Thursday, April 18, 2013

Turn Baby Turn, Compost Inferno

If you haven’t already, I would highly recommend you hustle on over and turn your compost, especially if you’ve added food scraps all winter. Just as good as pulling out the lawnmower or turning on the hose, the inaugural first turn of the compost bin marks an important rite of passage into spring.

Turning will aerate the compacted pile and kick start the microorganisms into full dance fever mode. You’ll notice a significant drop in the pile over the next week from the compostables heating up and decomposing (more disco inferno than inferno inferno). You can almost hear the microorganisms singing Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” (in high pitched voices, of course) as they come back to life.

Troubleshooting and Tools (Disco Ball Optional)
My tool of choice is the wingdigger, but you can use a pitchfork, shovel, or even a sturdy stick. The idea is to get air down into the bin.

You may notice a slight ammonia smell and some squishiness if you’re compost is a little funky (and not in a good way). That’s okay. Just fluff up the pile well with air and even add shredded leaves or paper to give it some umph.

If your pile is more dry wallflower than dancing queen, add some food scraps and water to those parched leaves. Leaving the lid off before a good rain (of water, not men) will let mother nature water the pile for you.

Stayin’ Alive
Once you’ve heated up your pile, consider turning it on a regular basis for the rest of the season. More than once a week is really unnecessary and every other week or once a month will work.

Can you dig it? I knew that ya could.


  1. Michelle,
    Thank you for the reminder to add this 'turn compost pile, add leaves' to my busy schedule and weekend to do list. I actually look forward to it, but haven't yet turned that pile. I also appreciated the clever disco humor!

    1. Thanks, Annie. Its always something I look forward to on my to do list too!

  2. The hard part was getting back to the corner of the yard in my 8" white platform shoes.

    1. Lol, that would make an interesting and informative youtube video. :)