Senior Member
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 11:06 pm
Location: GA

yeah.. actually thats a good idea.. T's cost (maybe) 25 cents each.. and a couple would do the trick

I covered mine with plastic like someone suggested... FINALLY it's staying wet... still not much over 100* though. :-(
Life is great..... but if you get lemons - compost them :-)
Near Atlanta GA... newbie to gardening & Composting

Senior Member
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:11 am
Location: Alaska

I did the vertical pipes a couple times. I noticed allot of heat coming & decided to just use another few horizontal pipes every 18" or so.
With hot air moving out the pipes, I'm sure air was getting circulated up thru the pile, so maybe both horizontal & vertical are better.
I do have the ones I put in the middle sagging as the pile shrinks but they haven't broken yet.
I have a few slits in the plastic top cover to let some air out & still hold moisture & some heat in. (On one pile, I laid an air pipe on top before I covered it, with a tight top cover, it seems to be working also)
I believe any air pipes added help. Vert or horizontal, but vertical was the easiest for me since I cover them.

Full Member
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:36 pm
Location: Bishop, CA

Okay, you guys have lost me.
What is with all the pipes and air circulation? I thought we wanted to retain the heat? Is this not the basic goal for cooking down our compost? Adding twigs, stems and small sticks will help create small air-spaces to reduce matting and in turn help with the heating. Why do we want to circulate so much air? Don't the pipes get in the way when you are turning the pile?
Western edge of the Great Basin
on the eastside of the Sierra Nevada
in central California
at 5000 ft.
Zone 8

Senior Member
Posts: 197
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:11 am
Location: Alaska

With the pipes, I don't turn the pile unless I'm adding greens (grass clippings) in the spring to get it hot after it thaws. The pipes supply air, one of the most important parts of composting. The air in the pile (O2) gets used up in the first day or so. The bottom 7/8 of this pile was done compost, I pulled of the top couple inches & the rest was done compost after one summer, thru the winter & when it thawed this spring, with air pipes & no mixing. But you can mix with the pipes without too much trouble.
This bin was full last summer & good done compost this spring.


Greener Thumb
Posts: 969
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: MO

I've used pipes a few times. They are particularly useful in a very hot pile that is cooking very fast, because it can use up air faster than it can diffuse into the pile. Especially if it's a large pile. They use them industrially (sometimes even with blowers) to speed the process.

I'm thinking of using pipes in our office building compost project, because the coffee grounds pack down and get anaerobic pretty easily. Turning the stuff when the bin gets full after 6 months is a stinky job.

Adam W
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:57 pm
Location: Turramurra, Sydney, Australia

Hi all,

New to these forums so double hello I guess :)
Interesting to see similar thoughts on different sides of the planet! I've just installed a basic pallet bay at my place. I like the use of pallets as, apart from the re-use or up-cycling, they allow you the flexibility of cheaply adding another bay as required.
I write about the garden for a living so when I built mine I shot it too for Australian Better Homes & Gardens magazine.
If you're interested I posted a video of it too.



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