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Learn About Cold Composting Temperatures

by Idris Ya'u
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

Composting is the process of recycling organic material that has decomposed, such as kitchen leftovers, and converting it into organic gardening soil or a great soil addition for your garden to replenish the nutrients it loses throughout each growing season.

What happens in your compost pile is a direct result of several elements, including the materials you add to it, the method you use (hot, cold, or warm), the size of the pile itself, the local climate,

how frequently you stir the pile, and these considerations. How quickly you can transform your waste into gold for your garden depends on all of these factors.

Along with CN ratio, moisture content, pH, and aeration, the temperature is crucial to the composting process.

The size of the compost bin, ambient temperature, moisture content, ventilation, aeration of the material, and type of material being composted will all affect the actual temperature.

Cold Composting Temperatures

Compost piles that are “cold” or “passive” decompose gradually at temperatures of 90°F or lower. You’ll get garden gold at these temperatures in around six to twelve months or longer. It will depend on the time of year and what you’re adding.

In some regions of the USA, bin temperatures have been reported to be between 21 and 32 ° C (70 and 90 ° F), while in other regions, temperatures as high as 49 ° C (120 ° F) have been recorded in the first few days.

Despite reflecting the seasonal ambient temperature, the temperatures of the decaying garbage inside the bins were continuously higher than that of the surrounding air.

Summertime temperatures were in the mesophilic (15–45 °C) range, sometimes rising to the thermophilic (45–70 °C) range in several bins.

Following the addition of fresh waste to the bins, the temperature in the upper and middle layers of the containers holding both fresh waste and decomposing waste rose to its greatest point four to five days later.

The addition of fresh garbage to the bin did not appreciably impact the lower, or maturing compost, layer unless the contents were stirred and aerated.

What Temperature Is Not Suitable For Composting?

Additionally, in the thermophilic temperature range, the breakdown happens more quickly. The ideal range of temperatures is between 135° and 160° Fahrenheit.

It is not advisable to have temperatures over this for prolonged periods because few thermophilic organisms actively carry out breakdown above 160° F.

Can You Compost In Cold Weather?

Fortunately, composting may continue to be done successfully throughout the winter. Even in the cold, you can begin composting for the first time. When the temperature drops, the breakdown process slows down, but it doesn’t completely stop—at least not for very long.

How Long Does It Take To Compost In Cold?

Cold composting can be accomplished by gradually adding little amounts of organic waste to your compost bin as opposed to hot composting, which requires a cubic meter of material to begin. Cold composting, however, often takes six months to a year or longer.

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