8 Composting Tips for the Winter

If you’ve been experiencing back-to-back minus 20 days like us here in Ontario, you’re probably (like me!) planning, plotting and dreaming of your spring garden. 

While it might be a *little* late to incorporate all of these strategies (depending on your location) we recommend bookmarking this page and keeping these tips in mind for next winter! 

Here’s our speedy rundown on the measures you can take to protect your pile from the elements and in doing so, keeping it viable further into the winter months.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Build a roof. Control external environmental factors by protecting your compost pile from unwanted precipitation!

2. Block it in. Place your composter in another structure to ensure it remains protected as much as possible from the cold. By building a protective barrier around your pile, it can help ensure heat keeps locked in – like a car in a garage

3. Lay down a tarp. Putting a tarp over your compost pile helps keep out unwanted precipitation and it helps contain the internal heat from the pile where you want it!

4. Make a bigger heap.

The bigger the better! Extend the longevity of your pile by making it bigger. If you can make a good-sized heap during the fall months, it will help the composting process to work longer into the winter season!

5. Shred it.
 Shredding the material, leaves, food scraps, paper etc. in the pile to particles less than two inches in size can allow the pile to heat more uniformly. This can help insulate it from extreme outdoor temperatures


6. Dig a hole and bury it. Dig a trench in the garden or flowerbed and add organic waste like kitchen scraps little by little.  Another great way to beat the cold weather is by digging a 1 food deep hole anywhere in the yard and cover it with a board/bricks until it is full of organic waste!

7. Excess moisture

When spring rolls around, your compost might be quite damp. Especially if you’ve experienced a snowy winter with lots of freezing.

Add more ‘browns’ to the pile to combat the excess moisture.

8. Leave the snow.
There’s no need to clear the snow off the top of your compost bin as it helps with insulation! You can read more about this here.


Stephanie Ward

Stephanie started her journey towards a sustainable lifestyle young: at the age of 12, she started a ‘compost bin’ in a margarine container — and left it for her mum to find under the sink many weeks later … Needless to say, her eco-skills have improved since then! A vegan of 10+ years, a staunch animal welfare advocate, and an avid recycler, you’re most likely to find her on a hike, or in the garden.

We hope you enjoyed our quick composting cheat sheet!

We have more winter eco-tips for you!

Checkout our latest blog post on How Long Should I Idle My Car This Winter here.

Do you want to learn more about food waste?
See our blog post: How Much Food Do We Waste in Ontario here.

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