about to start composting, need some advice!

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Dora Dora
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about to start composting, need some advice!

So, I just got a rotating compost bin (I got a tumbler) and I'd like to start composting. I've read that the ideal composting ratio is anywhere from 1:1 (browns to green) to 30:1 (browns to greens). What do you all recommend? Also, I have a paper shredder, and I've been using it to shred my paper and cardboard remains to use for the browns in my compost instead of recycling them. Does the glossy paper turn into compost, or should I just put that in the regular recycling? And is it a problem if I add browns and greens to the compost bin every week (because, after all, I eat every day, and the kitchen scraps pile up)? I mean, maybe it will make the composting process take longer, but other than that is there any problem with it? And lastly, is there anything else other than browns, greens, a little water, and a weekly rotation that I have to worry about for the the compost bin?

(I thought about the hens and the worms, and I just can't deal with living things and having to handle their waste).
Sandra Sandra
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Re: about to start composting, need some advice!

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Hi, Dora. I've been using a ratio of 3:1 browns to greens, and in warm weather, it turns into compost within a month. I add a bin of greens to the compost pile each week, then fill up the bin three times with leaves (browns) and add that to the pile. I give the pile a good mix to aerate, then add a sprinkle of water only if the pile looks dry (it should be as moist as a wrung out towel).

I would recommend recycling the glossy paper. It's hard to tell whether this type of paper is coated in plastic or not, and the last thing you'll want to do is to sift out pieces of paper from the rest of the compost. If you plan on using the compost for planting vegetables and other edibles, I would also consider the materials that are in the paper you are composting. For instance, is the paper printed with soy ink, are there any other chemicals or glue on the paper?

The only other concern I have had with the compost bin is the occasional visit from unwanted outdoor pests. I left a narrow-mouthed bottle filled with vinegar and a couple of drops of castile soap near the bin to catch flies. Spraying a diluted solution of castile soap directly on bugs and on the bin also helps.

Hope this is helpful and good luck!
reed reed
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Re: about to start composting, need some advice!

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Also, it really helps a new pile get going if you toss some finished compost, or even just dirt, in with it to help boost the microbe population.  Happy composting!