Furry mold growing in compost

growingupApril 27, 2007

My compost is 2 weeks old. It has been full and sitting in a closed, watered container. I checked in on it yesterday and found mold. The mold is furry and about 1 inch thick. Is this okay or is my compost shot? It smells too. I was thinking about adding more newspaper in on top to counter act all of the greens. I don't have access to a lot of browns out here, most of all the landscaping is rock.

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The closed watered container sounds like it might be an issue. You want it to have plenty of air, and you want it to be moist, but not wet. Keeping it moist in the desert can be difficult, but it sounds like you may have it too wet and it may not be getting enough air.

Adding newspaper would help add some carbo if it's too green. You also may need to turn it to mix it up a bit. Mold isn't necessarily a problem--just part of the decomposition process.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 9:19PM
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Right now you do not have compost, you have a jug of waste in water. The bacteria, anaerobic in this instance, will be digesting that material and in the process creating a stinky mess. You need to get that out into the garden, buried deeply in your soil since you don't have a compost pile. That jug in the kitchen will not have enough volume to properly get what is there, even after the water is dumped, digested.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 7:03AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Do some internet exploring on compost bins/tumbler/containers and you'll see that all come equipped with lots of air holes and water drainage holes - even the kitchen counter type. You don't mention in your post that yours has any of these. Correct?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 11:39AM
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Oh yuck, I would never keep something like this in the house. What made you think that? It is outside on the side of the house. Are you saying that this won't compost because of the type of container it is? Or does it need more holes? I do stir it up about once a week.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 10:29PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Growingup: What kind of container is it? Is it a compost bin, a garbage can, a bucket? Lots of big holes on top, bottom, and sides?


    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 6:00AM
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Demeter(z6 NJ)

If it smells, it's gone anaerobic. You probably have lots of greens in there and not enough browns, and too much moisture and not enough air. You get a newspaper, so shred that and mix it in, not just putting it on top. That'll do for browns if you don't have any other regular supply. Also cardboard works, just shred it up. You don't say what kind of bin it is, just that it's "closed" - are you using a garbage can or something like that? If so, it needs holes, including holes on the bottom to drain excess liquid - it's supposed to be moist but not wet.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 1:29PM
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pablo_nh(z4/5 NH)

It needs air. You're going to have a nasty sloppy stinky mess for a long time in a closed container. Mixing once a week- you'll have a mixed up nasty, sloppy stinky mess that needs air.

Dump it on the ground, add shredded leaves, and read the FAQ's here for some good tips. You heart is in the right place- you just need to start with the basics.

Best of luck

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 1:34PM
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It is in those tubs that you store things in. I have shredded more newspaper and I will be drilling in some more holes for air circulation. Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 9:11PM
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so i have it out side of my apt building i don't want to bring it in side it smells. and iv'e never done this before i need some help ,p.s lots 'o' mold in it and its a coffee tin.HELP PLEASE!!!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 2:38AM
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I recently had the same problem when I grabbed the piles of grass from mowing the day before, and tossed them into my empty composter. Just grass and nothing else... until two days later when I noticed that the grass had brought a buddy to keep it company.... furry stinky mold. So I shredded some brown grocery bags in my office shredder, and threw in my old coffee grounds and coffee filters, turned it three to four times a day, and kept it aired out for a few days without adding water. My compost is back to normal. It needs lots of air. If mold is a continuing problem, set it in the sun with the lid off for a couple of days and add some shredded brown paper. Sun kills mold of all kinds. When you poke your holes in your coffee can, be sure to puncture from the inside to the outside so as to not trap water inside. I might even find some small stones to set it up on so it has ventilation under. If you have a metal lid it will build more heat. Compost turns to mulch faster if it is really hot, like sitting in the sun. You can put any kitchen food scraps in except: meat, butter, salt, so don't butter or season food before it hits your plate, and watch your canned goods. Once you get your composter three quarters full, stop filling. It will shrink, but don't add more. This will take approximately one month to turn to mulch. Remember, if it has a strong smell, you need more brown, if it's not breaking down, you have too much brown. If you set your coffee can on top of another coffee can, and collect the 'tea' when you water it, you can use this brown liquid on any other plants around your yard or garden, and they absolutely love it. This way, you don't have to wait until it's mulch to start benefiting your yard!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 8:54AM
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