Some basics of composting – 

What Can I Compost?If you have a search through the internet of how to compost, a plethora of information is available and a lot of it is confusing to beginner gardeners, so I will do my best to keep it simple.You can compost pretty much anything that has lived, just depending on how recently it was living depends on how long it will take to break down.Most people split waste for composting into two groups: greens and browns, also known as nitrogens and carbons.

Troubleshooting

Sometimes, problems do occur in composting. Here are some fixes.

Problem: Bad smell
Likely Causes: Not enough air and/or too much green matter
Fix: Add paper/fibrous material and turn to introduce oxygen

Problem: Pile is dry in the middle
Likely Causes: Not enough green matter and/or too dry
Fix: Water the pile and add more green matter or high nitrogen material

Problem: Material not decomposing
Likely cause: Material too large
Fix: Chop or shred material to increase surface area

Problem: Attracts vermin
Likely Causes: Cooked food, meat, dairy or oils added
Fix: Remove these sources and don’t add them to the heap / try a rodent-proof bin

Problem: Layers are not breaking down
Likely Causes: Compaction and/or not enough air
Fix: Mix the material to introduce air, and split up the compacted layers

Problem: Pile is very wet and sludge
Likely Causes: Too much water
Fix: Cover the pile to reduce rain access or change to an enclosed bin, open up the bin on sunny days to dry out the heap.

Composting is very important to a gardener, as my Granny said to me “Get the soil right and the rest will work out in the end”.


Read the rest of the article and others – Source: Composting FAQs Answered – Organic Gardening – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

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