If you’re into gardening, then the vital skill you can ace is composting. Compost is something that is the foundation for any thriving garden. Composting is easier to get started, however, if you fail to maintain it properly, then compost can turn into a disaster.
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The issue is that only a few people have the ideal conditions to make their compost perfect. There is a range of solutions to every problem related to your compost. So, we have decided to come up with some problems to troubleshoot.
Common composting problems with their solutions
1) Compost full of odor
There is something wrong if your compost is smelling because, naturally, they never smell. There are mainly two kinds of smell ammonia and rot. They can easily afflict your pile, and there are clear causes for them. So, you can diagnose and treat such compost issues easily.
Solution: Try to promote bottom-up airflow by rebuilding your turned compost on a palette. Even you can use some large sticks in the middle of your compost to offer it support. In case, your compost keeps reverting to an anaerobic mode, then it is better to go for distinctive composting style or ingredient ratios.
2) Lacking heat
Your compost is missing something if it failed to be warm inside. The reason can be your material is finished composting, and now you can use it in your stunning garden. Another reason can be its ability to transform is postponed due to the cold weather.
Solution: If there is not enough heat in the compost, then it might be lacking nitrogen. So, try to add as much as possible plant matter and kitchen scraps. If the reason is cold weather, then try topping the compost with insulation like straw bales and use black plastic to cover it.
3) Excess moisture
If you failed to make a proper balance of dry and fresh materials, then it can be the culprit. One more case is that if you added more than enough to your compost at once, then it can turn compacted. As a result, the air spaces of your compost will fill with water.
Solution: It’s time to dig out the compost and turn the ingredients for incorporating more air. Channels can be created within the compost with the addition of ingredients like shredded prunings, straw, and sawdust. Through this, more air can be percolated, and you can see the draining away of excess moisture.
4) Excess dryness
In case, your compost turns too dry, then your composting process might stop in between. The reason is fungi and bacteria won’t be able to work effectively in such kind of dry environment.
Solution: Try to re-wet your compost by watering it. Switch to rainwater, if you don’t have any, then you can also try ordinary water. Add a lot of fresh materials through this, the ingredients can be easily balanced. So, dig out your compost, then add fresh materials and again refill your compost.
5) Annoying creatures
Most compost comes with fruit flies, ants, and fungus gnats. There would be no harm to your pile, but they can easily bother you. When it comes to fungus gnats, they can damage your plant’s roots. Also, your garden is in a danger zone, if you apply the finished compost.
Solution: Give a try hot systems which have the unsuitable temperature for such creatures. While setting up materials, don’t forget to chop them properly. With this, their larvae and pupae can be easily destroyed, and you can expect a less friendly breeding environment for annoying creatures.
6) Grass clippings
You can spot grass clippings mainly in large batches. If you want to get rid of them, then it makes no sense to add thick layers to your compost. The result would be nothing but a soggy mat.
Solution: If you use plastic compost bins, then there would be less air allowed in them. So, you’ll need to pay extra care to balance fresh to dry materials. Overall, never stamp or force materials down to fit more ingredients in your compost if you want to avoid such issues.
Tips for perfect compost
1) Addition of microorganisms
Without microorganisms, there would be no such decomposition process. Your compost will get microorganisms naturally, but if you add them by yourself, then it would be much better. You can use your previous compost in this new one. Even you can go for a small mound of soil present on the forest floor.
2) Entire pile at once
Try to add all your materials at once rather than adding them on regular basis. You can use a compost bucket with a lid to collect a good amount of nitrogen material. But try it to collect before adding it to your compost, and with that, you can use shredded paper trash.
3) Correct size of the pile
Your compost must have a minimum of a cubic meter. However, three cubic meters would be enough for a general home capacity. There is a need for compost to be big enough that it can heat up sufficiently but doesn’t restrict the airflow.
4) Cover your pile
It takes much time to break if your pile is water-logged or dry. Give a try to piece of metal roofing, a piece of plastic, or a trap. Through this, pests can be deterred, more heat will be held, and there will be a constant moisture level.
If you’ve already tried composting and got failed, then why don’t you give an another try? So, focus on your compost problems and with the above guidelines, make it a better compost. Even if the process gets tough, don’t forget that your improved veggie patches are waiting for you.