has my compost gone bad again

Discussion in 'Compost and Recycling' started by Mr. Green thumbs, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. Mr. Green thumbs

    Mr. Green thumbs

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    Hello

    This is my second year trying to compost but last year it did not work out, this year it doesn't seem going that well either I think my compost has gone anaerobic, hoping someone can tell me maybe how to fix it I don't want to start from scratch. My compost bin get grass, leaves, banana peels, pulp from various fruits, coffee grounds, paper bags, anything that has a peel, egg shells etc
     

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    Mr. Green thumbs, Jun 17, 2017
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  2. Mr. Green thumbs

    Owdboggy

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    Too compacted. find a way of turning it over to let air into the mix (which sounds about right.).
     
    Owdboggy, Jun 17, 2017
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  3. Mr. Green thumbs

    Chuck

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    Compost goes anaerobic because of it being too wet and the of lack of oxygen. Does your compost smell sort of like ammonia? The best thing to fix an anaerobic compost pile is to rejuvenate the microbes with molasses because the odor is the dead microbes. Just because it has gone anaerobic doesn't mean that it cannot be fixed. Spread it out and let it dry. Add more organic material and mix in molasses at the rate of 1 oz per quart of water. This is a strong solution of molasses and it will bring back life to your compost pile. Just don't let it get too wet again.
     
    Chuck, Jun 17, 2017
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  4. Mr. Green thumbs

    Mr. Green thumbs

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    Thanks for the reply, I can't spread it out as it is in a barrel like my picture, sine my pile is wet can I just add the molasses directly? I have a fresh pile of grass can I add it or should I wait?

    Thanks
     

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  5. Mr. Green thumbs

    Chuck

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    I would turn the compost barrel every chance I had. Is there any way to put a little electric fan into the barrel to help dry it out between turnings? In any case just spray a molasses mixture onto the top of compost after turning.
     
    Chuck, Jun 17, 2017
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  6. Mr. Green thumbs

    Mr. Green thumbs

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    Ok I made the mixture but before applying I turn the barrel 10 slow turns, then I applied with a spray bottles the mixture to the top layer, rotate, apply to top layer and so on until the mixture was complete, I did added the grass and some green leaves to the compost ill add some browns later. I can probable put a fan later to help it dry, I do have 3 more questions
    1. Should I apply more of the mixture in a couple days
    2. The compost balls (for a lack of a better word) will they break down
    3. Since I never made compost, I was wondering how long will it take to be ready? Will I be able to use it this season?
    And thanks for your help
     
    Mr. Green thumbs, Jun 18, 2017
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  7. Mr. Green thumbs

    Chuck

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    What are those balls. They look like dried beans. But no matter what they are if they are organic they will compost. By all means add more molasses when you can, just don't have the compost wet, just a little damp. I don't know how long it will take.
     
    Chuck, Jun 18, 2017
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  8. Mr. Green thumbs

    DirtMechanic

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    I would consider drain holes to be necessary on that device. Moisture would be more self regulating that way. Also, with a few more holes, oxygen may enter the device.
     
    DirtMechanic, Nov 13, 2017
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  9. Mr. Green thumbs

    Rajesh Sethi

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    Nice compost bin, rotating with slide door.

    IDK, maybe add fresh dug soil to it, will allow to worms to develop in it.

    If you wish to dry that just leave it open sprinkle a thin layer of garden soil in case it gives odour.

    Or find a corner in your garden where you could unload it, cover the pile with thin layar of soil and leave it for sometimes.


    How does that thing works, fresh waste mixing again with already decompost stuff?
     
    Rajesh Sethi, Nov 13, 2017
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  10. Mr. Green thumbs

    productivegardener

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    Looks like you might not have enough carbon or "brown" material in it. Compost gets slimy when 1. It is to wet. 2. It doesn't get enough air. or 3. It has too high a ratio of green to brown material. Green, or nitrogenous materials, are lawn clippings, weeds, culled garden plants, etc. Brown, carbonaceous materials are dry leaves, straw, cardboard, etc.
     
    productivegardener, Nov 16, 2017
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  11. Mr. Green thumbs

    Owdboggy

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    We have never consciously added carbonaceous material to our heap. It is mostly grass and plant material. Never had any trouble with it going slimy either.
     
    Owdboggy, Nov 16, 2017
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  12. Mr. Green thumbs

    productivegardener

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    While not conscious, you very likely did add material with a high carbon to nitrogen (CN) ratio. Some plant matter such as corn stalks or pepper plant stems have a higher CN ratio. Other materials with a high CN ratio include paper, cardboard, sawdust, straw, etc.
     
    productivegardener, Nov 16, 2017
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  13. Mr. Green thumbs

    Owdboggy

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    Don't grow peppers or corn so no stalks from them. No paper (except for a small coffee filter paper), definitely no cardboard, no straw and the only time we have added sawdust it was still there unrotted a year later, so we do not add that now.
    I have actually made a heap from just pure lawn mowings. Just needed to turn it more often.
    The heap gets turned twice. Once from the In section into the Pending and then again into the Out section. Too much like hard work to turn it more often. The stuff in the Out section is three years old when it is used.
    Leaves get bagged to make leaf mould.
     
    Owdboggy, Nov 16, 2017
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  14. Mr. Green thumbs

    roadrunner

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    How much saw dust did you use? Did you keep the pile moist?

    If you make a compost from pure lawn clippings then it's going to stink without adding carbon ingredients, unless you turn the pile often; however, once the clippings start turning brown, they've lost much of their moisture (and nitrogen) and will require less turning. So curious how often you did turn the pile?

    I basically agree with @productivegardener.5678/ on this, but maybe you did something special we've missed so far that kept the stink down. Or maybe your nose isn't working like it use to...:whistle::D;)
     
    roadrunner, Nov 17, 2017
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  15. Mr. Green thumbs

    Owdboggy

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    It was along time ago now. All I can remember is that I made holes in the pile with a big wrecking bar so that air could get into it. No smell at all. Our neighbours just throw their lawn clippings over the fence on to the field boundary, (very naughty of them I know) and I was round there yesterday removing brambles which were growing into our garden. The heap under the fresh stuff was beautiful looking compost. And that has never been touched, turned, and it certainly does not smell.
    My sense of smell is as good as anyones. As a non-smoker I have no problems with it.
    Perhaps American lawn grass is different to British stuff.
    Finally if you want to start an argument amongst gardeners, then ask them how they go about making garden compost. Stand back and watch the sparks fly.
    Novemeber garden and moon 029.jpg
    Two thirds empty Out pile. The stalks visible are Clematis stems which refused to rot so I pulled them out as I dug the stuff .

    Novemeber garden and moon 030.jpg
    Pending pile .
     
    Owdboggy, Nov 17, 2017
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  16. Mr. Green thumbs

    Robert Cummings

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    Yes slimey wet compost can be a problem if the balance of what you add to your pile is not quite right, simple solution which works every time is to add as much variety as you have available in small layers, if you have say a lot of grass, then set some aside and every time you add something to your heap then add a layer of what you have excess of, do not compress the heap but do turn it often to allow plenty of air in. This year we have added roofing thatch, straw, Grasscuttings, hedge prunings, dead flower heads, herbaceous prunings and leaves together with shredded paper cardboard and the spent hay and straw from my wife's rabbit shed, this will make lovely compost by next spring, ready to use, Many Of Our Compost containers are Just a rectangle of chicken wire with four posts, the chicken wire is open at the front so it's easy to get wheelbarrow in, to start with anyway, this is my preferred way of compost making, it's cheap, it works well and is relatively easy to deal with.
     
    Robert Cummings, Dec 8, 2017
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