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  • compost ok?

    Hello I am Angela Neustatter and I bought a hot composter last year. But although everything has become like a rather stinky mulch it does not look much like compost. Should it be this way?

  • #2
    I don't think the mulch should be stinky - sticky yes but maybe it's worth taking some of the compost from the bottom of the bin and adding it to the top (with a hot water-bottle. It sounds as if it hasn't been at a high enough temperature and could do with more having shredded paper and bulking agent added. I put sticky mulch into a "dalek" bin to finish off. We have a lot of material to put in my hotbin because we have holiday cottages so there 4 lots of people using the tbin, this means that I have to remove compost at lease every 6 weeks and it's not ready, but 6 months or so in the dalek finisheds it off nicely. The sticky stuff can be spread on top of the soil as a mulash - itw specially good in dry weather - after you've watered.

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    • #3
      I've fared quite well in the first six months. The average temperature over that time has been around 55 degrees but on emptying the bin, the compost is always a lot wetter than I would like and has to go into a dalek, and I get a lot more liquid from the bin than the instructions suggest. I put heaps of shredded paper and cardboard, plus wood chips in but basically the moisture circulates around the bin as steam, presumably it's not quite hot enough to be puffing out of the hole at the top and as the steam reaches the cooler top of the bin it condensates and runs back down into the compost, keeping it wet. I also find that to keep the heat up I have to loosen the compost with the stick, every day and I'm five foot, five inches tall, which I don't think is particularly short, but it's quite a task to reach down to the bottom of the bin. The stick needs a longer handle, or I need to stand on steps! I'm not sure of the health implications of breathing in the steam while I'm doing this?? It doesn't really smell although the composted bark chips are full of spores and smell really awful when you first take them out of the bag. I think these probably are a health hazard.

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      • Dawnie4101
        Dawnie4101 commented
        Editing a comment
        I find the paint roller handle useless! I instead use a 'l' shaped three fingered fork - much more like it!

    • #4
      Mine goes stinky, but I have been using grass clipping and not aerating enough. It gets up to 70C sometimes - I find if you turn in over it tends to clear up. The compost looks amazing after 8 weeks rich and sticky - I tend to shred everything finely which helps.

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      • #5
        The finished compost should not be stinky although it may welll be sticky. It sounds as though you need to empty the bin, add a load of paper and mix it all in then put it back for a while. To prevent this happening again, make sure that you mix any finely chopped green stuff such as grass with paper and some bulking agent or other "brown" waste such as dead leaves, preferably mixing before you put it in the bin so you don't have lumps of grass.

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        • #6
          Thank you for these advices, friends!
          Here I want to find useful tips for my compost

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