Tips and Tricks for winter composting with a pile or without.

Tips and Tricks for winter composting with a pile or without.

With the long winter that has engulfed most of the country a lot of people are wondering if their compost piles are going to survive or many who may be thinking about getting into composting are wondering,Read more at can you even compost in the winter? Yes, you can compost in the winter with or without the pile as long as you follow some tips and guidelines for doing so.

Keep it warm:

The key to a compost pile working is making sure that it is warm at the core. That does not mean making a fire or some kind of warmer for the compost but by making sure your compost pile has the right kind of resources to keep working warm. The process of compost will always slow down in the winter but by making sure that you have more browns in the center of your pile will make sure that it does not shut down fully. When you add greens in the winter make sure you shred them to help keep heat more uniform across the pile and it also speeds up the process a great deal. Just remember the biggest key to winter compost is warmth, moisture and giving it time, do not get impatient.

Tips and Tricks for winter composting with a pile or without.

Turn it:

Turning is something that anyone who composts knows must be done and it is even more important in the wintertime. The good news is that you don’t have to turn it too much or you do risk overturning. Just give it a little turn from time to time to check and make sure things are as even as they can be given the weather conditions. If you live in a very cold area like Minnesota, it is advisable to put some kind of cover over your pile. Something as simple as leaves, newspaper or cardboard on the top will help with insulation or you can invest in a tarp to keep over the top.

What if I don’t want a pile?

If you would prefer not to have an actual pile of compost there are things you can easily do even in the winter months to have a successful compost area. There are two main ways to compost without a pile.

Bag it and go: Taking some food scraps and a generous helping of leaves or dry grass (browns) adding a little bit of moisture and putting them in a bag with a few slits cut for air and you are done. There are a lot of people who would call this the lazy mans composting but if you want a simple way to start it does not get much easier than this. Make sure that you put the bag in a spot in the yard that gets a relatively good amount of sun so the sun will warm the bag up to break down what is inside.

Pick a spot or make a trench:

Trenches are not just for summoning up images of war you can dig a trench or a shallow hole if you prefer in your yard. The best spot for this is usually near a garden bed compostng or in an area where you may plant something in the spring. Start the area by putting a large helping of food scraps on the bottom and then add straw, leaves or newspaper over the top of that. This is essentially a mini pile that will break down very fast and give your planets a healthy start when you plant them in the area. With the winter weather, make sure you add extra leaves or a tarp over the top just like you would for a traditional pile.

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