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New compostor and gardner here. Think I have made a mistake...

 
Naomi Trevelyan
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Hello everyone, I have had a compost pile decaying over the winter. It's not that pretty soil that we all want but most of the food seemed to have disappeared. My two garden beds are loaded with worms from preparation last fall. So I decided to put a layer of the compost on the beds in hopes the worms will eat and fertilize the remaining compost. There didn't seem to be too many in the old pile when I was moving it. My landlady then tells me she wants to plant peas this weekend and I am pretty sure the compost will not be gone by then. I wasn't planning to plant mine til next month. What should I do? Should I leave it and cover it with soil; if so how deep does it need to be. Or do I take it off.

Thanks
Naomi
 
Miles Flansburg
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Howdy Naomi, welcome to permies. Don't worry, it will continue to compost were ever you put it. Some times I just throw stuff onto the garden without composting it first.
 
Leila Rich
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Hi Naomi, like Miles says, it'll be fine
I often put unfinished compost then a thick layer of mulch on top and the compost worms are overjoyed!
 
Nick Kitchener
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Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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Hi all,

I started an aerobic compost pile last weekend and was in a hurry. I turned it for the first time last night and discovered that I didn't add enough water and the inside is extremely dry.

So I decided to add water to the pile as I turned it so now I have a pile with the correct moisture content.

I figure that the addition of water will have set back the composting process somewhat. Is an additional 24 hours before my next turn going to be sufficient to compensate? This means turning in three days time instead of two.
 
Nick Kitchener
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I took a look today and could feel the heat at the surface so I turned it as originally planned. All good
 
Ken Peavey
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After a few months, the nitrogen will have been consumed and integrated into the compost by the microbes. With the compost spread around, heat should not be an issue. Those worms will make good use of the compost you have added, turning it into rich castings which will surely give your garden a fine boost.

I would suggest covering the soil with a layer of mulch when your seedlings are a few inches high. After putting all that work into the compost and soil, the mulch will help to protect the soil from compaction, keep the tilth light so weeds will pull out easily, suppress weed growth, maintain moisture and block sunlight which the worms will appreciate.
 
David Hartley
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What type of compost "pile" setup do you have, that it can (and needs) turning every few days?

I do realize there are many methods... I just can't imagine every turning mine... Especially a couple times a week
 
Nick Kitchener
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It's just a pile on the ground, covered with a tarp. It started off as grass clippings, garden waste, cow manure, leaves, sticks, and the contents of one of those black compositing bins that were never taken care of so everything sort of just shrivelled up instead of composting down.

It's a hot aerobic compost pile and I'll have compost in about 3 weeks after first construction. It does require a lot of turning , but it produces compost really quickly.

I'll be turning it again today. I was at the garden last night and laid down dried grass clipping mulch. In the North here, the lawns get covered in snow during winter and in the spring the grass needs to be racked as it has "thatched". The dry dead grass mats down into a solid mass and the new grass can have trouble breaking through.

The next door neighbour has about half a dozen big garbage bags full of this stuff and it is perfect for a cover mulch. I intend to lay it down in three or four thin layers. We're still getting frosts here and the days are hot enough to rapidly dry out the soil. This mulch should work really well. It'll allow the seedlings to come through, yet hide them from predators (I found a pile of cucumber husks the other day), retain moisture, and protect from frost for the next few weeks as the seedlings get started.
 
I think I'll just lie down here for a second. And ponder this tiny ad:
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