Composting in Winter

If you’re a frequent reader of our blog, you know that we are strong proponents of composting. There are countless benefits to this practice and once you get started it’s a pretty simple task. If you are familiar with composting you know the importance of keeping your compost pile warm. If you are new to the concept, visit one of our past posts on composting for more information.

So, the question remains, how do you keep your pile warm, when the temperature drops. There are several options to facilitate this. One of the most obvious is to have an indoor compost pile. However, this clearly takes some new bins and infrastructure and some people are just generally opposed to the idea of having this inside their home. So if this is not an option for you, don’t worry there are plenty of other options.

Covering your compost will go a long way toward keeping it warm through the winter. This will keep moisture out and help keep the heat in. A large piece of tarp works very well for this purpose. If the tarp is lying directly on top of the pile and not draped over a bin you may need to cut small holes in it to ensure enough oxygen gets through.

compost pile

Another option to keep your compost warm is to create insulated bins. This can be done in several ways. If you aren’t currently using a bin and don’t want to purchase one, you could dig a compost pit. The ground heat will help keep the pile warm. If you have fencing around your pile, you can line the edges with plastic or tarp.

 A final and very simple tip for keeping your compost warm is to actively build your pile. The more waste you add to it, the more work the microorganisms have to do, which is what creates heat in the first place. Though winter can pose a threat to your pile’s productivity, it is certainly not a death sentence.