Have You Noticed These 3 Warning Signs Of An Ineffective Compost Pile?

by Tyler A Weaver - Date: 2010-10-13 - Word Count: 347 Share This!

When it comes to composting, I tend to believe there's a bit of an art to it. Yes, there's plenty of scientific work behind it to create the ultimate pile that stays burning hot and creates compost in 30 seconds, but that's not always reasonable. However, there's three simple factors that when avoided will have a drastic effect on your results.

Of the three most common signs of an ineffective compost pile, odor always seems to come up first. There are a few possibilities for this, and more often than not it's due to an imbalanced ratio of carbon and nitrogen. Check to see that you're adhering to a 3:1 ratio of carbon to nitrogen. Shredded leaves and cornstalks are good examples of carbon products that will help counteract the smell.

If you feel that your pile is balanced properly, then try to turn the pile more often. An anaerobic pile will not do you any good as it dries out...so aerate it! If the pile is too wet, it will also not exchange enough oxygen, either. Are you keeping the meat and dairy products out of the pile? These items will also cause problems.

Is the pile not heating up? It not, it is usually due to a lack of nitrogen, or green materials. Add more food scraps or fresh grass clippings to get it back on track. If available, fresh manure is also great although I only recommend this if you have a pile that's at least 3' x 3' in size.

Another problem related to size is that a pile that's too small may only get hot in the center. The solution here is easy: get more stuff to add to the pile. Bring the materials from the outside of the pile to the center, too.

There's a lot to composting, but there's not a lot to composting… see what I mean? I love it because everyone's approach is slightly different, and yet the results are really beneficial. There's no need for composting to be intimidating…and now it's your turn to go show a friend how to get started.

Related Tags: compost pile, compost tumblers, tumbling composter, urban compost tumbler, rotating composter, compost turner, garden composters

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