Compost Zodiac

What kind of composter are you?

By Scott Meyer and Beth Huxta


compostingThe Engineer

Profile: You weigh grass clippings and leaves before adding them to the pile. You chart the pile's temperature readings to plot exactly when to turn it.

Advice: The ideal carbon-to-nitrogen (C:N) ratio for a compost pile is 30:1. At higher ratios, the decomposition process slows, Shell explains, while lower ratios cause the pile to get a strong, ammonialike odor. The trick to getting the exact ratio is to mix ingredients in the right balance. Grass clippings have a C:N of about 16:1, while sawdust is about 400:1. Check for the C:N ratios of common compost ingredients; then get out a calculator when building your pile.

What's Your Sign?

Turn kitchen scraps into super-fertile soil!  Learn more.

New for your e-reader or tablet: Compostology 1-2-3.