Homemade Compost Problems
All backyard landscapers will eventually run into problems with their compost piles. Keeping a perfect 25-1 ratio of brown matter vs. green matter, frequent aerating of your compost pile, and keeping moisture at it's ideal level, is the 4 step recipe of making the perfect compost pile. However, if and when problems develop, use this guide as a quick method to help you identify the issue, and resolve the problem.
If your pile smells like ammonia, it may contain too much nitrogen. Add carbon materials such as straw, leaves, or hay to correct the balance.
Dense or water-logged compost piles donít contain enough oxygen for the microorganisms to survive. Often these piles give off an unpleasant odor. The solution is to aerate the pile and add more dry materials.
Finished compost too rough:
Some materials like eggshells and corncobs take a very long time to break down. If you want a more finely textured compost, shred or chop up the materials before putting them into the bin. You can also sift out these larger particles and throw them into the next pile.
Compost not hot:
Materials in your compost may be too dry. This can happen quickly during the summer. Try to keep your compost materials moist to the touch. Inadequate nitrogen will also slow things down. Replenish the nitrogen content of your pile with fresh green grass clippings, garden weeds, kitchen scraps or an activator like Super Hot Compost Starter or Compost Accelerator. Your pile may also be too small. In this case, collect more materials to help increase the microbial activity.
Think Four Seasons: When designing your backyard landscape, remember that there are four seasons. You will want flowers and shrubs which bloom during different times of the season, autumn foliage during the fall, and a structure that can withstand the winter.
Plan before you dig a water garden. Before you even start to think of digging to put in a water garden, make sure you plan everything in advance. Dimensions, the type of water garden you want to have, how deep it will need to be and if you need any permits to do so. If in doubt, call a professional out to help you. That's why they are there.
Get the right supplies for the job. Make sure you always get the exact right supplies you need for the job at hand. Don't skimp on quality when you are landscaping your backyard as you will pay dearly for it in the long run.