5 Simple Tips for Winter Composting

You probably don’t think of winter as a good time for composting. But you can still make great compost during the winter with these 5 simple tips!

As the temperatures drop, so does the microbial activity in your compost pile – but that doesn’t mean it has to stop altogether. In fact, you can keep your compost going all winter just by giving it a little help.

Sure, it may not decompose as quickly as it does during the summer months, but if you follow the steps below, you can have some nice compost to feed your garden by the time summer hits – even without moving your winter composting efforts indoors or starting a worm farm.

Check out these 5 tips for winter composting success:

1. Turn Up The Heat
An active pile is a hot pile, so the most important thing to do is to kick-start the microbes by giving them a big, well-balanced fall meal…. Chop or shred everything into pieces that are no more than 2 inches long…. If you have lots of dry autumn leaves and not much high nitrogen material, try adding something very high in nitrogen….

2. Insulate
Now that you’ve got your microherd revved up and churning out lots of heat, do something to keep as much of that warmth in your pile or bin as possible…. Wrap your compost bin in a couple layers of bubble wrap, foil and bubble wrap insulation sheets, bags full of autumn leaves, or straw bales to insulate the sides.

3. Put A Lid On It
Remember to top off your insulation job with a tarp and some sort of insulated cover to help keep heat in and excess rain, ice, and snow out. A couple of extra bags of dry leaves on top of a tarp make a good insulated cover….

4. Keep It Fed
Stockpile finely chopped or blended kitchen scraps in a covered container. Once a week or so…, mix the scraps with an equal amount of chopped straw, wood shavings, shredded dry leaves, or torn-up newspaper, and add the mixture to your outdoor composter.

5. Relax
Depending on your climate and how much material you have to add during the winter, your compost may cool down or even freeze in the very lowest temps. Don’t worry! Once the weather starts to warm up, the compost will wake and start working again….

Check out the full article at Rodale’s Organic Life


Rose S.

An avid gardener since childhood, I love sharing my passion for gardening with others! I have gardened in a number of different climates and settings, from large fenced garden plots, to tiny patio and container gardens, and I firmly believe that everyone can learn to grow at least some of their own food - no matter where you live. Growing your own food can help you take control of your own health and food supply, and there has never been a better time to get started!

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