But recently I started deliberately adding sticks to my compost hoping to provide something every compost pile needs: AIR.
A Breath of Fresh Air
Adding a small layer of sticks every so often, especially when you are starting a new pile, helps the material from becoming too dense for air to move through. Keeping air in your pile helps encourage our friends the aerobic microorganisms to break down our compost even faster.
Of course you can also aerate your pile by turning it but I’m experimenting to see if sticks offer the same effect with little to no effort.
Another material with a similar effect to sticks would be straw. Last fall after harvesting my compost, I piled some old straw in the bottom to help air flow through the bin.
Free As A Bird
Other composters have tried different methods to add air into the pile without having to turn.
PVC pipe with holes drilled in it
Stalks from plants
Bunched up cardboard or egg cartons
Feel free to air your opinion: do you use anything else to keep air in your pile?