It is kind of funny to me, reading about how placing unfinnished compost (leaf mold, compost, raw leaf mixture) will drain all of the nutrients from the soil and will cause plants to suffer. Yet each year several volunteer plants sprout from my compost pile. Almost every year at least one or two cantalope vines, and generally one or two tomato plants grow. Now this is in a fairly fresh pile with lots of raw leaves, and many kitchen scraps added all through the summer. Yet these plants sprout from those kitchen scraps, and where do you think that I generally get my prize melon? And at that time of the year, usually late July, where is my prettiest tomato plant growing? You guessed right there in that concoction of raw leaves, half rotten kitchen scraps, where obviously (according to the literature) there is not a speck of available nutrient to grow anything. So I have to ask, can anyone explain why this nitrogen depleting, nutrient desert would grow such lush volunteer plants, that make extra large fruits.
This anecdotal evidence is one of the primary reasons that I have no hesitance in using my partially decomposed compost when the need arises. In a perfect world, the pile would always be turned at least three times and would cook all through the summer and would not be used until that fine texture black crumbly material was all that remained. But I am convinced that the use of this partially decomposed mixture is not the sin that some would make it out to be.