Spring Gardening: Compost Aeration Tips

Views: 13095 | Last Update: 2009-05-01
Aerating a compost pile will speed up the decomposition process by adding more air to the process. Farm and care for plants correctly and safely with these spring gardening preparation tips from an experienced farmer in this free video. View Video Transcript

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Danny Botkin

Video Transcript

Here's a spring compost pile that isn't quite done. It's half decomposed but you can see that there's still crop residues and remnants still sticking out of it. So I'm going to show you a way to accelerate this compost pile and to get it ripping and to make it into valuable humus within weeks. Essentially what we want to do is turn and aerate the pile and then when we are done we are going to soak it with water to get it good and wet like a wrung out sponge. Nice and damp. So essentially I'm going to use this hay fork as my main tool and I'm going to grab a piece of the compost and put that down at the bottom and then grab the next layer and flip that over. Basically I'm taking the bottom layer and leaving it on the top and the top layer ends up on the bottom. And what this does is it turns the ingredients and mixes them and allows oxygen and microbes more access into the compost heap. If I wanted to I could add a little bit of manure and even some lime at this point to accelerate the process. But in fact by wetting this down that should be all we need to really accelerate the process. I'll show you how much water it takes. They say that your compost pike should be like a wrung out sponge. Nice and damp but not so wet that it becomes anaerobic. And there you have it. Turning a compost pile.