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I have one tub of putrid-smelling stuff - presumably I added too much grass to it.  Can it be rescued in any way, e.g. by adding lots of soil or paper etc.? thanks for all advice.


Turn it out-add some leafy matter if you have any -or soil if you haven't- put the grass back in layers -so soil,leafy stuff or newpaper, grass clippings and repeat

A bit of a trial but a bin-full of clippings just turns into a slimy mess-only add a bit at a time -it is all about getting the right mix

Wow, that was quick!  Well, thanks very much.  It wasn't actually a bin full of grass, it had kitchen bits and newspaper also.  I will do what you suggest and probably avoid adding any grass cuttings till it looks(and smells!) more normal. Many thanks.

Anne, are there any holes in your tub, compost needs air to start working.
Tip it out somewhere out of the way and let it dry off a bit.
Restart your tub with some brush wood, crumpled up paper or cardboard or woody bedding plants that have gone over soil and all.
Put the old compost back a layer at a time no more that a couple of inches that's old money in new money it is around 50 mm I think?
Add leafy material, vegetable peelings a bit of woody stuff chopped up small and put the bin where it will get some heat from the sun and out of the wind.
Never add more than the said 2 inches of anything at one time, you can of course layer it as you go, I often add a foot or so but layered. Lawn clippings about an inch at a time and rake it in.
As you go sprinkle each layer with a watering can fitted with a rose, it wants to be damp not soaking wet.
A mixture of air heat and damp will give you good compost in time, with a bin around six months although now it should just over winter. I turn the compost now and then, in your case tip it out and throw it back mixing air and damping as you go.
No one said composting is easy.



Frank whle your here its Alan iv just got one of them big plastic compost machines, iv put at the corner of our allottment hoping for some good stuff next year,,now its got no bottom to it ,do i put it straight onto the grass or some slabs, and do i put a bit of cardboard in the bottom to start it off or no,looks like a Darlek sitting there, for a laugh i might just paint it




Sorry I'm not Frank, but I have 3 daleks! Frank's advice about base layer of carbon rich twiggy stuff is sound, and I wouldn't put it on slabs, tried that years ago on concrete hard standing, and it inhibited drainage. Some people recommend drilling extra holes around the bottom of the bin to improve air circulation, and, if you think you might have a potential rodent problem, putting it on a circle of chicken wire or similar which you can tuck up inside the bin to a height of about 6".

I have often been tempted to spray my daleks silver, and look out for snorkels on freecycle...

Alan, Figrat said it for me, straight onto the ground some wire if rats are about but a good kick every time you pass frightens them away.
Always start with some thin brushwood it lets the air in and the heat will make it rise through the heap. You can drill extra holes or just put four bits of stick under the corners to raise it a tad.
Mix what you put in I sometimes heap up what needs to go in mix it with a fork then toss it in, do not pack it down let it settle. Wave a watering can with a rose over it as you go just damp it do not soak it. A good starter is the recycled beer from the night before stored in an old plastic milk bottle and added to the watering can as you sprinkle. Do not leave bottle in fridge it upsets the wife and Granddad thinks its whisky.
Fill it over the winter and leave, in the spring you should have some good stuff at the base. That is why most of us have two, fill one and empty the other.
Hope this helps.


Many thanks for all your advice, various new ideas etc, which I will take on board.  I love the Granddad bit. (Toby Buckland gave us that tip, I remember.)

I do have one of the large Daleks and it has made some acceptable compost previously, just sitting on the bare earth and without me doing a whole lot of the above. The trouble came when it was time to stop adding to it and start new pile - while the kitchen scraps were still building up etc - so I began using an ordinary dustbin...  then another one... and have just got round to sorting them all out. Don't put things off! is the moral...

I notice that Monty's vast compost sections remain open to the air, but our tubs are supposed to be kept covered? Any comments on that? My garden isn't big enough for that, of course, but it does all look a bit 'cleaner' and easier to manage.

Hey, this forum business is quite fun.  I could get addicted. But my grass needs cutting...  No, I will not put any of it in the compost this time!


By the way, could you define 'brushwood'?  

I have 7 daleks!!!!  I kept chickens for a while and I have rabbits now and all their waste goes into the bins.  I have never drilled holes in mine.  I did wonder as everyone says air should be able to circulate.  I do dig it over every couple of months or so and I have lovely crumbly compost.  I stick everything in mine.  Grass, cardboard, kitchen waste, rabbits waste,  garden waste.  Layer it and dig it over regularly.  Lovely stuff!! 

My mum has the type of compost bins Monty has and she covers them with bits of old carpet.  I suppose to keep the moisture in.  Maybe Monty covers them over when they stop filming?

Do put a bit of grass on the compost but as everyone says layer it with something else.  Keep it in a seperate container until needed.

Brushwood is old twigs isnt it?

Oh thanks - I'm very much an amateur.  Old twigs... OK.  When you say dig it over, do you pull the Dalek off the pile, dig it over, set it up again and refill? I did do that once, it seems easier than sticking a fork in from the top.

My wormery has not produced any fluid for at least w weeks. I add food every week & i turn the compost every week as well as adding worms treats. Can you help please?

Hullo, everyone - I'm back!  Very sorry Inaam, I no nuzzing about wormeries.  Some other expert will give you an answer, no doubt.

Re my smelly compost, I did literally shove it all into the dalek that day, I see about 2 weeks ago, simply to keep it away from the grandchildren  ( then had a shower...) but because very busy have not got round to doing any more until today, when I had to empty my kitchen compost into it (for which I use a pedal bin). The GOOD NEWS IS that when I took the lid off there was no ghastly smell and it all looked fairly compost-like although still big bits in it.  What a miracle!  So I pulled the dalek off, forked it all over and shoved it back in.  Loads of lovely worms. 

QUESTION FOR SOTONGEOFF IF YOU'RE STILL THERE - how often and how much 'recycled beer' would you recommend?  Or maybe someone else can answer that.

NEXT QUESTION - 2 actually:

1. When my dalek is full, what next?  I would want to mulch things, but isn't that done in spring? I'd really rather not have another large compost bin taking up space, but I understand it is best to let one stand and start another, keeping two alternating. 2. I moved from a lime area to an acid area (Yorkshire) 18 months ago and still have some ericaceous compost, about a bagful.  Is it OK to add to my compost or soil, or will it make everything too acid? thank you all for your wonderful advice. PudseyAnne


It was Frank who mentioned recycled beer-which isn't beer but you need a chap to do it for you

I wouldn't worry too much about what the ericaceous compost will do it will only alter the soil ph slightly on a temporary basis-just scatter it about

You can mulch early in the year when the soil is wet from winter rains

It sounds as though you are getting there withe compost making

I do think it's a good idea to have 2 bins for the reasons you give, but appreciate they're not the most attractive objects. I use my compost through the year, adding it to planting holes, mixing some with potting compost, mulching etc. As for your ericaceous compost, I think you could use it as mulch, or add it to the bin...I don't think it would make the soil too acid.



Inaam Hadi - go on to the Wiggly Wigglers website they are experts with wormeries and have plenty of info to help you. I have the opposite problem - too much liquid!

Yes - I realised it was someone else after all, sorry - well, Frank, your call.  I do have a husband, and the required receptacle...

Thank you Sotongeoff for your encouragement.  It looks as if it's all a bit trial and error anyway, and different people have found different things helpful. A bit like using a computer - we all have different little tips to pass on.  Anyway, I do enjoy the forum, a nice way to share problems and solutions.

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