Composting is very easy and you won't have any problems if you 'Food, Stir, Garden' every time. But in our complex world things don't always go to plan! Here's how to fix any problems that might arise.
If it smells then it probably hasn’t been stirred enough and is too wet. Give the whole compost a good stir for aeration and add more garden scraps. If smells are strong, sprinkle ash, dolomite or garden lime on top.
It is probably too dry or cold. If the compost is dry, soak it with a hose. Adding more food scraps or moving your compost to a warmer spot will speed things up.
They hide in warm, dry, still patches. Soak your compost with a hose, then ‘toss’ thoroughly using your stirrer. Only add garden scraps when you 'Food, Stir, Garden' to avoid dry patches forming.
They could be attracted to your compost if it smells. Avoid adding grains, meat, eggs and dairy. Check the lid is secure and there are no gaps. Rat-proof your bin by lining the base with chicken wire.
Often confused with maggots, larvae are: bigger, browner and more segmented. They help break down compost faster and aren’t a problem. There’s no easy way to remove them. Just stir more often, add more garden scraps, and they’ll leave in a few weeks.
Keeping your microbial workers happy is the secret to composting. If you have a problem, think about what might be imbalanced in terms of their Home, Diet, Air and Moisture.
Remember there are some 'things to avoid' feeding your compost:
- Strong, scented leaves from eucalypts or pines can slow things down by 'fumigating' your workers
- Bad smells can be caused by too many animal products or carbohydrates and this can also attract vermin