Now that the colder weather is settling in let's talk about how to keep your compost active during the Winter months. There are a couple of options (you can also implement multiple!):
- Use darker materials to hold your compost - by placing your compost in a black container, on a dark tarp, or otherwise utilizing dark colors, you can heat up your pile and prevent decomposition from coming to a halt. Make sure your pile is in the sun so it can get the most amount of heat possible!
- Add scraps in larger quantities - giving your compost a larger "food scrap meal" instead of a "snack" will keep the pile insulated and trap heat which will help jumpstart decomposition.
- Use insulation - physically insulating your pile with hay bales or other materials that will protect your pile from frost and cold will also help keep the heat inside your pile.
- Let nature take its course - There is nothing wrong with letting the decomposition process slow down or even halt in the Winter. Taking a break from composting and starting back up when the weather warms up is a great option - especially for composters in climates that get to freezing temperatures.
While these tips can help people in colder climates, there is not a lot you can do for an outdoor compost if you live in a place that gets down to freezing or below. However, there are other options like Vermicomposting or the Bokashi method which work well inside and don't depend on climate!