Reminder: have you turned your compost pile recently?

Here is a previously posted reminder.  It is still very relevant.  My compost pile has changed over the years, growing in size, but always useful and a blessing come spring.  I can not imagine having to ‘haul off’ all the yard waste we have recycled via our compost pile.  At times I have even chosen to compost in place, burying food scraps in the garden or adding coffee grounds as a top dressing.  Within a season it is always obvious what parts of the garden were supplemented with compost and which were not.  If you make only one change this season, I would encourage you to make it composting.  It is free, environmentally friendly, and easy to do.

Today I found myself outside with some free time.  I didn’t have anything really planned, but one thing lead to another and I was turning over my compost pile.  Not only that, I used some old boards to make an edge along the front to keep it from spilling out into the yard.  I also left a space at the back of the pile and added a board along the bottom to keep the pile from sliding.  This created an area to start a new pile.  This will allow the current pile to completely break down for use next spring.  Or, at least that is my plan.

Turning your pile over does several things:

  1. Mixes the new items you have added to your pile with your older items.
  2. Allows air to get to items that may previously have not had it.
  3. Speeds up the decomposition.
  4. Covers any food that has not yet decomposed to discourage pesky insects (gnats, flies, mosquitoes, etc.) from gathering and laying eggs. This is only an issue if your pile is near where people will be.

Now is a good time if you live in a cold climate and face freezing temperatures during the winter months.  I also decided to turn mine since I recently added a lot of kitchen scraps, due to canning, and wanted to discourage pesky insects.  My pile is near an area my neighbors like to enjoy, so I’m just trying to be neighborly.  They may not notice I turned it, but they sure would notice if I hadn’t.