The optimal moisture content of an active compost pile is 50-60%. A technical method to measure moisture content involves weighing a sample of the compost and letting it dry out completely. Weigh the dried sample, subtract the dry weight from the wet weight, and divide the calculated weight by 100 to get the moisture content percentage.
Squeezing a handful of compost is a simpler method. The compost is too wet if water squeezes out, and it is too dry if it crumbles apart. The moisture content is acceptable if the compost retains its shape without releasing water.
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