A proper surface is important. Compost is easier to turn when piled on concrete or another hard surface, but worms and other beneficial organisms from the soil will have a harder time reaching the pile. Level ground is also a good surface.
The dimensions of the pile, as a rule of thumb, should be at least 3 feet high by 3 ft wide by 3 ft long to maintain sufficient heat in its interior. If the pile is too large, air has trouble getting to the center. Maximum recommended size is 5 ft high by 5 ft wide, with no limit to the length.
The appropriate location for a compost pile is a shady area protected from wind (to prevent it from drying out). Protect the pile from heavy rain by covering it with a plastic sheet, or make it under a roof. Build it where it can't be flooded.
Have a protected area to store finished compost if it isn't going to be used immediately. Avoid mixing undecomposed materials with finished compost.
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