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Compost Smells and Other Composting Mythsfrom: Lawn and Garden Magic
Composting is a natural and easy process, yet it's been complicated by fallacies, misinformation, myths, and misunderstandings as a result of erroneous published information as well as aggressive commercial marketing. Some of this misinformation has been passed around often that the general perception has become truth. An good example is what seems to be the accepted fact that all compost smells. But before getting into that, let's discuss some other composting myths.
Myth: Composting requires a lot of work.
Truth: Composting is a natural process which involves basically the elements of nature doing the job for you. All you have to do is gather together all the materials, lay it on, and let nature do the job. Composting is a low maintenance activity as well. You only need to turn the compost pile once in a while to keep the air flowing, which quickens the decomposition process -- and that's it. You basically sit and wait for the the composting process to finish.
Myth: Composting is limited to farms and wide open spaces.
Truth: Definitely not true, since people living in urban areas who much less space can create their own composting bin from a trash can. How much space does that require? Another technique is the so-called vermicomposting, which involves the use of red worms in a contained bin that you feed table scraps.
Myth: Composting needs precise measurements.
Truth: Even though composting will ideally be achieved best with the right combination of greens and browns elements, having the exact measurements isn't really necessary. Estimates work fine, and those neatly piled up layers of composting piles you see in commercials, books, pamphlets and brochures of composting products, are all for show. You don't need to copy them, since composting works the same way if you pile them up haphazardly.
Myth: You need specially formulated chemicals as starters or activators.
Truth: Actually, despite the claims of commercially available products that applying them to the compost pile will speed up the process of decomposition, buying them isn't at all necessary. It's often the practice to just throw in some finished compost into the newly formed compost pile and that in itself serves as the activator to get started. There's no need to buy that expensive stuff.
Myth: Adding yeast will boost the compost's performance.
Truth: This isn't true. You're just wasting your money by adding yeast to a compost pile. Yeast doesn't do anything to the compost pile nor does it affect the performance quality of the compost.
Myth: Animals are attracted to composting piles.
Truth: Yes, to some degree this is true. Composting piles do attract the occasional cat, dog or raccoon. Small critters tend to go for open compost piles and for piles that have kitchen scraps like meat, fat, dairy products, bones and pet manure.
Myth: Compost smells.
Truth: Compost shouldn't smell. If you have bad smelling compost, then whoever made it did a poor job choosing the materials for the compost pile.
There are more composting myths so do your research first before accepting them as truth.
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