Composting during Winter - Knowledgebase Question

lynnwood, Wa
Question by jstaylor04
October 30, 2009
I live in the PNW. This year was my first year in our new home and decided to start gardening. With this in mind, I also decided to start my own compost bin. During the summer it was wonderful. Now fall and winter are around the corner. It rains and the temps drop to nothing over 60F. What are some tips that will help me keep composting during the winter? Thank you.


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Answer from NGA
October 30, 2009

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Compost will continue to cook during the fall and winter months, although not as hot nor as fast as in the summer months. If your pile is cooling down that far I suspect it is too wet. Cover it with one of those ubiquitous blue tarps, or fashion a cover from other materials to keep rain from penetrating the pile. While the pile needs some moisture in order to work, too much can really cool it off quickly. I think you'll find that once you cover it, it will heat up quickly and as long as you turn the compost to move the warm center to the outside and the cool outside materials to the inside, everything will decompose right on schedule. By next spring you should have usable black gold. Best wishes with your compost pile!

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