Categories Guide

Readers ask: Why does my compost bin stink?

If your compost smells bad, this is an indication that something in the balance of your compost pile is off. Things like too many greens (nitrogen material), too little aeration, too much moisture and not being mixed well can cause a compost pile to smell badly.

How do I get rid of the smell in my compost bin?

Sprinkling baking soda on newspaper lining the bottom of your containers can help reduce odours. The City of Pointe Claire recommends mixing some tea tree oil with water and spraying some on newspaper in your bin — or putting white or green clay at the bottom of your bin to reduce odours.

How do you fix rotting compost?

How to Fix a Soggy Compost Pile

  1. Cover any open compost pile. A compost pile should be moist but not soggy.
  2. Add fine carbon material which will decompose quickly.
  3. Turn or fork the compost.
  4. Add a nitrogen activator.

Why is my compost bin wet and smelly?

Stinky smells are a good indicator that your compost pile is too wet and has gone anaerobic. A number of factors can cause this condition: lack of aeration, too much water, or an imbalance of carbon to nitrogen. Without air, the material becomes stagnant and rancid.

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Does the smell of compost go away?

Does compost smell? A correctly maintained compost bin shouldn’t give off much odor. If you find your compost smells strongly like ammonia, rotting eggs, or sickly sweet, then something is off balance. Luckily, some minor adjustments can help to bring it back on track.

What is a good compost activator?

Suitable greens will have a high nitrogen value and be ‘easy’ for the composting microbes to breakdown. The “natural” activators include: Green Plants, e.g. comfrey, clover, grass clippings, nettles, or alfalfa.

How often should compost be turned?

By turning more frequently (about every 2-4 weeks), you will produce compost more quickly. Waiting at least two weeks allows the center of the pile to heat up and promotes maximum bacterial activity. The average composter turns the pile every 4-5 weeks.

Should I keep my compost wet?

The composter contents should be moist like a wrung-out sponge. If the contents are too dry, it will take overly long to compost; and if too wet, the contents may begin to smell. If the pile does not decrease in size or generate heat, composting may need a boost.

How do you fix smelly soil?

Smelly soil can be fixed by adding soil amendments such as perlite and vermiculite to the mix in order to increase the aeration and drainage properties of the soil. When added, soil amendments would increase the air spaces between soil to soil particles while providing a pathway for water to drain freely.

Can you leave compost too long?

If compost is left too long, it will still generally be usable. However, it may lose some of its potency if constantly exposed to the elements. Compost will often just become even finer as the microorganisms continue to work.

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What happens if you don’t turn compost?

Decomposition won’t screech to a complete halt, but it will definitely slacken. Turning the pile periodically to add more oxygen kicks it back into gear. If you don’t want to turn your pile frequently (or at all), don’t worry. Compost will still make itself, it’ll just take longer.

Should my compost be moldy?

No, mold is not bad for compost. Most of the time, mold in compost is a great sign. It indicates that you have healthy compost. The organic matter in your compost pile is broken down by a mixture of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi.

Can I put baking soda in compost?

Putting baking soda in your compost pile is never a good idea. Because it kills fungus, it will end up killing the beneficial fungicides in your compost pile, thus destroying the entire pile.

How do you dry out wet compost?

One remedy is to add some brown materials, like sawdust, dry leaves, or shredded paper. You can also open the lid to let more air in to dry the wet contents. You can solve the problem of an overly wet compost pile by accomplishing the right moisture level.

Should compost be covered?

In most cases, a compost pile does not need a cover. A cover can limit airflow and water, interfering with the composting process. You should definitely cover finished compost. Otherwise, if it’s exposed to the elements, the compost will break down further and lose nutrients as they leach into the surrounding soil.

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