Ahh, fall. The perfect time to walk through the leaves in a cozy sweater, dreaming of pumpkin pie…and compost bins?
Yes, compost bins! Because fall is actually a wonderful time to start your compost pile. Whether you’re building your own bin or buying a manufactured one, this is the perfect autumnal DIY.
1. There are tons of autumn leaves!
If you’ve read about backyard composting, you know that you will need the right balance of “greens” and “browns”. Greens are things like fallen apples and kitchen scraps, and dried leaves are our favourite source of browns. When you start composting in spring, it can be hard to find enough browns to keep your compost microbes happy! Whether you’re starting a new bin or just maintaining a well-established one, save all your beautiful leaves (and your neighbour’s too, if you don’t get many from your lawn). We like storing them in an old lidded garbage can, but a pile beside the compost bin will do just fine also.
2. Starting with an empty bin means more room to add in winter
Because compost freezes in winter in Manitoba (unless you’re a true master and/or have a very large pile, or a lot of insulation), it won’t continue to break down. This means that unlike your magic shrinking pile that you can just keep adding to all summer, your bin may fill up. Starting with an empty bin means you’re less likely to run out of space by spring!
3. Speed up the timeline to finished compost Composting is a waiting game. Fortunately, there are things you
can do to speed up the process! Compost that has frozen breaks down more quickly in the spring, and fall is the perfect time to harvest finished compost. When you harvest in fall, even if it’s not quite mature, you can dig it into your garden and let it cure over the winter. By spring, it will be totally finished breaking down and ready to nurture your seedlings!
Click through to learn more about the basics of composting. If you have specific questions on composting and want to talk to a real person, there is always our toll-free Compost Info-Line 1-866-394-8880 or in Winnipeg 204-925-3777.