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Septic Compost?

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Septic Compost?

Post  sanderson on 9/29/2013, 8:01 pm

My third compost pile stinks to high heaven. I can't hang the laundry out during these last glorious days. It's embarrassing in our high density neighborhood.

This pile reached 160* within a day or two and didn't budge for a week. I had installed perforated PVC pipes with removable caps and since I removed the caps and wiggled the pipes, the temp has dropped to 150*. Materials included chopped produce, smelly grass I heated in black bags to kill seeds, un-composted compost from #2 pile, cow manure, and green leaves chopped with lawn mower.

What I am planning this evening it to use a pitch fork in the cage to fluff it up a bit, then top with my last produce haul and leaves plus the last 1/3 bag of cow manure. It will not be touched again until Spring. Turning compost in my backyard is just next to impossible. I do have some wood chips (my mulch) I could add.

Any comment appreciated.

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Re: Septic Compost?

Post  bnoles on 9/29/2013, 8:10 pm

Have you considered lime?

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Re: Septic Compost?

Post  Turan on 9/29/2013, 8:24 pm

The smell is from nitrogen being used. The prolonged heat shows that as well. As the bacteria use up the nitrogen it will calm down. Fluffing it up will heighten the process. Spreading it out will slow it down. Mixing in some leaves and wood chips should slow it down sufficiently. Just covering it with wood mulch should help calm down the odor.

When i compost the chicken coop cleaning I am glad my neighbors are not near. But it does not last too long and hte result is wonderful.

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Re: Septic Compost?

Post  donnainzone5 on 9/29/2013, 8:30 pm

Sounds like you need to add more browns, such as chopped-up autumn leaves, straw, cardboard (soak it in water first, then tear it into smallish pieces), shredded newspaper, etc.

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Re: Septic Compost?

Post  llama momma on 9/30/2013, 7:33 am

If you let the grass dry out on a tarp then it can be added to the compost without the rotting smell.  I have done this and it works great.  You could store any extra dried grass in paper lawn bags for an extended time.  Even dried out it is still considered a green without much nitrogen loss.  

Mel equates the process like using bread crumbs, you wouldn't use fresh bread to make bread crumbs on food cause it would get gummy.  So it is dried first then made into crumbs.  Same concept only we're drying out gummy prone grass then putting the dried stuff in the compost only to get moistened after all!  Sounds goofy but it just plain works.

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Re: Septic Compost?

Post  sanderson on 9/30/2013, 1:39 pm

I thank all of you for your comments.  Hopefully this pile will be the last septic stinky one. I steamed the lawn clippings in black plastic to kill seeds. In the future, I think I will spread the stinky mess on a tarp to mostly dry before building a pile.  And, next summer I will have lots of dried leaves from this fall.

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Re: Septic Compost?

Post  Kelejan on 10/1/2013, 6:07 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:Sounds like you need to add more browns, such as chopped-up autumn leaves, straw,  cardboard (soak it in water first, then tear it into smallish pieces), shredded newspaper, etc.  
I agree, most of the ingredients you list sanderson, are greens, and a compost pile needs to be around 30 to one ratio of browns to greens.
Your leaves from this fall will be a big help.Very Happy 

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