Tumblers are one of the most effective methods to get your composting done. However, not all people can get the desired results from a tumbler. One of the common problems, the majority of the composters face with tumblers is that it gets too wet. Wet compost can take years to get ready, and it may start to give a foul smell as well. It usually happens when you are using an outdoor compost bin. The primary reasons behind extra water in your pile can be extra water addition, less air intake (gone anaerobic), and not enough nitrogenous components. Excess water can get into the tumbler because of heavy rains.
In this article, we are going to tell you all the possible solutions for dealing with this problem. But before that, keep in mind that the ideal outlook of a compost pile is moist and not wet. It should look like a slightly damp sponge. The best way to assess water content is to pinch a handful of compost. If only one or two water drops come out; your compost has the right proportion of water.
Ways to deal Wet Compost Tumbler
1. Open the Drain
As a starter, you can open the drain and lid to get rid of extra water in the tumbler. Keep the drain and lid open for some time, maybe a couple of days. It will increase air inflow and also help in reducing water content in the compost.
2. Adding Some Brown Material
Another way to deal with wetness is to add some brown material. You can put in sawdust, dry leaves, shredded paper, or wood pellets. Make sure that these things are added in shredded form and not in pellet form.
As pellets can take ages to break down and it will result in overall slowing down of the composting process. All these materials are perfect for absorbing wetness and work well when added to wet compost piles.
3. Turning the Tumbler Contents
After adding the contents as mentioned earlier, make sure you rotate the tumbler quite a few times. You can also use a pitchfork to turn the pile around inside the tumbler. The reason behind doing this is it helps in distribution and moisture absorption.
4. Adding a Nitrogen Source
Adding a nitrogen-rich substance is one of the most effective and last resort solutions for a wet compost pile. You can use some of the ready compost, garden topsoil, manure, or bone meal as a rich source of nitrogen.
Managing your compost is easy but a bit technical as well. It is better to understand the stages of composting, the best ratio for composting, the dos, and don’ts before getting to work.