Carbon:Nitrogen ratio of common compost materials
by Frann Leach
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The centre of any good organic garden is its compost heap. To make good compost, it helps if you are aware of the carbon:nitrogen balance of the materials which you are putting in it. This is a list of the most common materials added to compost heaps.

Material Carbon Nitrogen
Blood, dried 0 4
Bone meal 1 4
Cabbage/lettuce leaves 2 2
Coir fibre 1 1
Comfrey 9.8 1
Kitchen scraps, raw 2 2
Hops, spent 0 2
Lawn mowings 2 2
Leaves 3 1
Manure, pig, with straw 1 3
Manure, poultry 0 3
Manure, stable with straw 1 3
Nettles, fresh 1 4
Newspaper, shredded 2 0
Pea and bean vines 1 3
Peat 1 1
Plant debris 2 2
Potato haulms 2 2
Prunings, shredded 3 1
Seaweed, fresh 2 2
Straw 3 1
Tomato haulms 2 2
Urine 0 4
Weeds, annual 2 2
Wheat straw 3 1
  Crushed egg shells, feathers, bracken, tea leaves, bonfire ash and pet hair can all be added in small doses.

The following items should not be composted: leftovers containing meat or fish, large quantities of sawdust or wood shavings, evergreen prunings, manmade fibres, vacuum bag contents unless all your carpets are wool.
©2004 Frann Leach. All rights reserved.

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