Rotline: How often do I turn my compost pile?

Rotline Question: How often do I turn my compost pile?

Answer: We love this question, mainly because the answer is so incredibly forgiving. How often you turn your compost depends on what you are planning to do with it.  

For example, will you be feeding your house plants once in a while or amending the soil in your six garden beds several times a year? If you are composting for the sake of diverting waste and don’t have an immediate need for this earthen gold, then turning regularly is not so very urgent.  In theory, you could get away with not turning it at all, but just be prepared that it will take A LONG TIME for you to reap the harvest, and decomposition will be uneven as the “outsides” of the pile will take even longer. You may also get a few more inhabitants than if you were to turn it regularly, including rodents and other critters that are perhaps less desirable. 

For those of you in need of larger amounts of compost, you would ideally turn your pile roughly once a week to get a yield of nutritious finished compost product within a few months. 

In a nutshell, the amount you turn your compost is directly proportional to your need for the finished product. The more you turn it, the quicker it will decompose and yield beautiful compost for your gardening projects.  Happy Composting!! 

Written by Certified Master Composter Judy Osman