Around the Yard
How to Aerate a Compost Pile Using Perforated PVC Pipe
By: Tricia Craven Worley
When making compost for your garden from leaves and other yard debris, it’s important that the compost pile is aerated so the material will break down.
While compost piles are usually turned with a pitchfork, pieces of perforated PVC pipe can also be inserted into the pile to provide oxygen to the center of the pile. Watch this video to find out more.
- What Can I Compost (article)
- How to Make Leaf Compost (video)
- How to Build a Compost Bin (article)
- How to Compost Cooked Foods, Meats, and Dairy (article)
Danny Lipford: That’s a nice out of the way spot for a compost pile.
Tricia Craven Worley: Well, you know Danny, this compost pile happened just by accident.
Danny: Oh, really?
Tricia: Yeah. One time I had just a lot of leaves, and I didn’t want to put them all in my compost bin, so I just throw them over here.
Danny: It seems perfect and everything, I doubt you’d want to put any of the household waste in there though.
Tricia: Well, actually by choice, I just put nothing but leaves here and the leaves and then a little bit of dirt that is attached to them it’s amazing what kind of really, really rich loam it’s created over the years.
Danny: What’s the deal with the drainage pipe? You got a drainage problem?
Tricia: Well, actually this is a really good tip. You know one of the main components of making a compost pile healthy is aeration. And this is just a PVC pipe that I bought at a home store. And, as you can see, it has these little perforated holes, and those go . . . there two rows of them, and they go all the way the length of this wall. And so it allows a little bit more air to come in through this hole that I won’t block up.
Danny: I see. I guess the wire fence over there helps in that way too.
Tricia: Yes. This is great and you know it was one of those incidental things I didn’t know how good it would be, and this is so we’ll have cross ventilation here. And you know, because the pipe is so easy to move, you can see that if I chose to allow the pile to get higher I could certainly put in another pipe.
Danny: Well, you have plenty of room for a little more debris. I’ll give you a hand.
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