Tips for Composting in the Winter

Composting is a great way to reduce waste while also creating organic manner that creates healthy gardens and lawns. For many people throughout the country, however, composting in the wintertime can be difficult. After all, composting relies upon aerobic bacteria to break down the waste and warmer temperatures are needed to stimulate this bacteria. In other words, warmer temperatures result in faster decomposition. Nonetheless, even when the temperatures drop, you can still manage to get rid of certain types of waste with the help of a compost pile. To help make this happen, consider the following strategies.

Build a Block Structure

Building a block structure around your compost pile can help maintain the internal heat of your pile long into the winter. Simply stacking cinder blocks around your pile is an easy solution.

Add a Roof

Another way to better control external environmental factors is to protect your compost pile with a roof. This is particularly helpful during the winter months because it helps to keep the snow from forming a layer over your pile.

Use a Tarp

If you don’t have the money or inclination to build a roof over your compost pile, another option is to simply place a tarp over the pile. In addition to helping to keep snow and other unwanted precipitation off of your compost pile, this will also help to contain the internal heat within the pile rather than allowing it to escape into the air.

Expand the Size of the Pile

To help prepare your compost pile for the winter, you should start building the size of your pile during the fall months. A larger compost pile is better capable of continuing the composting process into the winter months. A simple way to increase the size of your compost pile is to add leafs to the pile rather than burning them or packing them up for disposal.

Break the Materials Down

Shredding your material to pieces that are less than two inches in size before adding them to the compost pile helps the pile to heat more uniformly. It also helps to better insulate the pile from outside temperature extremes.

Bury It

Digging a hole and burying your compost, a process known as compost-holing, can help fend off the cold winter temperatures. For compost-holing, you should dig a one foot hole anywhere in your yard and cover it with a board or bricks until it is filled with organic waste. Another option is to dig a trench around your garden or flowerbed and add your compost material to the trench, making sure to bury the waste each time you add more to the trench.

Use a Holding Unit

Instead of having a compost pile, another option is to use a holding unit. Not only are holding units a more attractive option, but they also protect your compost from external factors while helping your compost stay warmer in the winter. During the warmer months, many of these holding units can be easily spun in order to turn your compost and further assist with the decomposition process.

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