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Compost troubleshooting

Got some compost troubles? Follow these tips to help you diagnose and fix problems for happy and healthy compost!

Tip #1 - Follow your nose! Does your compost smell bad?

A healthy compost bin should smell fairly neutral and earthy. However, if there is a strong smell, your bin has likely turned anaerobic and there isn’t enough oxygen for your compost to break down effectively.

Add carbon (paper, mulch, autumn leaves, cut up egg cartons, shredded newspaper, torn up toilet paper rolls/cardboard boxes) & aerate your bin to help the bad smell go away.

Tip #2 - Vinegar flies, fruit flies or blowflies buzzing around when you open your compost bin?

Always cover your new compost additions with a layer of carbon and remember to keep the lid closed on your bin.

"Make sure that your food scraps are always covered with a layer of carbon. "

Tip #3 - Compost full of unwanted insects?

Many unwanted insects like moist conditions so check the moisture content of your compost. Adding carbon may be necessary.

Ants and cockroaches like dry compost so if you see these in your bin, add water and aerate well.

Tip #4 - Blue, green, grey or black mould in your compost bin?

This can occur if you leave food waste exposed to oxygen at the top of your compost bin. Make sure that your food scraps are always covered with a layer of carbon.

White mould in your compost bin is fine as its actinomycetes or Bokashi bacteria helping to break down your organic matter.

If in doubt, throw in some more carbon - think mulch, dried leaves, torn cardboard boxes and paper, napkins, tissues, and then don’t forget to aerate!

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