Composting Tips -

Compost Tips

In Response To: Composting Tips (Sue L.)
Thanks Sue, some good ideas here. A good idea to add to your compost in the spring is a can of coke, and can of beer and 1 cup of dish soap (Not antibacterial soap) It gets it cooking quicker in the spring. I mix it up in a sprayer with some water and thoroughly soak the compost pile with it after I have poked holes all over the pile with my pitch fork.

If you have a big compost bin, it's good to add sticks to it to keep the air flowing and I have a pvc pipe that I drilled holes in all the way around on the entire pipe, that stands up in the middle of the pile to get air flow in there too.

I like the idea of the garbage can, that would really help the compost break down faster if you could roll it around once in awhile. Have you seen the price of those compost tumblers they sell? By the time you pay that price you could buy all the compost you could ever need. I think next spring I'm gonna take my utility trailer to the riding stables near here and get some manure to add to my compost.

They say that horse manure is better than cow manure because horses don't eat as many weeds. I also have some worm farms I started years ago. I use big plastic storage containers I found with hinged tops, added shredded newspaper, leaves and table scraps...make sure it stays moist, but not wet.

I added red wigglers to the worm farms and when I want to add more scraps, I pull back some of the top layer, add the scraps and cover it back up. You wouldn't believe the worms I harvest from there every year and the worm castings are so good for the garden. You wouldn't believe how fast they break the table scraps down and how fast those little wigglers multiply. Margie

Joanna posted Message 1431 in the CraftPals Gardening BBS
Dated : June 19, 1999 at 20:59:01
Subject: Re: Compost

I've been composting for about 5 years and so far have never had a problem with smell. Today though our city had a subsidized program for people to buy large black plastic compost bins for $20. With it came a booklet on composting that has many things I've never seen or read before. So here goes:

Ammonia Smell: Too much nitrogen (green matter)in pile - possibly too many grass clippings - or pile is too alkaline (too much lime is added to pile).

IF NITROGEN PROBLEM: turn pile and add more carbon (brown) material -- dried leaves or dried grass clippings.
IF ALKALINE RELATED: turn pile and add acid materials like sawdust, oak leaves, vegetable scraps
PUTRID SMELL (like rotten eggs): pile is too wet / not enough oxygen (is putrefying not decomposing.
SOLUTION: turn pile to aerate it and add dry carbon (Brown) materials to absorb excessive moisture.
Remember: fresh / green = nitrogen
dry / brown = carbon
Hope this helps!