How to keep compost warm in winter?

Composting is a great way to recycle organic materials and reduce your waste output, but it's important to do it correctly in order to maintain optimal conditions for the composting process.

One thing to keep in mind during colder months is that the microbes in the compost must be kept active, or else the compost will not break down properly. Here are a few tips on how to keep compost warm in winter.

Composting in the winter can be a challenge. The colder temperatures can slow down the composting process, and it can be harder to keep the compost pile warm. But with a few tips, you can keep your compost pile churning away all winter long.

Move compost bins to a sunnier part of the yard if possible

Move compost bins to a sunnier part of the yard if possible. Many compost bins also have a compost thermometer included. If your compost has this feature, take note of its temperature and empty it accordingly. If no compost thermometer is available for your compost bin, keep the compost as warm as possible and empty it if compost temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius.

If your compost pile is not closed in by one of the above measures, cover the compost with several layers of clear plastic film to trap heat within the compost pile. Make sure that at least three inches are covering all parts of the compost heap, including corners because corners tend to be colder than other areas.

You can place a portable heater near the compost pile if needed to help ensure that even extremely low outside temperatures do not hinder compost heating.

Keep compost microbes active by turning the pile every week or so. 

If composting in the middle of winter, composters should turn their compost piles every couple of days or so to keep the compost from freezing.

Turning compost helps mix everything together and keeps a lot of air pockets in the compost that prevents heat from escaping. Red worms can also be added to raise the temperature inside your compost pile by a few degrees.

Note: This is only true if you have no plastic/cardboard in your compost - which I recommend against anyways unless it's covered by dirt, which would allow for aerobic process to kick in again.

If it's too cold outside to do this, use a compost thermometer to turn the compost when the temperature reaches around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also cover the compost pile with straw, leaves, or compost blankets to help keep it warm.

If you have a greenhouse, you can place the compost pile inside to keep it warm. Be sure to remove any organic material that has frozen solid before adding it to the compost pile.

compost heaters

If you're having trouble keeping your compost warm enough, you may want to consider using a compost heater. These heaters come in various sizes and can be purchased online or at garden stores. They work by burning propane or natural gas and generating heat that will keep your compost pile warm.

Aerating compost regularly

When composting in winter, there are a few things you can do to maintain warmth and encourage decomposition. One of the most important things is to make sure the compost is well-aerated. This will help keep the compost oxygenated and mixed up.

Aerating compost regularly will help keep compost oxygenated and mixed up which can maintain heat better than stagnant compost. Try to compost your compost heap in a warmer area of the garden and out of direct sunlight.


Good mixture of brown and green

When composting it is also important that you use browns and greens together, this means composting materials that have both high carbon and high nitrogen rates at the same time such as grass clippings, dead leaves, straw, paper, and cardboard. If you compost using only browns or only greens, the composting process will take much longer.

If you compost using a mixture of browns and greens, the composting process will happen more quickly and your compost heap will be warmer. You can also buy compost activators that are made from high-nitrogen materials like blood meal or fish emulsion. These products help speed up the composting process and add heat to your compost heap.

Add compost activators

Add compost activators like molasses, coffee grounds, or manure to help jump-start the composting process.

Molasses is a compost accelerator that adds necessary sugars and bacteria to compost piles. Many organic farmers use it alongside manure or other compost ingredients to create compost quickly.

Coffee grounds are especially beneficial for compost piles because of their high nitrogen content, which helps warm up compost in cold weather. Swine and poultry manures make excellent compost activators too. They add vital nutrients to the compost pile and also increase microbial activity inside the compost pile by giving them food to eat.

Manures from cows, chickens horses, goats, rabbits, sheep, and pigs all contain an impressive amount of nitrogen that can help compost piles stay warm in winter. Adding any of these manures to your compost pile is a great way to keep it active during cold weather.

-If compost gets too cold, you can add a layer of fresh organic material on top to help warm it up again

Start a compost fire

Start a compost fire under your compost pile by lighting up some newspapers and placing them under your compost pile for an hour or so.

This can be done once every couple of weeks to keep compost warm during the winter months. Note: this should only be done if you have adequate ventilation, however, to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning! And don't burn plastic either! Be safe about this.

Also, note that heating your compost pile up will kill off beneficial organisms that you need. So don't heat the compost pile too much!

Cover compost pile

Cover the compost pile with some sort of tarp to keep warmth from escaping as quickly as it would if not covered. You can also use compost blankets, made of a fabric that holds in heat.

These can be purchased or made yourself. If you live in a cold climate, it might also be a good idea to insulate the compost pile with hay, straw, or leaves. Be sure to keep the compost moist during the winter, as colder weather can make it more difficult for the microbes to work.

How to speed up winter composting?

To compost properly and keep the winter compost warm, a proper setting should be created for composting. This begins with having a compost bin or pile ready with all of your kitchen food scraps for composting.

Then add some material from your yard which will decompose along with your kitchen scraps to make it more compostable. For example, grass clippings, leaves, hay, or even shredded paper can be added to the compost bin mix. Make sure that there is plenty of carbon mixed into your compost mixture so that it breaks down correctly throughout the process.

Next, you will need to add a compost bin heating element to help compost through composting techniques. This can be done by using a compost heater mat or compost tea brewer system which will heat the compost pile form below and provide additional microbes for composting.

With these two composting techniques, your compost will break down quickly and stay warm in the winter months.

how to store compost during winter?

Compost can be stored in different ways during winter. One way is to store it in a bin with a lid. Make sure the compost is damp before putting the lid on to prevent evaporation.

You can also store compost in sacks, just make sure there is plenty of ventilation. Another way to store compost is by piling it up in a heap. This will help to keep the compost warm. However, make sure you protect the compost from rain and snow.

what are the Best compost bins for cold climates?

There are a variety of compost bins that work well in cold climates. The best compost bin for you will depend on your needs and what is available in your area.

Top 5 Best Compost Bins for Cold Climates:

1) The Tumbleweed Composter

This composter is perfect for those who have a lot of space. It is easy to use and can be rotated to help speed up the composting process.

2) The Vermi-Tower Indoor Composter

This is a great option for those who live in small spaces. It uses worms to help break down the compost materials.

3) The HotBin Composter

This composter is ideal for those who don't have the time to check on their compost regularly. It needs to be emptied only once every three months.

4) The Best Compost Bin

This is another great option for those who live in small spaces. It uses worms to help break down the compost materials and can even include a garden or lawn area.

5) The Nature Mill Home Composter

This composter is ideal for those who own larger properties where they can set it up outside of their homes, however, this isn't an option for smaller areas. This machine works by using electricity to keep the compost warm during colder winter months, so this may not be the best fit if you are looking to go completely green with your or do not have access to electricity.

How to keep compost warm in winter- Final thoughts

There are several ways to keep compost warm in winter. By using one of these methods, you can continue composting throughout the colder months. Just be sure to monitor the compost temperature so that your compost doesn't freeze. composting in winter can be a challenge.

One way to keep your compost warm is to insulate it with straw, wood chips, or leaves. You can also use a compost bin with a lid to keep the heat in. If you live in a cold climate, you may need to add some extra insulation to your compost pile or bin. You can also try using a compost heater to keep your compost warm.