Compost is Not Composted

Today we have another exciting episode for you.

Today what we’re going to talk about is why your compost is not composting.

And, you know, I have seen this time and time again.

I’ve visited a lot of gardeners, a lot of people that are composting, home owners that think they’re doing good because they’re composting.

But yet their compost is never done and they got bugs in it and ain’t working and all this kind of stuff.

And I’m going to share with you guys my one top tip to get your compost working instead of not working.

And this is the thing I’ve seen the most, right.

So what the home owners have here is they got a compost tumbler.

Just a tumbling compost system.

And I like the compost tumbler systems for me.

And for many people they work, for some people they don’t work.

I like the tumblers because, number one, they keep out, you know, vermin like rats and all this kind of stuff and mice that could get in there and create havoc and all this kind of stuff.

Number two, depending on where you live, it might be a good thing because it retains moisture.

So in the arid climate that I live in, you know, a pile on the ground would just dry really fast and I’d have to use excess water to keep it at the right moisture level, right.

But most compost piles are at a pretty decent moisture level but, you know, they don’t have this issue.

So what the home owner’s been doing here is they actually just take the composted kitchen scraps, which is what most people compost.

You could also compost lawn clippings and tree leaves and you know, parts of vegetables out of your garden when you’re pulling them up, and you put them in your bin.

And then you could open your bin.

And what I want to show you guys next actually, what this bin looks like on the inside.

Alright so this is what the bin looks like on the inside.

If you look at it, it’s like, I don’t know, it’s like really really wet, right.

Number one, compost shouldn’t be too dry and it shouldn’t be too wet.

And basically they added like leaves to this once and then they just kept dumping food scraps.

And that’s what I see often.

People think if they just keep dumping food scraps it’s going to compost down.

And yes, while compost does happen, you can compost with food scraps, it’s more likely rotting than composting.

So another indication of this is actually if you look closely, and now I’m not going to pick up any of these guys.

Maybe I will for the camera today.

They got these little things in there.

And if you’re a girl, you guys are going to freak out so hide the camera.

These guys.

Aaaahhhh it’s moving, it’s alive, aahhh!

And those guys are called black soldier flies.

And basically the are nature’s degraders,

you know, they eat rotten stuff.

And they’re in there because your compost is not happening properly.

If there’s creatures in your compost, your compost is not happening properly, because you need to have a proper carbon to nitrogen ratio in your compost.

And if you’re adding things like the food scraps, right, you’re adding a lot of nitrogen, you know, also known as greens, so grass clippings and the food scraps are the greens.

But you also need to add the browns, right.

Remember, brown power!

Alright, so we need the browns.

So what are browns?

So browns are leaves.

But John they added leaves once.

Well you need to add like four times as much leaves as the food scraps.

So you need to remember to do this often.

In addition, the leaves don’t break down as fast.

So I’d recommend like, you know, grinding them up into smaller pieces so they break down faster.

Because some leaves just simply don’t break down.

I mean, we could see whole leaves in here.

Like these are some oak leaves that just haven’t broken down over time.

So what I recommended yesterday the home owner do is actually go out and get my number one favorite carbon source that may be available near you for super cheap.

So let’s go ahead and take a look at that next.

So my number one favorite carbon source that you guys are missing if your compost pileis rotting, stinking, got bugs, is this stuff right here.

Super simple, super easy.

It’s actually just known as the, this is from tractor suppliers like 6 bucks a bag of 40 pounds.

Super good deal.

Normally maybe it, depending on where you live, it could be like 8 bucks 40 pounds.

These are just natural pine pellets.

This is equine bedding pellets, are very important, you want to get the horse bedding pellets at a feed store, you know.

They don’t have any additives or preservatives or chemicals in there because, you know, they’re meant for horses.

Because they don’t want to get their expensive horses sick.

But guess what these guys are?

These guys are compressed carbon nodules.

And this is what they look like, right here, basically just compressed saw dust, nothing added.

And you’re going to want to put these into your compost pile.

So what I do is I take a five gallon bucket.

Into the bottom about that much to the bucket I’ll fill up with the pine pellets, right, and then I’ll put all my food on top of the bucket.

And, you know, say you’re going to put it in a bag inside your, you know, garbage disposal cruncher thing.

You could just line these in the bottom of the bag and then when you dump your compost in there, it’s already in the bottom of the bag and it’s going to be pre-mixed.

So you just need to find the right ratio to use in the bottom, right.

And that way you’re going to add carbon every single time you add them.

In addition, because these pine pellets they absorb their weight in water, I mean, horses pee on these things and they pop up and they fluff up.

And the other thing if you got cats, they sell this stuff for cat litter.

If you buy it at like Pet Smart or whatever, you know, they’re going to charge you ten times as much as if you get the horse stuff.

And it’s the same stuff, right.

That could save you a lot of money right there.

But yeah, these guys, you know, absorb the water, so they keep your bucket cleaner.

In my case it could keep things cleaner.

And, so you don’t get all that funny runny stuff that drips all over your, you know, floors when you’re taking it outside of the compost pile.

But in addition you’re adding the carbon that’s required for composting.

So because they added this in yesterday, you know, this pile is already a little bit warmer than it was yesterday.

Meaning that now the microbes are able to act appropriately because they have the better ratio of carbon to nitrogen.

Now this pile is still a bit wet for me.

So I think I’m going to go ahead and add some more of the pine pellets.

And I mean, a question you guys might have is how much pine pellets do I add?

Well, you know what?

Basically they had pretty much this composter pretty full.

And out of this 40 pound bag they probably added about maybe one third of it so far.

And I’m going to add about another one third of it, to kind of get it up to speed and, you know, let it get composting.

The other thing I would highly encourage you guys to get is a compost thermometer, right.

Compost thermometers are cheap on Amazon, maybe 13 -15 bucks.

I have a video on it already, I’ll put a link down below for the compost thermometer I bought.

And you could check your compost.

And if your compost is not in the right range, because it will give you like little things.

Like in this temperature range it’s red, too hot; in this temperature range it’s green; in this temperature range it’s yellow, maybe not hot enough.

You need to like dial it in and normally the biggest reason why compost piles don’t work- not enough carbon.

So go out and get yourselves some of these pellets , you know, pine pellets used for horse bedding, to get your compost pile on fire.

Well, not really on fire but working at least.

So within about, I don’t know, maybe 6 to 8 weeks you could have a finished, you know, compost pile, finished compost to put into your garden instead of just rotting smelling stuff that is sitting there for a year and doing nothing.

Alright, so hope you guys enjoyed this episode.

Be sure to check my other episodes.

I’ve put the links down below for other episodes I have on composting and how I compost myself. If you liked this video please give me a thumbs up.

Also be sure to subscribe if you’re not already.

I have new videos coming out all the time.

And be sure to share my past episodes.

I have over a thousand fifty episodes now all aspects of growing food at home, including you know, composting and visiting farms and everything else related.

And I’m sure you will love them.

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