Large-scale composting doesn’t make you immune to issues with individual composting, and one of the most unpleasant to deal with is odor. When your compost emanates a foul stench, you must optimize a part of your process. Here’s how to improve the smell of your compost.
Check the Moisture
While low levels of moisture are sure to slow down your decomposition, high levels of moisture are bad in their own way. When your compost is too wet, this can create an anaerobic condition that smells like rotten eggs or ammonia. You can try turning the pile to provide more oxygen or you can cover your pile to protect it from rainfall. Ideally, keep moisture levels between 40 and 60 percent.
Add Fewer Greens
Your compost is made up of green and brown material, and the greens are there to help add nitrogen. Green materials (grass clippings, vegetable scraps) naturally contain water, so they contribute to the ammonia smell mentioned earlier. Add three parts brown to one part green, and you should see a reduction in the odor.
Fix Your Layers
Your ratio of browns to greens might be exactly right, but you’re still smelling that ammonia or sewage smell. In this case, your green material isn’t mixed properly and is decomposing on its own. Give your pile a good mix, and this problem should resolve itself.
Turn Your Compost
Regularly turning your compost is the all-around best way to prevent a stench. It helps reduce moisture and properly mixes your pile once you have your ratio of green to brown correct. If you need to turn large quantities of compost without wasting large amounts of time, we have a compost turner for sale that will make your life much easier.
Now that you know how to improve the smell of your compost, find the perfect ratio and start turning. The smell will be gone in no time.