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Rescuing the compost bin

My compost bin has cooled right down in the last couple of weeks and seems to have stopped composting. It's surprisingly dry, the worms have left and the ants have just moved in. I'm trying to work out how to fix it.

With hindsight the reasons are obvious:

- I've added iron sulphate treated moss, which is acidic and known to reduce worm activity

- I've drenched the compost bin after finding a rat

- I've added shredded paper after the bin was too green, but perhaps too much

What would you do? I'm thinking of adding the charcoal ashes from my first barbecue to try to neutralise the pH; maybe peeing in it as an activator; and adding further waste in the hope it dilutes out the bad effects.

Or I could send the compost to the green waste and the tip and start again?

Posts

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,610

    I think you might be over anyalysing things a bit too much. 

    I'd dig it all out, give it a good mix up and stick it all back in. Nature wants to degrade stuff, it's what happens. Sometimes it's quicker, sometimes slower, but it never stops. 

    We've all had bad batches. I'm sure if you re mix it all, along with warmer days, it'll kick back into action soon. 

    Don't despair.

    Devon.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,999

    IN FUTURE, I WOULD KEEP OUT ANYTHING THAT HAS BEEN USED AS "A KILLER" SUCH AS THE IRON SULPHATE.

    COMPOST HEAPS ARE THE ULTIMATE ORGANIC ENVIRONMENT. 

    ALSO, ANYTHING ADDED IN EXCESS WILL PUT IT OUT OF KILTER SO TRY TO MAKE A BALANCED MIXTURE.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520

    What they've said Gnoob image

    Don't add grass clippings that have been recently treated either - wait for about 6 weeks before you add them after using a weed and feed for instance. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • AHRAHR Sheffield Posts: 356

    if you want to speed things up - don't add onions or onion family as this actually slows things down.

    i really would not worry. Just keep adding the waist and it will soon warm up. 

    taking it all out and mixing it up will help. 

    If ants have moved in then it sounds too dry to me? 

  • Garden noobGarden noob Posts: 260

    Yeah, you're right that it's dry but I don't understand why - I really soaked it a week or two ago. My only thought is that perhaps the salt in the iron sulphate could have dried it? I'll keep it moist and well turned, and then see what happens.

    The general theme seems to be to persevere and be patient - like most gardening projects.

    Thanks all for the input image

  • AHRAHR Sheffield Posts: 356

    Yes be patient 

    add more green waste this will make it wetter. 

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