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Not enough browns

Posted by little-river-dog 5 (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 7, 11 at 20:50

So what's the worse thing that can happen if you have 3 bins full of wet green stuff and no browns? Does it take longer? What?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Not enough browns

  • Posted by val_s z5 central IL (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 7, 11 at 21:00

The worse that can happen is it will get slimy and stink.

Val


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RE: Not enough browns

Val is right - peee - yew!

The primary component of browns in my pile is shredded junk mail.

Leaf season will be upon us shortly, so you should have plenty of browns falling from the trees over the next few weeks.


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RE: Not enough browns

I piled up some lawn clippings and didn't get around to mixing in the browns for a couple days. grass is naturally wet/moist and the pile had a distinctive odor... but nothing bad. I had a big pile of leaves ready to add but I needed to run my mower over them first.
your description makes it sound like your added... which I would avoid (to an all green pile).
here are some suggestions for browns:

* Fall leaves
* Pine needles
* Twigs, chipped tree branches/bark
* Straw or hay
* Sawdust
* Corn stalks
* paper plates and napkins, coffee filters
* Newspaper, writing/printing paper,
* Dryer lint
* Cotton fabric
* Corrugated cardboard (without slick paper coating)

It's labor intensive, but you should be able to find enough cardboard and newspaper to meet your demands. and then start shredding :)


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RE: Not enough browns

I did have a few of those things, just not nearly enough.


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RE: Not enough browns

It might also attract some undesirable visitors (i.e., rats, oppossums). I know there are many avenues to composting, but because I have very close (proximity) neighbors, I usually stop collecting greens if I don't have plenty of browns (shredded leaves for my pile--keeps the stink to a minimum) to go with it.


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RE: Not enough browns

  • Posted by val_s z5 central IL (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 10, 11 at 19:07

You're in zone 5 as am I. Go to friends or relatives house and rake their leaves. Sometimes that's easier than going up and down the neighborhood :-)

Also, in a pinch you can use straw. Lots of bales around cheap for the fall/Halloween season...or wait till after and get them free.

Val


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RE: Not enough browns

Please be advised that these all green slimy moist/wet piles can become a pile of maggots/flies very quickly. Been there, done that.


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RE: Not enough browns

You can also use brown paper bags and toilet roll cores , cereal boxes as browns, collect them as you use them up.

Here is a link that might be useful: has a nice list for greens and browns here


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RE: Not enough browns

my primary "browns" are leaves and straw. i also use shredded paper, cardboard, dead yard waste, newsprint...

Karen


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RE: Not enough browns

  • Posted by zuni 5a (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 12, 11 at 13:15

Little river dog, any time your compost "stinks" it has become anaerobic. Anaerobic bacteria are not considered healthy for the soil or for the active aerobic bacteria. Use your nose to determine whether your compost is balanced. If you cannot incorporate more air into the pile (by adding more brown, etc.) at least turn the pile more often.


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