Compost Pile Dormant? - Knowledgebase Question

Oklahoma City, Ok
Avatar for scurtis30
Question by scurtis30
April 18, 2010
I am in Oklahoma. Last October started a compost pile in a 4 x 4 x 4 enclosure with no top. Started heating up, but then in Dec-Feb it got incredibly cold, snowy and rainy. Now compost pile is cold all the way to the bottom. Can i revive it?

Answer from NGA
April 18, 2010
You can revive it and you can prevent this from happening next winter if you simply cover it with a tarp to keep rain and snow out and if you go out and turn the compost pile on a regular basis to keep it cooking. For now, you'll want to turn the compost to incorporate some fresh air and to fluff it up a bit. You can sprinkle a couple of shovelfuls of soil over the top and a handful or two of nitrogen fertilizer. The nitrogen will heat it up and the soil will contain microbes which will restart the decomposition process. After tossing the soil and fertilizer on top, turn the compost and add some grass clippings and some shredded newspapers. These fresh nitrogen and carbon materials, along with the nitrogen and soil will start the pile cooking. Be sure to turn the pile once or twice a week, moving the warmer center material to the outside edges and the cold edges into the middle of the pile. Best wishes with your compost.

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