Winter Composting Tips

A compost pile that has done fine all year long can freeze solid on you in the winter.  This could leave you having to buy soil or compost in the spring when you are planting again.  To avoid this, keep these tips in mind this winter for your compost pile.


Build it Big

A large compost pile will remain hotter than a small pile.  There will be more food in it for composting organisms and the outer portion will insulate the center.  When temperatures drop, worms and other organisms will simply migrate to the center of the pile until it warms up again, rather than dying off leaving your pile in stasis.

Put it in the Sun

Place your winter compost pile where it can receive the most sunlight.

Cover It

Cover your compost pile with plastic.  This will allow you to control the moisture level and insulate it from the cold.  If possible, use black plastic since it will absorb the most sunlight and heat up more.

Add hot Material

Make sure to keep feeding your composters with the material that heats up your pile.  Grass clippings will probably not be on the menu for them in the winter but coffee grounds are a favorite of composters.

Don’t Turn

Turning your compost pile in cold weather will allow all the heat to escape the warm center which could be fatal to your composters.  When you adding more food for them, like coffee grounds, instead of turning the pile make a hole in it with a long stick.  The handle of a shovel should work, jab it into the center of your pile and wiggle it around until you have a hole that you can pour your grounds into.  Then fill the hole back up with you done.


Don’t think that because the days are too short to grow vegetables this time of year that you have nothing to do in the garden.  Staying on your compost in the winter will give you the ability to get your garden going quicker and with better results in the spring time.


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