How long does it take a compost pile to break down?
The rate of decomposition depends upon the composition of the compost pile, level of management, and other factors. A well-managed compost pile (one that is watered and turned regularly) containing a mixture of shredded plant material should be ready in two to four months. A good compost pile contains a mixture of green materials, such as grass clippings, and dry materials like leaves and straw. Compost piles composed of unshredded materials and left unattended may take a year or longer to decompose. The timing of compost pile construction is another important factor. Compost piles prepared in fall will not be ready until early summer of the following year. Compost piles constructed in spring should be ready in mid to late summer.