The Q&A Archives: Composting in Sun vs. Shade

Question: I want to use an area of my yard for composting. It gets maybe 2-3 hours of sun, the rest of the day it's shaded though not dark shade. Can I use this spot for composting or do I need to use a sunnier area?

Answer: Composting happens (!) wherever you do it, so pick a place that's most convenient for you and is also near a water source or within easy reach of a hose. The temperature of a compost pile depends on it's ingredients (carbon, nitrogen, air, water) and how they are mixed, not on whether it's in sun or shade. Shade can sbe helpful because the pile won't dry out as quickly. When you hear the term "hot" pile, the heat that's being generated is from the microorganisms that are doing the composting. As they die, they release energy in the form of heat. I hope this information is useful and we're delighted that you're joining the ranks of composters! An excellent reference is Let it Rot! by Stuart Campbell, or feel free to send other questions to the Q&A. Good luck!

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