Winter CompostingComposting doesn't have to stop when the weather gets cold. In fact, you can add organic waste to your compost pile all year long. Although decomposition will slow down or even stop during the winter months, decomposition will speed up again in the spring. Even if your compost pile freezes, you can continue adding material throughout the winter. These materials will start to break down when the temperature rises.
The following are some helpful tips that will allow you to continue composting throughout the winter:
- In the fall, remove any finished compost to make room for material to be added throughout the winter months.
- Store fall leaves in a covered container near your compost bin - this will allow you to maintain the proper carbon-to-nitrogen (or brown-to-green) ratio all winter.
- Insulate your compost by placing bags of leaves or bails of hay around the bin. Note: This is not recommended in areas that are prone to rodents.
- Locate your bin close to your house to allow for easy access throughout the winter.
- Place your bin where it will receive direct sunlight for at least part of the day.
- If you can't locate your compost bin near your home, place a covered garbage bin just outside your door to collect organic waste throughout the winter. In the spring, you can add this waste to your compost pile.
- Help increase the internal temperature of your compost pile by adding more nitrogen-rich material like kitchen greens.
- Help add oxygen by turning your pile periodically throughout the winter (when the temperature allows).
- Continue covering your green waste with brown waste such as shredded paper or cardboard or stored fall leaves.