To make good compost and avoid issues related to composting, you need a mix of green and brown waste in your compost bin.
So what makes up green or brown waste?
- Fruit and vegetable scraps
- Grass clippings
- Coffee grounds
- Tea leaves
- Fresh leaves
Green waste adds Nitrogen to your compost bin.
- Shredded paper
- Dead leaves
- Chopped twigs
- Wood ash
Brown waste adds Carbon to your compost bin.
What is the right balance of green and brown waste?
There is varying advice online about the correct mix of green and brown waste, but the right answer is:
Everybody’s compost bin is different, and that’s because we all put in different amounts of green and brown waste. You have to balance up based on what you put in and not an arbitrary ratio or percentage.
I have three kids and a wife, and we eat a lot of fruit and veg, so there are lots of scraps we generate. I also am a bit of a lawn buff, so I have clippings from that too. Therefore we generate quite a lot of green waste. The fruit and veg waste become very wet also, so to keep the compost bin from not getting too soggy or drenched, we need to put in a fair amount of brown waste. We shred cardboard, scrap paper and collect twigs from where we can. I think we have ⅔ brown and ⅓ green waste.
If you have a large garden and have many prunings, you may need to hold some back to give a lower ratio. You don’t want the compost bin to become too dry and not have enough green waste!
So, balance for what you add is vital. I store up brown waste and keep it near the compost bin to mix in the right amount of brown with whatever green I am adding.