Composting fail – what went wrong

Getting ready to have another go at composting the Elaine Ingham way after the first couple of attempts at thermal compost didn’t go right, I dissected the old material to find out why.

the heap dropped to about a quarter the original size

the heap dropped to about a quarter the original size

On the plus side, the material reduced in volume to 25% of the original volume. That in itself might be telling me something, in that perhaps i hadn’t packed down the original pile enough – the composting bugs are small, and they need to be in contact with the compost to munch it, there is such a thing as too much air gap 😉

looks particularly dry, except in the very middle

looks particularly dry, except in the very middle

Only the very middle was wet, and did not smell, so it looks like this pile largely dried out from the outside, it probably didn’t go anaerobic, and indeed was active enough to nut the smell of the chicken crap used as the high N part.

only a small part of the centre was wet

only a small part of the centre was wet

I can’t really say I have a definitive answer, perhaps this was a combination of not enough stuff, not packed down enough, and then when the temperature failed to take off, it wasn’t turned/rewetted. These are all potential hypotheses.

 

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