I was just thinking of this and am about to post a few great sources of composting do’s and don’t on the blog, including Cornell Composting, Journey to Forever and Garden Organic (a British organization). Basically no grease, fats, animal products (except manures); no things that are too woody or large to break down easily (sometimes you have to pre-shred them or run over with the mower; certain things like thick branches just don’t work at all). No weeds that have seeds already developed (next time weed earlier and then compost the debris). The key: mix it up–brown stuff (like dead leaves or fine twigs) plus green stuff (like grass clippings) makes black gold (compost). Inoculate with a few shovels of compost or just garden soil in each layer to speed things along, and keep your heap moist (not wet) and aerated to speed decomposition. There are a lot of good links (including the ones above) in this page on the blog that I posted awhile ago (and also in the sidebar links area): http://awaytogarden.com/composting-basics/
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.