if the compost pile seems dry it should be kept moist but not wet
Illustration: Sean Kelly
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Correct Amount of Water

It's easy to forget about watering stuff in wintertime, but proper water content is key for composting. Your pile should be as damp as a wrung-out sponge—any wetter and the microbes won't get enough air. As you add each layer of browns and greens, lightly mist the pile with a garden hose sprayer or a watering can. You can test the compost by squeezing a handful of it (wear gloves if you don't want to get messy). If water drips out, turn the pile a few times to let moisture evaporate. You may notice a few worms in that handful. Never fear—they're a sign of a healthy pile.

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