The greens you add to your compost are the nitrogen producers, and they don't have to be "green" but quite often are. Nitrogen is an essential element in the production of healthy plants. For good compost you need a 50/50 mix of greens and browns. The following list contains a good selection of compostable ingredients that will add nitrogen to your compost;
- Fruit and fruit peelings - chop up whole fruit, if used in volume it is best to wrap fruit and the peelings in paper before you add them to your compost bin.
- Vegetables and vegetable peelings - chop up whole vegetables
- Annual weeds - seeds from weeds are transported on the wind, whether you compost the seeds or not you will still get weeds.
- Grass clippings - a large volume of clippings may turn sludgy, intersperse with layers of browns
- Soft stem cuttings
- Rhubarb leaves and poisonous plants - poisons will disperse as the plant matter decomposes
- Old bedding plants and house plants - roots will have soil, soil is not a problem
- Citrus peel - a little citrus is fine, a large volume will make your compost acidic
- Dock leaves
- Cut flowers - stems may be woody, this is not a problem they will turn to compost too
- Root vegetable tops
- Potato peelings - will not grow new potatoes unless you have peeled most of the potato as well!
- Thistles - the spiky bits will decompose
This list is quite comprehensive list but it is not exhausted. If you have something not listed, and want to know whether it can go into your compost bin, please ask me.
Remember "if in doubt - leave it out!"