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Compost Ratio Question

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Compost Ratio Question

Post  AZDYJ2K on Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:57 pm

I have a question on the brown:green ratio in compost. The ideal ratio of greens to browns should be 25 or 30 to 1, correct? One of my piles is made up mostly of rabbit/goat/cow manure with veggie scraps. Every week my kids deposit gerbil litter when they clean out the cage. I have added some sawdust, however, I would say my ratio of browns to greens is 2:1 or 3:1 at best.

I have had problems with this pile heating up. Do you think it's due to the lack of brown material? Will there be any nutrient issues or will this actually have more nutrients than compost with standard ratios?

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Post  joe23 on Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:30 pm

want your pile to really heat up as it kills the weeds and the bad microorganisms. I wouldn't worry about the pile heating up...it will also help it to break down more.

There are so many different theories on the correct green/brown ratio. I've seen 25:1 brown to green to a 1:1 brown to green. From what I gather the more browns you have the more fungi dominated compost it will produce (as fungi like breaking down the browns whereas bacteria eat up the greens). Fungi dominated composts do well for tree's (makes sense....leaves drop every year which are brown and are broken down around the tree to feed it nutrients), while the more bacterial dense composts are better suited for vegetables. Your ratio sounds pretty good...around 3:1 brown to green....some sources recommend even more greens for veggies, but I've found the compost turns into balls with the addition of too many greens.

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Re: Compost Ratio Question

Post  AZDYJ2K on Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:43 pm

Actually, I should have said that I have problems with the pile staying cool. It has not heated up past 80 degrees. I seem to have alot of clumping going on I suspect it's from the large ratio of green.

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Post  joe23 on Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:47 pm

enough heating is usually from the pile not being big enough. I think it's recommended to be around a cubic yard in order to get the pile big enough to heat properly.

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