Do you think composting is rocket science? You’re wrong because composting is far more straightforward than you think. But there are chances that you’ll not yield perfect compost sometimes. After all, composting is a skill that is subject to some kind of error and trial.

There can be a case when you feel frustrated because your compost fails to break down in a timely fashion. Such kind of poor compost can even lead to unsightly and smell bad. We have decided to make sure that no more issues will be faced by you. So, go through the below-mentioned 15 common composting mistakes to avoid.

Common mistakes to avoid when composting

Addition of issue causing materials

It is a fact that nearly everything will decompose, but there are other things too that never deserve your backyard pile. Such things comprise oily and meat products. Overall compost can be healthier only if the materials placed into are good. 

Composting compostable packaging

 Have you ever taken a look at the labels of some food packaged products? If yes, then you’ve noticed that some are labeled with compostable.  However, they can disintegrate only if they are controlled with high temperature and humidity. In simple words, they might be compostable technically but failed to break down in your pile.

Failed to have the right mix of materials 

There is a need to have the proper mix of nitrogen and carbon-based materials for the breakdown of compost. Nitrogen materials aid in the generation of heat in your pile. They comprise vegetable peels, green grass, etc. Carbon materials include sticks, dead grass, etc, which break down to give back nutrients.

Using worms unnecessarily

You might be thinking it is easier to boost up the composting process with the addition of worms. This might seem like a great idea, but unfortunately, it is not. The natural ratio of worms can be messed up with your compost. Thus, there is no need for worms if you’re composting outdoors. 

Forgot to turn the pile

There will be no heat if there is no oxygen. Without heat, you can’t expect decomposition at a fast rate. If you never turn your pile on regular basis, then the center can easily become void of oxygen. So, try to turn your compost as much as possible. Even once a day is much better to make fast compost. 

Switch to the wrong composting method

Do you know all kinds of composting methods? If not, then you aren’t alone because most people don’t know different methods. There are options like hot composting and cold composting. Some might prefer vermicomposting, while others go for animal manure. Thus, firstly think about the method which will make sense for your compost.

Compost turns too hot

If you allow your compost to get too hot, then it can be counterproductive. The result would be too much moisture loss and the killing of creatures that might aid your compost. In hot summer weather, try to make your composting system shaded.

Adding things with a long decomposing period

Organic materials like fabrics and natural fibers can break down, but it will take a long time for them. When you add small items to your compost, then your compost can decompose at the same rate. If you still want to add such materials to your compost, then it is better to chop up them into tiny pieces. 

Compost turns too cold

 If you want to compost outdoors in a cold winter time, then there are chances that your compost will take a long time to decompose. You can give it a try to insulate your compost in the coldest months. So, switch to methods through which your compost can get warmth.

Wrong spot for a compost

There might be a case when you pick a spot that fails to fulfill your compost environment needs. An area with more sunlight is ideal because, through this, your compost core temperature will be maintained. Also, don’t forget to shelter it from the rain if you don’t want excess moisture. 

Compost turns too dry

You might already know that living organisms play a vital role in creating compost. And just like other organisms, they require some water. So, try to avoid moisture loss from your compost. You can do this by covering compost with a layer full of carbon-rich organic material.

Adding diseased plant

 Sometimes while cleaning the garden bed, you might not properly clean diseased plants. This can be the case when such plants create issues. Due to this, your compost will be of no use because there will be no way for them to reach the center core temperature. 

Compost turns too wet

If you’re composting outside, then there can be a case that your compost goodness will wash away. Thus, if you’re someone living in a heavy rainfall area, then try to make sure your compost is covered with something.

Using uncured compost

If you’re good at patience, then only try to do composting. Because it will take time to give proper texture and also cure at the end. In case, you’ve added uncured compost, then your plants might stop growing, and leaves might turn yellow. Thus, when your compost finishes, wait for three weeks, or it would be better for curing if you’ll wait three more months. 

Not considering NPK balance

Everyone wants their compost to have the next level healthier, and for that, you have to consider the nutrient content. There is a variation in the N-P-K ratio of compost from 1.5-0.5-1 to 3.5-1-2. With the variation of whatever is included, you can vary your compost value as a growing medium.


When you start with composting, it can be an easy task, but still, people find it intimidating. The process is not much complicated because it was started by mother nature. If possible, then try to avoid the above-mentioned common composting mistakes. Now, you’re all set to start with composting. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *