Asked on May 22, 2013


Douglas HuntDiana BlazerJenny


Hi, I'm a new gardener...just love this website. I just started my own composting since a lot of you're talking about it and it seems pretty easy enough. I had some grass cut, kitchen scraps(all vegs and fruits)...and egg shells. It smell so bad I'm afraid that my neighbors might tell me to move out....any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Jen
6 answers
  • Kimberly Barney
    on May 22, 2013

    Actually compost will not have a smell.

  • Sia@South 47th
    on May 22, 2013

    Add some 'brown dried material', make sure you are turning it regularly and make sure it is getting enough sunlight. As your 'goodies' decompose they do smell a bit, once they turn into "Black Gold' which is compost, it will have a nice feel and wonderful smell.

  • The Micro Gardener - Anne
    on May 22, 2013

    A bad smell basically comes from too much green (likely the ammonia smell is from too many grass clippings and not enough browns to balance it); not enough air or too wet. As Sia says, making compost is fairly straight forward but it's a bit like baking a cake - you need a balance of moist green fresh ingredients (which contain nitrogen - like your food scraps, grass clippings and manure) and brown dry ingredients (which contain carbon) - about 2 parts brown (such as dead leaves, dry grass clippings, hay etc) to 1 part green. You also need to get air into the mix so the right kind of microorganisms can go to work and it doesn't become anaerobic and smell and sufficient moisture for them to go to work and break it down. You can do this by adding both coarse and fine materials, watering them in as you go and turning regularly to aerate. Always finish with a brown carbon layer (this stops rodents and flies etc tucking into your food scraps) too! Hope this helps.

  • Jenny
    on May 23, 2013

    Thank you everyone...Im going to try to add more browns and see how that works out. :)

  • Diana Blazer
    on May 23, 2013

    I am also new to composting. I have fruit flies and bad smell and I am afraid it is going to attract bugs

  • Douglas Hunt
    on May 23, 2013

    Diana, make sure you bury your food waste under layers of shredded leaves or newspaper.

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