So I have TWO piles of compost now... the first pile that I started a couple of seasons ago, and the "current pile" where I now put all the fresh kitchen veggie scraps. I've been focusing on simply turning the soil of the old compost pile, without adding any new scraps to it (with the hopes of using it soon).
Today I actually did that - I dug through the original pile with a shovel, filled a bucket with the compost, and deposited it in my garden. I'm optimistic that it was ready - it was a nice dark colour, with an even consistency (i.e. no visible scraps left) and a beautiful, rich earthy fragrance. I scoured the Internet for advice as to when and how to use compost, and found quite a bit of reading that supported the use of compost as a mulch for existing plants, as long as the compost doesn't actually touch the plants, but simply lays on the top of the soil around them. So that's what I did!
I'll let you know if I see any difference in my garden :)
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