Forum home Problem solving

One bin too high in nitrogen, one too high in carbon

I've gotten around this week to spreading the 5 finished compost bins over the areas of the garden that will have beets, beans and peas. Problem is, one was from when we first moved in and has a very high level of nitrogen (primarily kitchen scraps). It also had a year old fully intact egg, and stinks of onion and ...well, you get the point.
The bin beside it was from when we ripped the lawn up out front, and layered it with coffee grounds and more kitchen scraps, grey water, etc. There is a lot of partially decomposed moss in that one.
I have been mixing the two together to spread out on the garden areas, but the soil from the one bin stinks to high heaven.
It's being laid a couple inches thick over maple leaves which are covering flipped lawn (from last November).
It has been a fairly dry spring here.
Will the smell settle down with a bit of rain? Should I try to get some composted manure to apply on top? Am I needlessly stressing about this? (The worms didn't seem to mind the nitrogen level.)


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,541
    I'd not worry unduly about it. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,025
    I agree ... the smell will fade. You could try turning the soil over and working it in a bit to speed things up if you want. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • AstroAstro Posts: 418
    The smell will go as it airs out. When you have a mix that is high in greens and is wet, it is anaerobic and stinks because of the types of bacteria at work. Smells like bad drains, sewers and stagnant waters lol.

    It maybe not practical but I'd be tempted to get the material from both into a stack and mix them and let the partial parts break down some more. Egg shells take a longer time to break down than the average contents of compost piles, usually they are crushed up and you see them even when the pile is done.

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    I think you have what we refer to as Dalek bins - plastic, wider at the base, loaded from the top and emptied from below? I think they are really difficult to make good compost, which should hardly smell at all, except of good earth. To improve your compost in future, you need to remove all the material from the bin, mix it up and replace it, several times while it rots down. My daughter inherited one of these when she moved house. It hadn't been touched for years but most of the material in it was just smelly and wet and useless.
  • HouseFinchHouseFinch Posts: 327
    Thank you everyone! I suspect it was mostly a newbie mistake. We used all the leaves on the new garden space (all freshly flipped lawn) when we moved in. Hence I didn't have any carbon to mix with the compost. If I had layered it, I'm sure this wouldn't have happened. The bins filled later were well done and smelled like good soil. Now I put paper towel, pet hair, and non-toxic paper scraps in there though.
Sign In or Register to comment.