What? Why should I water something that isn’t growing? Ah, but it is growing…you just can’t see it. A compost pile is a combination of many elements; brown stuff (tree leaves, twigs, coffee grounds), green stuff (kitchen waste, grass clippings) and microscopic animals called microbes. The microbes do the hard work of breaking down the brown and green stuff into that magical stuff we call black gold. Our part as gardeners is to provide them with air and water. The air is provided by Mother Nature; turning the pile is very helpful in the decomposition process as it allows it to get to the center of the pile.
The piece that is often missing is the water. Most often, the only time a compost pile gets water is when it rains or snows. However, if we simply have the hose nearby, and spray each layer down as the pile is built and every 6 inches or so when it is turned, all that is required has been provided, and the pile will decompose on schedule. Properly turned, watered and maintained piles will turn from raw ingredients to finished compost in 3-6 months.