Few things work better in the organic fertilization category than homemade compost. While in summer, your compost pile benefits from the warm temperatures, in winter, the cold weather slows down bacterial activity, threatening to close your operation until better times. Our experts in lawn care in Bethesda MD are here today to offer you their tips, tricks, and suggestions on how to manage your compost in winter to achieve excellent fertilizer in spring!
1. Winter Protection
Snow, frost, and winds have a harmful impact upon your compost pile. For this reason, our lawn care company in Bethesda MD has a few tips and tricks to share to help you maintain the compost heap temperature high, boosting the activity of your friendly bacteria:
- Protect the backyard mound from wind by surrounding it with straw bales or wooden crates; the idea is to safeguard the pile without limiting your access to it;
- Cover the compost with a thick layer of dry leaves from your yard to boost microorganisms’ activity inside it;
- For moisture protection and heat preservation, cover the heap with a sheet of black-painted tarp; the darker the tarp color is, the more sun heat it will attract.
2. Moisture Management
Efficient compost making and management mean achieving a balance between the amount of air and water inside the pile to stimulate bacterial activity. Nonetheless, in winter you may have excess moisture on your hands and less oxygen than necessary. You have some alternatives to keep the bacteria inside the mound happy and working:
- Invest in a thermometer and a moisture tracker; ask our masters of lawn care in Bethesda MD for advice on what instruments to buy for your compost pile;
- Turn the compost often to allow air to reach deep to its core to enable the survival and activity of the bacteria inside, which cannot live or work in the absence of oxygen. If you cannot turn the pile in the winter with a shovel, insert as deep as you can a few PVC pipes to allow some air circulation.
- Concerning moisture, you need to know that a wet compost heap eventually becomes slimy, smelly, and useless. Add more browns that absorb excess moisture, but keep in mind you need to preserve the nitrogen-carbon balance at all times. In case you are not a seasoned gardener in the arts of making compost, ask our lawn care company in Bethesda MD for advice.
3. Compost Amendments
Even if the decomposition in your compost pile may be a slow process in winter, it does not mean you have to allow it to go completely dormant. If you want to boost the activity in a heap, consider adding some compost amendments (garden soil or finished compost), worms included.
4. Get our Lawn Care in Bethesda MD Experts’ Help
Summer compost management is a straightforward process. However, if you need help in winter, have a chat with our local lawn care in Bethesda MD team. They can offer you more ideas and tips depending on your compost heap size and location on the property. Moreover, they can help you choose the best course of action for your compost pile also depending on the organic fertilization needs of your lawn and landscape.