Should we continue composting in the winter?

Author: Aude Godfryd

During the winter, compost activity slows down.

Between the cold temperatures and changing weather conditions, should we continue composting in the winter? Our answers.

Nature does not stop in winter, even if some plants are in a period of vegetative rest or hibernation. Compost can be used 365 days a year.

Can we continue composting in winter?

There is no season for recycling the elements that make up compost. Despite the heat needed for decomposition, the compost continues even in winter.

What to put in the compost in winter?

Here’s what you can put in the compost in winter:

However, in order for the compost to be functional despite the drop in temperature, the elements that are to be integrated into it must adapt to it. Therefore, in the event of frost or sub-zero mercury, liquid materials should be avoided as there is a risk of freezing. If you still want to save some, you can place cardboard or newspaper at the bottom of the compost. They will thus absorb liquids.

Be sure to maintain a good balance of nitrogen-rich and carbon-rich materials to promote efficient decomposition despite winter conditions.

What to do or not to do in the composter in winter

In winter, composting may require some adjustments to maintain an efficient process despite the colder temperatures.

What to do :

To preserve the contents of the compost, you can place dry, withered leaves or straw on top. A kind of effective last-minute protection to protect the compost from heavy rain or excessive frost.

Closed composters retain heat better and protect the compost from extreme weather conditions. If yours is open, it can be supplemented with a winter tarpaulin or a waterproof tarpaulin.

If you have the option of placing the compost in a dry place, in a garden house or greenhouse, it will work even better. And this temporary change of location will help protect it from the arrival of various garden pests such as rodents and other insects that seek both warmth and food and could also damage the quality of the compost after its passage.

What you should not do:

Avoid liquids or organic materials that are too soft as they may freeze and excessive moisture can lead to poor ventilation and sludge formation.

Limit the addition of materials that are difficult to decompose in winter, such as thick branches that will take longer to decompose.

Although the process is slower in the winter, we will wait until the warmer weather returns to re-mix the compost.

Finally, avoid adding frozen organic waste as this can disrupt the decomposition process.

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