your compost slimy and smelly?
does it look like this?
Over the winter there may be little to put into your home
compost bin other than raw kitchen waste but this needs some dry and
stalky material for balance and to allow it to rot down into good
compost. When the weather is cold the micro-organisms that do the
composting for us only work very slowly, and though we have had some
lovely sunny days the nights have often been cold and our home
compost bins havenít yet got really hot again.
So Ė what to do to restore your
compost bin to health?
Firstly make sure your bin is in as
sunny a place as you can manage. A home compost bin in a cool shady
place will only work slowly.
Secondly find out if you have some
finished compost at the bottom of your compost bin, underneath the
horrible slimy mess that you can see. For help with emptying
different bins see Emptying
your Compost Bin. If your bin is too full of made compost there
wonít be enough new material to really get things going.
If you have a plastic Compostabin lift it up, like turning out a
sandcastle, the heap will stay together. Put the Compostabin beside
its heap and fork back into the empty bin the stuff that hasnít
rotted down. This will introduce air, which the micro-organisms
need, and will help to get them working fast. If what you are
forking back in is very wet and dense, layer it with soft cardboard,
like the centres of toilet rolls, cardboard egg boxes and trays,
shredded paper or crumpled newspaper; this will absorb some of the
wet and create air pockets which will stop the micro-organisms
Thirdly make sure that you add stuff
other than raw kitchen waste to your Compostabin. Put in weeds from
the garden, dead flowers and stalky stuff. Add card and paper as
well to balance the kitchen waste and make sure to add layers of
card and paper when you add any grass mowings to your home compost
Grass mowings, in moderation, are good for a compost bin: they
generate lots of heat which will kill off weed seeds and they add
moisture if the bin has become dry. But if your compost bin is
already too wet and slimy donít add any grass mowings until you have
got it sorted. To deal with these see our advice on
So Ė give your poor compost bin some
sun, some space and a good balanced diet!