Something strange in my compost bin!

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by SandyNI, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. SandyNI

    SandyNI Gardener

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    I decided to empty my compost bin today from the bottom. It doesn't look how I expected. I added all the right ingredients and avoided certain things like onions and citrus. I know it's far too wet (my fault as I added water!) but there are numerus large lumps of a cream fatty substance. Some of the lumps are as big as 5cm x 5cm. The picture shows one such lump broken up. Any ideas? Is it a nasty and should I ditch it rather than put it on my garden?20200901_133529.jpgcompost bin.jpg
     
  2. john558

    john558 Super Gardener

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    Hi Sandy, Put some wet stuff back in the bin and put layers with cardboard & paper ripped up and give it a stir.
    I did empty a bag of flour in mine and it did look a bit yucky at the time.
    I wouldn't give up, I'm sure it will be fine.
     
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      Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
    • SandyNI

      SandyNI Gardener

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      Thank you @john558 . I've continued to empty it completely. I've got all my bedding plants to go in. Would it work doing layers of the mush with layers of my quite dry bedding plants?
       
    • john558

      john558 Super Gardener

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      Hi Sandy, I would give it a go, if you could get some bought compost to mix with the mush. As I say to all my plants, you have two chances, live or die:biggrin:
       
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      • SandyNI

        SandyNI Gardener

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        Having dug out the whole lot .... and put it back layered, (took me all day!) I've now discovered what the white mass is.... rotting potatoes!
         
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        • pete

          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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          What have you been putting in there?
          You only get out what you put in.:smile:
           
        • hans

          hans Gardener

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          I do wonder if the plastic compost bins get enough air. I personally don't like them. I was given one and found them difficult to work with.
           
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          • pete

            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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            Shouldn't they have drainage holes:scratch:
            And I think you are supposed to turn everything over a couple of times.
             
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            • john558

              john558 Super Gardener

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              I have a plastic one plus a home-made bin made from bits. They both produce some lovely compost, I do give them a stir if I can be bothered.
              The home-made one has lots of rotten Apples in which does take a little longer to rot down.
              I do try and put 50% Brown & Green in both.
               
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              • SandyNI

                SandyNI Gardener

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                Thanks for the comments folks. I put a picture up of the compost bin because I think that may be part of the problem. It's impossible to stir the contents as the sides split easily so if you try to get some leverage, bits of plastic break off! It's had a good stir up today by emptying it completely and putting it back in with layers of other things. Hopefully that will do the trick. My ingredients have been: grass cuttings, vegetable and fruit peelings, rotten veg (hence the potatoes), dead heads, bedding plants that have gone over, spent tea and coffee, a few autumn leaves, paper from the shredder and cardboard. Please feel free to correct me if I've got it wrong!
                 
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                • john558

                  john558 Super Gardener

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                  That's the same as I put in my compost Sandy. I'm sure it will be fine come Spring.
                   
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                  • luciusmaximus

                    luciusmaximus Total Gardener

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                    I've got two plastic compost buns ( gifted on Freecycle ), they are different designs. One is just a plastic bin with a lid and no hatch or air holes, the other had both. I've had them over a year but still no compost. Lifting the hatch on the one bin shows a dry looking compost I added at beginning and a mixture of everything else I've been adding but not rotted down. I do leave the lids off sometimes and water them a little if very dry. I don't add potato or egg shells as they don't seem to rot. The rats eat most of the fruit and veg peelings, but I try to add as much garden clippings as I can and lawn clippings. I add egg boxes and thin cardboard or brown paper when I have it. I'm wondering if I should add some more spent compost ??
                     
                  • SandyNI

                    SandyNI Gardener

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                    @luciusmaximus I read somewhere that crushed up eggshells are good for structure and texture. As I have heavy clay soil, the compost needs to have unrotted 'bits' in it..... I think! I'm still finding my way with this gardening malarky.
                     
                  • Purple Streaks

                    Purple Streaks Gardener

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                    When I started composting I was told NEVER put in potatoes , potato peelings or cooked food etc, it attracts rats.

                    Don't know if it's a old wives tale but I've never put them in and I've not had rats in my bin either.
                     
                  • SandyNI

                    SandyNI Gardener

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                    That sounds spot on @Purple Streaks .... except my bin has a lockable lid and isn't accessible to wildlife.
                     
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