Organisms that decompose organic materials to form compost depend on a "diet" of carbon and nitrogen. Fresh, green materials are rich in nitrogen, and so are animal manures. Just as plants need nitrogen to grow, decomposers need nitrogen to fuel the decomposition process. Grass clippings are rich in nitrogen, and wood chips are a carbon source. The key to making a compost
pile is to combine nitrogen-rich materials with carbon sources in the right proportions, with the right amount of moisture, and adequate aeration.
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