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Calculating the Composting Carbon Nitrogen Ratio

by Ruan

How do you apply the carbon-nitrogen ratio if the compost consists of more than 1 C:N (greens and browns) ratio? For example, I want to add both leaves and sawdust for the carbon and then add coffee grounds and garden waste for the nitrogen. Do I have to add the carbon ratios together and the nitrogen together individually? When I did it this way I came to a very big number (E.g 25:1 + 350:1….leads to 3960:1). Help?

Also, if I don’t use vegetables can I substitute it with other greens/browns (E.g. grass clippings)?

Thank you for the website,

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Feb 17, 2012
Calculating Composting Carbon Nitrogen Ratio
by: Compost Junkie Dave

If you have trouble seeing the numbers in this video, hop over to YouTube and watch it on a larger screen.

Here is a link to the compost mix calculator from Klickitat County. I highly recommend opening it and using it while you follow along with the video – Compost Mix Calculator

Below is a picture of the wheelbarrow that I make reference to in the video. It is critical to this calculation that you determine the volume of your own wheelbarrow, or whatever container you will be using to measure your composting ingredients.

garant wheelbarrow

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