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When Will The Ammonia Smell Go Away?

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When Will The Ammonia Smell Go Away?

Post  kurango on 4/28/2011, 11:10 am


I've turned the pile and added more browns but the pile still smells of ammonia.
Am I being to impatient? Expecting the smell to go away right away? Or do I keep adding browns until it smells no more?

TIA,
kurango

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Re: When Will The Ammonia Smell Go Away?

Post  buttaflie143 on 4/28/2011, 11:26 am

I read somewhere that an ammonia smell may indicate too much water and/or you need to add more "brown" material. I hope this helps.
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I've already added the browns and turned the pile

Post  kurango on 4/28/2011, 12:10 pm

So how long do I wait till the smell goes away? Or do I add more browns cause it will fix the problem straight away? :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:

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Re: When Will The Ammonia Smell Go Away?

Post  buttaflie143 on 4/28/2011, 12:15 pm

I would try adding the browns, give it a spin, and give it 2-3 days. Is it an open pile or a bin?
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Re: When Will The Ammonia Smell Go Away?

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/28/2011, 12:25 pm

I've never heard of that. We get very wet compost in the PNW but it even when it has a raw sewer scent it still doesn't smell like ammonia. Does it have kitty litter or stable straw? That’s wild.

This may not help because my problem is more of a poo smell (that doesn't last very long. It only happens when it is hot and breaking down). I add alfalfa meal (pellets like unmediated rabbit pellets should also work) to deodorize the pile. Works for me....but like I said, mine has a different scent when it is bad. Dry green grass is also higher in chlorophyll and MIGHT help.

The only really weird smell I've ever had was the smell of over-ripe bananas. My son had a job at the forest service when he was in high school. He started as grounds keeper and would bring home the bags of lawn clippings that were mixed with cedar needles and ground moss. After sitting in a bag and starting to heat up they smelt like bananas. Hang in there, you might just end up with high nitrogen brown gold.
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Re: When Will The Ammonia Smell Go Away?

Post  camprn on 4/28/2011, 1:09 pm

Did you happen to use chicken manure in your compost? If there is too much nitrogen (lots of greens) there will be ammonia odor... Check out this link Composting in Maine
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Re: When Will The Ammonia Smell Go Away?

Post  kurango on 4/28/2011, 3:25 pm

buttaflie,

Thanks, the 2 or 3 days is what I needed to know! I was being too impatient expecting the smell to go right away after adding the brown

It is a 3' x 3' open wire bin that is approximately half full.

Thanks again.



@buttaflie143 wrote:I would try adding the browns, give it a spin, and give it 2-3 days. Is it an open pile or a bin?

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Re: When Will The Ammonia Smell Go Away?

Post  spankyleatherlips on 4/30/2011, 2:01 pm

@camprn wrote:Did you happen to use chicken manure in your compost? If there is too much nitrogen (lots of greens) there will be ammonia odor... Check out this link Composting in Maine

Good Gravy I have a compost tumbler full of chicken dook and pine shavings. The winter here was brutal and the Spring has been nothing but record setting rain. I opened up my tumbler today and got "high" on amonia. No wonder.........CHICKEN POO!!!!!
Thanks for the Composting in Maine site. study
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