Composting Tips: Mixing The Greens And Browns

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Picture yourself as a chef of an up-scale restaurant. To prepare a delectable meal, you carefully evaluate the ingredients and mix them to produce terrific dishes. This can be said as well when producing composts. Only this time, however, rather than the people in the restaurant being your patrons, you’ll be responding to the needs of your plants. And much like cooking, you’re offered the task of setting up in equal measures the “greens” and “browns” of composting.

 “Greens” and “browns” are monikers which are used to pertain to the organic materials utilized in creating compost. The chief differences between these two components are not much on the colorations of the organic matter themselves but instead on their fundamental components. The Greens are made up of organic materials plentiful in nitrogen or protein. Meantime, Browns are those organic substances that contain high carbon or carbohydrates.

Due to their rich protein and nitrogen contents, Greens permit micro organism in composts to develop and multiply. Also, the Green elements yield heat in compost piles. The Brown components on the other hand carry the energy that most soil organisms demand. Moreover, due to of their richly carbon contents, the Browns operate as a big air filter, soaking up the bad odors that gives off from the compost pile. The carbons also help keep organic nitrogen from breaking loose and also help in the rapid constitution of humus from the compost.

Just in case you are mixed up whether an organic waste or material is classified under the Greens or under the Browns variety, the easiest method to test it is to wet the material. When you discover the material to stink subsequently a few days then it goes to the Greens variety. Again, keep in mind not to be duped by color.

For instance, while leaves come in green, red, brown, etc. colors, they’re classified as Browns. Leaves are rich in carbon. Like the evergreen leaves having higher carbon contents compared to any other leaves. However, there’s always an exception. Oak tree leaves don’t fall into the Greens classification. Oak leaves have high amounts of nitrogen which are classified under the Greens category.

Other samples of Greens include grass clippings, animal wastes, and those left over food from your kitchen. As long as you do not use toxic chemicals like inorganic fertilizers and pesticides with your grass, then the utilization of grass clippings is alright. Meantime, papers, bark mulches, wood chippings, saw dusts and other wood products belong to the Browns classification.

Also classified under Browns are sugar products. These include syrups, molasses, sugar and carbonated drinks. You may use these sugar products to trigger or increase the activities of microbes inside your compost heap.

Some other Greens are eggshells, vegetable and fruit wastes, as well as coffee grounds, teabags and filters. For the Browns, they have hay, cornstalks and straw. Pine needles also belong under the Browns class. Even so, it is recommended that using a bit much pine needle on the compost pile would afford the Browns too much advantage.

Once can accomplish a successful compost having the correct ratio of Brown and Green elements. Ideally, a “Browns” and “Greens” ratio of composting of 3:1 should guarantee a successful compost.

This implies you’ll have 3 parts or the pile made up of components rich in carbon (Browns) and a part of it composed of nitrogen-rich ingredients (Greens).

Copyright © 2011 Athena Goodlight

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