Composting In Winter: What You Need To Know

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Real Men Sow

Snowing in your area means it will not be long before the soil freezes for the remainder of winter. It will also freeze your compost piles, but it doesn’t mean that you stop composting in winter. Every day, kitchen waste is generated that must be turned into soil-enriching fertilizing compost.

How to Deal With Kitchen Waste During Winter Season

You also don’t feel satisfied when you dump your kitchen waste on a frozen pile of food scraps you can keep a simple garbage can on my deck. This serves as a place to store kitchen waste that is not suitable for composting in cold weather. Even if it melts and starts rotting, the frozen waste doesn’t smell. When the freezing weather subsides in spring, the contents of the garbage can are mixed into the main pile and dumped into the composter.

It is a pleasure to take out some of the composter material to make way for more. The best fate for kitchen waste is usually the stationary composter. It freezes and thaws so often that it decomposes quickly as the weather warms. When I combine winter food glop and weathered leaves in spring, it turns into a very good compost by early summer.

Hot Composting Your Winter Waste

Don’t attempt to keep a heat-producing compost pile active in winter. It would take a lot more material to do this, as a compost pile must be at least five feet tall (1.5 meters) in order to produce and hold heat in winter. It would be costly to import manure and other nitrogen sources. I heat up a pile to kill weed seeds or to deal with other problems. I wait until it is nearly done in the spring and then mix it with some fresh green grass clippings, organic fertilizer and turn it every few days.

Some gardeners protect their compost piles with straw bales or leaves-stuffed bags. Others are using small greenhouses to capture the sun’s warmth. 

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.