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Wacky Weather Continues

Blustery and Cold, but still Composting!

Old Man Winter can’t seem to make up his mind this year! Yesterday it was above freezing and we lost quite a lot of snow thanks to some heavy rainfall last night. Early this morning however, we were awakened from our slumber by the loud sound of gale force winds battering the house. When I took the garbage out a short time later I quickly realized the winds were fiercely cold, and all that had been thawed yesterday was once again frozen solid!

In my last winter composting update I mentioned my concern regarding the dropping temperatures in the bin. The next day I decided to take matters into my own hands and see if I could artificially increase the warmth of the composting mass. I filled a large (4 L) bottle with hot water and buried it in the heart of the bin (as shown below).

Hot Water Bottle For the Composter

I was hoping this would help to stimulate some more microbial heating (since there is plenty of ‘fuel’ in the form of decomposing food waste).

Given the extreme conditions today (it is apparently -23C / -9.4F with the wind chill), and the loss of much of the protective snow layer, I decided I had better check up on things and refill the bottle with some more hot water. In fact, I decided to even add a second hot water bottle. I was happy to see that temperatures didn’t seem to be dropping any further, and the worms and springtails still appear to be quite active.

I was hoping I wouldn’t have to cheat like this but when it comes down to it, even with some cheating last year, I couldn’t keep the bin active! So if I’m able to continue composting all winter with a little outside (or should I say ‘inside’ – haha) assistance, I think I can live with that! Still a major improvement in my books!

Anyway, we’ll see how it holds up. I’m hopeful that with enough attention and effort I’ll be able to get the natural heating back on track again.

As per usual, I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my progress!

[tags]winter composting, composting, compost, compost bin, composter, worm composting, vermicomposting, worm bin, hot water bottle[/tags]

Written by Compost Guy on January 30th, 2008 with 1 comment.
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#1. February 3rd, 2008, at 11:46 PM.

I gave up winter composting several years ago after several years of failed attempts even if I tried to help it a little. Maybe next year I’ll give it another shot.

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