Tend to smelly com­post

Gardening Australia - - YOUR PLANNER -

If you are wor­ried about sour smells com­ing from your com­post piles, it’s time to take ac­tion. Bad smells can be the re­sult of too much ni­tro­gen in the mix, an ex­cess of food scraps, too much wa­ter or not enough air. The best thing to do is empty all the ma­te­rial out onto a tarp or plas­tic sheet. It will prob­a­bly be quite wet and sticky. Mix through high-car­bon ma­te­rial such as dry leaves (be­low), saw­dust, straw, shred­ded card­board or news­pa­per. Th­ese help to soak up the ex­cess mois­ture and bal­ance out the ex­cess ni­tro­gen. Aer­ate the pile by giv­ing it a good turnover with a fork. Let it sit for a cou­ple of days, adding more car­bon if nec­es­sary, then re­turn it to the com­post bin. Avoid wet­ting the ma­te­rial for a while and cover it to keep the rain out. When­ever you add high-ni­tro­gen ma­te­ri­als, such as fresh grass clip­pings or food scraps, be sure to al­ways bal­ance them out with a load of dry, high-car­bon ma­te­rial, and turn the heap reg­u­larly to keep it well aer­ated.

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