Yes or No
Note: The presence of a C, N or O in the C:N column indicates whether the C:N values of the material tend to be carbonaceous (C), nitrogenous (N) or other (O).
|Algae and seaweed||Yes||N||Good nutrient source.|
|Ash from charcoal or coal||No||Contains sulfur dioxides, may harm plants in the garden.|
|Ashes from wood fireplace or stove||Yes, but very alkaline||O||Can cause nutrient imbalance problems. Use no more than a fine sprinkling very 18 inches or so.|
|Bird droppings||No||Droppings from pet birds may contain disease organisms and weed seeds.|
Best if shredded into small pieces.
|Cat feces or litter||No||May contain disease organisms.|
|Cottonseed meal||Yes||N||Can be used as a source of nitrogen in the fall when green grass clippings are scarce. Use the amount in a large coffee can for each nitrogen layer.|
|Dog droppings||No||May contain disease organisms.|
|Diseased plants||No||Piles often do not get hot enough to destroy all diseases.|
|Dryer lint||Yes||N||May need to be moistened.|
|Food scraps||No||May attract rodents and other pests.|
|Hair||Yes||N||Add moisture and mix thoroughly in the pile.|
|Manure (horse, cow, pig, sheep, goat, chicken, rabbit)||Yes||N||Excellent source of nitrogen. Fresh manure has a high water content; mix with drier materials.|
|Newspaper||Yes||C||Recommend shredding into small pieces.
Most inks today are safe for garden use.
|Pine cones and needles (redwood, eucalyptus)||Yes, but use sparingly||N||Recommend shredding and adding in small quantities. Other compost materials will neutralize their acid effect.|
|Sawdust and wood shavings||Yes, but may need to add extra nitrogen||C||Has a high carbon content. Avoid sawdust from pressure-treated wood.|
|Weeds||Yes, but not seeds or spreading roots||N||Annual weeds which have not gone to seed can be composted. Plants that spread through roots or runners should be spread on pavement to dry thoroughly before adding to compost.|