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Cover compost in wet climate?  RSS feed

 
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Hi there,

I just made my first 'lasagna'-style compost heap (layers of kitchen scrap, leaf and wood chips on top of each other) and I'm pretty proud of how it's done so I want this to go well.

Being in this tiny hole called Belgium, we have moderate but quite wet winters. Any need to cover up the pile to prevent it from getting too wet or should I believe in nature's way and maybe monitor it a bit?

Apart from that, any techniques to speed up the composting process?

Bless
 
Posts: 1753
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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forest garden solar
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How would you cover it, with plastic?
If anything the water and oxygen will help make wonderful compost faster unless that is not your desire.

I vote to not cover it.
 
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Basically, you want to maintain a compost pile like a wrung out sponge: damp. but not wet.
If it gets too wet, the water displaces the oxygen, and your microbes will suffocate and die.

In a wet climate, it is good to put a cover above it to keep it from drowning. It still needs good ventilation, so something like a tarp is not very good, unless you want to put it on, take it off constantly as the weather changes.

 
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Maintaining an ideal carbon to nitrogen ratio is key number one... I add to our compost pile(s) year-round: 5~10 gallons of kitchen scraps, then chicken manure from the coop of a couple dozen chickens, and topped off with a good amount of straw bedding...

Our Winters, here on the Oregon coast, are very very wet... I use old cranberry crates to house the compost piles... During the rainy Winter months, it is loosely covered with a piece of plywood or similar: for reasons previously mentioned. This keeps the microbes and worms happy
 
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I cover during the wet part of the year with cardboard, sometimes burlap or boards, just something to divert some of the rain. Sometimes I cover in the really dry part of the year too if it is a finished pile just sitting. The cover is just across the top not down the sides.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1753
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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I cover my indoor worm composting bin.
I do not cover my inground (outside) compost heap.
I do not cover the bowl of food scrap that I bury in the ground.
I get around 4inches of rain every month all year long. (lucky me)

The fastest way to compost is with black soilder fly (summer) it only takes 3 days.
The next fastest way is with a worm bin. (at least 40F/4C, indoor/summer)
Then hot composting (at least 3ft by 3ft by 3ft)
Burying bowlful amount under the soil.
Then cold composting

Turning/spining the compost will help.
 
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