Composting can make many people anxious. My journey of making homemade compost started when we moved into our new house. One of the trees in front of our new home died soon after planting. The builder replaced it. The new Oaktree came in a 100-gallon container. I got two containers from them and I started dumping my green trash and grass clippings into that 50-gallon container and used the 100-gallon container to cover it. The container was so big and sturdy that I could easily mix my compost inside frequently. I started big considering I was just a newbie compost enthusiast. I was very happy with my instant success. What do you think happened?
As the spring began, my green waste started increasing and browns started decreasing. The constant rain in early spring increased the humidity and the imbalance in my compost pile made flies very happy. The flies enjoyed the food and started partying inside my compost bin. Even though the air circulation was pretty good as the pot that I used to cover the main pot was partly broken, it was not enough. One day when I went out to dump some more greens, what I saw, made me run away from there. I was never comfortable around insects and bugs in general and there was a container full of maggots. I would have dropped composting at that point and said goodbye to gardening forever. But there was no turning back. I had to handle the mess that I had created and had no idea how.
After researching more, I realized that my soil pH was very low and that was causing the stinky compost, full of flies. I could have added more browns like wood chips or dried grass but I had no patience. I used some garden lime. I added a few cups of granular lime to my compost mix to correct the pH. Within a week the rain also stopped and the compost pile corrected itself. Maggots also help to break down waste very fast but because they look disgusting and give rise to flies, I don’t like them in my compost bin.
That huge batch of the compost started smelling beautiful and fresh. A well-balanced compost smells very nice. It is loaded with healthy bacteria, fungi, and other organisms including earthworms. That was not the last time, I faced composting issues, but it made me very confident. Gardening can be a very expensive passion if you have to buy everything. But there is so much waste and recyclables around us that we can save a lot on gardening materials and soil. And believe me, once we get used to recycling, it is hard to not care for our beloved earth. So why waste time? If you haven’t already let’s start now. No need to buy a fancy composter. Here is my new video on making your own 50-gallon compost bin just for $12.