View Full Version : Compost Heap Failure

09-28-2018, 08:42 AM
I've kept a compost heap in my very small garden for about the past 12 years. It has always done well. I add kitchen garbage and green refuse to the heap daily, turn it monthly and harvest the lovely compost each year after the end of the rainy season.

This year the decomposition has been extremely slow.

When turning the heap yesterday I noticed that the usual compost creatures are absent. There are usually several lizards, on top, waiting to zap the flies and other insects who come to lay eggs. Inside the heap there are usually giant grubs and other larva, both big and small. I usually find many centipedes of all sizes. And always worms, lots of worms.

But this year, nothing. No grubs, no worms, no centipedes, no lizards.

I don't use insecticide or other chemicals. We do have a pest control service that sprays the perimeter of the house, but I've never seen them go near the compost or plants not in the immediate vicinity of the structure.

My suspicion is that the heap is just too dry. We didn't get much rain in my area this year, so instead of being full of fermenting leaves and other stuff, I mainly find clumps of dry leaves. I suppose I can begin watering it, but, somehow, that seems environmentally unsound.

Any other ideas?

09-28-2018, 08:58 AM
You've answered your own question. Give it a good soaking.

09-28-2018, 10:01 AM
You've answered your own question. Give it a good soaking.

Thank you. I'm on itů.

09-28-2018, 10:17 AM
My first year, despite frequently turning it over it had no earthworms, only those red millipedes. Last year full of earth worms. This year can't be arsed to turn it over, still lots of worms. The quality seems to depend on rainfall rather than anything I do.