compost pile with fork

GardenRx: Keep Compost from Smelling


Compost for the garden is wonderful, but a compost pile can sometimes smell. Many gardeners wonder, “Why does compost smell?” as a result. and, more importantly, “How to prevent the smell of compost?”

You have options when your compost stinks. An appropriately adjusted manure heap shouldn’t smell terrible. Manure ought to possess a scent like soil and in the event that it doesn’t, there is something off-base and your fertilizer heap isn’t as expected warming up and separating the natural material.

If you are composting manure in your compost pile, there is one exception to this rule. Until the manure breaks down, this will typically smell. You can cover the pile with something between six and twelve inches (15 to thirty centimeters) to mask the smell of composting manure. of newspaper, leaves, or straw. Composting manure will smell significantly better as a result of this.

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If your compost smells bad, it means that there is something wrong with the compost pile’s balance. Composting’s steps are meant to help organic material break down faster and prevent compost from smelling bad as a result. A compost pile can smell bad if it has too many greens (nitrogen material), not enough aeration, too much moisture, or is not mixed well.

Fixing the problem that is causing your compost to smell is the most important step in preventing it from smelling. Here are some solutions to common problems. Too much green material: If your compost pile contains too much green material, it will smell like sewage or ammonia. This suggests that the proportions of greens and browns in your compost are out of balance. Adding earthy colored materials like leaves, paper and straw will assist with bringing your fertilizer heap once more into balance.

The compost pile has become compacted. For the organic material to properly decompose, compost piles require oxygen (aeration). Assuming that your manure heap gets compacted, the fertilizer will begin to smell. Compost with insufficient aeration will smell musty or rotten. To aid in introducing air into the compost and eliminate the unpleasant smell, rotate the pile. To prevent the pile from over-compacting once more, you might also want to add some “fluffy” materials like dry grass or leaves.

An excess of dampness – Frequently in the spring, a nursery worker will see that their manure smells. This is because the compost pile is too wet from all the rain. A compost pile that becomes excessively wet will not have sufficient aeration, and the result will be the same as if the pile had been compacted. Compost that is too wet will look slimy and smell bad, especially if it is made of green material. To fix this reason for a rank manure heap, turn the fertilizer and add a few dry earthy colored materials to ingest a portion of the dampness.

Layering: There are times when a compost pile has the right amount of green and brown materials, but these materials have been added in layers. Green material will begin to decompose incorrectly and begin to emit an unpleasant odor if it is separated from brown material. The compost pile will smell like sewage or ammonia if this happens.

Simply mixing the pile a little better will fix this. A compost pile’s smell can be prevented by taking proper care of it, such as turning it frequently and balancing the greens and browns. Version for Printing This article was last revised on February 22, 21.


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