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Composting will be most rapid if the decomposers are fed a mix of carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich materials, also known as browns and greens.
These high-nitrogen materials decay rapidly, supply nitrogen for composting, and tend to accumulate in spring and summer.
Examples of greens include:
Since greens foster poor aeration and may have foul odors if composted alone, it is best to mix greens with browns when composting.
These high-carbon materials decay very slowly, can help keep compost piles aerated, and tend to accumulate in the fall.
Examples of browns include:
Since browns will tie up nitrogen in the soil if not fully composted, you may need to stockpile browns until they are needed to mix with greens.