Compost Pile Ruined? Double Failure.

I done messed up last weekend.

I was cleaning up the garden and back yard.  I noticed the bucket in which I had begun a project to ferment some homemade soy sauce.

Several months ago I mixed together some soybean cakes, which were supposed to ferment in a bucket of salt water brine, producing lovely soy sauce over time. The project failed and despite the high level of salinity my bucket turned into a moldy mess that smelled worse than an outhouse.

In my frenzy of cleaning up, I just dumped the bucket onto one of my two lovely compost piles. Yes, the water, the soy mash and the 3 pounds of salt that it contained in solution. Salt that will kill all vegetation attempting to grow in it’s soil.


What was I thinking? I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to use the whole compost pile now and I’ll have to dig it up and throw it all away. Gah!!! 😦


7 responses to this post.

  1. I suppose I could use that compost to amend my new asparagus patch, since I have read that a bit of salt doesn’t bother asparagus. I’ll still have almost a cubic yard to dispose of.


  2. Posted by Mary on November 2, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Wonder if that would kill off the puncture weed I have been fighting with? I have this one patch outside my fence (live on the corner with a sidewalk, ground between sidewalk and street) I don’t want to use chemicals but this puncture weed is driving me crazy. If ya was closer, I’d say bring it!!


  3. You could thoroughly water it to leach the salt out. Might loose some of the nutrients but you can still use it. We found out after a year of using our well that we had salt water intrusion, basically poisoning all of our plants. We watered good and hard and leached it all out and now everything is rosy.


    • Thank you Rachel. I am definitely going to try this. But I’ll still have to be extremely cautious about how I check to see if it has been sufficiently desalinated. I guess I’ll try it with extra seedlings in a pot and watch for them to die.


  4. so sorry, that does sound like a real bummer, i do crap like that often, make a big mistake because im in a hurry to fix something else you know … not gardening related … i dont have any useful advice except take your time with things even if they smell like crap … i did it a few days ago when i found a pot with food we forgot about and had to clean it out …. i was gagging so bad but remained calmed and only splattered a very little bit on my apron and nothing else. …. you have all my sympathy though, frustrating thing to have happened


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