Compost Aeration

Aerate the pile with a pitchfork or shovel (or by turning a compost tumbler) about once a week to distribute air and moisture. Or invest in a compost turner, which has a long straight handle and a paddlelike bottom to make turning easier in a bin that's hard to maneuver a shovel inside. Adding loose, lightweight materials like bark mulch helps create air pockets that prevent compaction. Keep in mind that if the microbes don't get enough oxygen, they'll produce hydrogen sulfide, which gives off a telltale rotten-egg stink—so don't let your pile get to this point.
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