Winter Composting

It’s over.  Done.  Finished.  Your once verdant landscape is now a brown, wintery wasteland.  Depressed yet?  We only have six more months of this :-(

Over the winter there’s not much work to be done in the garden, and you can only sharpen so many garden tools.  By February, I’m usually alphabetizing my seed packs and dreaming of fresh tomatoes.  However, there is one garden chore you can keep doing throughout the winter, and your garden will thank you.  Compost!  Many folks put composting on hold during the winter, but you don’t have to!  Here are a few winter composting pointers.

Even though your compost pile might freeze solid and decomposition come to a complete stop, there is no need to stop adding to the pile.  Freeze and thaw cycles will actually help break down materials at the cellular level.  When spring arrives and the pile thaws completely, this will help material decompose even faster.

Cut back on browns (grass clippings, leaves, etc.).  Any food scraps added to the pile will freeze and create little odor to attract animals. Hold off on mixing in browns until warm days.

Walking out to the compost pile in the winter can be a hassle.  A five gallon bucket with a lid kept in a cool place is a great way to store scraps.  Then you can wait until better weather to trek out to the pile.

Composting in the winter is really no different than composting in the summer.  It is just slower.  Keep composting all year and your pile will reward you with a beautiful amendment for your soil.


Check out our video below about how to build a compost bin from recycled wooden pallets.