It needs to be turned frequently, once a week or so, to mix all the grass clippings with garden brush I toss on there. But the clippings pile up, it's way too hot in the summer to work the pitchfork in there, and I don't get to it all season long.
By the time it's cool enough and the season is ending, I have layers of anaerobic slime mats pressed together from the mounds of wet mooushy grass. No oxygen means nothing breaks down. I am amazed at how dense the mats of slime become.
So I forked and tossed and dug up the mats and removed them, then forked over what was there, spread it out a bit and phew!
I must commit to turning that mess more often all year long.
A couple days ago Jim and I tackled trimming the big white spruce by the front door. The leader had shot up a couple feet, and branches were angling out all over. He used the pole pruner to get the leader and the highest branches, and I cut all around the middle and bottom with pruners.
It's a a little barrel shaped, but the shortened leader, and the removal of center shoots from many of the whorls all around the tree, should keep it a more reasonable size for a while. A short while.
It will be far too big for its spot by the front door some day (soon).