Originally Posted by TheChickMan
s there any certain ratio of diffrent things can use to make the compost better. Anything you would not suggest putting in it besides meat?
People mention a certain ratio of greens (fresh) and browns (dried--food will fall in between). I think the main problem is too much greens--mainly lawn clippings. Green weeds will heat up the pile, potentially beyond the optimum temperature. But lawn clippings unmixed will make a pile slimy and gross-- dog-poo-smell gross. "Too many" browns will slow the pile down, but I don't see this as a bad thing. A cold pile will be more favorable to fungi, and that is a good thing according to some schools of thought. You will also host more worms, which can't survive hot composts. A cold pile takes longer and will not kill weed seeds (not the worst thing in the world, I mean, my compost comes from...... *weeds*!)
A hot pile will break down faster and kill more seeds. It is primarily a bacterial process. Turning the pile gives the bacteria more oxygen, and the pile heats up again. Makes beautiful compost when you turn it.
We never turn our compost, and our pile is a little bit of everything (except lawn clippings which are allowed to fall on the grass). In summer we have a lot of weeds (which the chickens get a great deal of) and vigorous self-sown "ornamentals" (i. e. "pretty weeds"). In the fall and early spring, the pile gets more browns (but most of the leaves are allowed to stay put--except on the lawn-- mostly we rake them into the beds.) We are not shy about adding woody stalks etc. to our pile. If we were planning on turning it, these would get in the way and be annoying, but we don't. So, if they aren't composted by the time we harvest the pile, well..... we just toss the sticks in with the compost in the wheelbarrow. No putting the sticks back, nothing. They go onto the beds as if they weren't there.
As far as a particular ratio, yes there might be a perfect one, but I challenge anyone to really get it just right. And "better" is a matter of debate. Fungi buffs prefer cold, slow piles.
Meat and cheese compost in their own way, but they go in the worm bin here. An open pile is open to everything. The main reason to keep these products out of your pile is to avoid attracting pests. But there is nothing wrong with *having* them in your pile. If you don't mind bones, that is. Bury them deep in the pile, as deep as you can. Works better for a slow pile, IMO.
Yeah, hay is pretty weedy, but that's what we have locally. All hay gets used in the chicken coop and yard before being put in the garden. They clean it up pretty well.