The Rocket Guide to Composting – part three

So, we’ve covered where to put your compost, what bin to use, and what to put into the compost heap. Now, in the final part of our little series on composting, we’re going to take a quick look at some common problems and questions.

  1. It stinks.
    If you’re turning up your nose every time you take the lid off your compost bin, it’s probably got too much nitrogen heavy material in it. If this is the case, add some straw (well chopped up) and turn it in to get the balance right again.
  2. It’s buzzing.
    Lots of flies hanging around the compost heap is a clear indicator of too many kitchen scraps. Give your compost a bit of a shake up by turning it regularly, and add some more straw, leaves and grass cuttings. In the future, it’s worth chopping up kitchen scraps so that they break down faster.
  3. It’s sprouting weeds. 
    This isn’t the end of the world…if you’ve got a few weeds sprouting in your compost it just means some seeds got in there. Pull them up before they start to reseed and let them dry out in the sun before adding them back to the compost pile.
  4. It’s not composting!
    It’s probably too dry…don’t panic, you can give it a little sprinkle with water, turn it and it should start to behave. If it’s not dry, but still not composting, it’s most likely short on nitrogen rich matter. Try adding more green stuff – leaves, nettles, veg scraps.
  5. Ants
    If you’ve got ants all over the compost heap, it’s an indication that the compost is too dry. Add some water and some more green stuff and they’ll soon move out again!

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