Q & A

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#208055 Reply

E. Vinje
Keymaster

Hello,

You will be able to source all of the essential elements in order to build a great compost pile without having to look too far! As long as your carbon to nitrogen ratio is optimal (25-30:1) your compost pile will be breaking down properly. Here are some lists of acceptable additions:

Carbon Rich Material “Browns”
Cardboard (free of dyes)
Corn stalks
Fruit waste
Leaves
Newspaper
Peat Moss
Saw dust
Stems & twigs
Straw

Nitrogen Rich Material “Greens”
Alfalfa/Clover/Hay
Algae
Coffee grounds
Kitchen food waste
Garden waste
Grass clippings
Hedge clippings
Manures
Vegetable scraps
Weeds (that have NOT gone to seed)

​Things to Avoid
Meats
Bones
Fats/oils/grease
​Diseased plant material
Colored paper
Coal/charcoal
Cat/dog waste
Manures from carnivorous animals
Onions
Garlic
Citrus peels

As for the rhododendron and holly leaves, you can definitely put them in your compost pile. However, it is a good idea to really chop or shred them up, as they take much longer to break down due to their fibrous and waxy make up. It really depends on how quickly you are trying to create usable compost. It might be a good idea to have a separate pile going that you incorporate those leaves into and another pile that you do not. That way you can have a pile you know will rapidly break down into garden goodness and have yet another ready to use later on. Good luck!