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Compost colour a bit off.

Hi all - I take enormous pride in telling you I am the proud owner of a full composting system after many years of being too lazy. It has worked swimmingly for 4 years now.

However this is the first year i didn't use all my finished compost and saved about a cubed meter, (think builders bag) of it for this year.

When I went to dig it out yesterday and spread on the beds, I found that mu h of it had turned a distinctive red or rust colour.

Any ideas why or if its bad? I took great pride in my dark crumbly compost which is now red...

Posts

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,557
    Congrats on your composting - looks like you've done a great job!
    No idea why your compost looks rusty, but I think if it were mine, as long as it smells good I'd be happy to use it.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,679
    Curious, could it be some of the ingredients haven’t fully composted? Did you use any conifer chippings in it as they are often reddish and take longer to rot down? So long as you don’t put it in direct contact with the crowns of newly emerging perennials or seedlings it should be fine to use as a mulch or dig in to unplanted areas. As Pete says, if it smells ok then it probably is 😊 
  • DAN WILSONDAN WILSON Posts: 110
    No it was all fully composted, mixed and beautiful dark brown. It was even sieved!

    So it's changed colour whilst 'maturing' I think they call it. 

    Will still use it just wondered what had caused it.

    Still smells lush tho!

     ☺ 
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,557
    Lush would be good enough for me :)
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,142
    Looks great. Was the colour just on the top? We had a load of Saharan dust dumped recently on the UK. Just a thought.
  • DAN WILSONDAN WILSON Posts: 110
    No, at the back and bottom, that's why I was surprised. It would have been the driest bit, not sure if that has caused any different type of rot?
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,679
    Is the red stuff dry to touch, as in drier than the brown stuff? Dried out compost is usually a lighter colour than wet compost, even when previously fully composted, could it be the bits at the back and bottom have just dried out? That shouldn’t make it go red though!
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