Composting problems

Posted: July 17, 2010 by DIY Big Boss in Garden Composting / Bins / Storage Containers
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Image courtesy of Treenbean

Composting is one of those things that should be very easy, throw into it your vegetable scraps, grass clippings, weeds etc and it should just do its thing? Right!  Well most of the time yes, but sometimes you will hit a problem or two.  In a future post we will write about the perfect way to achieve compost, but today we are focusing on solving any compost problem you may have.

Compost effectively is living bacteria that needs waste products, air and water to survive. Simply if you keep the levels of these items right, you will always have perfect compost.

Waste includes dry matter, leaves, grass clippings, vegetable waste and manure.  This is the main part of your compost and should be about 90% of its volume.  Go for a range of these waste items for the best results.

As you build your compost pile ensure that you allow access to air, mix and water your compost in order to make the waste damp, but not sopping wet.  This should provide you a perfect compost, but here is our checklist for a perfect ‘pong’ pile!

  1. It looks dry – add water and fresh green waste, then mix
  2. It looks wet and smells – add dry wastes and mix.  Also ensure that your pile is getting enough air by rotating it.  Dry waste can include hay, straw, leaves or bark.
  3. It is only working in the middle – the compost pile may be too small, make it larger and moisten
  4. It looks perfect but is not heating up – your pile needs a nitrogen boost, you can do this by adding green damp waste or a nitrogen fertilizer.
  5. There are lots of flies – avoid adding any type of ‘meat or fish’ scraps to your pile, keep it organic.  You should have worms and slugs though.
  6. Some items haven’t broken down – try avoiding adding too much of any one thing at once, remember the tip above to get an even mix of waste including green wastes and dry wastes.

To get a compost bin, check out the DIY Bargain Bin Garden Composting / Bins / Storage Containers to see what we have available.  Remember using a ready-made bin can make troubleshooting easier as they are designed to turn and aerate your compost.

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Comments
  1. […] spied my lovely bins on this DIY composting blog – actually they did ask permission to use my Flickr […]

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