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Compost looks like slimy sludge and something else beginning with s! Help!

Hi all, my first attempt at composting waste vegetables peelings, fruit, tea grouts, grass cuttings etc was going well until the rains of August subjected the plastic compost bin to flooding when I was away on holiday for a few days. 🥺.  I also now realise that I added far too much grass cuttings in one go without adding browns. I did add a lot of cardboard pieces thereafter, but the result is that I am left with brown slurry and clumps of wet grass cuttings, that smells awful.  I have since emptied the contents and have been trying to dry it out in the sun in my wheelbarrow and recycling boxes.  The contents has dried out, but it is still in clumps and my question is will it ever be good enough to use as compost for my raised bed or should I dispose of it and start again?  Any advice gratefully received.  This gardening malarkey takes up a lot of time and patience!  Thanks 😊 
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  • FireFire LondonPosts: 10,931
    I think it should be fine. If it's a green slurry, find a covered compost container to put it in and mix in small browns - shredded paper, chopped hay, wood chip, chopped leaves, shredded cardboard or the like. If you mix and turn it from time to time it will begin to cohere and break down into compost. It will take some time and patience to find the green/brown balance. It's a not a quick process. Finding a good bin will be helpful and in future trying to find a good green/brown balance will be most helpful. Turning and mixing regularly will help the clumps break down.
  • Hello Fire, you have given me some hope.  Thanks.  It more of a [email protected] brown colour and consistency and my fear was that the clumps of compost mixed with the grass will never break down and not mix with my top soil in the bed.  I will do as you suggest and I have also moved the compost bin to a better place in the garden to hopefully avoid any further flooding during the winter months. Thanks again.  
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 10,931
    If you give it time it will all break down. The smell and slime is just that it was probably anerobic (not enough oxygen) and too much green.
  • Jac19Jac19 Worthing, South Coast of EnglandPosts: 262
    edited 15 September
    I have been given a tip  that one could add some used compost from last year's pots filled with rootballs, that those roots become compost.  Will that count as browns?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 72,022
    Yes … but I’d break them open and check first for vine weevil grubs. If there are any put them on the bird table. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,641
    As @Fire says - if you can mix it all up with a few more additions, that'll help, and it will gradually break down after mixing and breaking up larger clumps.

    How did it flood though? Did it not have a lid? 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,778
    If you have a lot of grass cuttings it's really important to tip everything out from time to time, break up the lumps, mix it up and pile it back up. It's better in a heap than in a plastic container, in my experience, and much easier to handle. You can make your own with old pallets if the commercial ones are too pricey.
  • Jac19Jac19 Worthing, South Coast of EnglandPosts: 262
    Yes … but I’d break them open and check first for vine weevil grubs. If there are any put them on the bird table. 

    Thanks, Dove.  I have been wondering what to do with the used compost in the annual pots I am about to clear.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,641
    Spread it on beds and borders as a mulch and soil improver, rather than putting it in the  compost bin. Much more beneficial, although if you have loads and loads, you could split it between both, especially if the compost bin needs it.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Jac19Jac19 Worthing, South Coast of EnglandPosts: 262
    Posy said:
    If you have a lot of grass cuttings it's really important to tip everything out from time to time, break up the lumps, mix it up and pile it back up. It's better in a heap than in a plastic container, in my experience, and much easier to handle. You can make your own with old pallets if the commercial ones are too pricey.
    Really?  A heap is better than a container?  I just ordered a container, but I have had a heap in a corner under a tree for a while that has green cuts from trees, soil, and used compost only.  Can't put kitchen waste in as it is visible to people and I don't want to spoil their view.
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