Troubleshooting Composting Problems


If the compost has a bad odor

  • Problem: Not enough air. Not enough water. Too small.
  • Solutions: Turn it, add dry material if the pile is too wet.

If the center of the pile is dry

  • Problem: Lack of nitrogen.
  • Solutions: Moisten and turn the pile.

If the compost is damp and warm only in the middle

  • Problem: Pile is too small.
  • Solutions: Collect more material and mix the old ingredients into a new pile.

If the heap is damp and sweet-smelling but still will not heat up

  • Problem: Lack of nitrogen.
  • Solutions: Mix in a nitrogen source like fresh grass clippings, manure or fertilizer.

If large, undecomposed items are still in the mix

  • Problem: Low surface area.
  • Solutions: Remove items, and chop or shred large items.
How to Compost: Everyday Environment

Composting does not have to be rocket science, but following some basic rules will help make your compost the best it can be. Join Duane Friend for a discussion of the composting process, what works in compost and what should be left out, and basic management of air, moisture, and temperature....