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Composter not composting!

Hi folks, looking for some advice re a 220 litre cool composter I purchased last spring.

I tried to stick to a good mixture of 'greens' and 'browns' over last year and even picked some compost accelerator to add occasionally. On emptying it this spring there was only maybe a few inches of compost will all the other non-rotted material still on top.

As for this year, it is now full to the brim, leaving me having to bin all my composting waste I'm now generating.

Anyone else having the same problems? I know these are slow composters but it seems to be stagnant.


  • archiepemarchiepem Posts: 1,155

    wheres is it in the garden? and whats it sitting on

  • We turn our compost regularly throughout the summer, giving it a good stirring and getting some air into it.  That, and fairly regular additions of 'recycled beer and cider' seems to do the trick.  

    We find the easiest way to turn it is to have two bins and turn the contents of one heap into the empty bin.  By the time the next bin is ready to turn the first lot is compost. Usually takes about 6 months for us. 

    But a good stir every couple of weeks or so is also important to stop it becoming anerobic. 


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

  • archipem, it's at the side of the house, admittedly not getting full sun. It sits on the plastic base on grass.

    Dovefromabove, according to the instructions and advice in a book I read, these composters do not require turning. I did think the solution was a second bin though.

  • archiepemarchiepem Posts: 1,155

    empty and put all back ,see what happens . nice warming job image

  • As with the comments above turning is the secret and try to keep it moist.  I turn mine every 6 weeks and moisture with some booze via my

    I also have a probe thermometer which is a good way of checking when your bin is working and when the temperature drops its time to turn.

    Have a look on You Tube for some advice too

  • patty3patty3 Posts: 129

    Ihave a large cone compost bin.

    I thought the idea was to stand it on soil to get worms and slugs up working on it? 

     I buy worms from the fishing shop to help things along.

    mine was emptied to use in spring, then i turned the contents in october and was amazed how much good stuff was in it.   and as archiepem said it is a warm and back acheing job!!


  • definately need at least two bins, and best stood on earth (put wire netting under it if there is a danger os rats or mice nesting in it).  The layering is good, a layer of spare earth (I use the rubbishy clay continually available when I dig) from time to time - and cheap activator from Lidl....when you transfer the unrotted top waste into the second bin add some of the worms that are active in the first bin to get it off to a good start.  Lastly - try not to let it dry out - leave an old bucket nearby and tip in all gathered rain from time to time.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    Patty3, the 'brandling worms' (or 'tiger worms') from the fishing shop are very good for a wormery, but with a compost bin the red worms seem to appear by magic; though I help the bin along with a shovel of horse manure at the bottom.

    Colin, I am surprised that the bin instructions said it did not need turning; incorporating air along with your 50% nitrogen (greens) and 50% carbon (browns) is essential, so much so that the fastest domestic cool systems are tumbling bins. You can buy different compost turning tools cheaply on the internet. (£10 ish) Also you could try putting down a tarpauline and simpy tipping the bin over onto it, then refilling it; if it is slimy and smelly near the base, add scrunched up sheets of newspaper to increase carbon, if it is VERY dry, a little water or pee. Good luck with itimage

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