Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:53 am

How to Save My Watery Compost

My compost pile is more than month- and- a half old; the pile is mostly made up of vegetable leaves, like cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, knolkhol, vegetable like aubergine, bottle gourd, radish and a scatter of garden plant twigs. Now the pile has not only started giving off intense stench all around the compost bin, the compost is nearly over-topped by water from the rotting pile. Does any Forum friend have any idea how to handle this watery compost issue? At one time I was even vaguely toying with the idea of adding coco peat dust to the pile to help soak up the water, but I was never sure.

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: How to Save My Watery Compost

Your problem is that your pile was all made out of "greens" (nitrogen rich, soft, moist). That results in what you got- stinky, slimy mess. You need to balance the "greens" with an equal volume of "browns" (carbon rich, hard, dry). The twigs are browns but don't count, because they aren't going to break down any time in the next couple years. They are just there for aeration.

Please do check out the composting 101 and composting basics threads:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 35&t=29022
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 35&t=56881

we also have a whole big list of green and brown composting ingredients:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... =35&t=9089

I mainly rely on collected fall leaves and straw for my browns, but see the list for other choices. You still can do this. Get yourself a pile of browns at least equal in size to the green mess you have (remembering that "green" has nothing to do with color, manure is a "green") and mix them together. It will remediate and eventually become good compost.

A properly made compost pile has NO odor (well, maybe a slight, pleasant earthiness). If it is getting stinky, you know you need to change something!

Greener Thumb
Posts: 970
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: MO

Re: How to Save My Watery Compost

I'm curious about 'over-topped by water'. Is it in a bin or a pit or low spot in the ground that holds water? In addition to getting the brown/green balance right, compost also needs drainage.

Return to “Composting Forum”