A few months ago a friend of mine who lives near me,
pointed out a good solution to avoid spendig money on fertilizers,
which is piling garden trash,
but the thing is how long will it take for my pile to be ready for the
soil? And anyway it smells!
The time it takes depends on the mix of ingredients in it, the temperature,
how often you turn it and if you have the moisture right. From 6 weeks to a
year. If it has been snowing those microorganisms are not working much at
all. They all smell somewhat but if it is a really revolting sour smell it
means that it has gone anaerobic, that is not enough air and/or too wet.
...if it smells like rotting eggs or sulphur then you can solve that
immediate problem by turning it several times and mixing in some dry
material like leaves or shredded paper. The smell should lessen.
Thanks Rob, I'll try to do that, but I was wondering if there was like
that you can put on the stack to cover the smell...
It's called 'sweat'. Get a fork, turn the compost until you are lathered in
sweat and then you'll have no further problems with smelly compost.
You don't need to cover the smell with yet another. See the previous
posts; a healthy compost heap has very little odor, and certainly not an
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic
Zone 5/6 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
Everyone's joking right now but let me inject a serious note.
THere are no useful shortcuts.
You want compost, you are going to have to learn about it and put the
I certainly wasn't joking when I told him he used to use sweat as an
ingredient. Unless or until he learns to add that, he won't have compost -
he'll simply have rotted vegetation. I see no problems with the rotted
vegetation approach either, but if he wants to go that way, he will need to
understand that he doesn't pile it, he spreads it and them has to a
potential weed problem unless he also learns how to use the rotted
Then their is the issue of heat to help break down.
Tao Follows The Earth 2:36 David Darling The Tao Of Cello New Age
1 1/24/10 3:17 PM 1993 AAC audio file
On Thu, 25 Feb 2010 09:26:23 +1100, "FarmI" wrote:
That's not strictly true. What the "sweat" (turning) adds is oxygen, but
there are other ways of providing that, easiest of which is to alternate
the layers of vege scraps with layers of straw that trap air in the
pile. The Humanure Handbook actually recommends that over turning, as
turning tends to break the mycelia of all the fungi in the pile.
I'm not saying that turning is bad (it's good!), just that it isn't the
Ross McKay, Toronto, NSW Australia
"And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
It IS strictly true as it applies to him. He has smelly 'compost' right now
(or says he does). The only way to cure his current 'compost' problem is to
turn it. Any future compost pile is not what he asked about.
Trying to seal it up would make the pile more anaerobic.
Eventually it all breaks down and the smell goes away but depending on
the size of the bin/pile, it can take awhile.
I can't give accurate facts and figures but I've instigated a couple of
compost heap meltdowns with too many grass clippings and I think it took
about two weeks for the stench to drop to barely noticeable.
At the time the neighbours were all on vacation or the houses were
vacant and up for sale, my wife was away and the compost bins are far
away from the house so I let it go and then incorporated the result in
the next compost heap.
Adding leaves (and rarely straw) is actually what I do when I empty my
inside compost bucket on top of the pile. I'm a lazy composter who
only turns it once a year. The leaves cover the odor as far as my nose
can tell. Come spring I turn the whole thing over and take from the
I used to love to use grass clippings but now I just leave them where
Someday it's going to warm up.....
Which is adding brown to green.
Brown + green in relatively good proportion equals no stench to speak
We do that too through snowless periods during the winter which serves
double duty by keeping the kitchen compost hidden until things heat up.
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