Compost Troubleshooting

Compost Troubleshooting - How to Compost with great Composting Tips.

Compost Troubleshooting

Compost Troubleshooting:| Find out how to compost with these great composting tips to keep your garden sustainable.

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You've started your compost pile and everything seems to be going well...until you notice a really strange smell coming from your pile...

Sometimes things don't go exactly as planned. This compost troubleshooting guide should help solve the most common problems that you may encounter as you learn how to compost.

Add Greens To Your Compost Pile

Use A Cover To Keep Your Compost From Getting Too Wet

Compost Troubleshooting Tip 1:
Help! My compost pile stinks!

    This could be caused by a few things. First, your pile may be too wet. If you take a handful of material from your pile and squeeze it, it should be damp, but water should not be dripping from the pile. To solve this, add more brown material and aerate your pile.
    This could also be caused by your pile being too compacted. To solve this, you'll need to aerate (turn) your pile. Also, make sure that you are mixing in fresh grass clippings well and not allowing them to stick together in a pile.
    If your compost pile smells like ammonia, you'll want to add brown material to your pile.
Wooden Compost Bins Can Be Great Looking

Aerate, Wetten, Chop Leaves & Add Greens + Browns

Compost Troubleshooting  Tip 2:
It's been forever! Why don't have I have any compost?

    If your not getting any compost after a few months, you may need to make some small adjustments. No worries, the compost troubleshooting guide is here to help!
    First, check to make sure your pile is not too dry. You do need a moist pile for composting to occur.
    Next, have you been aerating your pile? If not, make sure that you get out there every few weeks and give it a few turns. If you don't have the time to do this, you may want to look into a turning bin - it's less time consuming!
    How about the size of your pile? If it's too small, it may not compost properly. Remember the ideal size is between 3' x 3' x 3' and 5' x 5' x 5'.
    What size items have you been throwing in your pile? You may need to chop up your leaves and twigs more. This helps to increase the heat in your pile and speeds up composting.
    Last, have you been adding enough green material? Slow composting could be a result of not enough green material.
Don't Let Your Compost Get Too Hot

Composting Tip: Don't Let Your Compost Get Too Hot

Compost Troubleshooting Tip 3:
My Pile is burning up...literally
    A fire in the yard would not be a good thing! If your pile seems to be too hot it could be a result of a pile that is too large. Refer to the correct size pile mentioned above. If you think your pile is too large, you can split it into two separate piles.
    Too much green material could also result in a very hot pile. Add more brown material to your pile and aerate it well. Things should cool down soon!
How To Keep Animals Out Of Your Compost

How To Keep Animals Out Of Your Compost

Compost Troubleshooting Tip 4:
Every Animal in the Neighborhood is in My Pile

If you leave food exposed, some curious (and hungry!) animals are likely to find it. To avoid a pest problem, make sure that you are burying food in in the pile. - The Ultimate Garden Center

When you add green material, follow it immediately with a layer of brown material. Also, remember to avoid meat, bones, and dairy. These items will surely attract animals! If pests are still a problem, you may want to consider making a bin with a lid or buying a closed bin.

If you like these composting tips and you're interested in more information on green living, please sign up for our free weekly newsletter by entering your email address in the box on the leftsidebar. Each week, you'll get great green tips delivered right to your inbox.

Also check out our articles on Composting Indoors, Worm Composting, Backyard Composting, and Backyard Composting for lots of additional great tips.

Also - here are some of our Favorite Books on Composting.

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