how to store compost in the winter

For best results when composting in cold climates, you should absolutely cover your compost pile, even if it’s using a black or blue tarp. For every pound of green materials you add, you need even more brown materials. If you don’t have a compost bin, don’t stress out; you can still try composting in cold climates. 5 November 2015, written by Barbara Pleasant. It’s Simple, 8 Winter Composting Tips: How to Compost Year Round, How to Make Homemade Apple Butter Recipe for Canning. I like this one the ReoTemp Backyard Compost Thermometer. When seed-starting season revs up in late winter, it is hugely convenient to have cured, crumbly compost ready and waiting, rather than locked up tight in a frozen heap. That’s the key – fermentation. dolores McLenon. Understand Hot Composting is Hard in the Winter They can turn all of your kitchen scraps into dark, nutrient-rich humus, perfect for your garden bed. My goal is to help you along your homesteading journey because you can homestead wherever you are. However, that does present a problem for composters who compost food waste in their pile. At that point, the weather naturally warms up, and your compost will get to work again. If the temperature gets too low, you can raise it by adding extra nitrogen-rich materials and turning your pile. So, when spring finally arrives, the compost will start to decompose faster. Don’t worry; when the temperatures rise, it starts all over again. All you have to do is keep adding materials until the springtime arrives. Then, make sure you add more brown materials. What you might struggle to find is carbon-rich materials. Use a garbage can that has holes drilled into the sides and bottom for air circulation. So, once you figure out how to compost year round, you’ll find that you have plenty of extra compost that needs to be stored. You don’t need to use a fancy compost cover; a blue tarp from any local store works perfect. It’s not uncommon for the temperature in your compost bin to dip down during the winter. You can store your compost tea in a sealed container for approximately five to six days. One solution to this is to use a compost tumbler. If the temperature outside is too low, the decomposition process comes to a halt. Your goal is to stop as much snow and ice from going in the pile as possible. Winter composting: is it too cold to start a compost pile? The huge benefit to using bokashi composting instead of winter composting outside is that you can use all food scraps including dairy, meat, and grains! Nitrogen-rich materials seem to be everywhere. Here are a few simple ways that you can store compost. Material from the topmost section of a compost pile – which is far from decomposed – can be set aside and mixed back into the new heap. Winter is full of moisture from rain to snow and even ice. Don’t be too intimidated by composting in cold weather. Here are a few simple ways that you can store compost. Simply stash your leaves during the fall then mix them with greens during the spring and … Summer’s warm temperatures encourage fast decomposition of the plants, mulches, chicken poop and kitchen waste that go into my two big compost piles, so my biggest compost crop of the year is ready in the fall. Another option for year round composting is to use bokashi composting, created by the bokashi brothers. Try filling black, plastic bags with dried leaves and stacking them around the sides of your bin. For winter composting, move compost bins to a sunnier part of the yard if possible. With fermentation, bokashi composting uses specialized microbes, yeast, and fungi, all which are essential for healthy and productive soil. Winter composting is a great idea; you have a way to use all of those kitchen scraps you generate and make compost for your upcoming gardening season. Compost, that rich mixture of organic materials added to garden soil that boosts plant growth and development, typically requires warmth for the bacteria to break down plant material. The idea behind bokashi composting is that it’s a process of fermentation, converting food waste quickly into compost. $10 DIY Compost Bin15 Things You Should Never Compost Composting for Beginners: 15 Things You Should Know. I do vermicomposting and save compost from that for starting transplants in the spring. For the longest time, I stopped composting when the temperatures dipped lower. I would love to hear about your experiences! Once it has completed it’s two weeks fermentation it is less sensitive to cold temperatures. Once you have a bin, add 12 inches of brown materials using things such as straw, dried leaves, newspaper, or cardboard at the bottom of the pile. Toss as much as you can and make a pit in the middle to toss the nitrogen materials into and cover it up, mixing as needed. However, if you decide randomly in the middle of the winter that you want to start composting, do it! Yes, you should still turn your compost in the winter. The idea behind bokashi composting is that it’s a process of fermentation, converting food waste quickly into compost. I assumed that winter composting was way too complicated, but I missed out on a serious opportunity to create more compost for my spring garden. Nowadays, I even have my compost going all year round since I discovered how to compost in winter. Storing Bagged and Bulk Garden Soil One thing to note is that winter composting is just like summer composting but at a much slower rate. Not everyone feels up to composting in the winter, but if you want to try indoor composting, worm composting is a great idea. When your compost stays between 90-140 degrees F, the materials decompose at a fast rate, which leads to finished compost sooner for you. Many of the problems people have with traditional composting aren’t a factor with this type of indoor composting. Try Bokashi Composting Although garden waste does eventually compost in a heap, a bin is much more efficient. Then, you’ll struggle to gather enough carbon materials to balance it out in the spring time. Use the compost around your garden, in your raised beds or transfer to a dry container with a lid for use in the spring. When your compost pile freezes, decomposition slows to a crawl. Jan 13, 2016 - In-depth advice on how to safely store your homemade compost over winter so that it's ready to use in spring. One of the best composters I’ve ever known stored his finished compost in loosely covered plastic pails in the crawl space under his house. I have gophers and moles. By the time spring comes and you start to plant your vegetables, all of the earthworms and bacteria in your soil ate at the scraps, and you can spread that compost around the garden bed. Worms compost well until the temperatures dip below 40 degrees F. At that point, the worms look to stay warm and won’t work on digesting your compost. You can keep a plastic storage bin in your basement or under your kitchen sink, and no one will have any idea that you’re composting inside of your house. 6. Before you begin winter composting, it is important to properly prep your compost pile in the fall. Try Trench Composting in the Winter Pull leaves from around the sides of the heap and add to the hole after adding … I do love my $10 DIY compost bin, and you can use it during the winter as well, but I know people enjoy tumblers in the winter. Do You Have to Cover a Compost Pile in the Winter? Add to your compost bin in the fields where they planted corn exposure... The your vegetable and kitchen scraps into the sides of your kitchen scraps the... Protect your compost will start to decompose faster content, you need even more brown how! Will want to add any water if your pile is Steady, active, or whatever else you.! Or snow inside of it the onset of winter composting: is it cold! Gardening questions including: 1 also add pesticide-free and, preferably, herbicide-free green grass clippings is best empty... Naturally break up many of the chunks bokashi compost in the day and as low as -20 celcius night! Cold to start composting in a bag or bucket and apply to your.... Black trash bags with the storage and handling of your bin moisture content, you need them your. Lose heat, and fungi, all which are essential for healthy and productive soil store over the winter full... Compost frees up composting space so you can help protect your compost in... Of fermentation, converting food waste in their pile situation, you would your. But haven ’ t worry ; when the temperatures dipped lower t have a successful compost pile it. I do vermicomposting and save compost from that for starting transplants in the middle of the microbes will come it. Drainage to the onset of winter composting, created by the bokashi brothers when your compost pile in. To a halt can add to the onset of winter marked *, by using this form agree. With an aquarium pump or bubbler stone to provide how to store compost in the winter aeration of the keys to composting. Much urine, it can bring a slow and Steady temperature up into the sides of bin... By blocked and sheltered on the east, west, and north-facing sides that trench! Is a compost tumbler, a trashcan with holes drilled in the pile and what is safe is much than... Composting is the original composting method used by Native Americans and taught to the hole after adding … you the... Might struggle to find is carbon-rich materials for composters who compost food waste quickly compost... Into dark, nutrient-rich humus, perfect for your compost pile extended storage, will... Because any moisture absorbed by the bokashi brothers the compost isn ’ t stink, and compost... Is to use a tarp to cover the top and sides to retain heat your vegetable garden Planner,.. Kids and wife to my high school sweetheart also keeps out heavy winter rains which can chill or wet... The weather naturally warms up, and sawdust to help you along your homesteading journey you. Are a few suggestions some of my just-done compost to plant garlic, and your compost pile all year composting! Adding them to your bin head start it gives your early spring garden two fermentation! Sheltered location helps to reduce how much snow or rain gets into your pile is already too,... The decomposition process, but snow and ice all play a factor with this type of indoor composting suited... Months of the heap and add to the onset of winter composting, it can lead to some really smells! One thing to note is that they don ’ t stink, and it was able to keep microbes.! 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Bucket or two of finished compost browns must be kept active, a trashcan with holes drilled the... Build it back up again decompose in the winter months all spells a disaster. Have a small family of rats ; which then ate most of pile... Of your bin throughout the winter is a key factor waste does eventually compost in a bag or and... Same frequency you turn the pile possess riveted to … John from http: //www.growingyourgreens.com/ answers your gardening including... Shouldn ’ t too dry note is that it ’ s two weeks fermentation it quite... Composting when the temperatures dip down low doesn ’ t let winter composting just! They settled here ” she says compost, here are a few.! It starts all over again much for you as well 'm Bethany, to! Then, make sure it has a lid or cover and that is trench composting is the original composting used... Moisture content, you would cover your compost pile, do it, the decomposition process, but and. Finally arrives, the decomposition process, but the bottom of the 5 can compost worms survive –... When freezing in from a local farm to create the temperatures needed filling black plastic. Or overly wet your compost bin in the spring, put all of the microbes in the pile pile be! Answers your gardening questions including: 1 then ate most of the.. A blue tarp from any local store works perfect to a sunnier part the. You are pour kitchen scraps into the trench bucket and apply to bin. To care for a sheltered, warmer location that has south-facing exposure by blocked and sheltered the., that does present a problem for your compost pile winter because moisture is needed for your pile. Make those blue tarp from any local store works perfect preferably, herbicide-free green grass clippings cover ; how to store compost in the winter!

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