Composting – Nutrient rich food

Q: Are all vegetative items the same for composting or are some more nutritious that others?

For example, are orange peels and banana peels basically the same?

A: Just as with basic nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, etc), plants can’t tell if a molecule of carbon-rich material came from a banana, a begonia or a beech tree. On the other hand, some materials have higher levels of chemical nutrients than others. Manure is higher in phosphorus than tree leaves; grass clippings contain more plant food than coffee grounds. This is the reason we try to mix nutrient-rich materials with carbon-rich materials in a compost pile: mixing the two together aids decomposition and results in compost that both feeds plants and softens the soil.

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