Composting Ingredients – Camp Compost Pacman

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Season 3 – Autumn/Winter 2019/20

Doin The Dirt Directory

“Composting is as much fun as gardening if NOT more!”

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Composting Ingredients – Camp Compost Pacman #2

Following on from yesterday’s post Compost Snacks! Today we will look at a listing of ingredients that you can safely add to your heap. It is not a completely definitive listing, but it will give you a clearer heads up to what ingredients your compost will readily gobble up happily like a composting commando rolling Pacman!

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Additionally l will add a few of the basics as in non food that may surprise you. It all comes down to carbons and nitrogens and that once you start to look upon your compost heap as a living breathing entity and not so much a pile of dirty dirt then you will really start to appreciate the true value of your heap.

The microbes in your heap are split into two main Pacman camps; Bacteria Camp and Fungi Camp – they work cohesively together but they concentrate very specifically in the two areas. The Bacteria  Camp consume and eat the nitrogens whilst the Fungi Camp eat and consume the carbons. I find composting not just utterly fascinating and complex but seriously great fun which is why l try where l can to make these posts entertaining.

A side note is that recently someone emailed me and asked why l didn’t just make these ‘gardening’ series posts more bullet like? Easy and easier to access the information?

My answer to not just this question but many questions is that my blog ‘s tag line is “Storytelling My Life For You!” I take that at the literal sense, because our lives are filled with stories and my fun in the gardening is no less a story than my fun with anything else in life.

Personally for me, l learn more from images and from first hand experiences than l do from bullet points – l can feel more resonation from a gardener’s hands on – it is way too easy to just bullet point everything. You know? Everything and every experience in our lives is a story … so let’s enjoy telling them. I enjoy telling you all about my stories and adventures in the garden!

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So – what food and non – food types can we add as ingredients to Camp Pacman?

Unwaxed Cardboard/Cardboard Egg Boxes

Scrunched up or in small pieces – better damp to wet.

Newspaper

Shredded, in strips, scrunched up – glossy paper is not really that good, best recycled.

Kitchen Paper Towelling

Only that which has been used on non chemical clean ups.

Flat beers/wines

Old spices

Both dried and fresh varieties

Pet bedding – Think Herbivores

Hamsters, Gerbils, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs …

Old jams

Just empty contents into the pile – not the glass!

Dry Pet Food

Kibbles

Wood Ash

Not Coal Ash

Hair and Nail Clippings

Yours or your pets

Sawdust, wood chips

Untreated by chemicals

Eggshells

You can grind them to dust,crush or broken fragments or leave them whole in two halves – worms love them in all forms.

Grass Clippings

Add thinly and not as one great heap.

Fruits

All fruit* [See Citrus]

*Citrus Fruit

Citrus fruit, skins and pith, juicings and fermented can be composted but ensure it is distributed eveningly and shredded or cut up.

Tea Leaves/Coffee Grounds

Make sure tea bags and or coffee filters are made from natural materials.

All vegetables

Can add in whole, sliced, diced, torn, shredded, blended, chopped, fermented, reduced to pulp or slurry.

Crumbs and dust particles from kitchen work tops. Hoovered hairs.

Paper Bags

Shredded, strips, torn up

Cooked Pasta/Rices

Soiled breads, yeasts, crackers, old aotmeals

Seaweed and kelps

Blood dried

Human Urine

Old Bills/Bank Statements/Non Glossy Flyers and Junk Mail

Shredded

Envelopes [minus the windows if present]

Shredded

Sticky Notes/Non – Glossy Business Cards

Shredded

Weeds*

Hot composting kills seeds/Take off roots and chop

Leaves

Green/Brown/Old/Wind Swept

Animal Manures – Think Herbivores

Chicken, Horse, Cattle, Goat – best well rotted. Fresh is too strong and burns.

Old vegetable plants

With brassicas – break down stalks

Dead houseplants /flowers/Dried Floral Arrangements/Natural unscented potpourri Toilet rolls or inner cardboard rolls.

Cut into smaller pieces

Natural Festivity Wreaths Chicken Manure Pellets/Worm Casts/Volcanic Rock Dust Old rotted hays/straws
Feathers from birds

Not carcass [although this can be composted in a different system]

Mushrooms/Fungis Fruit Tree Twigs/Branches

Best results shredded

Burlap Sack Material

Break into very small pieces

Old Hemp Ropes/Twines Pine Needles

Slow to break down/shredding helps – they have a pH of 3.2 and this makes gardeners wary, but small amounts distributed through various piles will not damage overall soil results.

Bee Poop Used Matchsticks Hops

Small amounts NOT huge piles

Bird droppings from caged birds Raw Fish*

Compost will eat this, but this will attract animals – so break into small pieces, blend and distribute across heap, cover with compost and not just leave on top.

Leather scraps

Tear/cut/shred into smaller pieces.

Molasses Sugar Beet Waste/Pulp

Break into small pieces.

Old Fish Tank natural plants
Vegetable peelings Fish Meal Limestone fragments
Corn on the cob

Break into smaller degradable pieces

Blood Meal Jellies [Gelatins]
Garden soils

From previous seasons containers

Old compost

Recycle older compost

Rabbit/Guinea Pigs droppings
Alfalfa/Comfrey/Clover/Nettles Grapefruit/Oranges/Lemons

Break down and do not add in huge quantities

Sugar Cane Waste

[Bagasse]

Onions/Garlic/Leek Soya Milk/Beans Rotting natural woods and bark
Lobster/Crab Shell Dead Starfish Old/Soiled Yoghurts
Apple Cores/Apples Herbal Tea leaves/bags Old tobacco [not filters]
Soiled Cheeses

Within moderation as additions

Lints from washing machines and tumble dryers. Moss

So you can see that the list of items you can compost is actually enormous – and if still in doubt? Give Google a shout!

I hope this list helps. Check the videos out below.

Anyway l’ll take my leave of you now

Thanks for reading everyone, till the next time …

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