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Friday, February 23, 2018

Aerating Your Compost Pile

Posted by admin on October 23, 2008

I’m certainly not a scientist, but I remember learning, during my food service years, that in order for bacteria to grow on food, it needs moisture, air, and heat.

The same applies to your compost pile.  The food for your compost is the garden, kitchen, and yard waste that you will be composting.  Add water to create the optimal moisture level.  Most garden composters recommend that the moisture level of your compost be similar to a wrung out sponge.  The air is introduced by proper turning or aerating of the compost.  The heat is generated by the activity within the properly mixed garden composter.

Once the “food” is entered into your compost pile,  it will need to be turned, periodically, maybe once every couple of weeks.  Turning the compost accomplishes two objectives – first, it introduces the vital air into the middle of the pile, and second, it provides you with the opportunity to observe and regulate the moisture and heat levels of your compost pile.

For turning your compost pile, a pitchfork is a great tool to have on hand.  A better tool is a Compost Aerator.  This inexpensive and easy to use tool simply pokes down into the compost like a steel rod, then it’s “ears” open as you pull the tool back out of the compost pile.  This process pulls material from the center of the pile and mixes it with material around it.

This process is helpful if your pile is too wet.  You should add some dry, brown materials to mix in with your compost.  If your pile is too dry, you can add water and mix it up, or mix in some moist, green material.

See the Garden Aerator tool here.

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