compost

Q:  My compost pile is growing mold and it looks terrible.  The area seems to pool water.  What can I do?

A:   It would appear the area is too wet and the site is not allowing enough air to circulate around the pile.  You could re-grade the area to ensure proper drainage. It is possible to raise the whole bed which would allow the water an opportunity to drain off better. Another choice would be to redirect the water away from the pile using a series of trenches.  Consider your options and select the best one for your situation.

Composting can be so rewarding.  Nothing beats the wonderful, rich soil produced from yard and kitchen wastes. Remember to never add sweets or milk or meat products to the pile.  The compost pile should be moist but not wet.  At least once a week mix up your compost pile using a pitch fork or rake.  This allows for air to circulate around the dirt and mixes the medium together. You will know when it is time to use the soil when you can no longer see the watermelon rind or the coffee filter or the tree leaves. Be sure to incorporate your soil mixture with the native soil.  However, do not be tempted to just place a handful in the planting hole when planting woody ornamentals as this can result in circling roots and too heavy soil.  The composted soil is a wonderful addition to any vegetable or perennial garden.  Spread the composted soil around and alter the whole garden area so the roots will grow in all directions seeking out the nutrients.