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White Fuzz in Composter

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White Fuzz in Composter

Post  Rahab222 on 5/13/2013, 1:45 am

I bought an 85-gallon Lifetime composter. I filled it with 80% brown and 20% greens. I barely misted the top of the leaves with water before closing the lid and have been turning the barrel every day. Today, I opened the lid and there was white, fuzzy stuff in my compost (it's been composting for about 7 days). This "white fuzz" is the same as I see in my compost bucket I keep under the kitchen sink after the greens have sat in there for a couple of days. As in the fruits and vegetables grow white fuzz. I guess it's the same as if you left something in the icebox too long and it grew "fuzz" on it. The compost looked a little too moist, so I turned it a few times and then left the lid open to give it some air while I worked in the garden.

What is this white fuzz? Is it going to go away as the items continue to compost? Will it contaminate my plants if I use this batch of compost on them (this is my first batch of compost)? I added two more shovelfuls of brown leaves, but they were also damp since we had rain a couple of days ago.

On the fourth day of this batch being mixed, I could see steam rising out of the composter. I put my hand above the compost and could feel A LOT of heat! Today I didn't feel any heat (Day 7) rising off the compost. I assume the fruits and vegetables added quite a bit of moisture and this might be why the compost is so damp? However, the white fuzz looks really nasty. What is it and what's causing it?
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Rahab222

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Re: White Fuzz in Composter

Post  littlejo on 5/13/2013, 8:33 am

Don't worry, it's natural. Some white fuzz is from the heat and stuff breaking down. If it starts to smell, add something dry/brown, otherwise, continue on.
I don't know what this fuzz is called.
Jo
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Re: White Fuzz in Composter

Post  Rahab222 on 5/19/2013, 12:31 am

Okay, the white fuzz is gone. I guess it's just part of the natural breakdown of the fruits and vegetables? Also, my composter is leaking compost tea beneath the composter, but the unit doesn't come with a "capture system". Am I going to find a bunch of compost tea at the bottom of the barrel after the composting is complete? I'm trying to turn the barrel several turns every day to keep everything stirred up.

Thanks for responding.
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Re: White Fuzz in Composter

Post  yolos on 5/19/2013, 11:00 am

I am not sure my method of determining the right dampness works for a tumbler but it works real good for my compost bin. When I first started researching composting, what I found was most people saying the compost should feel like a damp sponge. But I could not determine how damp was damp. I later found the suggestion to get a handful of compost and squeeze it. If one drop of water came out it was perfect but if 3 drops came out it was too wet and needed turning or more browns added.

I imagine the white fuzz is just the vegetative waste decaying.
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