around your rose bushes. The peels are rich in calcium, sulphur, and phosphorus and will make your roses thrive.
BAMBOO
Green bamboo leaves and stems are nitrogens when green but, like grass, become carbons as they age. Bamboo stems will also harden as they age and should be split before composting.
BARK
Carbon (100:1).
BAT GUANO
Nitrogen. Compost in backyard compost pile.
BEER, BREWERY WASTES
Nitrogen. Compost in backyard compost pile.
BLACK WALNUTS
I have not found a definite answer on black walnuts, but there is so much controversy that I have to recommend that you not include them in your pile. The roots of the black walnut tree are rather extensive and produce a substance called juglone that can be toxic to other plants. The juglone which is present in the leaves is decomposed during hot composting after one month, but all leaves must be exposed to the hot part of the pile. To test, make compost tea from the compost. Soak some alfalfa seeds in the compost tea and some in regular water, then compare their germination. Alfalfa is sensitive to juglone. I have been told that black raspberries, iris, and daylilles are not affected by juglone. (My thanks to Frank Teuton for this information on black walnuts.)
BLOOD MEAL, DRIED BLOOD
Nitrogen (4:1). Compost in backyard compost pile.
BONES
See Meat and Meat Bones
BRACKEN (FERNS)
Young green bracken is among the "nitrogens", but when the fronds die in the autumn most of their nitrogen has been withdrawn so, at that point, they would be a carbon. Their stems are a bit woody, so they may not compost as fast. Be prepared to pick or filter the stems out of finished compost and put back into the bin.
BUTTER
See Dairy Products



C

CABBAGE
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.
CARDBOARD
Carbon (200-500:1). In some areas, soiled cardboard is not acceptable for municipal recycling. However, if your local program is recycling cardboard by composting, it should be acceptable. Contact your local solid waste department to find out.Cardboard is able to be composted, but contains high amounts of carbon, so it may not be convenient to compost it, or you may want to compost it in your "slow-compost bin".


You can soak either corrugated or paper cardboard in water, then shred and put into your worm bin as bedding.

Cardboard can also be used under a layer of mulch which is several inches thick, or wood chip paths if there are no plants currently growing there which you want to keep. When preparing a new bed, this is a good way to get rid of a lot of weeds. The cardboard or paper will keep out the light, so the weeds will not survive.

CARROTS
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.
CAT FECES
Don't put in compost pile. There is disgreement over whether or not you should use cat feces in your compost pile. Some authors say "Of course you can" and others say "No, never!". The concern is this: Cat feces may in fact carry parasites, bacteria, germs, pathogens and viruses that are harmful to humans -- ONE OF THESE ORGANISMS (Toxoplasma gondii) IS KNOWN TO CAUSE SEVERE BRAIN DAMAGE TO UNBORN CHILDREN. I read one author who stated that the hot compost pile would probably kill most parasites. However, you would have to closely monitor the part of the pile that the feces were in to be sure it reached the maximum temperature. Because we put safety and health at the top of our priority list, we recommend that you do not put these in your pile.Other options I have read include: Flush down the toilet. Bury in the ornamental section of your landscaping as long as it is not within 100 feet of a domestic water well, lake, or stream, and somewhere that it will not be disturbed for two years.


Other cautions: Handle as little as possible, preferably wear gloves. Children and pregnant women should not handle at all.

I am often asked why the same cautions are not applied to other animals such as rabbits, chickens, geese, cattle, etc. Animals that eat vegetative matter are not as likely to pick up and pass on diseases that are harmful to humans as are meat-eating animals. Either a dog or cat may chew on a dead bird or squirrel that died of a disease, has rabies, etc. Harmful bacteria and pathogens may be passed through to feces, which may or may not be destroyed by composting. Then children, pregnant women or other humans are exposed to the disease while out in the yard or garden.

I am trying to track down solid information on a company in Canada which claims to have a product that kills all harmful organisms in pet feces. When I get a satisfactory answer, I'll post it to the site, but right now, I haven't seen the test results.

--

CELERY
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.
CHEESE
See Dairy Products
CHICKEN
See Food Wastes
CLOVER
Nitrogen. Compost in backyard compost pile.
COFFEE GROUNDS
Nitrogen (20:1). Compost in the worm bin or pile. Note that coffee grounds are about the same ratio as grass, which may be helpful in the fall if you have more carbons than nitrogen.The WSU Master Gardener Program of Thurston County, Washington, did some testing with coffee grounds. They suggest that you put coffee grounds into your worm bin soon after brewing so that they don't sour or attract fruit flies. (Be sure to put them between layers of bedding, not on top.) They found that fruit flies were attracted to coffee grounds put in an enclosed bin, but not an open one. Be sure to keep the open pile well watered so that grounds do not dry out. After brewing, coffee ground contain up to 2% nitrogen.


Susan Mecklenburg at Starbucks Coffee was kind enough to provide the following analysis of spent Starbucks coffee grounds, with credit to Organic Waste Utilization Research Group, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington

Some help with notation interpretation comes from Rob Dobson, Environmental Chemist, Sustainable Environmental Solutions, Inc.:
ug/g is micrograms per gram (the u is really a greek letter mu, which looks much like a u). A microgram is 1/1,000,000 of a gram, so this can also be called parts per million.
ND means "not detected"

If you need more nitrogen for your pile, call your local coffee shop and ask if they will donate some grounds to your pile! Many coffee shops are set up for this.
COFFEE FILTERS
Carbon (170:1). Compost with coffee grinds in the worm bin. If shredded, can also go in piles.
COLOR INSERTS (FROM NEWSPAPERS)
Do not compost.
CORNSTALKS
Carbon (60:1). Compost in backyard compost pile. Can also compost cobs.



D

DAIRY PRODUCTS
Do not compost. Most of these items will eventually decompose. We do not recommend that you compost them in your backyard compost pile because they are likely to create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies. (In addition to being a general nuisance, rodents and flies may carry diseases.) Your area may have ordinances against composting these items for the same reasons.
DISEASED PLANTS (OR INFECTED WITH INSECTS)
Don't compost. Send to municipal composting site. Large municipal or commercial composting sites usually reach much higher temperatures than home piles, and the heat will kill the disease. Check with your solid waste department for guidance.Diseases and Insects can survive composting, as can their spores or eggs. These include, but are not limited to, apple scab, aphids, and tent caterpillars.
DOG FECES
Don't put in compost pile. There is disgreement over whether or not you should use dog feces in your compost pile. Some authors say "Of course you can" and others say "No, never!". As near as I can figure out, the concern is this: Although I have not heard specific parasites mentioned, dog feces may in fact carry parasites, bacteria, germs, pathogens and viruses that are harmful to humans. These may be picked up, for instance, if a diseased bird flies into your yard and your dog catches it and eats it. I read one author who stated that the hot compost pile would kill these parasites. However, you would have to closely monitor the part of the pile that the feces were in to be sure it reached the maximum temperature. Because we put safety and health at the top of our priority list, we recommend that you do not put these in your pile.Other options I have read include: Flush down the toilet. Bury in the ornamental section of your landscaping as long as it is not within 100 feet of a domestic water well, lake, or stream, and somewhere that it will not be disturbed for two years.


Other cautions: Handle as little as possible, preferably wear gloves. Children and pregnant women should not handle at all.

I am often asked why the same cautions are not applied to other animals such as rabbits, chickens, geese, cattle, etc. Animals that eat vegetative matter are not as likely to pick up and pass on diseases that are harmful to humans as are meat-eating animals. Either a dog or cat may chew on a dead bird or squirrel that died of a disease, has rabies, etc. Harmful bacteria and pathogens may be passed through to feces, which may or may not be destroyed by composting. Then children, pregnant women or other humans are exposed to the disease while out in the yard or garden.

I am trying to track down solid information on a company in Canada which claims to have a product that kills all harmful organisms in pet feces. When I get a satisfactory answer, I'll post it to the site, but right now, I haven't seen the test results.



E

EGG SHELLS
No effect on carbon/nitrogen ratio. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.
EVERGREEN LEAVES
High in Carbon. Although some texts say not to compost these, they are actually compostable materials. They might better be used as mulch, because they decompose slowly. You may also have a separate "slow-composting bin" for twigs and other slowly-decomposing materials into which these leaves may go.To include your regular compost pile, shred thoroughly and include with a high amount of nitrogen items.



F

FAT
Do not compost.
FEATHERS
Nitrogen. Compost in piles. Shred or put in "slow-composting bin".
FECES
See Dog Feces.
FISH
Do not compost. These items will eventually decompose. We do not recommend that you compost them in your backyard compost pile because they are likely to create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies. (In addition to being a general nuisance, rodents and flies may carry diseases.) Your area may have ordinances against composting these items for the same reasons.
FLOWERS
Nitrogen. Compost in backyard compost pile.
FOOD WASTES
Nitrogen (12-15:1) Compost in worm bins or soil incorporation methods. We do not recommend that you compost them in your backyard compost pile because they are likely to create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies. (In addition to being a general nuisance, rodents and flies may carry diseases.) Your area may have ordinances against composting these items for the same reasons.In some locations, it may be appropriate to compost vegetative food wastes in compost piles, check with your local solid waste department for guidelines. Vegetative food wastes are those derived from plants, i.e., vegetables and fruits. In these cases, it is important to build a hot compost pile to avoid pest problems. Bury the scraps one foot deep into the pile.


Do NOT compost meat or dairy products, oils or mayonnaise. These products are organic, but they are not vegetative and are difficult to compost at home without creating problems.



G

GRAIN CHAFF AND HULLS
Carbon (80:1). Compost in compost pile.
GRAPEFRUIT
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.
GRASS CLIPPINGS
Nitrogen (when fresh). (12 - 19:1) is an average ratio. If the lawn was not well-watered or has turned brown, there will be far less nitrogen than that freshly cut from a green, healthy lawn.

Compost in backyard pile if artificial pesticides and fertilizers have not been used.
GREASE
Do not compost.



H

HAIR
Nitrogen. Compost in pile, but only as a small percentage of the pile. Dog and cat hair seem to compost faster than human hair. Put in very thin layers and cut up as much as possible first. Mix thoroghly with other materials so that it doesn't mat.

Warning: some composters report trouble composting hair, so try a small amount first to see how it works for you!
HAY
Carbon. Compost in backyard pile. Note that some recommend this as a mulch, but because it is a fire hazard, we do not recommend you use it for mulch.
HOLLY LEAVES
Carbon. Compost in backyard "slow-compost bin". Shred first if possible. Also, makes a good mulch, shredding is a plus.With regard to using holly leaves as mulch, consider the following advice from Deborah in Portland OR. She raises a very good point -- if you have kids playing on the lawn, you may take a different action than if you are trying to keep a pet out of your ornamentals!
I grew up on land that used to be an ornamental holly farm....have you ever stepped on an old holly leaf?? OUCH!! Because of those leaves, we kids NEVER went barefoot. From my personal experience, I'd suggest composting the leaves, not using them as mulch where you could come in contact with those pointy little edges!
An excellent point! (no pun intended)
HOUSEPLANTS
Nitrogen. Compost in backyard compost pile.



I

INSECT-RIDDEN PLANTS
Do not compost.
IVY
Do not compost. Behaves like an invasive weed. See Weeds.



J

Junk Mail
To stop junk mail from being delivered to your mailbox you may write to: Junk Mail Stop!, Mail Preference - Direct Marketing Association, PO Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008



K

KITTY LITTER
Do not compost. See Cat Feces.


 

 

L

LARD
Do not compost.
LAKE WEED
Nitrogen. Provides a good source of trace elements.
LAUREL LEAVES
Carbon. Can make a good mulch, shredding is a plus.Compost in backyard "slow-compost bin". Shred first if possible.
LAWN TRIMMINGS
See Grass Clippings.
LEAVES
Carbon (40-80:1). Evergreen leaves are higher in carbon, so shred before composting.

Compost in worm bin or compost pile. Deciduous leaves are best for composting.
Leaves can also be used as a mulch. Shred first. Apply 3 inches deep. Wind and rain can "relocate" leaf mulch, so blend with other materials if possible.
LEGUME SHELLS
Nitrogen (30:1). Legumes include peas, soybeans, etc. Compost in compost pile.
LETTUCE
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.
LIME
Neither carbon nor nitrogen. Add to finished compost or soil if soil tests prove it is needed. It can kill composting organisms and may also produce ammonia gas. Some people automatically add lime when putting acidic materials into their compost piles, but a healthy compost pile should get to a balanced pH without it.
LITTER
Do not compost. See Cat Feces.



M

MAGAZINES
Do not compost.
MANURE
Nitrogen (20-25:1) when rotted. Higher in nitrogen when fresh. Pig (5:1). Poultry (10:1). Horse (25:1). Cow (20:1) Other farm animals (14:1). Compost in pile. (Does not apply to cat and dog feces.)
MAYONAISSE
Do not compost.
MEAT AND MEAT BONES
Do not compost. These items will eventually decompose. We do not recommend that you compost them in your backyard compost pile because they are likely to create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies. (In addition to being a general nuisance, rodents and flies may carry diseases.) Your area may have ordinances against composting these items for the same reasons.
MILK
See Dairy Products



N

NEWSPAPER
Carbon (200-500:1). In some areas, soiled newspaper is not acceptable for municipal recycling. Contact your local solid waste department to find out.Newspaper may be composted, but contains high amounts of carbon, so it may not be convenient to compost it in your backyard bin. Shred and soak in water before putting in backyard pile. Shredding is required because it mats easily. Be aware that there is not a lot of nutrient value in newspaper.


You can also soak in water, then shred and put into your worm bin as bedding.

Newspaper can be used under a layer of mulch which is several inches thick, or wood chip paths if there are no plants currently growing there which you want to keep. When preparing a new bed, this is a good way to get rid of a lot of weeds. The paper will keep out the light, so the weeds will not survive.

Concerns:
The information above contains recommendations usually given by Master Composters, experts and authors on composting. I have received a lot of questions about newspapers, so I am going to go into a little more detail here.

With regard to composting newspapers with black ink, I have only heard one mention of controversy. Otherwise, I have found that composting newspapers is acceptable. (As mentioned above, it is not usually recommended for use in a backyard pile because of the problems of matting, low nutrient value and slow decomposition.) The one controversial source was the book "Let It Rot" by Stu Campbell. He says that the carbon black ink contains polycyclicaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) which are a known carcinogen. Stu says

"Although the jury is still out, most scientific research to date indicates that PAHs are rendered inert by the temperatures of a hot compost pile, the biological activity, and the acids in the soil. Most newspaper inks no longer contain heavy metals, and most colored newsprint now uses vegetable dyes, so as long as you don't intensively compost with newspapers you can use it as a carbon source."
With regard to newspapers, A Green Guide to Yard Care published by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission says, "Most inks today are safe for garden use." To be completely safe, call your newspaper and ask about the ink or use compost made from newspapers on non-edibles like your lawn, ornamentals, flowers, and trees, rather than your vegetable garden.

Do NOT compost advertising inserts. Ad inserts are printed by someone other than the newspaper. Most companies still print inserts with heavy metal inks, especially the glossy ones. Some colored inks have heavy metals in them which, in large quantities, are toxic to microorganisms. Small quantities such as the occasional colored ad in the newspaper have negligible effects.

With society's emphasis on recycling, most newspapers have started using vegetable dyes for colored advertisements and the comics. (If your newspaper uses vegetable dyes, you can compost the comics, too.) Unfortunately, there is no way to be certain which dye they use by looking at the printed page. To make sure, call your local newspaper and ask them if they use vegetable dyes.

NUT SHELLS
Carbon. Compost in backyard compost pile.



O

OAK LEAVES
Nitrogen. Compost in backyard compost pile.Oak leaves are unusual in that most leaves are carbon, i.e., increase the carbon:nitrogen ratio of the pile. Oak leaves should be added as a nitrogen material.
OAT STRAW
Carbon (74:1). Compost in compost pile.
OILS OF ANY KIND
Do not compost.
ONION PEEL
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.
ORANGE PEEL
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.

By the way, I have read that if you bury shredded orange peel in the top layer of soil, it will repel cats and dogs from digging.



P

 PAPER
Carbon (170:1). Composts best in worm bins, but may also be used in compost piles if shredded thoroughly and mixed with other materials.Do not use paper that has colored ink (which may contain toxic substances) or is glossy or coated.Paper can also be used under a layer of mulch which is several inches thick, or wood chip paths if there are no plants currently growing there which you want to keep. When preparing a new bed, this is a good way to get rid of a lot of weeds. The paper will keep out the light, so the weeds will not survive.


Also, see Newspapers above.

PET FECES
See Dog Feces
PEANUT BUTTER
Do not compost.
PEARS
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.
PET FOOD
Do not compost. May attract pests.
PINE NEEDLES
Carbon. Use to mulch acid-loving plants, e.g., rhododendrons, azaleas, camelias, blueberries. Apply 3 to 5 inches.

I received an email from a reader stating "Pine needles work as a straw replacement for strawberries. I apply them after the ground freezes in the fall and in the summer between the rows."
Can be composted in the pile as a carbon. Will take a while to compost. They are acidic, but as long as the majority of your pile is not pine needles or other acidic ingredients, the composting process should balance the pH.
PINEAPPLE
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.
POISONOUS PLANTS (Including skin irritants)
Do not compost. This includes plants such as poison ivy.
POTATOES
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.
PRUNINGS
Twigs will be Carbon. Deciduous leaves will be nitrogen. Compost in backyard "slow-compost bin". Chop first.
PUMPKIN SHELLS
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.



Q

There are currently no items under "Q".



R

RHODODENDRON LEAVES
Carbon. Can make a good mulch, shredding is a plus.Compost in backyard "slow-compost bin". Shred first if possible.
ROSE PRUNINGS
Nitrogen. Compost in backyard "slow-compost bin". Remove thorns for safety. Shred first if possible.



S

SALAD DRESSING
Do not compost.
SAWDUST
Carbon (400-500:1). Acceptable if wood was not painted or treated with chemicals or glues. Compost only in thin layers. Use a LOT of nitrogen materials.
SEAWEED
Nitrogen (19:1). Compost in compost pile or use as mulch. Provides trace elements and is said to have 60 minerals. The fresher, the better. The longer it is uprooted the more salt it absorbs. Try to pick it up right after a storm. Small leafy varieties break down faster than bigger ones like Bull Kelp, but I know of no varieties that can't be effectively composted. As with all compost piles, keep moist.
SEWAGE SLUDGE
Do not compost. While this matter will compost, studies have shown that the compost resulting from sewage sludge may have high concentrations of metals which are toxic to humans. In addition, it may contain salts which are toxic to plants.
SOD
Large amounts of sod should be sent to the municipal recycling center. However, it is possible to compost sod anaerobically. Cover with black plastic so that there is no air or light reaching the sod. (This method will also kill weeds such as buttercup and quack grass, but not Morning Glory.)
SOUR CREAM
See Dairy Products
SQUASH
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.
STRAW
Carbon (40 - 100:1, usually about 80:1). Compost in backyard compost pile.
SUGARCANE WASTES
Carbon (50:1). Compost in compost pile. Sugarcane fiber is 200:1 and may also be composted in the backyard pile.



T

TEA BAGS
Carbon (170:1). Compost with tea leaves in the worm bin. If shredded, can also go in piles.
TEA LEAVES
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin or compost pile.
TOMATOES
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.
TREES - DISEASED
Don't compost. Send to municipal composting site. Large municipal or commercial composting sites usually reach much higher temperatures than home piles, and the heat will kill the disease. Check with your solid waste department for guidance.Particularly, don't include parts of a tree that is infested with tent caterpillars. Eggs exist which will not be destroyed by composting and these will hatch next spring.
TURNIP LEAVES
Nitrogen. Compost in worm bin. See Food Wastes.
TWIGS
Carbon. Compost in backyard "slow-compost bin". Chop first.



U

URINE
Nitrogen (2:1). Mix one part urine with two parts water before adding to pile. (Can also be added directly to pile, but your chances for problems with odor are less if you dilute first with water.) Adds nitrogen and potash.



V

VEGETABLE OIL
See Oils



W

WALLBOARD
In response to a reader's question on this, I spoke with Jim Doersam, the Composting Manager at Texas Organic Products who composts various wastes from construction sites. He said that manufacturers of mobile homes frequently use a type of wallboard that is vinyl on one side. That wallboard vinyl can NOT be composted. However, regular wallboard with paper on both sides definitely can be composted. In fact, he says it is made of calcium sulfate, i.e., gypsum, which is beneficial to your soil.
WALNUTS
Most varieties of walnuts can be composted. However, see the caution about Black Walnuts.
WEEDS
First of all, pull your weeds BEFORE they seed. Otherwise, you will have to prune from your weeds all seeds, rhizomes, and other reproducing parts. Most experts recommend that you do not put weeds which have gone to seed into your compost pile because the seeds will likely survive. When you spread your compost, you will be seeding your lawn and garden with seeds for the coming year. Rodale's book says that you can compost them if you carefully monitor the pile where they are to ensure that the temperature gets hot enough. Over 140 degree temperature is required to kill most weed seeds. It is safest not to compost them. Send them to the municipal recycling site.

 

 

Weeds spread in different ways. If you think about the way that a weed reproduces, it will assist you in your decision as to whether or not to put it in your pile. [A good primer on weeds appeared in Fine Gardening magazine's May/June 1996 issue (4 pgs.)] Also consider that if you are not building a hot compost pile, live weeds will probably continue to grow in your pile. Experts disagree as to whether the weeds' ability to reproduce is destroyed by the heat of the pile, but they all agree that hot piles are not uniformly hot. Unless the pile is monitored and turned in such a way that ALL weeds spend adequate time in the "hot spot" at the center, you can not be sure of the fate of your weed. If you have any doubts about a weed, don't include it. It is not worth seeding your garden with weeds as you spread your finished compost, then finding out you were wrong. Send weeds to the municipal recycling site.

Invasive weeds grow by sending roots or runners out below or just above the ground. Examples are Bermuda grass, bind weed, and white clover. Even shredding these types will not kill them. In fact, shredding them may just make them more plentiful, as they can reproduce from a small runner in adequate conditions. I have read one method of addressing these, but I have not tried it for myself so I cannot attest to its verity. If you spread weeds invasive weeds out on concrete or other pavement that becomes very hot, they will dry up. When thoroughly dried, they may be added to the compost pile.

Quack grass, Johnson grass, Sheep Sorrel and Canada thistle are examples of weeds that reproduce from small parts of rhizomes and should not be put into the compost pile. As these rhizomes break up, they simply have additional opportunities to create a new weed. Once again, I have heard of an anaerobic method of composting these weeds, but I have not yet tried it myself. The method is to close the weeds up in a black plastic sack, depriving them of oxygen and sunlight. Eventually, they should break down under the anaerobic composting process.

Other weeds and plants that have these characteristics include ivy, Morning Glory, Comfrey, Dallisgrass and crab grass. I have read one source that said the plastic sack method does not work on Morning Glory.

WOOD CHIPS
Carbon (500:1). Compost only in thin layers. Use a lot of nitrogen materials.
WOODY WASTES
Will compost over a year to two years. Chop before adding to pile, or use a separate bin just for long-term composting.



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Y

YARD TRIMMINGS
Compost if no chemical pesticides or fertilizers have been used. Large limbs may be put into a separate long-term composting bin as they will take 1 - 2 years to decompose. Also includes old plants, wilted flowers, small prunings.
YOGURT
See Dairy Products



Z

There are currently no items under "Z".
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