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My Mel's Mix STINKS!

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My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  1willi4 on 4/10/2013, 9:34 pm

This is my first time gardening. EVER! I bought all the components for my MM on Monday and mixed it together that afternoon but didn't have time to put in the bed. I covered it with a tarp so it wouldn't wash away if it rained. I came home from work and bee-lined to the back yard, uncovered my MM and it STUNK like an out house in August. I went ahead and put it in my bed. I went back outside about 4 hours later to check on it. I stuck my hand in it and it was very hot. What gives? Am I worrying about nothing?

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  mollyhespra on 4/10/2013, 9:51 pm

@1willi4 wrote:
[snip]

...it STUNK like an out house in August. I went ahead and put it in my bed. I went back outside about 4 hours later to check on it. I stuck my hand in it and it was very hot. What gives? Am I worrying about nothing?

What components did you use, exactly? I'm wondering if you used manure that maybe it wasn't composted enough (hence the stench & the heat) before you mixed it in.

Did you buy commercially pre-bagged stuff as the components or did you get the ingredients in bulk separately?

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  1willi4 on 4/10/2013, 10:10 pm

I could only find 3 different types of compost locally. Cow manure (2 types), mushroom and chicken. All of them were the bagged type

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  landarch on 4/10/2013, 11:16 pm

If it stinks and gets hot, the compost was probably not finished...or of poor quality (no balance of greens and browns).

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  TexasTracy on 4/11/2013, 7:33 am

I'he bought chicken compost before that smelled horrible! I let it sit about a week and it was fine.

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  HillbillyBob on 4/11/2013, 8:17 am

wet it down real good pale almost soupy and cover it with your trap it will start to heat again if it's not a finished compost Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes I'd wait a few days before planting in it. the Sun will cook it pertty quickly Rolling Eyes

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  littlesapphire on 4/11/2013, 8:55 am

Wow! Sounds like your compost wasn't finished. Did you get dehydrated manure by chance? I did that the first time I built boxes, and once it's rehydrated, it smells and heats up just like fresh manure. And unfortunately, if your compost isn't fully finished, your plants are going to have a hard time growing in it.

Try what HillbillyBob said and see if that helps. Once it cools down and starts smelling like fresh earth instead of manure, it's ready to plant in. I've heard you can also try adding some liquid fertilizer to help speed up the composting process.

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  Tris on 4/11/2013, 10:02 am

The chicken I used was expensive and smelled disgusting Sad and it was like, one giant mass, took me forever to break it up. Once it aired out a bit and was broken up it was fine though.

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  landarch on 4/11/2013, 10:13 am

I brought home some chicken and rabbit manure from a relative's farm a few weeks ago (they raise 4H animals) and my wife will not let me in the house after I turn the compost pile...the chicken poop smell follows me around like Pigpen in Peanuts.

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  H_TX_2 on 4/11/2013, 11:38 am

You have 3 different types of manure and nothing else. I would look around and try to find some other non manure compost to hopefully round out your mix.

My first year I didn't exactly understand the 5 different types and I only had cow manure. I had huge green plants with some blooms but the vegetables didn't come. Your compost is definitely more well rounded than mine was but it might still be lacking a little bit. Good luck, I hope you enjoy gardening because you can always amend what you have in the fall or next year.

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  JackieB999 on 4/11/2013, 2:31 pm

Oh my goodness... hen, chicken and rabbit poop are big smellers. I've bought Hen manure in a bag from the nursery and I had to hold my breath when I pour it. Rabbit pellets can be used uncomposted, and so the usually have some rabbit pee in there too. But dont worry, the smells settle down after a week or so.

Please try hard to find some more kinds. The 5 kinds are important for nutrients. Try a nursery or google some farms close to you.... they have more stuff than Lowes/HD. Worm casings are an excellent one to add.

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  walshevak on 4/11/2013, 6:24 pm

@TexasTracy wrote:I'he bought chicken compost before that smelled horrible! I let it sit about a week and it was fine.

+1

kay

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  Unmutual on 4/11/2013, 8:26 pm

@TexasTracy wrote:I'he bought chicken compost before that smelled horrible! I let it sit about a week and it was fine.

The commercial composted chicken manure I get some times reeks of ammonia. That means it's not fully composted(smelly=not finished). The heat may have been from the tarp and the sun. Let it off gas a while and mix it every now and again(every 2-3 days). When your MM doesn't smell anymore, then try planting something you don't mind dying, just in case.

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  1willi4 on 4/11/2013, 9:09 pm

@JackieB999 wrote:Oh my goodness... hen, chicken and rabbit poop are big smellers. I've bought Hen manure in a bag from the nursery and I had to hold my breath when I pour it. Rabbit pellets can be used uncomposted, and so the usually have some rabbit pee in there too. But dont worry, the smells settle down after a week or so.

Please try hard to find some more kinds. The 5 kinds are important for nutrients. Try a nursery or google some farms close to you.... they have more stuff than Lowes/HD. Worm casings are an excellent one to add.
Once the bed cools down I was thinking about adding some earthworms to the bed.

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  1willi4 on 4/11/2013, 9:14 pm

If I was to find another source of compost. Could I just scoop out some of the current MM and add the new compost? After all you just add compost as needed.

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  Kelejan on 4/11/2013, 10:00 pm

If you are wanting to replace with another finished compost, I don't think you will be able to scoop out the smelly stuff because it is already mixed with peat and vermiculite and the proportions will be off.

If you are wanting to plant something really quick, make another batch of MM with finished compost and let the stinky stuff finish off and then use it. If you only have one bed, then scoop out the first stuff and store it for a bit until it is finished.

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  Triciasgarden on 4/11/2013, 10:28 pm

It sounds like the compost was not done composting and that would be the reason for the smell and heat. If compost is completely done, it should have a nice earthy smell. If you look at your bags, see what they actually have listed as ingredients. I bought mushroom compost once and it had lots of other stuff, including peat. If they have peat in them already, you would need to reduce the amount of peat you add. If you can find one more source of compost, you can add that to your mm. If it does not have peat, this additional compost would help balance out the extra peat if it was in the other bags.

Ideally it would be best to pull everything back out and lay it on a tarp, add your additional compost and mix it all together really well. Then water it well, making sure the peat in your mix all gets moistened. The first time your peat is moistened, it wants to repel the water. After the first good soaking, it will be fine. If your additional compost does not have peat, this additional compost would help balance out the extra peat if it was in the other bags.

I would leave your pile out of the bed until it is done composting, when it smells like earth and not hot. Once everything is mixed and watered well, scoop everything back into a good pile as opposed to spreading it out. Every few days turn and moisten your pile and pile it back up. It may just take another week to finish. I would give it a few days after there is no more heat or smell before I would use it.

I am thinking that after about a week you may be able to plant something in your bed. Try one or two plants and see how they do for about a week. If they are doing well, I would think you could plant the rest.

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  1willi4 on 4/13/2013, 4:44 pm

Good news everyone. My MM has calmed down. No stench and no heat. Thanks for everyone's advice. I'm sure I'll have several more questions.

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  Triciasgarden on 4/14/2013, 12:12 am

Oh yay, that was quick! I'm so glad that worked out!

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

Post  Unmutual on 4/14/2013, 7:19 am

@1willi4 wrote:Good news everyone. My MM has calmed down. No stench and no heat. Thanks for everyone's advice. I'm sure I'll have several more questions.

Congratulations and ask away, that's why we're here!

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Re: My Mel's Mix STINKS!

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