This is the raw ingredients for our next compost heap that will be ready in the Spring of 2018.
It is made up primarily of leaves collected last Autumn and the grass clippings and hedge trimmings collected over the spring flush.
The leaves are the source of Carbon (C) and the greenery (grass and tree trimmings) are the source of Nitrogen (N).
To make proper compost we aim for a balance of 4 parts Carbon to one part Nitrogen (4:1 C/N).
This compares with commercial mushroom growing compost that as a strict C/N ratio of 3:1
We will “cook” this by the addition of 4 bags of chicken manure pellets mixed with water. It will act as a catalyst to hasten the breakdown of the whole heap.
The fungi and bacteria will use the Nitrogen (N) in the chicken manure to break down the Carbon (C) in the leaves.
The chicken manure pellets don’t so much allow the breakdown process to occur rather it allows it to happen a lot faster. Without the extra N to boost the breakdown process would just take longer (perhaps twice as long) and there would be a risk of nutrients being lost though leaching when it rains heavily and the heap becomes saturated with water.