Adding Compost to the Soil - Knowledgebase Question

Grand Rapids, MI
Avatar for jholtvluwer
Question by jholtvluwer
October 23, 2000
I have quite a pile of garden mulch accumulated from the entire season, branches, leaves, plants, clippings, etc.
I have not been able to turn the pile over due to the way I have constructed the pit. Would it be good to run everything thru a shredder now? If so, should I put the chopped up stuff back into the compost pit and till it in, in the spring or till it in the earth now before winter?

Answer from NGA
October 23, 2000
The smaller the pieces of organic matter, the faster they will decompose, so shredding them is always useful. It's a good idea to have organic matter as decomposed as possible before adding it to the garden beds, but if you aren't actively turning the pile to introduce oxygen, it probably won't decompose much more over winter. So you can till it in now or spring, whichever suits you. It's good to let soil sit for 2-3 weeks before planting, if possible, after adding lots of organic matter.

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