Despite the fact that compost problems are inevitable, the good thing is that most of them can be easily fixed. Below are 4 Common Compost Problems and How to Fix Them.
Wet, soggy or slimy compost
There is nothing that can be worst as cold, slimy compost. A slimy compost is caused by three factors; excessive moisture, poor aeration and insufficient nitrogen material in the pile. A compost which has been overburdened by materials that wads down when wet-spoiled hay, grass clippings and a heap of uncut tree leaves can become so dense in a manner that makes the pile center to lack air. When such a heap is left uncovered for a long period of rainy season, without it being turned to allow air penetrate to the center, you will end up with a soggy lump.
The microorganisms responsible for the cooking of compost are known as Aerobic bacteria. These microorganisms cannot live under such poor oxygen supplied environment. Instead, you welcome anaerobic bacteria since they do not require air to survive. Your microbe will eventually compost, but will take a period longer than aerobic bacteria.
Soggy compost is easy to fix. If wet weather is one part of the problem, then place a loose fitting lid over the pile. In addition, turn the pile over while fluffing it thoroughly. If you have some nitrogen rich ingredients and fibrous ingredients such as saw dust add them into the pile to help in getting things cook. Your pile will heat within few days after which you should keep it cooking by overturning it every 7-14 days.
Dry and dusty compost
If you live in the West, chances are that you experience dry and dusty weather conditions from time to time. This is most common from the month of May to October when summer rains are practically nonexistent. Regardless of the material you pile up, stack does not get sufficient moisture for bacterial life support necessary for speeding the composting process. However, if you have dry and dusty compost, you just need to water It; that is a problem fully solved.
The rule of the thumb here is; your compost components should always feel as wet as a soggy sponge. You can place an oscillating sprinkler on top of the dry compost and run it for 30 minutes, so as to moisten the materials. Sometimes, you need to turn your pile and water layers before attending your daily chores.
Unwelcome visitors on the compost
If your compost is attracting unwanted visitors such as mice, rats, ants and flies, you probably might have added some food craps such as meat or fish bones. To prevent unwanted visitors from your compost ensure that the lid is secure and that there are no gaps left. Also ensure that you pout food scraps in the middle and cover them. Mixing the compost thoroughly will also discourage ants and mice from coming to your compost.
Smelly compost is caused by too wet materials which do not allow oxygen to decompose properly. To prevent foul odor, add carbon rich brown material (such as dry leaves or hay) or add garden lime. Rotating the pile once per week will allow air to get into the middle and hence prevent the formation of a foul odor.
These are some of the common problems you will most likely face. Understanding how to solve each of the problems will help you have an easier time in preparing your compost.