Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:50 pm
Location: Windsor, Ontario - Zone 6a

got lazy, compost has gone anaerobic

I started a compose bin last May, due to a lack of any real amount of yard waste, it ended up getting filled with more food scraps then anything else. Now, it seems that after the winter (adding more food scrapes) and my, ahem, lack of turning :oops: the compost has gone anaerobic....

I knew I was in for trouble when I was putting way more wet "green" matter then "brown".

Now I'm the guy with the stinky yard. :shock:

My plan:
- mix in a bunch of old (brown) grass clippings a friend of mine piles up behind his garage
- mix in some of the compost I bought when I realized that this years batch was not in fact ready
- turn, turn, turn
- divert all future waste to the second composter I just bought (and yes, I will stay on top of this one)

I've got a couple of questions

- what ratio's should I mix this? lets assume that my current bin is 80-90% food scraps, but I only have access to brown grass, no leaves/straw/etc right now, so 1-1 or 2-1 grass-mess? plus whatever finished compost I have left over (wont be much)?

- should I try to jump start this with some worms? or some of that compost starter enzymes?

- I really need to secure some sort of diverse supply of brown matter (I only have one small maple tree in my yard) would the spent grains I end up with after I brew beer be good enough? I just started doing this and I've but some in the composter but would the grain hulls (or is it husks?) take too long to break down? I suppose it could be a continued source of nutrients...


Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

I started two tub-type bins of compost March 21 which I PLANNED to become anaerobic.

They did. Unfortunately, I didn't plan adequately, and my composting worms became sacrificial worms. :(

I found that simple aeration (with a LONG-handled tool :wink:) helps quite a bit in the "immediate" time frame.

If your neighbors don't have the browns that you need, I have two suggestions:

1) Finely shredded newspaper (strips approx. 1/8 inch, or 3 mm, wide; length immaterial), or

2) Rabbit "waste," from a rabbit rescue. I've had three "loads" (each "load" = four 5-gallon/18-liter buckets), and each load had LOTS of hay and LOTS of rabbit litter. Just a little bit of rabbit poo, so each load was mostly a Brown addition to the compost. Rabbit rescue groups have a waste-disposal problem; both of the groups I've been in touch with were thrilled to give me the stuff just for the hauling.

I've never worried about the Brown/Green ratio in my compost; I just put in what I have, keep it watered (well, with Greens, it pretty much stays wet...), and hope for the best with irregular turning.

I hope this helps!

Cynthia H.
El Cerrito, CA

Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:50 pm
Location: Windsor, Ontario - Zone 6a

ah, rabbit waste, I know where I can get some of that, thank you!

I've been turning it daily since my first post and I've noticed the smell is not as powerful anymore.

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