Tag Archives: Composters

Composters Still Need More Browns or Carbon

My composter, the Compact ComposTumbler still needs more browns or carbon to finish the job of composting.  The compost is still very wet from all the kitchen scraps that I have put in.  In other words they need  more shredded leaves because that is what I have saved in bags from the fall. But they need to be shredded to compost quickly and efficiently.

Yesterday was a perfect day to shred up some leaves that I had saved from the fall.  It was sunny with a nice breeze so as I emptied the bags the leaves would dry out.  It was a little hot so it was a hard job.  My leaf blower/shredder worked great!  It is a  EMax EVB200W with a 200 hp motor  that we bought at Wal-Mart.

I ended up with 3 black trash bags stuffed with shredded leaves.  I have already been throwing them into the composters and the compost is looking better already!  I do  have a bag of old peat moss but I am trying not to depend on it because it presents environmental challenges.  Mike McGrath says that you need a 4 to 1 ratio for compost making.  4 of carbon or browns to 1 of greens or nitrogen.  So we need lots of shredded leaves to be successful with compost unless you have some other great carbon source available.  Please post other sources and ideas in the comments below.  In the meantime we are good.  It is amazing how many bags of leaves can fit into 1 bag after you shred them.

UPDATE: 6/1/11  I turned the composter today and looked inside.  It was giving off steam when opened.  The compost is much hotter.  So all those shredded leaves are doing the trick.  I need to get a thermometer to see how hot it is.  Any good advice on compost thermometers??  Please post below.