The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

COMPOST - nothing has decomposed!


By Jadepea

Kent, United Kingdom Gb

Trying to reduce my carbon footprint last year I purchased a compost bin, located it in a warm spot and began to pile in the kitchen waste, grass clippings and everything that books said you could put in. Gone to look at it today (9 months later) and nothing has decomposed at all. What am I doing wrong? What was in there was very dry - should I have watered it and can I save what I've put in? Any help would be much appreciated. JADEPEA



Aww, how disappointing :-(
Composting is a bit of a balancing act. Too little water and nothing much happens, too wet and it turns into a foul smelling swelch. It is also important to maintain a balance between 'brown' and 'green' contents.
For an expert's advice try going to :

Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress :-)
Welcome to GoY too!

16 Apr, 2008


Hi Jadepea, did you add old compost from your pots last year, i have 2 wooden bins, with half inch gaps between the slats, lid too..they do need water, and turned every so often, if theres not enough brown (compost) ive been known to add some out of my growbags, but generally theres enough from my summer pots, every year i have lovely compost to add to my borders, oh by the way (sorry silly question) did you sit it on soil,,,Start again and add your dry Stuff but turn it once in a while...

16 Apr, 2008


Hi Jadepea, My compost bin was exactly how yours sounds. I bought a cheap plastic dalek from the council around the same time as you and the top was just a moldy mess.

I tried turning it a few months ago though and some of the stuff at the bottom seemed to have rotted quite well.

Hehe, I just checked my blog and I got it at the same time as you :o)
More advice there too.

16 Apr, 2008


Hi Jadepea

What are your bins resting on? If they are on slabs or anything like that, then the worms can't get in to your bins. If they are straight onto the earth, or soil, loosen it so that the worms can get into your bins. You should also turn over your compost with a fork or hoe.

I use a product called Garotta. It's a compost maker. Spread that over what you have got, water it, do not soak. and then build up. Ifyou dig around your garden, save any worms you have and put them in your bin.

When you go to dig out your compost, sieve it and take any unrotted bits, like woody bits, and put them back in.

I'm sure your problem is caused by not turning and lack of worms.. The more worms, the better your compost.


16 Apr, 2008


Now, I know this might sound a bit strange, but you might like to try weeing (yes, that's what I said!) on your compost. It's supposed to be really good for getting it hubby has tried and tested this method (many times...) and our compost always comes out good. :-)

Obviously I wouldn't want you to make an exhibition of yourself (!!!) so you might want to collect it and pour it on. Nuff said!?!

17 Apr, 2008


Water it, add some garden soil (preferably containing loads of worms), turn it, add MORE worms, water it again and leave alone - that should do the trick!

17 Apr, 2008


I also bought a bin and did exactly what you did and it also took forever to get started. For me it did seem to speed things up when I added small amounts of used soil (e.g. after emptying a pot) and yes I also watered mine regularly but not too much. Didnt want to drwon anything that was being helpful. The other thing I did was to relocate any earthworms I uncovered elsewhere in the garden. I dont know if anything specifically helped but it was about 18 months when I tipped out my bin because it was full. The top half was uncomposted or semi composted, but the bottom half was absolute black gold. Dont give up. Good luck

9 Aug, 2009

How do I say thanks?

Answer question

Related photos

  • Behind the greenhouse
  • Multipurpose Compost
  • A garden flower photo
  • Compost bins with willow and pond

Related blogs

Related products


Related questions

Not found an answer?