Compost for your Garden - List of Over 200 Compost Ingredients
Compost List - Over 200 Compost Ingredients - a.k.a. How to Make Compost, Improve Your Soil & Spend Less Money on Your Garden
Compost happens when nitrogen, carbon, air and moisture feed microbes that digest and decompose stuff into compost.
What is compost good for? To add to your garden, your houseplants - or just back to the ground.
Nitrogen - a.k.a. "greens" - food & green plant scraps
Carbon - a.k.a. "browns" - leaves, paper products
Suggested ratio is about 3:1 Brown/Carbon :to: Green/Nitrogen
Nothing is all nitrogen or all carbon - but the things in the list below have significantly more of one than the other.
How long does the "stuff" take to decompose into compost? That depends. [famous lawyer answer] Depends on container, size of "pile", green/brown ratio, moisture content, amount/activity level of microbes.
REMEMBER: Especially if you have a garden - All of these nutrients came out of the ground to make the plant. If you don't compost, how will it get back into the ground?
Used Coffee Grounds
for the Compost Pile.
The original "Square Foot Gardening" is my favorite gardening book. I use the square-foot method in my garden, but I use good quality soil which I amend frequently with compost.
What is Your Relationship to Compost?
Do You Compost?
A Printer-friendly and Alphabetized List
Would you like to be able to get a printer-friendly and/or an alphabetized or categorized version of this list?
I'm wondering - and I'D LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU - because if you would, I'll work on putting it together for you!
Would you like a printer-friendly or alphabetized list of these 200+ Compost Ingredients?
YOU Asked for IT!
A Printer-Friendly PDF
Organized List of
200+ Compost Items
awaits YOU HERE!
Do You Learn by Reading? Then these Composting Books are for you!
Some of us learn by doing.
Some of us learn via Internet webites & forums.
Some of us learn by talking to others.
Some of us learn by READING A GOOD BOOK!
[And some of us are quadruple winners! But my favorite method is still A Good Book.]
This is also known as - how to compost in an apartment.
Great "Everything Compost" Website
Get all of your Soil & Compost questions answered here.
- GardenWeb Soil & Compost Forum
You can read all the posts - current & historical - in this GardenWeb.com forum without even being a member. If you have a question you want to post, just join - it's free!
Yes! You CAN make Compost in the Winter!
As Marion Owens says, if she can make compost in Alaskan winters, so can you. Visit her great gardening website - below.
- Marion Owens' PlanTea - Compost Recipe
I really like Marion Owens. She's a gardener, and she's cool (literally - she lives in Alaska). She has more than great gardening tips - she has composting info, recipes, rhubarb info, etc. I used her composting recipe once for my 33-gallon-comp
A Neat Composting Container
Not everyone has the real estate, the lack of Home Owners' Association rules, or the aesthetic tastes of a 4' square compost pile hemmed-in by pallets or scrap 2' x 4's.
Some would like - or need to - have a more compact pile with "clean lines."
Welcome to the compost bin. I recommend the one below because it looks the best and works the best for what's out there. [I don't recommend the tumblers because I've heard that the resulting compost is a bit on the slimy side, rather than rich looking & smelling dirt.]
Did you know that you might be able to get FREE compost?
Check with your local town/county dump or recycling center. Many of these municipalities recycle leaves and grass clippings (from individuals and/or landscaping companies) into compost.
Mine does. And it comes out pretty good too!
You've gotta visit the great
compost community at
GardenWeb.com Compost Forum
for cool compost ideas & tips.
Pressedboard Food Boxes
You know the pressedboard food boxes that cereal comes in? Well, there are actually more of those little devils running around your home than you might realize . . . and they would all be a lot happier in your compost pile (going to good use feeding the earth) than sitting uselessly (but still decomposing nonetheless) in a dump. I shred mine because my compost pile needs to stay in a small-ish container, but if you have an open bin or pile, just throw the box in there!
Here are some examples of pressedboard boxes in the average home:
- cereal boxes
- cracker boxes
- organic oats, flax seed boxes
- jello and pudding boxes
- pasta boxes
- taco boxes
- sugar and brown sugar boxes
- artificial sugar boxes
- cornstarch boxes
- tea boxes
- brownie and cake mix boxes
- and ... I bet you can find more!
How many pressedboard boxes does your family throw away each month?
200+ Compost Ingredients - Printer-Friendly Version
Used Coffee Grounds - from your home
Leaves - whole
Leaves - shredded
Plants from your/others' garden (dead plants)
Grass clippings - from mowing the lawn
Deadhead & pruning plant trimmings
Used Coffee Grounds - from a shop
Moldy stuff in fridge that you're finally cleaning out (not dairy or meat)
Newspaper - shredded, balled up, or as is
Clementines, Oranges, Pears, Apples, Cantaloupes (that got too mushy)
Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Peppers, Zucchini, Celery, Lettuce (that got too mushy)
OPL - other people's leaves
weeds - without seeds
Paper towel & toilet paper "tubes"
Orange, clementine, mango & melon peels
Junk mail (but not glossies)
Cut flower arrangements that should have been tossed already
water/broth from steamed/boiled veggies
mushy, brown bananas
left-over coffee in the pot
shreds from home/office shredder
A failed veggie side-dish attempt (that no one will eat)
Hard, left-over rice from take-out Chinese food
BBQ & other sauces that are past their expiration date (but no dairy)
Fall Potted Mums that are not being planted
Popcorn - bottom of the bowl
Old spices & herbs
Frozen veggies - with freezer burn
Hair brush & tub drain junk
Dryer lint (but not dryer fabric sheets)
Seaweed & Kelp
Houseplants past their prime
Old jelly, jams & chutneys that got moldy before you finished them
Uneaten extra 1/2 serving at the bottom of the oatmeal pot
Take-home bags of left-over spaghetti, mashed potatoes & gravy, Sunday morning breakfast, baby eggplant in garlic sauce
Juices/liquids from canned veggies
Heavy or Lite syrup from canned fruit
Vacuum cleaner contents
Cardboard boxes (big ones, shipping boxes)
Holey underwear & socks
Stale chips & crackers
Guacamole turned brown
That Exotic, New Veggie that you never got around to making
The Now Slimy fresh mint & parsley that you never got around to using
Fliers from the Home Owners' Assoc, & local vendors that are stuck in the door
Used "To Do" Lists
Used coffee grounds - from the office
Absolutely worn-out cotton rags
Used tea bags or tea leaves
Old Wine that you'll never drink
All those "Page 2 of 2" that your printer spits out that has nothing on them
Rhubarb Leaves (because you can't eat 'em!)
Used dirt from container plants
Green tomatoes that are too small to transform
Pulp from the Juicing Machine
Lemon & Lime rinds after you've squeezed the juice out of 'em
Grapefruit skeletons after breakfast
Cotton, Wool & Felt scraps
Slugs (Wanted Dead or Alive - the living will help decompose the cooler compost, and in doing so, will stay out of your garden!)
Vines, Leaves & Stems from Bean, Zucchini & Cuke plants
Pizza crusts that the kids hate to eat
Blood meal (dried blood) (available @ garden stores)
Winter crop harvests
1 year old frozen left-overs (w/o meat or dairy)
Used food/Christmas shopping lists
Rabbit, hamster, guinea pig cage cleanouts (but not dog or cat droppings)
Bird cage cleanouts
Moldy applesauce from the huge unfinished jar
Kids' lunch box left-overs
Left-over breakfast toast scraps
The 2 Remaining Pancakes
Squishy raw potatoes
The Remaining Peanut Butter in the Jar (because you're going on a diet)
The Gift of a Fruitcake (b/c no one is every really gonna eat it)
Brown shopping bags
Pressed board boxes
Electric pencil sharpener empty-ings
Sugar & Flour that falls onto the table & floors when making cookies
Soggy cereal left-overs (after draining out the dairy)
Hummus gone bad
The Now-Moldy Bumper from the Bumper Crop of Tomatoes
Toe-Nail & Finger-Nail clippings
Children's homework & schoolwork papers (b/c they just can't all be kept as a momento)
Notices from the School & PTA
Sewing & Quilting fabric scraps & thread snips
Moth-eaten wool sweaters
Used coloring books
Old Halloween Candy - especially the kind that no one likes
Hard-as-a-rock Easter Jelly Beans
Valentine's Day chocolate box candies that you don't like
Paper Mache projects that didn't quite turn out as planned
IRS tax forms that you won't use because you have tax software or a CPA
Moldy bottom of the pasta sauce jar
Old Baking Soda (that was used to deoderize the fridge)
Hardened, congealed drink mix powders
Every pressed board item that came out of the bathroom closet & drawas that you finally decluttered)
Christmas cards (that you come across in February)
Any printed item along the line of "Go Yankees" (b/c I'm a Red Sox fan)
The Little Paper Peelings that Teenagers create when they're talking on the phone and peeling the label off bottles, etc.
Assembly Instructions after you've put the thing together
Puzzles that are missing a few pieces so no one will actually do them anymore
Completed Sudoku & Crossword puzzle books
False propaganda letters from your opposing political party
Paper Wrapper of the Ream of Paper
Old Recipe Clippings for recipes that you'll never make
2-day-old bagels & donuts (that are past dunking stage)
Potato & Carrot Peelings
Now-Irrelevant Business Cards
Pear stems & cores
Pressed board boxes that 12-packs of soda come in
Pint & half-gallon ice cream containers
SAT vocabulary index cards (after the tests, of course)
Grocery Store Sales Inserts in the newspapers (not glossies)
All of the paper bills that you pay online anyway
White Rice (because you're going to replace it with brown rice because white rice is so bad for you)
Cotton balls that you used to clean the dog's ears
Cardboard egg cartons (but not the styrofoam ones)
The cardboard boxes that the dryer sheets come in (but not the dryer sheets themselves)
Spent Blooms from the Butterfly Bush
Mistletoe after Christmas
After-dinner plate scrapings (but not meat or dairy)
Stale left-over dinner rolls (if you're not going to get around to making homemade breadcrumbs)
Construction paper scraps
The Dust-Covered dried flower arrangement
All that tissue paper in the Christmas gift boxes (that's too crumpled to re-use)
Pressed board that almost every child's toy comes in (& which is intricately tied to with those million darn plastic twisties)
Flower bouquets that you're saving in the freezer (from that special occasion that you can't remember)
Junk faxes that you receive (that you don't want to turn into scrap paper before throwing out)
Price tags & store tags from new clothing
Old cotton & wool kids clothes that are too stained or worn
Pomegranate skin & membranes
Outdated train, bus & subway schedules (same goes for outdated maps too!)
Wedding, shower & party invitations (after the event, if not going into the scrapbook)
Scrapbook decoration scraps
Brown-bag school book covers @ the end of the school year
Your teenagers' notebooks from last year
Thank you cards that you received (that aren't making it into the scrapbook)
Paper cups & plates
The Roll of Paper Towels that got left out in the rain
The Junk (minus the coins) in the couch seat cushions (same goes for the car floor mats and seat crevices)
Toast Crusts that finicky kids don't eat
Scummy water in the flower vases
Solid rock brown sugar (that won't soften w/any softening trick)
The old apple slices that you had put into the brown sugar to soften it
The Cinnamon Rolls that no one could finish (because they got a sugar headache from eating the first 4)
Half-melted ice-pop that your child left melting on the kitchen table before they went outside
The Plate of Food that you left on the kitchen counter that the dog just licked (not meat or dairy)
Rice Krispy Treats that turned so hard that they will break your teeth if you tried to eat them now
All food items in your fridge & pantry that are not on your New Year's Resolution diet
Left-over water, tea, coffee, soda that sat out overnight
Apple Cider 2 weeks past its prime
Left-over spiked punch
Half-Eaten bagels & snacks still left in the car from this weekend's road trip
Guacamole - that got brown while sitting out on the table for several houses during the game-night party
Toothpicks (yes, used)
Melted Remains of 7-11 & QuickCheck Slurpy/Slushy Sodas
The Tomato that the ground hog took a bite of and left on the ground for you to pick up!
Last year's now-rotten bulbs that never got planted
Also - tell us - What have you added to your compost pile lately?
Did we leave something out of the 200+ compost item list? We'd like to know :)