It is critical to keep the right amount of moisture in your compost as too little or too much moisture can affect the process. The process of composting can seem simple but you have to understand everything about it to succeed.
Composting enriches the soil with organic products processed from waste from the kitchen, yard, and other wastes products. The process requires oxygen, moisture, and heat to produce the rich organic product.
Knowing how much water you need in your compost pile and when to add it is an essential part of the process. Here is a guide to help you know how to manage your compost piles’ moisture to succeed in the process.
Why water the compost?
Every living thing needs water for survival, and because your compost pile needs microorganisms for decomposition, it also needs water. That is why it is essential to have some amount of moisture in your decomposing pile to give you the kind of manure you need. You need the right amount of water or moisture to help the organisms thrive and turn your pile compost into a usable form. Also, the presence of water in your pile helps in regulating the temperature in it. If you have other substances to add to the pile, like hay or dry grass, you need to soak them in water before adding them to the compost pile.
How often should you water compost?
One of the most important things to succeed in your compost is to ensure you have the right amount of moisture to keep it healthy. Having the appropriate amount of moisture ensures healthy compost and supports the microbes’ healthy performance. That helps in decomposing and controlling the temperature in your pile.
Adding too much water will choke out the available oxygen leading to slowing down the microbes that break down the compost to almost a standstill. Simultaneously, having too little moisture can lead to slow decomposition, uneven temperatures, and sometimes too spontaneous combustion.
Since there are so many variables that affect your compost’s performance, all you need is not when to water but how the compost looks to guide you on what to do. You need to have the compost looking like a sponge that has been wrung out to know that it has enough water. If it is drier than that, then you should know it is time to sprinkle water on it.
How much water does a compost pile deed?
Too little water makes the pile dry, and the bacteria will not have enough water to work as fast as when there is water. Little water also may lead to some parts of the pile decomposing at a different rate from others. If the difference persists, it may lead to hot compost. Therefore, it is essential to keep checking the moisture amount in your compost file to avoid combustion.
Knowing when to add water helps prepare the manure better. All you need is to check out the compost and see whether it is breaking down slowly by poking into the pile. If the pile has some dry patches, it is time to add water. It would be best if you kept turning the pile and checking the presence of dry patches.
Whenever you get some dry patches as you turn the pile, you should remember that it is time to add some more water. At the same time, you must remember that you do not need to soak the pile but sprinkle little water at a time.
What happens if the compost is too wet?
When your compost pile is too wet, it affects the organisms’ performance of breaking down the organic material. The microorganisms need just enough water and air to carry out the breaking process of the organic material. A well-balanced compost pile has several air gaps between the organic matters.
But when the pile is soaked with water, the water fills the gaps, making it hard to support bacteria and other organisms’ work. As a result, other anaerobic bacteria that do not need oxygen to begin working on the pile resulting in a horrible smell. Therefore, it is essential to make sure you have enough moisture to decompose but not soaking the pile with water.