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Dick Melvin – Why You Should Never, Ever ‘Turn’ A Compost Pile Again

Many experts insist that in order to make good compost, it must be turned regularly, but is that really the case?

Consider: When leaves fall each autumn and dead trees topple over in hardwood forests, is that decaying matter turned over? No, it just sits there turning into rich leaf mold. A common myth is that you cannot make good compost without regularly turning the compost pile. It’s not true. You can make your life easier by eliminating the compost-turning step.

Compost-turning proponents tell us that turning the compost pile does four things:

  1. It supplies oxygen to aerobic microbes.
  2. It eventually places all parts of the pile into the high-heat area.
  3. It mixes all compost ingredients for a better-looking end result.
  4. It speeds up composting.

Toss Out Numbers 3 and 4

But if you’re the only one using your own compost, then worrying about how it looks once the compost is buried in your garden is ridiculous. It’s in the ground, so who cares how it looks? Gardening, by its very nature, is not a hectic and fast-paced activity. Why speed up composting if it’s not needed? That eliminates reasons three and four.

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