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  Composting during winter
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Composting during winter Sign In/Join 
Picture of trish212
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Do any of you compost during the winter? I mean....it's so cold outside, the ground is frozen. Do you take coffee grounds and veggie scraps outside to the compost heap?
 
Posts: 5167 | Registered: Jan 23, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of conrad
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One could...but it will often just sit there till spring and could attract rodents, opossums, skunks and such in the meantime.

If the pile is regularly shifted, then it could create enough heat to work...depending on your winter climate. In CO, they do not work well (too dry, too cold). I know of one neighbor who has a worm box in a heated garage area. Our current garage temperature does not freeze, so that may be the route we take too.
 
Posts: 9613 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of trish212
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Thanks for responding. This is what I though and thought I'd ask those who have gardened longer than moi.
 
Posts: 5167 | Registered: Jan 23, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of KeepYouInStitches
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In northeast Texas we can go from 70 degrees to 30 in less than 6 hours...and the reverse is true. So yes, I compost even in the winter.

I do not compost meat or dairy ever - this is where most of the stink comes from.

Edited to add: We have 10 acres and the compost is quite a ways from the house...
 
Posts: 17046 | Location: Daingerfield, TX | Registered: Feb 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of trish212
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I have some dear friends who just moved to your neck of the woods. She's always telling me about the beautiful temps of your area. Made me wonder what happened when you got that great big snow a few weeks back. I'm pretty sure they didn't bring it with them, they like the warmer temps. Smile I'm hoping she's getting to garden nowadays.
 
Posts: 5167 | Registered: Jan 23, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of conrad
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The compost boxes in CO need regular watering in order for break down to occur during the warm months. The construction can be very interesting. One in the neighborhood is made of mortared concrete blocks, with bifold steel wrapped doors that hinge closed over it. Hasp and padlock on them.

Why? Coyotes, racoons, ravens/crows are interested in all vegetable/fruit trash, but would be deterred by much less effort. Bears are VERY interested and can break into nearly any enclosure when the scent and desire is strong.Wink
 
Posts: 9613 | Location: Plains & Mountains | Registered: Jun 08, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Sparky
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I compost year round. Here in central NC our winters are usually mild. We can be in the low 20's overnight and can stay at or around freezing for days but normally we'll warm up to the 40's or 50's during the mid day in January and February so putting out compost isn't a problem. I have a commercial compost bin I got at Sam's Club several years ago. Occasionally when a cold snap hits the lid might freeze shut for a day or two. If you're going to try to compost in a really cold climate the larger the bin the better. A small bin won't generate enough heat to keep the compost operation working in winter, but a larger pile can continue to compost even in cold weather with the right mix. Even if it doesn't compost well over the winter it will start composting once the weather warms up a bit if you're in a really cold climate.


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Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

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Posts: 6943 | Location: Cary, North Carolina | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Waverider ;)
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I do compost during winter. I have a store bought compost bin with a lid, so I don't get any wild animals. On very, very cold days or days with snow and I cannot (or don't want to) go out to add more food scraps to the compost bin I will freeze the food scraps. I will chop up the banana peels, orange rinds, apple cores and any other food scraps I may have around and freeze them. The coffee grounds I let dry out first and then store them in empty coffee containers, along with smashed, cleaned, dried egg shells. Those I don't freeze but just store in plastic containers until I feel like going outside to add them to compost bin. I do try and get out there in the winter time and turn and water the compost bin. The only time it really stops me is when the snow is on the ground and DOES NOT MELT for a long time.... Then I don't venture outside at all (except to feed the birds if able to)
 
Posts: 2428 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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