Top Questions About Composting

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Questions About Composting

Asked by
jennyg on
February 7, 2011

Q. What is green compost and brown compost?

What is green compost and brown compost?

Answered by
Heather on
February 7, 2011
Certified Expert
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Answered by
Nikki on
February 7, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

All good compost should consist of balanced layers of both green and brown materials. Green items generally include grass clippings and kitchen scraps, which add nitrogen to the compost. Brown materials add carbon and consist of things like leaves, newspaper, and small woody materials.

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Asked by
Tahlequah on
March 5, 2011

Q. Sweet Gum Balls in the Garden/Compost

I got some bags of leaves from a neighbor and then realized that they had alot of spiney sweet gum balls in with the leaves. . . will they decompose in the garden and/or should I put them in a long term compost bin. . . how long will they take to bread down. . . . I don’t want them in my garden if they won’t break down.

Answered by
Heather on
March 5, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

They will only break down if you have a "hot" compost pile. If your compost pile stays cool, the seeds will not break down and you should not place them in the pile. A hot compost pile is one that is turned and watered regularly and gets to an internal temperature of more that gets above 100F.

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Asked by
Actvmom on
March 30, 2011

Q. Where Is the Best Place to Put a Compost Pile

Where is the best place to put a compost pile–in sun or under trees? I have wooded land next to me. I wanted to put my pile in there so it was out of sight. Will it get hot enough in shade?

Answered by
Heather on
April 1, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

You can get a pile to heat up in the shade. You can do this by making sure it has the right balance of browns, greens, water and air. This article will help:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/basics/heating-up-compost-pile.htm

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Asked by
Anonymous on
April 5, 2011

Q. Composting Acorns

Are (oak tree) acorns okay to compost? I’m concerned about the tannic acid content of the acorns. If acorns are okay, is there a limit or ratio of acorns that is too high? And if compost has a sizable acorn content, is there any usage that this compost would not be advisable for?

Answered by
Nikki on
April 5, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

You can compost them. As long as you have the "green" material in the compost to balance them (they would be a brown material), you cannot have too many.

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Asked by
Anonymous on
April 18, 2011

Q. Skummy, Mucky, Smelly Grass Clippings

My landscaping neighbor, at my request, often drops off copious amounts of grass clippings. I’m usually unable to collect them and pile them into my compost before the rains hit. So I end up with a hot, wet, and very smelly pile of processing grass clippings. Are these scummy, smelly clippings worth keeping? Assuming they are, should I put them directly into my raised beds or through them on to my compost pile?

Answered by
Nikki on
April 18, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

They are still ok to use, but I would put them in the compost pile. This is part of the reason you are suppose to have "greens" and "browns" in the compost pile. When balanced, it keeps it from getting smelly from too much green material.

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Answered by
betzd on
April 18, 2011
A.

Grass clippings are difficult to compost as they have a lot of chlorophyll.
I have had luck mixing them with in with my compost a small amount at a time.

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Asked by
Anonymous on
May 17, 2011

Q. Sprouting Compost

I have used compost in my garden for years, but I get frustrated with the sprouting of multiple plant seeds. I end up with unintentional tomatoes, squash, etc.coming up when I use the compost. How do you keep the seeds in the compost from sprouting?

Answered by
Nikki on
May 17, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

If the seeds in the compost are sprouting, it means that the compost is not "heating" up properly. Every couple of weeks, add a shovelful of dirt to the pile and also make sure that your browns and greens are in balance. This will get the microbes going and the compost pile will heat up to a temp where it will kill the seeds.

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Asked by
Anonymous on
May 22, 2011

Q. Rat/Mouse in Compost Bin

Is the compost ‘safe’ to use on the garden after a rat/mouse has been found in it?

Answered by
Nikki on
May 23, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

This should not cause any problems. Just be sure to wash anything you eat from the garden, as you normally should anyway.

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