wsommariva
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Way to get air into the pile without pvc

I recently added a 4 inch pvc pipe vertically into a 3 foot deep pile. I used a post hole digger to dig a hole in the middle of the pile and then placed the pvc.

I think that hole will stay as is even without the pvc. Maybe an idea someone can use. Post hole digger is not expensive, maybe $25.

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Tilde
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Should stay for a while, I reckon.

Why not make a tube of hardware cloth? I've seen that in some DIY tumblers for the center.
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rainbowgardener
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When I just had a compost pile in a wire bin, I used to punch a few holes down through it every now and then with a long pointed stick. Has to be re-done every once in awhile, but works pretty well.

Now that I have an enclosed Earth Machine type composter, I turn/ aerate it with a compost turner, which is a long pole with flip fins on the bottom. They flip up to push down through the compost, then open up when you pull up, to pull up the compost..
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Bobberman
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If you put hard long stems of any type plants in layers in the compost I think the wind would blow enough air into the pile! When a fire burns and you add wind it burns faster. I would assume a compost is similar! Don't make it mushy but a nice mix! Straw will airate a pile also in thin layers!
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rainbowgardener
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Yup the idea is exactly that, adding air so it will "burn" faster. Last summer when I ran out of fall leaves from the previous fall, I used straw as my brown. For me it tended to mat down and smother the pile, not help aerate it. Maybe if you broke the "flakes" up real well, so you were putting in individual straws, not clumps...
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Bobberman
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Ya you have to watch straw and grass and only use it in thin layers! I really like the long stems of sunflowers. The stems are hollow and the inside is a dark brow and is usually partly decomposed from the ant traffic tha seems to use the stems as a highway to the top leavs as the plant gets older! Its almost like putting small hollo tubes into the compost for extra air! There are several weeds that are hollow also!
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