Turn the compost heap

This vital job will help you assess its progress and keep it healthy.

A Compost Heap.jpg

How’s your heap going? Perhaps you started one up last year, and slowly you’ve begun gathering kitchen and garden waste to transform into compost goodness to give to your plot over the coming years. Well it’s a year-round job to keep on top of it, to make sure it’s got the right amount of different materials inside, is kept healthy, moist and airy at all times and turned over regularly.

Turning your heap is one of the essential jobs, which helps all the good bacteria that decompose your waste speed up the process and rot it all down effectively. It’s also a good way of assessing the moisture content and the smell, and gets vital air into the heap. If your heap’s cold and frosty it may be that it’s not composting quickly enough due to its low temperature – consider a closed heap in a sheltered spot, which will warm it up a bit and help the composting process.

Ensure your ratio of waste is kept correct – aim for up to about half of the heap as wet grassy waste, kitchen waste, annual weeds and perennial trimmings, for example, with the rest as woody waste prunings. This will set out the right balance for you first off, so that turning the heap will simply be a case of maintaining the equilibrium.