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Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
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davidsevit
Apr 24, 2015 7:17 AM CST
i looked at the old sagy stinky wet compost heap that i closed around with an old enormous window frame(for the estetics for my neighbours.it looks taken care of although the stink is unbarable.....and thought to myself.i got so much help from all things plants advisers.so here i go....
i took the frame away wich was around 40 centimeters high 1\1\1 meters and took a garden fork and started to spread the whole pile to the sides it must have grown to 2\2\2 meters now much lower.the impulse came(i am concerned what the people in my building will say ......but the smell is the same)........today there is a breeze-air......and 4 days from today we are expecting 30 centigrade so i took a chance and exposed the whole year of what we ate......a chance meens is that i dont know if any neighbour can call the municipality and clame that i am stinking the neighborhood with my garbage......its a point to think about.i thought until things will happen i can gain free air for the heap....
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 24, 2015 7:32 AM CST
Yes, it does sound like it needs air. A compost pile shouldn't have a bad odor. Stirring it up should help. It also sounds like it may be mostly greens if it's so moist. If you're able to add some browns, that should also help. Stuff like paper, dried leaves, small twigs, pine needles.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Apr 24, 2015 7:47 AM CST
purpleinopp said:Yes, it does sound like it needs air. A compost pile shouldn't have a bad odor. Stirring it up should help. It also sounds like it may be mostly greens if it's so moist. If you're able to add some browns, that should also help. Stuff like paper, dried leaves, small twigs, pine needles.


I agree

What sort of "garbage" have you been adding to the compost pile? I'm hoping no meat products.... ? It also just sounds much too wet; is it so enclosed that it isn't getting any air circulation? You do need to find some sort of dry materials to add to it, maybe wood chips, or the things that Tiffany mentioned, or even just some garden soil or used potting soil. Actually, if it was mine I would probably spread it out and cover it with dirt... but I don't know if you have room to do that?
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Apr 24, 2015 7:50 AM CST
As an emergency measure, you could sprinkle it with lime (agricultural) to control the odor.
Porkpal
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
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davidsevit
Apr 24, 2015 10:22 AM CST
should i water it now that it is spread open/so that the poisons will leave the pile?
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Apr 24, 2015 1:08 PM CST
Unless you added "poison," there's none there. It's just stinky anaerobic (w/o air) decomposition. Sandy's suggestion of spreading it out (which I'd do in its' final destination - moving compost around more than necessary is avoidably hard work) sounds like a good idea to me. If you find chunks of stuff that are too big, you can pull them out & use them as the basis for starting a new pile. As soon as your stuff dries out, the odor should be gone.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 24, 2015 1:52 PM CST
(Edited to add: This thread seems to be a follow up from here: http://garden.org/thread/view_post/835201/)

davidsevit,
You ask if you should water it now. I would like to ask if you have been in the habit of watering the compost regularly...there should be no need to water a compost pile; rain should be enough - so I hope your answer would be 'no'.

If you have access to garden/agricultural lime as @porkpal suggested, that would be a good idea. Sprinkle it with lime, cover with soil as @Weedwhacker suggested, and do not water it.

I worry when you mention "everything you have been eating"...I never put cooked food, oil, meat, bones, etc. into my compost. Please put only acceptable items (plant-based) in the compost in the future, no more plastic, no meat/bones, enclose the compost with something that can breath such as wire fencing or wooden pallets (not glass windows) and we will hope for a success. Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Apr 24, 2015 2:01 PM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 24, 2015 2:15 PM CST
I agree Only stuff that was once a plant should go into your compost. But adding some regular garden soil should surely help with aeration, and also with the smell, which will surely go away very quickly now that you've let the air get in there.

Some people add egg shells for extra calcium, but I don't do that mainly because my soil is already full of sea shells. Where I live was once a beach.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Apr 24, 2015 2:16 PM (+)]
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Apr 24, 2015 2:51 PM CST
As others have already mentioned. Suggested causes for stinky/smelly compost:

1. Too Wet - needs more aeration. Adding more brown material and turning the pile on occasion will help alleviate odors.

2. Too much green - causes the pile to become wet and matted. Add more brown like dry leaves, pine needles, shredded newspaper etc.; try for a ratio of 3 parts brown, 1 part green.

3. Dairy, Meat - harbors bacteria and should not be added to a compost pile
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Apr 24, 2015 2:59 PM CST
There are persistent substances, like salt, that one would want to avoid.

The other, more specific rules some have for their compost are not necessarily based on whether or not the material will compost, but more about "icky" factor, and decomposition time, and are personal preferences. If it's organic, it will decompose. Organic is much more than "part of a plant." Plastic is not organic.

I put about any kind of discarded "food" in our compost, unless it's something our dog would find tasty, in which case I just give it to him.

The organisms/critters that perform the decomposition are where the "icky" gets involved, not the actual items in question. In the case of too much moisture, there's an odor from microscopic organisms & their anaerobic decomposition, the gasses they release.

In the case of meat scraps, there could also be maggots, which definitely release a foul odor. And most people are freaked out by the sight of them. A frozen piece of rotten meat would not have an odor, because the decomposition process has been suspended. Let it thaw out for a few hours, so the decomposition can resume, the odor will return. I'm not sure it's possible to compost flesh w/o odors, but it will definitely compost.

Some things just take a long time to decompose and aren't usually put in, like bones or larger pieces of wood or bark, corn cobs. This is also a personal preference about decomposition time, not whether or not it will decompose.

I've found it's much easier & less time-consuming to put OM in its' final destination the 1st time I move it & skip the whole pile thing. I now think of it akin to starting a cutting in water instead of soil, an unnecessary extra step. It was fascinating for about 15 yrs, and worked well in OH, but the novelty has gone here in AL. I know some folks don't mind or even enjoy it, but I don't want to spend time moving heavy loads of stuff, or stirring up a compost pile, and the ants eat most of everything when I make a pile here, leaving nothing to cart around to beds anyway. OM can be used on surface to augment mulch, slightly buried, or loosely piled between plants in small enough amounts to not produce anaerobic decomposition. Whatever works for the load of stuff I have available on any given day.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Apr 24, 2015 3:45 PM CST
True, meat items will decompose ... I think the main problems, though, are odor (if you ever left a raw chicken in the fridge too long you will have an idea about that Sticking tongue out ) and the fact that it will attract wildlife and domestic carnivores. Many, many years ago my ex-husband and I had a large garden and also had a bounty of smelt and suckers (fish); as in, buckets full of them... so, we figured if the Native Americans planted fish with their corn long ago, why not us?? "Why not" turned out to be "oh, because now the skunks have dug up our entire garden..." Hilarious! Thumbs down (no more meat or dairy products in my garden or compost, EVER!)
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Apr 24, 2015 4:04 PM CST
Factors like that would definitely dictate how one uses a particular item... and how personal preference "rules" arise. I'm glad we have a dog so I don't feel compelled to try to compost any meat. Smiling
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Apr 24, 2015 7:31 PM CST
purpleinopp said:Unless you added "poison," there's none there. It's just stinky anaerobic (w/o air) decomposition. ... As soon as your stuff dries out, the odor should be gone.


Tiffany, in another thread, someone else and I were calling the anaerobic fermentation products "toxic", or at least bad for the root hairs.

I think the alcohols, organic acids and other fermentation products and anaerobic microbes ARE bad for plants until they have been oxidized (composted aerobically) or very greatly diluted into soil that is, itself, aerobic.

True, "poison" and "toxic" are emotionally loaded words.

And I want to repeat myself from other threads: the problem with letting compost or soil get "too wet" is not really the water, by itself. The problem is that the water fills any air space that is small enough for a capillary film to fill it. Those "air spaces" need to be mostly empty of water and full of air so that oxygen outside the pile can diffuse into the pile.

If you can punch BIG holes into the pile, water can't fill those holes, and air can at least reach parts of the pile within, say, 1" of a big hole. Beyond that, microbes will consume the oxygen faster than it can diffuse through WET spaces.

Once the pile is dry enough that even small channels dry out and air fills them, oxygen will diffuse RAPIDLY through those small channels and aerate ALL of the pile.

Oxygen diffuses so fast through gases that it seems instantaneous.

Oxygen diffuses so slowly through water (that isn't stirred) that it hardly seems to penetrate at all. Water stirred by wind and waves pulls the oxygen down by moving. Stagnant water tends to go anaerobic and stinky.

BTW - "anaerobic" is probably not the the most accurate term. Technically that means NO oxygen or very, very, VERY little oxygen.

What we are trying to avoid is more like "hypoxia" or "hypoxic" conditions. Or "dysoxic".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypoxia_%28environmental%29

Anyway, the problem is "not enough oxygen". I think we would seldom see "absolutely NO oxygen" unless we encased the compost heap in a layer of wet clay.

Remember that the compost heap is hugely active with microbes digesting the organic matter. The efficient aerobes will eat fastest and use up the oxygen, then slow down or die. The few remaining aerobes will keep the oxygen levels very low while anaerobic fermenting microbes get active.

Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
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davidsevit
May 2, 2015 11:07 PM CST
thanks for your advices.....meanwhile i am getting along o.k. with patience.
giving more attention to the unloading process(digging a little hole and covering with existing material+wood chips(i still have room in my old composter although i should leave it to rest after the trauma it went through)
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 3, 2015 8:44 AM CST
Really, David you should aerate the old compost maybe once a week with a little stir, using maybe a digging fork to turn the outside stuff in to the middle. You do want to make sure you don't go back to an anaerobic state in the old pile. Too much aeration is better than not enough. If it's 'working' well, the turning process won't hardly slow it down.

When you turn it, you should encounter a hot area in the midst of the pile. If it's cooled off, that's an indication it's used up most of its air and fuel in the middle and it needed turning.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
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davidsevit
May 3, 2015 10:38 AM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:Really, David you should aerate the old compost maybe once a week with a little stir, using maybe a digging fork to turn the outside stuff in to the middle. You do want to make sure you don't go back to an anaerobic state in the old pile. Too much aeration is better than not enough. If it's 'working' well, the turning process won't hardly slow it down.

When you turn it, you should encounter a hot area in the midst of the pile. If it's cooled off, that's an indication it's used up most of its air and fuel in the middle and it needed turning.


o.k
i am amazed how i get imediate answers just like sitting in class.who is incharge of this whole network ?i would like to thank and maybe one day be able to help with my proceeding knowledge?
i understand it is like wikipedia?that everybody contributes knowledge?
what about wrong information?
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
May 3, 2015 10:46 AM CST
Dave is the mastermind behind All Things Plants; you can send your thanks to him by putting an @ in front of the name dave and he will see you message.

Oh, if we contribute 'wrong' information, others will come along to give information that is more accurate and correct. It is best to read all the answers and pick the best answers; answers that were given by multiple people are more likely the correct answers. Rolling on the floor laughing

Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Three cheers for everyone on ATP! Thumbs up

Oh, and Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! three cheers for people who ask questions. We love to answer questions. Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
May 3, 2015 11:01 AM CST
The info here is rather like a system of checks and balances, David. By being open forums, posted information is seen by anyone reading. If there seems to be some misinformation/mistaken ID's, etc, it will be questioned, corrected and/or explained or changed.

There are moderators for the different areas and a wealth of anecdotal experience and info from the members here. The Moderators work to ensure that info that goes into the Plant Data Base is accurate .

The site is owned and operated by Dave and Trish Whitinger. http://garden.org/about/ http://garden.org/about/tos/

I hope this helps answer your questions.

Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
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davidsevit
May 4, 2015 3:57 AM CST
Moonhowl said:The info here is rather like a system of checks and balances, David. By being open forums, posted information is seen by anyone reading. If there seems to be some misinformation/mistaken ID's, etc, it will be questioned, corrected and/or explained or changed.

There are moderators for the different areas and a wealth of anecdotal experience and info from the members here. The Moderators work to ensure that info that goes into the Plant Data Base is accurate .

The site is owned and operated by Dave and Trish Whitinger. http://garden.org/about/ http://garden.org/about/tos/

I hope this helps answer your questions.

thanks for explaining me about the site
daVID

Name: david sevitt
jerusalem israel
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davidsevit
May 4, 2015 4:05 AM CST
greene said:Dave is the mastermind behind All Things Plants; you can send your thanks to him by putting an @ in front of the name dave and he will see you message.

Oh, if we contribute 'wrong' information, others will come along to give information that is more accurate and correct. It is best to read all the answers and pick the best answers; answers that were given by multiple people are more likely the correct answers. Rolling on the floor laughing

Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Three cheers for everyone on ATP! Thumbs up

Oh, and Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! three cheers for people who ask questions. We love to answer questions. Thumbs up


I AM AN ARCHITECT- TEACHER FOR GIFTED CHILDREN AND I UNDERSTAND THE PLEASURE OF SHARING MY KNOWLEDGE AND HELPING THEM BUILDING CARDBOARD MODELS.GIVING THEM PRACTICAL TOOLS AND SEEING SMILE WHEN THINGS WORK WELL

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