Why does my compost smell bad? How do I fix it?
It is likely that your compost contains mainly nitrogen-rich materials like kitchen scraps or grass clippings. Food scraps have a high moisture content and your compost is fermenting due to the absence of oxygen in a waterlogged situation. The products of fermentation include ammonia-like substances and hydrogen sulfide (smells like rotten eggs).

To remedy this, add carbon and oxygen and reduce moisture. By adding a large volume of dry leaves, shredded newspaper or sawdust, and aerating your pile with a spading fork, you will correct the imbalance of brown (carbon) and green (nitrogen) materials.

Aim for a moisture level in your compost pile that feels like a damp wrung-out sponge.

Show All Answers

1. Why does my compost smell bad? How do I fix it?
2. Why is my pile taking forever to compost?
3. How do I keep rodents out of my pile?
4. How do I avoid bears in my pile?
5. Bears have already been in my compost, how do I make them go away?
6. Are flies in my compost pile good or bad?
7. Is it okay to put diseased plants, invasive weeds or weed seeds in my compost pile?
8. How can I compost weed seeds, diseased plants and invasive weeds with rhizomatous root systems?
9. Can I make a fertilizer out of weeds?
10. How do I know when the compost is finished?
11. Can I add grass or plants that have been treated with herbicides or pesticides to my pile?
12. What kind of animal manure is good for composting?
13. Why do my eggshells take forever to compost?
14. How do I compost my food scraps during the winter when my pile is frozen solid?