If you’re new to gardening and are wondering can bread be composted you’re in the right place!
Well, when it comes to home composting, nowadays people have three major options at hand.
If they don’t go for the compost pile they will either go for the trash pile or the recycle bin.
But, the big question here always is; what needs to go where when you are composting?
Therefore, if you have been wondering whether bread is safe for your compost pile or what exactly needs to be thrown into your compost pile, you need not worry anymore.
You have come to the right place; I’ll break it all down for you below.
Can Bread Be Added To Compost?
The short answer Is “Yes”!
You can easily compost bread into the compost pile. As the nitrogen in the compost pile aids the bread to decompose quickly.
Now the composting process depends on you what kind of bread you are using.
With proper planning, you can compost the bread as easily as other degradable products of the kitchen.
However, bread tends to attract lots of rodents and pests.
Generally, bread breaks down easily it’s a great material for composting.
Can Bread be Composted, Best Materials ratio
Let’s start right from the basics. When it comes to composting, all materials that are either carbon-based or nitrogen-based are compostable.
The trick here should be using 1/3 of the ration as the green-nitrogen based items and 2/3 as the brown carbon-based items.
Brown materials are naturally bulky hence the carbon materials help to proper aeration and nourishment of the organisms in the compost.
Besides, too much nitrogen will only create a dense smelly odor.
As well, it will make the decomposition process of the mass to be unusually slow.
To determine the health of your compost you can check the smell.
If it smells fresh, then that means you are on the right track.
And definitely, the foul smell from the nitrogen materials is being masked by the carbon materials.
There are conflicting opinions on which of the two categories, bread should be placed in when it comes to compost. While the green refers to the high nitrogen quantity in the product.
You can use both of them for your compost. But there must be a balance in using them. The nitrogen and carbon quantity must be balanced with a ratio of about 1/3.
What Should I Compost?
Composting is one of the best ways to get rid of the plant materials, biodegradable items and leftover foods that would have been taken to the landfills at the end of the day.
When you compost the household items and kitchen waste, you get to remove at least 30% of the household waste from the garbage bin.
For that reason, here is a list of the fully safe materials that you can compost to achieve a nutrient-rich soil ideal for gardening and planting.
⦁ The Nitrogen/Green Items
The nitrogen or green items are rich in proteins. This means that the nitrogen items should cover only 1/3 of the compost pile.
I know you are wondering why the green items take such a small portion.
The issue with nitrogen items is that they make the compost pile smell sour.
This is because the nitrogen content here is converted in to ammonia gas, some of the common nitrogen items include;
Coffee grounds Vegetables, Fruit’s, Grass Clippings, Fresh Flowers.
⦁ The Carbon/ Brown Items
On the other hand, we have brown items which are rich in carbon content.
Hence they give the compost pile a fluffy and incredibly light texture and body.
In that case, the carbon items should take up at least 2/3 of the compost heap.
In addition, the carbon-rich items tend to counteract the nitrogen content in the other 1/3.
This is because the nitrogen in most cases expands really quickly. Some of the brown items include;
⦁ Cotton fabrics
⦁ Paper towels
⦁ Dryer Lint
⦁ Grass Clippings
This is one of the most essential ingredients of any compost composition.
However, when not decomposed in the right way, the grass clippings could turn into a stinky mess.
In that case, as you incorporate grass clippings in your compost you need to know the right way to do it. Grass will not make the feeds stock but will definitely make up the oxygen-free mat.
This is because grass contains at least 50% of water, therefore, will quickly go anaerobic in the absence of oxygen.
And to prevent this from occurring, you need to mix grass with some other ingredients of your preference.
You may consider adding soil or sawdust before adding it the grass clippings in the compost pile.
Actually, you could just spread the grass on top of the compost pile.
Wood chips and sawdust is best added when chopped or shredded.
Also, you may add pine needles but you need to be aware of its extremely high content of carbon.
This is because an equally high level of nitrogen is needed to break it down.
Therefore, as you add grass clippings into the compost pile, do it in moderation and in thin layers.
This helps to increase the surface area exposed to microbes and air.
⦁ Citrus Fruits
Over the past few years, there has always been a heated debate on whether or not it’s safe to add citrus fruits to the compost heap.
The reasons every time range from one thing to the other with the most common one being; the acidic content could kill the friendly worms.
Well, you should know that it’s quite okay to add citrus fruits to the compost.
Actually, adding citrus to your compost pile could help to keep away the scavengers out of your compost pile.
This is because citrus fruits have a strong smell that most of the scavenging animals loath.
In that case, citrus fruits help to keep the animal pests away.
⦁ Coffee Grounds
The coffee grounds are a great addition to any compost pile.
This is because they are a great source of nitrogen during compositing.
In that, they have a carbon-nitrogen ratio of 20:1.
Therefore, the coffee grounds provide the present bacteria with the required energy to turn the organic matter into compost material.
More to that, the coffee grounds are known to improve the soil structure as well as keep off slugs and snails in the garden.
⦁ Paper Napkins
This is one that you will never lack on any kid’s birthday or during a barbecue party.
However, the paper napkins can prove to be wasteful if the guests leave them lying all over the place after the party.
Therefore, if choose an unbleached and recyclable paper towel or napkin then it can its compo-stable.
These napkins break down just as normally as any other type of paper material.
⦁ Cardboard’s and Shredded Papers
Cardboard’s are one of the most recyclable and reusable materials. More to that, they are available in almost everything we own.
Ranging from the food containers, parcel boxes and so much more.
The paper material is a natural product that will more likely break down faster than most materials when placed in a compost heap.
All you have to do in order to speed up the composting process is shred the papers into smaller chunks. This ensures that it has less surface area.
Best Practice for composting Bread
The process of composting the bread is not a tricky task. You just have to go for a plan with proper technique.
The first step is to breakdown the bread into smaller pieces. In this way, insects will not be attracted to your compost pile.
Always place your scrap and bread pieces in the center of the composting bin. The reason behind this fact is most of the time, the heat generated in the center effectively speeds up the decomposition process.
Cover your compost pile with a material with high carbon quality and place some dry leaves over it. The leaves you placed will help maintain the amount of carbon and nitrogen in the compost.
Thinking of increasing up the decomposition process? Add some manure or even you can use your garden soil to the top of bread compost. This will boost up the decomposition process due to the decomposing bacteria present in the soil.
Fill all the sides of the bread with the compost to cover it up completely. In this way, no pests or rodents will be able to reach your bread. You can go with the compost tumblers if you are facing the issue of pests or rodents for composting. Being completely closed, tumblers do not produce much smell and keeps the animals far from your compost.
Others Things to Avoid in Your Compost
While there is a whole list of things from home that are great additions to your compost pile, there are still some things that are better if left out from the whole mix.
This is because such materials could either be hazardous, to the plants outside or to the soil too.
For that reason, they can only be disposed of in the regular container for disposing waste.
Below is a list of materials that are a NO to your compost pile if you need to safely compost your waste.
⦁ Cooking Oils
Cooking oils are one thing that in any case go straight into the trash bin.
This is because they smell like food to the pests and insects.
For that reason, cooking oil will only attract more of them.
In addition, the cooking oils tend to upset the moisture balance of the compost pile.
⦁ Baked Goods
Most of the baked goods like pasta, bread and cake should never be included in a compost pile.
This is because they will only open up a highway for unwanted pests.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to avoid baked goods that may include a lot of frost or sugar.
Otherwise, the addition of these products will attract rodents and animal pests.
⦁ Meat and Dairy Products
If you are a composter, meat or any milk products should be completely out of your mind.
When I talk about meat products I mean animal fats, blood and meat scraps. On the other hand, dairy products include; cheese, yogurt, cream.
This is because such products will degrade very fast and still, may attract very many pests in the process.
⦁ Pet Droppings
The droppings from pets like cats and dogs may contain a couple of disease organisms.
If you are not careful enough, these disease organisms are likely to make the compost toxic.
This is a big health risk. However, bedding and waste from the non-carnivorous home animal should be fine.
⦁ Diseased Plants
For you to be able to destroy the plant disease, it takes an industrial class composting system and extremely high temperatures.
If the plant diseases are not destroyed they may later spread to the plants when the compost is applied to the plants.
This is because the diseased plants transfer bacterial or fungal issues to the finished compost.
Once you get started on composting, it can be really rewarding.
However, if you don’t follow through some of the basics carefully, things could go wrong in a blink.
Pesticides are another thing that you should keep off from.
This is because the herbicides and pesticides don’t break down well.
There will always be a chief objection that most grains tend to attract rodents.
But I guess, this is the case for any neglected compost pile.
All in all, with the right practices. It should be okay to add grains in your compost pile.
All you have to do is at least mix them with some grass clippings, leaves, kitchen scraps and maybe livestock manure is you have some.
More to that water the pile then ensure that you place it in a rodent-friendly section.
Change the position of your compost regularly to keep your pile aerated and prevent anaerobic decomposition. Add brown material to the compost for maintaining a healthy balance. Make a proper strategy to avoid pests in your compost.
Therefore, when it comes to the case of composting bread, this solely depends on how you would like to do your composting.