Seasonal Considerations for Composting

Most composting is done in the spring and summer months. The reason is that heat is such an important element to the process. Even though the compost process itself generates heat, the warmth from the weather certainly helps everything along.

Most composts goes dormant in the winter months and start-up again with the spring thaw and warmer temperatures. But if you live in a milder climate that does not get harsh winters, there is a way to continue to compost during the winter months.

You can create an insulated compost bin. Using a plastic garbage can dig a hole big and deep enough to put at least six inches of the can underground. Use a natural insulating material such as straw and pack it around the base and up the sides of the can. Continue to compost as you would at any other time of the year.

Even though this method will still work in the winter months, the speed at which the material will decompose will still be slowed down. Winter composting will allow you to continue recycling your kitchen scraps throughout the colder months and you may even have compost at the beginning of spring to use in your garden.

The spring and fall are the best times to collect leaves to start a new compost bin. In the spring, the leaves you collect have already started to decompose as they stayed wet and insulated throughout the winter. It doesn’t matter though if you collect your leaves in either season – they are the perfect base for a new compost pile. If you are using dry leaves from the fall, consider putting them through a chipper of some kind. If they are smaller and already cut up it will aid in the whole composting system.

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