I just started my compost bin today and I was following a couple of guides saying to add shredded newspaper to your composting bin as a carbon source along with your food scraps. I do not get a newspaper, so I used the non-glossy advertising inserts (have newspaper consistency) I get in the mail all the time. After I did that, I ran across a couple of articles that said you should not use advertising inserts (especially colored ones) in compost because it could be using petroleum-based ink and could also contain metals. However, some of these were older articles (from 2000s) and I found others that say its alright (more recent ones). I really do not want to pull all the worms I just put in and restart the composting process if I do not have to. Any guidance would be nice. Like an easy way to know the difference between soy based ink and petroleum based ink? I moistened the paper strips and my hands still smell like the newspaper after washing them with soap and water. Let me know. Thanks!
All the inks used today are nontoxic so you can use all your newspaper (except the glossy ads) as long as they are shredded. The glossy ads use clay to make them shiny.
Hello, I’m a beginner in the gardening area. I started a compost bin about one week ago. Ive done lots of research to do it correctly and good. I, however, have noticed that my compost doesn’t want to heat up. It smells like soil and doesn’t really smell like rotten food. Ive also watered it fairly to where it feels moist but not dampt. I have also turned it almost every day. I also made sure to add enough browns so that it doesn’t smell bad due to the decaying of the green materials. Why won’t it heat up?
Make sure you have enough browns. The ratio of brown to green is 4 to 1. It also could be that the pile is not large enough. Here are other possibilities:
Hi, I have two compost bins, the first was full about 3 months ago so I moved on to fill the second one which is also now full. The first is now half empty, but not quite completely composted. Should I carry on filling the first bin or empty & start again with the bin empty bearing in mind the compost is not quite ready to use? Thanks.
I suggest waiting till the first bin is finished, then move the contents to your gardens, then resume filling the bin. This article may help:
I read your instructions how to compost pig manure. When your get to the part to cover the pile for winter to let it finish cooking before the snow falls, does it really decompose any in the dead of winter? I live in MN our winters are long and cold snd I want to make sure it is for sure safe to use in the spring. Thank you!
Do not use the pig manure in your compost pile or the vegetable garden. Compost your pig manure separately and use it on gardens that are not edible. Here is more information on the subject:
hi I've noticed today that in the lid and round the top of my black plastic compost bin. There are lots of very quick tiny bugs the size of a pin head. Could you please advise as to what these might be and if they should be in there, as I'm quite new to composting.
It is probably soil mites. This article should help:
I have a large pile of completely broken down wood chips that is dark black. I've seen opinions from one end of the spectrum to the other and am wondering if you could clarify for me. I've read that completely broken down humus is inert and only good for soil structure and I've read that it is full of things like nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium etc. Could you please help me understand which it is? Thank you so much in advance!
It will be considered a "brown" compost material. It is a good add-in, but requires "green" material, as well. You could mix it with composted "green" materials, however.
I don’t have soil I use shop brought compost, I am reusing the compost next year, how can I store it over the winter
You can store it in a pile on the ground covered with a tarp. You also can store it in plastic bags or cheap garbage cans. This article is about homemade compost, but the ideas should work for purchased compost, too.