Natural Gardening

 
 

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Composting Problems and What to do about them.

There are problems that can arise when you are composting. All of the issues are relatively easy to troubleshoot and fix. During your routine monitoring of the pile keep a look out for signs of a problem and try some of the suggested solutions listed below.

Composting Worms can do a lot to prevent problems from coming up. Keep your worms watered and feed them right and before long you will have a organic factory that will produce the best compost you will ever smell.

If you see a swarm of flies around your compost bin chances are you have not put enough brown food (leaves, twigs, hay) on top of your kitchen scraps. The kitchen scraps are very inviting to fruit and house flies, make sure you don't leave them exposed.

The most likely cause is not enough air is getting through to all parts of the compost. Give the compost a good turning and add a bulky substance such as wood chips or sawdust.

Add some moisture in the form of water if you find that your pile is very dry. You should not soak the pile, just enough to get it wet. If the pile is continually drying out look at other factors such as location and what you are adding â you may have to move the bin to a less sunny location or add more wet scraps (fruit and vegetable waste).

Your compost pile seems to be working (it is moist and warm) but only in spots. Either your pile is not large enough or you are not rotating it enough. Make sure you are regularly adding new scraps and are rotating the pile every second day.

Like the problem of flies, if you have pests visiting your pile you need to make sure you are covering all kitchen scraps thoroughly. Moreover, do not add any animal products such as meat or bones.

 

What to do if Your Compost Pile Won't Heat Up

Most of the concerns or problems that you will encounter with your compost pile are minor and relatively easy to rectify. They involve rotating the pile more; adjusting the material you are putting in; and layering enough brown food for the top layer. The issue of your pile not heating up will require more investigation.

The first thing to consider when your pile won't heat up (when you are using the hot or active compost method) is if you have enough green and brown food added. , if your pile is new this will take time.. If you have an established pile that won't heat up, either your pile is too large or you are not adding enough to start the decomposing process.

Another reason your compost pile may not be heating up is the presence of too much brown food. Put in more green food that is high in nitrogen if you have added a lot of leaves or other brown matter (high in carbon). The presence of carbon and nitrogen is necessary in the correct ratio (2:1).

If your pile is too dry this will prevent it from getting hot too. The microbes need a moist environment to do their work. Add just enough water to make the pile damp or add moist green food such as vegetable or fruit waste and grass clippings.

When you are using the hot composting method, remember to keep all matter smaller than three inches. This will speed up the process and ensure all matter is broken up evenly. , if the mixture has large pieces it can delay the heating up process.

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Weather is a factor too. , if you are concerned that your compost is not heating up and it is fall or winter â most likely it is too cold for the process to start.. You can try insulating your compost pile or wait for the spring.

If the pile is continually drying out look at other factors such as location and what you are adding â you may have to move the bin to a less sunny location or add more wet scraps (fruit and vegetable waste).

Most of the concerns or problems that you will encounter with your compost pile are relatively easy and minor to rectify. The first thing to consider when your pile won't heat up (when you are using the hot or active compost method) is if you have enough green and brown food added. If you have an established pile that won't heat up, either your pile is too large or you are not adding enough to start the decomposing process.

Add just enough water to make the pile damp or add moist green food such as vegetable or fruit waste and grass clippings.

 

Gardening: How to Compost

 

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Nathaniel Hawthorne
"I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation.  It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green."  ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from and Old Manse