I live in Boston, MA, USA and have a hard plastic compost bin (Earth Machine) in the back yard, used by a house of 10 adults. It may also be that you added too much woody material. But if you are composting in containers, indoors, you could also consider adding effective organisms to kick start the process. ", "Most helpful video and information to solve all of my composting issues. A heap that is too wet can easily become compacted, which means oxygen cannot get in. Investing in a compost tumbler is also something to consider if you want to keep your compost aerated and decompose materials a little more quickly. For example I have lots of June bug grubs and earwigs, among other things. Thanks. project timeline . ", "i have store bought compost tha i mixed in with the soil., now my plants leaves are turning white , Do you have a cure to stop leaves dieing off, ", "The white could be any number of things, but is probably some sort of mould. There are hundreds of them. I have tried both the aerobic and the anaerobic compost systems, and my experience has been in line with what was written in the article. This will definitely smell until the manure is broken down. What are they and should I get rid of them? This means that there is not enough oxygen to support aerobic microbes and the anaerobic ones have taken over. Fortunately, soggy compost is fairly easy to fix. My apartment complex neighbors and I have a compost barrel that requires turning. Use it to mulch around plants, make potting soils or to dig into soil to improve its nutrient content and moisture-holding capacity. 5 5. Perfect compost has a fine, crumbly texture and pleasant, earthy smell like a forest floor. ", "Hi Chris. ", "My compost bin material has formed round clumps. Is this a result of too much kitchen waste and not enough browns? Regular Static Compost Piles. You can buy a compost sieve, or make one yourself by knocking up a simple wooden frame and attaching a metal mesh to it. ", "The maggots may be helping the composting process, not hindering it. There’s really only one way to … The bin is made of plastic, and the ants have built a column-like structure up the inside of the bin, extending around the rim. The EM anaerobic composting process is a fermentation gateway to very effective compost. Anaerobic composting takes several years and typically happens in landfills. Assemble your compost pile as per usual (for more detailed composting instructions, please visit our how to compost page), except be sure to add more water. … I used the compost I made last year in one of my raised beds where I grow vegetables and I noticed a lot of slug damage compared to the bed without home made compost. If they don't 'swarm' or become an issue, then there's little point removing them as they'll only be helping to break down those compost ingredients even quicker. However, if there are lots and lots of them - i.e. These bacteria thrive in cooler environments, unlike their aerobic cousins. Certain materials such as larger woody pieces, avocado pits etc. If i put weeds with seed heads in my compost tumbler, will the seeds die or will they pop up where ever i put my compost? Or, if you have two bins side by side, mix the extra materials and water as you turn the materials from one bin into the other. A pile with a tarp over it works well but it will smell Anaerobic composting requires an entirely different set of organisms and conditions than does aerobic composting. I would appreciate your help in relation to an anaerobic compost pile. I have composted for 20 years and have never seen this. Are the ants beneficial or do I need to take action against them? If the bedding stays dry, it alows the bedding to soak up and quickly dissipate the moisture in the waist products, keeping itself aerobic, while transitioning the waist to aerobic as well. Occasionally, speed of decomposition may be reduced if you have added too much acidic material to your heap. This not only smells bad but it can also delay the composting process, causing an even bigger problem. You can also consider using a bokashi system to ferment food scraps before composting. To remedy it you could try screening/sieving the compost. The compost caught on fire. (You should be able to squeeze a handful without water coming out, but without the mix crumbling completely or becoming dusty. If you are composting using a method which involves a closed container, then it is a good idea to choose one with a sump and faucet, so you can drain off excess fluid. Fresh materials are mostly 'greens' which have a high nitrogen content, so mixing in more carbon-rich 'browns' will help solve the problem. Your method is a very valid one. The e-mail does not appear to be correct. There is a certain area of my barn that gets wet pretty easily. Don’t be tempted to add thick layers to the compost bin just to get rid of them or they could create a soggy mat. For instructions on how to make good compost by adding the right balance of ingredients, read our article How to Compost – Easy Steps to Success. To create a finer compost, you can mow over or cut up material into smaller pieces before adding it to your composting system. If you notice your compost pile shrinking, you can reenergize your aerobicizers by giving your pile a fresh infusion of oxygen in a couple ways: Turn your pile completely: Fork a freestanding heap to an adjacent spot or turn the contents of one bin into another. Today they were covering corn cobs. At first I was concerned that they were maggots but I do not put any animal products in my bin. Home composting usually involves an aerobic composting method, which means oxygen needs to be present to sustain the micro-organisms that enable the process. :-) Compost is the foundation to a thriving garden. If it is the latter, turn/ mix the compost to break up mats of grass clippings or other ‘green’ materials, and add carbon rich materials to restore balance to your composting system. ", "Hello. She is undertaking ongoing work for NGO Somalia Dryland Solutions and a number of other non governmental organisations, and works as an environmental consultant for several sustainable companies. When your heap is too dry, this can cause problems too. But there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of getting a problem in the first place. Thank you. If using a tumbler, give it a spin whenever you add new food scraps. ", " Aerobic composting requires both air and water to support the microbes that decompose the organic matter. Shredded plain cardboard and dried leaves would work for this. This makes it very effective and more digestable to the soil. This can cause the compost heap to become a bit smelly and slow to decompose. Certainly ensuring a good, even mix of ingredients as you fill the compost bin or heap would help. I am careful what I put in the compost bin, no perennial weeds. For a potting soil suitable for containers and window boxes combine two parts soil to one part compost and one part sharp sand. The most common problems include a compost simply failing to rot down before its ready, smelly compost bins, or fresh material ingredients that have become excessively wet. If your compost heap is too wet, dig it out completely, then turn the ingredients to incorporate more air before restacking. Always make sure the person operating the loader knows that you are going into the tunnel. Compost is an excellent soil amendment. I do not put any animal-based material. A properly balanced compost is supposed to smell like dirt, and if it doesn’t, something is definitely wrong. 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