Something strange in my compost bin!

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

  1. Purple Streaks

    Purple Streaks Gardener

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    That' looks a good strong container !
    Mine isn't in a container it's the corner of the garden. Maybe that's why I was advised about the potato:redface:
     
  2. Sheal

    Sheal Total Gardener

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    Sandy do your compost bins have a base or are they open at the bottom?
     
  3. Mike Allen

    Mike Allen Total Gardener

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    Interesting subject. What a pong! I have always noticed that rotting potatos stink to high heaven like acrid pee.
    Thankfully I don't do composting. I agree that many of these new platic composters look attractive. Were I to use one. I'd make/allow some provision for the waste liquid to drain into some kind of container, then use the liquid as a liquid fertilizer.

    Most of the results I have seen from these composters amounts to basically slurry. Whereas a good compost heap can and should be turned and when digging in, a mixture of mush and fiberous material get dug in. Just my take on the subject.
     
  4. SandyNI

    SandyNI Gardener

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    @Sheal The bin doesn't have a bottom to it... and it stands on gravel... so I naively thought excess liquid would drain away, but it doesn't.

    @Mike Allen 'slurry' is a good analogy as it does smell very similar to what goes on the adjacent fields!

    When I bought this house I inherited an open barrel that had had mostly grass clippings thrown in. After a couple of years, I got round to emptying it. The first three quarters was beautiful crumbly compost which went straight on the garden and my plants thrived. The last quarter was mush which is why I bought a purpose built compost bin so that I got all good stuff, but instead I've got just smelly mush! I'll see what it's like in Spring. Does anyone buy composting worms for their bin?
     
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    • flounder

      flounder Gardener

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      To get a proper, crumbly compost you'll need heat. It's very hard to get a good amount of this happening in a domestic bin. vermiculture is a better way to do things at home.
      My compost bins are plastic dustbins with a few holes drilled in the bottom. This drains the black liquid that oozes out and the bin is moved around the garden yearly. This design also keeps the vermin out. the only thing I don't put in there is cooked food, but fish guts, bread and peelings all go in.....the worms do the rest
       
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      • JR

        JR Chilled Gardener

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        I used to put all of our kitchen waste in the compost bin.
        But last year rats had knawed their way in and so now i only put in grass clippings and brown cardboard (don't mention tea bags.. Sore point)
        Luckily our badger has come back and he appears to have cleared the area of vermin.
        Not much argues with a badger.
         
      • Sheal

        Sheal Total Gardener

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        I suspect the gravel has membrane underneath so it won't allow the liquids to flow away properly. It would be better standing in an area with a soil or lawn base. This will also allow worms to get inside and work on the compost. I had a 'dalek' type bin in my last garden that had sun on it for half the day as well as access for worms. I emptied it every six months.
         
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        • SandyNI

          SandyNI Gardener

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          @JR.... come on.... you've got to tell us about the tea bags!

          @Sheal my bin is in full sun (when the darn thing bothers to come out over here) and I actually bought some worms to add to it.... but they soon legged it (so to speak).
           
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          • NigelJ

            NigelJ Total Gardener

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            I throw most things on the compost heap, fortunately I have sufficient space to have two large traditional heaps. When I turn the heap or use it anything not fully broken down goes round again, any plastic gets pulled out and goes to the council. As for teabags they are quite variable in their plastic content, I am finding fewer plastic skeletons these days. I just wish it was easier to separate the plastic windows on some food packets from the cardboard.
             
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            • JR

              JR Chilled Gardener

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