Jen Fulkerson wrote:This spring I started a compost pile. I put it next to the barn with a tin sheet, the back is a hog fence, and the third side is an old pallet. In the beginning I had tons of weeds, and not much else. I watered, made sure to add wood chips once I got them, and soil each time I added more weeds. Through spring, and summer the pile did break down, but never heated up, not even a little. I could not keep it wet enough, so I didn't worry about it, I thought once it cools down I can water, and the pile will heat up. Nope, nothing! Yesterday I pulled the whole thing apart. It was quite a chore. The weeds had made a mat at the bottom, it was hard to even get my garden fork through. It was strange, there weren't even any bug, or any worms, no life. I loosened the dirt at the bottom. Layered weeds, wood chips, and dirt. The wood chips sat in bins of water. I watered every layer. I used 4 kinds of wood chips including one year old chips,. It is now as tall as the pallet. I put cardboard on the hog panel, and covered the pile because we are having a very bad wind storm right now. I will remove the tarp when the wind dies down. I may put a board or something in the front to help keep the moisture in. This is it. If this doesn't do the trick I'm done. I actually thought composting was easy. Last year I put all my garden waste in a black bin with holes in the bottom, a few months later I had beautiful black compost. Never watered, turned, nothing. I didn't worry if it got hot because there wasn't any weed I needed to kill. This is so much harder than I thought it would be. I hope it works because I would love to have a high quality compost I don't have to buy for my garden. I have been so picky about not putting microplastic, not much cardboard because of the glue, doing my best to get a super mostly organic compost, and I can't get it to work, it's frustrating. It doesn't seem like it should be this hard. Wish me luck.