You can make better compost by having the ideal carbon nitrogen ratio. Unfortunately, most home compost bins don’t have that ideal ratio. There are several compost accelerators on the market, here is one by our sponsor, Eco Scraps.
How to make better compost
The ideal carbon to nitrogen ratio, or browns to greens mix, according to Cornell University, is 30:1 by weight. That means 30 pounds of brown leaves to 1 pound of green grass. Coffee grounds are also high in nitrogen, btw.
If you compost pile smells like ammonia, it has too much nitrogen. I worked at a community garden with a large compost operation and found that by adding wood shavings from a local wood shop made a huge difference in the ammonia smell. Plus the curly nature of the shavings helped us make better compost. The woodworker was happy to get rid of huge bags of shavings, saving him carting fees and landfill space. Pretty amazing how they broke down quickly.
But too much nitrogen is rare, the average home compost pile has too much carbon (browns) in the mix, so a compost accelerator like Eco Scraps adds nitrogen. I suggest layering the accelerator as you add material to your pile. Just tossing it on top of an existing pile wont help.
Another key if you want to make better compost is to provide air to your pile. This can be done just by turning it, but if you have the pile in a bin (like my pallet compost bin) that’s not always easy. You can buy a compost auger, Augers on Amazon link, I have used these and the good ones work well. (You get what you pay for) You can also find a neighbor who is throwing out some 1″-3″ pvc pipe, drill holes in it, and layer these in the pile as you build it.
We have a bunch more composting videos here, let me know your thoughts below.