In this lesson, we will teach you how to turn a compost pile.
Once the compost pile is finished, it will create heat, indicating that the decomposition process is active.
After a few weeks, the compost temperature will drop, and the decomposition will slow.
Turning the pile reactivates the decomposition process, allowing you to obtain compost faster.
To turn the compost, you will need: 4 wooden sticks, a digging fork, a handfork, a pitchfork, a source of irrigation, and several thick wooden branches.
4 wooden sticks
thick wooden branches
Start by marking the new pile’s location with wooden poles. They will help keep the pile straight.
Use the single digging technique in your chosen location to improve drainage and facilitate the soil’s absorption of nutrients.
You can also use a hand fork to weed out any unnecessary materials.
Next, water the surface and arrange a layer of thick branches.
Once the surface is ready, you can begin to turn the compost.
Start by moving the top of the pile. Here, you’ll notice that the plants located above the pile and on the sides have not decomposed.
Place them underneath the new pile, where they’ll begin to decompose properly.
Water the pile regularly to provide the necessary moisture for decomposition.
Water the edges thoroughly since they tend to dry out faster.
Here, you can see that the plants in the center are well-decomposed. They are hardly recognizable.
When assembling your new pile, place the decomposed plants near the edges and the undecomposed ones in the center.
Try to maintain the compost’s straight, square shape to promote equal decomposition.
Replace the plants that fell off the edges of the pile.
The soil under the original pile will be very fertile, so you don’t need to add compost here for the next crop.
Finally, gather the remaining materials and finish with a light watering.