An important ingredient in improving your growing substance is the micro life–bacteria, fungi, and other tiny organisms– which live on the surfaces of organic material. Acting as an elaborate food chain within a pile of yard and garden waste, they decompose it as they eat and reproduce. Pile some moist carbon material (dried, brown materials such as fallen leaves or straw) either alone or with a much smaller proportion of nitrogen material (moist, green stuff such as vegetable peelings, fresh weeds, or grass clippings) and let it happen. With sufficient air the organisms thrive, generating heat within the pile. Eventually the assembled yard waste is reduced to soft, dark, humus.
In a hurry? Encourage even more feverish microbial activity by shredding the material before adding, turn or stir the pile more often, or adding more organisms such as red wiggler worms.
- leaves (chopped or shredded)
- prunings, grass clippings
- leaf mold (semi-composted leaves)
- non-meat related kitchen waste
- sawdust (from non treated wood)
- weeds, dead plants (disease and seed free)
- wood chips
- bark products
- mushroom soil
- manures (dried)
- pecan, cocoa hulls