The Home Composter

How to Compost

Compost safely

Your compost ingredients

Empty your compost bin

To turn or not to turn?

Worms & Wormeries

Topical Composting

Compost kitchen waste

Prickly prunings

Weeds and weeds

Too much grass

Leaves for Leafmould
Seasonal Tips


Leaflets to download
Unwelcome Guests


Composting demonstrated



Slimy CompostIs 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 suffocating.

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 bin.
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 Grass.

So Ė give your poor compost bin some sun, some space and a good balanced diet!

Composting problem?
 Contact us if you would like us to answer your query. We'll try to give a helpful answer!

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