After a couple of months taking care of your compost pile, turning over the pile every now and then, warding off insects and pests, and keeping the pile damp, it is only natural (and you should do so) to get the most out of your compost. And this means using the compost wisely and effectively.
You will know the right time to harvest the compost when you no longer recognize the original materials that you used to make the pile. The finished compost should look more soil-like or humus-like. It is dark, loose and smells earthy. When you harvest the compost from your pile, it would be best to spread it out and exposed it to the air. This will further dry the compost and will make is a easier to use.
If you find some bigger chunks still not fully decomposed, throw it back to the next compost pile you’re going to make. One way to get the not fully decomposed material, you can use a screen or wire mesh large enough to let the compost through but small enough to screen the remaining big chunks.
As you probably know by know, compost has a lot of benefits that is why it is often encouraged among gardeners. For starter, compost helps improve the overall soil structure. This means the density and porosity of the soil is improved allowing plants’ roots to grab a hold on the soil better. The soil also becomes more resistant from erosion and runoff. Likewise, adding compost to the soil allows better water retention.