Composting is essential to maintaining a healthy garden and should be done year-round because it enhances vegetables to fight off diseases and improves the flavor. Need a few tips for composting in the winter months? We have you covered.
Winter Composting Tips
Part of winter composting is knowing what you can compost. Many household goods can be added to the mix, such as:
- Fruit peels, rinds, and cores
- Pumpkin shells
- Coffee grounds
- Paper flyers
- Tea leaves and bags
Ideally, compost will have the right balance of:
- Green (nitrogen); and
- Brown (carbon)
Kitchen items will tend to be more on the nitrogen side, so adding yard waste will balance that out. Fall is an ideal time to add yard waste as you rake up the leaves, or more accurately, as your kids earn their keep and rake the leaves; add the leaves to the compost piles.
Tips On Composters
It is recommended to have a composter to help speed your composting process as a year-round strategy. The magic recipe for composting is:
If you invest or build a composter, keep in mind that it will require these 3 things to speed the process along steadily. Turning the piles once every week or two is sufficient, but you can turn them as much as you like.
Make sure that your compost piles are 3-4 feet on each side to keep in the heat. Since heat is needed for the decomposition of the material, you may want to move the compost to an area that is touched by the sun more often than not. When placing material in, be sure to sprinkle lightly with water, moist is the right amount, not saturated or soggy. As you add the water, putting some soil in between layers will keep the odors at bay.
What To Avoid In Winter Composting
There are some things that you will want to avoid putting in your compost piles, such as:
- Twigs and branches
- Plants that have been treated with weed killers
The goal of composting is to produce nourishment for your spring planting, and these items will diminish that purpose.
Composting during the winter months may be more of a challenge, but it will be worth it when you are able to harvest that luscious spring garden that benefited from all of your hard work.