Composting During Winter is Easier Than You Think


trees in wintertime 

Here we are launching a new year, and in our part of the Midwest, January temperatures are bone-chilling cold with night-time temperatures expected in the single-digits this weekend. Even the old maples and pine trees that surround our farmhouse seem to complain as they nod down their heads against the icy blast from the north.However, inside, there is warmth not only from the crackling fire in the kitchen fireplace, but a warmth and comfort that come from knowing another cord of firewood and 60 bales of hay were stacked several weeks ago to make ready for such a winter.

January is a good month to take stock of things, and while many of us make resolutions, it’s also a terrific month for plotting, planning, and searching out new garden inspiration. I love settling in with favorite garden books and jotting down ideas for next spring and summer. It doesn’t matter if we’re planning an apartment balcony garden, a suburban backyard plot, or a large-scale country garden, these snowy days give us the time to daydream.

coop in summer

Winter Composting is a Form of Garden Planning

One thing many of us do is compost — but did you know composting in winter is a great way to plan for next year’s gardens? While all of my tools have been tucked away in the garden shed, composting is still one thing I can do every day without a single tool.

I admit, somehow composting in warm weather just seems easier: It’s a pleasant walk across the grass on a sunny day to toss eggshells and vegetable peelings in the composter, then give it a spin. But somehow, that same task in winter seems is a bit harder when it’s necessary to bundle up and then walk through the knee-deep snow. I generally struggle to open the lid on the composter (which has usually frozen in place), then struggle again to close the lid securely before giving it a spin.

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