Troubleshooting Compost Pile Problems

Troubleshooting Compost Pile Problems

Many gardeners, farmers and allotment holders have experiences problems with composting. We have made a table to try and help you solve those problems:

 

SYMPTOM PROBLEM SOLUTION
The compost has a bad odor Not enough air Turn the pile to add more aeration
The compost has a bad odor and is soggy Not enough air and too much water Mix in dry ingredients such as straw or shavings, add aeration, and cover with a tarp
The inside of the pile is dry Not enough water Add water when turning the pile. It should be as damp as a wrung-out sponge.
The compost is damp and warm in the middle, but nowhere else Pile is too small Collect more raw materials, and mix them into the old ingredients; Piles smaller than 3 square feet have trouble holding heat
The pile is damp and smells fine, but is not heating up Too many shavings, wood chips, or bedding (carbon source) and not enough manure (nitrogen source) Mix in a nitrotgen source (e.g. straight manure, fresh grass clippings, blood meal, alfalfa, or nitrogen fertilizer)

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