Is it really necessary to turn compost? Diary of a Rocket Gardener

I have to admit, I’m quite a lazy gardener. There are some jobs that I enjoy doing, and others that I avoid, and when it comes to composting I am definitely on the lazy end of the spectrum. I think that’s why I just have a very simple compost heap, where I just throw everything on willy-nilly and don’t think too hard about what’s being added or whether or not it will break down nicely.

However, I have recently learnt a couple of lessons…. turning it IS quite an important job. Here’s why:

  1. I have a lot of weeds growing on my compost heap. They have had no problem at all putting down their roots and thriving. Oops.
  2. I have a lot of rodents growing in my compost heap. Thankfully I have a terrier who is an avid rat catcher, and he managed to disperse them (although I don’t imagine they will have gone far, so no doubt they are lurking nearby waiting until I have provided them with some lovely looking beetroots and carrots to eat!)

I think it is also meant to be useful in terms of aerating the compost pile, but in truth the two above points matter far more to me!! However, this aerating can only be an added bonus of keeping weeds and rodents at bay.

On another note, some things just haven’t broken down at all. I have some very healthy looking broccoli and Brussels sprouts stalks in there that look as if I just added them this morning. This isn’t from a lack of turning, but rather from my lazy approach – I should have chopped them up nice and small before adding them. Perhaps it’s time to treat myself to a garden shredder!