Many people worry about which ingredients for compost are best to add to get a nutrient dense result. And some really over-stress. Hey, it’s just compost. Don’t get anxious because you watch your gardening friends toss ideas back and forth and fuss and fret. That’s just gardeners! It’s really pretty simple and, oddly enough, it’s fun. So relax and enjoy yourself.
Here’s a list (probably partial) of the many materials you can use for compost.
But wait, before you start gathering your ingredients, here’s just a few things to ask:
1. Are the materials you want to use chemical free? No sprays or pesticides.
2. Are the materials you want to use disease and contaminant free?
3. Is there any glass, wire or other sharp objects, like thorns or non-compostable material that you don’t want in the mix?
Alfalfa hay and meal
Weeds from a pond
Wood ashes – just sprinkle lightly between layers
Bird cage cleanings
Vegetable trimmings – shred, cut or mash
Fruit peels and trimmings
Bean and pea shells and foliage
Cat Litter - unused
Corn cobs – shred or chopped into small pieces
Egg shells – grind or crush
Winery waste – grape pomace
Rhubarb leaves – cut or chopped small
Weeds – if your compost heap gets very hot, the weed seeds will be destroyed
Seafood shells – grind first oyster, lobster, crab, clam, and mussel shells
Fish scraps – Bury these deep in the pile where it’s hot but stop using if it attracts animals
Brewery wastes, like hops
Melon plants – non-diseased leaves, vines and rinds chopped small
Cucumber plants – non-diseased, insect free
Some ingredients for compost or call the activators because they really rev up the power or fire of your compost heap. Here’s a list of some of the things that are good activators. Remember to layer them in just as you do with any other ingredients.
Alfalfa meal – this might be the best activator and you can find it as “Litter Green” kitty litter or as rabbit food pellets. Look for it at feed stores.
Compost you already have
Cotton seed meal
Dry dog food
Hoof and horn meal
As you can see when you are looking for ingredients for compost, you can use all vegetable materials if you would prefer.
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