Posted: 06/10/2014 at 09:53
I turned mine today by tipping it all out then piling it back in again. This is my first year of making compost. How often should I do the turning process?
I think the honest answer Daryl is that the more frequently you can turn it the better - but for most of us that is a bit too much work. Personally I try to turn mine once when the bin is about half to two thirds full (exactly same method as you) & after that I just give it a bit of a stir with my garden fork whenever I add stuff.
Once the bin is full I leave it covered to "cook" for a few months but even then I give it a bit of a poke & stir round with my fork about every 2 - 3 weeks or so.
I don't wait until everything has turned into completely friable compost. I usually find that if the top 12" are well on the way - then anything about 2' down & below is ready for use. So the stuff that is not quite ready becomes the base layer of a new bin or added to the bin I was filling anyway.
Important thing to remember with compost making is that it will all rot down eventually even if you do nothing to it (or it is just a heap of grass cuttings). If, however, you get your mix of green & brown material right and you keep it aerated and (importantly) you make sure it is not too dry (water it if necessary) (but not wet!) - then you will get a finished / usable compost much sooner. You will develop a much better system if you have at least 2 bins. I use 3 - one to fill - one 'cooking' - and one with usable compost in.
Making compost is fun (for some of us saddos) & the site of a big pile of FREE soil improver makes my day - in a rather strange way!!!