By Guest Blogger Jaron Clinton
There are plenty of reasons to have a compost pit, such as excellent mulch and waste reduction, and if you are moving to a new home and want to grow a garden, now is the best time to give it a shot.
Compost pits use the decomposition power from billions of microorganisms that are commonly found in healthy soil to decompose lawn rubbish and kitchen waste into fertilizer growing plants can use. Some people like to maintain an indoor compost bucket in something smaller such as an empty and clean paint can. This is tremendously beneficial because it saves you the effort of going out to your compost pit every single time you have something to contribute to it. The soil created makes great fertilizer for most plants—everything from sunflowers to corn.
A compost pit also serves as an excellent way to recycle food and lawn trash that would otherwise clog up landfills and add more problems to our already worsening climate. For items that should not be composted, make sure you utilize landfill diversion techniques to keep our planet clean. Creating a compost pit is a simple process that doesn’t take up too much time or space, but if you don’t create the pit properly then it can take on a bit of an unpleasant odor. Luckily, eliminating this is a pretty easy process.
The first and most important step to eliminate a smelly compost pile is to make sure the ingredients are properly mixed and aerated. “A healthy compost pile needs plenty of oxygen mixed in. Otherwise, aerobic bacteria (those that need oxygen to metabolize the organic materials) cannot function, and decomposition will be driven instead by anaerobic bacteria, which produce foul-smelling gasses as byproducts of their metabolism,” according to WikiHow. The easiest method to ensure that the aerobic bacteria do their job is to use a rotating compost bin. When this is not an option, make sure to turn or mix the pile every few days with a shovel or pitchfork.
If that doesn’t solve your stinky pit of soon-to-be fertilizer, then take a peek at the size of materials you’re using. Subpar airflow can also be a result of materials that are too small and don’t leave enough room for air to sweep through. “For example, a compost pile composed largely of sawdust will be difficult to aerate, as the small pieces of sawdust will fit together snugly and prevent air from flowing through the pile,” the WikiHow article states. “To prevent this problem, integrate larger or looser materials into your pile. Tree limbs and cardboard scraps are good materials for this purpose.”
Finally, if that still isn’t working to get the air flowing then you’re stuck making sure your pile isn’t too wet. Air finds it difficult to push through a moist environment. A handful of compost should have the dampness of a wrung out sponge.
If by chance your compost pile is getting enough airflow but still smells, then take a look at what you’re tossing in there. Eliminating meat from your diet is a great benefit to society, as livestock account for a staggering one-fifth of global greenhouse gasses and 75 percent of deforestation, and similarly, meat should never find its way into your compost pile.
Learning how to compost is an awesome experience that gives you a better understanding of how the decomposition process works. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better fertilizer in your local hardware store, and so long as you wear proper sun protection, being outside to toil through the pit is good exercise. The only downside beginners often encounter is the smell, but by following these tips the only thing you’ll be smelling will be a bed of growing flowers.