The Q&A Archives: How to compost?

Question: I am new to composting, but we have an excellent situation for composting. In the back of our yard we found an old animal pen that we think will work well as a composting bin. The sides are mostly fencing, with a wooden door (to keep our dogs out), but it is mostly in the shade with tin roofing. Do you think it will work ok, or should we make some adjustments? Thank you for your help.

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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