Adding Greens to Your Compost Pile

Adding Greens to a Compost PileEarlier I mentioned three easy steps for composting.  One of those steps was to add “greens.”  But what constitutes “green” stuff?

Well, with a couple of exceptions, greens are…well, they’re green.  They have lots of nitrogen to help with decomposition, and they’re often readily available in your kitchen.  I usually keep a compost container in my kitchen so I can add scraps throughout the day.  It’s also a great way to clean out the fridge and get rid of those “science experiments.”

Excellent greens found in the kitchen include:

  • Raw or cooked fruits and vegetables (including skins, rinds, cores, etc.)
  • Coffee grounds, coffee filters, and teabags
  • Salsas and other sauces
  • Corncobs
  • Breads, rices, and other grains
  • Any liquids used in cooking

You can also add fruit pits as well as the shells from nuts and shellfish.  They do decompose slower than other kitchen scraps, so trying grinding or crushing them into small pieces first.

Nitrogen-rich plant trimmings and cuttings can also go into your compost pile.  These include:

  • Leafy materials from pruned trees and shrubs
  • Remnants from your vegetable garden
  • Cut and spent flowers
  • Weeds (without the seed heads)
  • Grass clippings (without the seed heads)

I generally don’t use any of these but manure, animal and human hair, and hay are all green materials that can be added to your pile in limited quantities.

Just remember to break everything down into small pieces for faster decomposition.  Oh, and I highly recommend the Composting For Dummies book.  It’s a great reference and covers just about everything related to composting.


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