Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wintering your compost

Wintering your Compost
I found this article in the Wakefield News Letter,
It was signed only " An Obsessive Composter"
So I thought I would share it!


Insights of an obsessive composter.

With this great Indian summer weather you have one last chance to winterize your

compost. “Winterize the garden” you say “but winterize the compost???”.

Yup! I have 2 compost bins full from almost 12 months of kitchen waste.

So the 2 black boxes are full. And after the heavy heating/cooking of the stuff over the

summer, the heat is down a bit and the worms have moved in to do the final converting.

So if you leave your compost boxes as is, over the winter, there are three problems.

1 – Where do you put your kitchen waste over the next 5 months?

2 – These compost-box-size ice blocks will not thaw out until the end of May at the


3 - And all those nice worms working your warm compost will go and hibernate for the


So let’s winterize our compost. I empty my 2 compost bins in a big pile. Break up any

lumps (Put on elbow high rubber gloves and mix the stuff by hand to make sure it is well

mixed up.) Get lots of dry leaves. 6 well packed garbage containers of leaves, were

dumped on top of my mixed compost pile. Then take a tarp ( no holes please) and cover

the whole shebang, anchoring down the edges so that the tarp stays tight on your dry

leaves, warm compost and active worms ...all winter.

When the first snow comes, pile some of the white stuff on top of the tarp for even more


When spring comes take the tarp and leaves off. Your compost is at least 25% more

composted, than when you last will have seen it, more worm casings and its easy to mix

into your garden a month ahead of that block of ice you might have had.It took me about

an hour for the whole process. And my black boxes are all ready for the start of the

next batch.

Happy Composting!

An obsessive composter.


Ann said...

What a great idea!! I'm so doing this next year! Simple yet effective!! Thanks for sharing!

April said...

It must get a lot colder where you are. Our compost pile has never froze solid. I use two black rubber stock tanks that have holes in them (from the tank heater melting the rubber). I dump old straw, grass clippings, kitchen scraps and garden waste into them and turn, watering it when its dry. When ready to use, I take the husbands bobcat and flip it over and add to the tops of my raised beds in the spring.