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What is Compost?

Benefits of Composting

Using Finished Compost

Compost & Nutrition


Composting Systems

Siting Your Compost Area



What to Compost

Stages of Composting

The Carbon:Nitrogen Ratio

Compost Activators

Turning Your Compost


Quick Start Guide

The Add-as-you-go Pile

The Batch Pile

Grass Clippings

Food Scraps

Leaves, Weeds &
Garden Debris

Compost Tea

Worm Composting


Troubleshooting Guide

Ask Professor Rot





See illustrated instructions

Turning Your Compost>


Critical to the success of composting is turning the pile. Whether you compost using the "Batch pile" method or the "Add-as-you-go" approach, turning the organic matter has numerous benefits:

  • It speeds up the composting process (from months to weeks!)

  • It re-heats the pile to keep it in an aerobic state

  • It creates new passageways for air and moisture before the pile compresses

  • It eliminates odors and matting

  • It solves many composting problems!

Take it from us, we are expert gardeners and composters. The gardens at Cortesia Sanctuary are beautiful in part because we "grow the soil" with significant amounts of homemade compost. We could not compost as easily without our compost aerator! It is the perfect invention for the job no matter what type of compost bin or system you have. It does in a fraction of the time what you would accomplish with a pitchfork or shovel. And you won't be dead exhausted!

Made by Lewis Lifetime Tools (Yard Butler), we believe this is the best compost aerator on the planet.

Description: Solid steel shaft; 37-inch length; 2 handles with padded grips; 7-inch wingspan attached with industrial-strength swivel rivet. Comes with instruction card.


Operating Instructions:

  • Thrust the Compost Aerator directly into the center of your compost pile. The wings are folded up.

  • As you pull up on the Compost Aerator, the folded wings will open and turn (churn) the compost.

  • Hint: relax your shoulders and, while gripping the handles, rotate your shoulders while you pull the aerator up and down, sort of like churning a large vat of milk into butter. The motion is rather effortless compared to the amount of work being done.

  • Repeat until your compost is thoroughly mixed.

  • Note: Please don't be alarmed if the wing(s) sometimes are stuck in the folded or splayed position. Just continue your compost turning session. Then follow the tips below for cleaning or adjusting the wing/rivet assembly.


in Good Shape!

As with any garden tool that comes into contact with soil and moisture, moving parts may stiffen. This is likely to happen with the wings and swivel rivet of the aerator. After use, tap any debris from the wings and rivet. A nozzle spray of water works well.

If one or both wings do not flail out or fold up, clean the tool well and/or put a few drops of vegetable oil around the rivet or where the wings slide across the flat side of the shaft.

If this does not do the trick, try this to create a smidgen more space between the wing and the flat side of the shaft:

  1. Turn the aerator over in a vertical stance so that the handles are on the ground and the wings are up by your waist. One handle should be on your right side, the other on your left.

  2. Now, position the aerator so that the stiffened or stuck wing is on the right. Then firmly step on the right side handle.

  3. Brace the shaft about a foot below the wing assembly with your left hand. The wing assembly should also be braced against your front waist.

  4. With your right hand/fingers grasp the stuck wing firmly and twist it out and away from you. This will take a slight jerking effort but you will find that you can do it just enough to cause the wing to slightly bend away from the riveted flat side of the shaft.

  5. Actually, all this is easier to do than these lengthy instructions might seem. When you have successfully unstiffened the wing area (both wings if necessary), oil it.

  6. Then you can shout "Yahooozy!" and go in and watch TV.











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Copyright 2008, Cortesia Sanctuary   Contact Us

For inspiration please visit our parent site:
For herbal healing & wellness visit our site:


















Copyright 2008, Cortesia Sanctuary   Contact Us

For inspiration please visit our parent site:
For herbal healing & wellness visit our site: