Getting your Compost Ready for Winter

Get your compost ready for the winter season with this handy video.

Compost is made when healthy bacteria and organisms digest the organic matter in your bin and turn it into nutrient rich soil. Keeping these bacteria and organisms happy over the cold weather helps make your compost ready for the spring rush.

Like all living organisms the bacteria need heat, food and water to survive. Now is the time to make sure your compost is sufficiently moist to encourage growth, and that you have a great ratio of wet and dry organic matter. Check to see how much kitchen waste is going in and regulate it with raked leaves and garden matter. Leaves are also a great insulator and help keep the pile at just the right temperature to keep the colony healthy and cozy.

Your pile may very well get frozen during the winter but it’s no time to panic. Often it’s just the outside of the pile that freezes and the bacteria are all cozy and safe inside the core. The core can maintain a fairly constant temperature if the compost pile is insulated enough. When it defrosts try and remember to balance out the moisture that will be created by adding more raked leaves. Keeping your leave that you raked up in autumn can serve two purposes – one to regulate the moisture during the changeable temperature in the winter, and two, to insulate the pile from the outside to maintain temperature.

Make sure your pile is in a sunny spot if you can as sun helps keep the pile smell free and warm. If you can’t move your compost pile think about exposing a little of the foliage around it to let some sun in – you can always use the leaves!

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