Prepare Your Composter For Winter
Composters use the process of decomposition to convert organic waste into the required nutrient rich fertilizer that has to be the end product from good compost procedures. When the weather is warm this process is expedited, but lower winter temperatures can slow it down or even cause a temporary stoppage.
The center of a pile of compost can still remain warm by the heat generated by the bacteria, but outer layers of the compost will be at the mercy of the daily fluctuations in temperature. Compost needs carbon, nitrogen, air and water to aid the decomposition process, and in the winter snow and rain can cause an excess of water that suffocates the bacteria and also drives out air from the pile.
There are certain measures that you can take to ensure that your composter is not affected by the winter in a big way, by affording your composter some means of protection.
Winter Protection For Composter
You can build a roof over the composter that will prevent precipitation from snow and water affecting your compost inside the bin. Also ensure that all the area around the composter is free from water logging, by building drains around the site.
A protective barrier around the composter can also prevent it from being subjected to very great variations of temperature.
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Do not leave the cover permanently over the composter, it needs fresh air for the bacteria to accelerate the decomposition process.
Volumes are another method that can help the compost heap to have more heat in the pile. So, before the winter sets in, make your compost pile as big as possible and if you take the other measures of preventing water logging, protecting the sides and covering the top, your compost pile will continue to work.
Also ensure that all material that you add to the pile is shredded, as this then allows for heat to be more easily distributed. Some people also completely bury compost piles, so that the heat produced by the bacteria is retained within the pile.