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Organic Gardening:

How to solve problems with compost making


Building a compost heap for the first time is a learning process. If you have any problems, this page will help you find, and fix, the cause.

Symptoms Problem Solution
The heap is wet and smells like a mixture of rancid butter, vinegar and rotten eggs Not enough air Pull it to pieces, shake it loose, improve the base, and rebuild it
The centre is dry and stemmy Not enough water Soak tough, stemmy material and add a starter
The heap is damp, and warm right in the middle, but nowhere else Too small Collect more material and start again, or try worm compost
The heap is big, damp and sweet smelling, but still will not heat up Probably nutrient deficiency Make a large hole in the middle and empty in a bucketful of manure, or add a starter

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Article ©2004 Frann Leach. All rights reserved.

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