SOS Bad Smells in the Compost! What Are the Reasons and How to Fix Them?

by Kremy

Have you finally decided to compost for ecological reasons? Congratulations! Whether in the garden or in your apartment, composting is actually not too complicated. In addition to reducing household waste, this eco-responsible practice is also known to significantly improve the quality of the soil in the garden. However, But for some time now, you’ve been noticing bad smells in the compost. What are the possible reasons? What can be done about it? What can you do to avoid this unpleasant problem? We answer all your questions!

Why Does My Compost Smell Bad?

why does my compost smell bad reasons and solutions

Sometimes the smell of compost is noticeable and it is important to take action. It is essential to learn not only the basic rules, but also how to act in situations like this. So why does my compost smell bad? It’s a signal that there’s an imbalance that you need to correct. But first, let’s look at the three most common reasons for bad smells in compost. Here is an overview below:

  • Lack of aeration is the most common reason for the development of bad smells in compost.
  • An imbalance between carbonaceous and nitrogenous materials.
  • The presence of leftover meat and/or fish: these are foods that should not be put in the compost.

Also be aware that bad smells in compost can be the result of a combination of a few different factors.

Also read: How to Compost in an Apartment without Odors and Flies?

SOS Bad Smells in the Compost! What to Do?

why does my compost smell bad what to do


Rest assured, because remedying this unpleasant phenomenon is not a complex task. However, to successfully get rid of bad odors, you must first learn to recognize them. To help you, we’re going to take a closer look at a few specific odors and their solutions. So, if your compost smells like rotten eggs, it means that decomposition is poor, because the pile has not been adequately aerated. How to solve the situation? Simply stir the compost before adding homemade nettle manure. This acts as a natural compost activator.

what to do if your compost smells bad

On the other hand, if the odor from your pile smells like sulfur or ammonia, this indicates too high humidity. There are two possible explanations: you threw wet products there or the waste secreted juice as it decomposed. What to do? The solution is very simple: add dead leaves or coffee grounds and mix your compost. In other words, put dry matter in it.

Does your compost smell like fermentation when you open it? Don’t panic since this smell indicates that the pile is ready to be used and you can feed your crops with it to give them a natural boost.

Also read: How to Make Compost without a Composter?

How to Avoid Bad Smells in the Compost?

how to avoid bad smells in the compost

Every gardener will tell you: prevention is better than cure. And it’s absolutely true! That’s why it’s a good idea to learn all the tricks of the trade to prevent the appearance of unpleasant fumes. Here are some tips against bad smells in compost:

  • The best method to prevent and b eliminate odors from your pile is to stir regularly to aerate the mixture. Do you have a small composter? Then stir once a week, as opposed to once a fortnight if you have a large bin.
  • Always make sure you have a good balance between carbonaceous and nitrogenous materials. What exactly does this mean? Carbonaceous matter helps structure and aerate the mixture, and includes dead leaves, shredded branches, etc. As for nitrogenous materials, it is kitchen waste that contributes to decomposition. The balanced ratio is estimated at 3:1.
  • As we mentioned above, certain foods should not be thrown into the compost, as they create unpleasant odors and can even harm the mixture. Not to mention that they attract rodents and other animals. These include meat, fish, seafood and their shells, fats, dairy products, etc.

how to prevent bad smells in the compost


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