Turning the Compost | How to Maintain the Compost in Your Backyard

If compost is to be turned into valuable humus particularly quickly, it must be turned over regularly. This mixes the ingredients, prevents rotting, and stimulates the microorganisms in the compost to perform at their best. Here is how to speed up the composting process!
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Here I’m talking about turning the compost and how to maintain it properly in your backyard but if you don’t have compost piles prepared yet, you should definitely consider starting the composting process.

Composting process is not difficult

The process of composting is not as hard as you think. Besides, composting in your backyard is the best way to recycle your food scraps and yard debris and later use them as fertilizer. Because “compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow”

. That means, healthier crops, increased yields, more beautifully bloomed flowers, and an overall healthier garden.

The composting process also reduces the trash in your landfills, as well as help improve your backyard at home. That’s why you should consider learning how to compost in your backyard at home. Here is the information about turning the compost and maintaining it in your backyard.

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Turning the compost: How to do it and why it is important

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There are no general rules on how often compost should be turned over. Whether once or twice a year depends solely on the mood of the gardener. However, once a year is compulsory – diligent gardeners even turn over the compost every two months. And with good reason: the more often compost is turned over, the faster the rotting process goes.

Why should you turn over the compost

The ideal time to transplant compost for the first time is in early spring, once the compost has defrosted. In this way, you can create a certain basic order and provide the garden with valuable permanent humus before the season starts.

It is the millions upon millions of micro-organisms and the countless earthworms that turn garden waste into valuable compost. For this, they need heat, moisture, and air – lots of air. Turning the compost is so essential because the process of composting is supplied with oxygen, the ingredients mix again and – not to be underestimated – the volume is significantly reduced. Properly applied compost produces the necessary heat itself, as a metabolic by-product of the many helpers who process the organic substances in the compost. A place in full sun, however, damages the compost; it prefers to stand in the shade.

Guide for turning the compost

Wait for a dry day before moving the material so that it does not clump together or stick to the bucket. From a wooden frame covered with rabbit wire, you can build a sieve yourself. In addition to the compost sieve, you need a shovel, digging fork, or manure fork. Only with these can the undecomposed components in the compost be moved at all. The sieve is placed next to the compost in shovel width.

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Moving compost is a bit like digging around in a bed: the bottom one goes up, and the top one goes down. Work your way through the compost layer by layer from top to bottom and throw the material onto the sieve. Already finished compost will fall through, the greenery that has not been sufficiently decomposed will stick and wander back to the compost. The sieve also catches stones, remains of flower pots, and coarse branches from the compost. Ideally, it would be best if you had a second compost container in which you pile up this still too fresh material to form a new compost heap.

One or two shovels with mature compost serve as a starting aid for the restacked compost heap and inoculate it with micro-organisms, which also start working immediately. If the compost heap is then watered from time to time during drought, it will pass its final maturity test a good seven months later: it is dark brown, finely crumbly and smells of forest soil. If the composting process is to be faster, it should be turned over every two months. If you make a completely new compost, you can expect fresh humus after nine months.

Compost makes itself fine for the garden

The fine stuff goes into the garden, the coarse stuff into the compost, or the trash can. Before mature compost is allowed into the garden, it must undergo a thorough cleaning. The sieve separates half-rotten material or raw compost from the mature compost and sorts out nut shells or coarse pieces of branches.

The degree of inclination of the sieve determines how fine the compost should become: The steeper the slope, the finer the compost will be. Note that even mature compost is often full of weed seeds. The temperatures of 60 degrees Celsius and more required to kill the weeds are almost never reached in open compost heaps in the garden. They are much too small for that. Therefore, if possible, work the mature compost into the soil and do not just spread it over the surface – otherwise, the seeds will germinate quickly.