Preparing your Compost Bin for Spring

Have you seen them? Maybe in your neck of the woods you hear them instead. The long-sought harbingers of spring have returned. Depending on your geographic location, you have probably noticed the sounds of woodpeckers in the air or the sight of the first fat, red-breasted robin. Both are sure signs that warmer weather is around the next bend. Even if you haven’t seen wildlife returning, the longer days and increase in humidity signal that spring is on the way.

As a green-minded composter, you have spent your winter patiently maintaining your compost bin in preparation of this exact moment. Now, finally, you can begin to reap the loamy, nutrient-rich for its ultimate purpose, spring.

Take a walk out to your compost bin and see how it’s fared during the cold, drier winter. If you noticed that it is a little dry, then turn it to speed up the decomposition process. Is your pile a little fragrant and wet? Add in some heat-building “browns” like shredded newspaper or straw to up the temperatures and dry it out.

If you compost with red wiggler worms, give them a once-over to see if you need to replace any. Worms, like other animals, slow to a “crawl” during the winter. As they sense the arrival of warmer temperatures, they begin to wake up and eat at normal rates. Remember, a good worm-to-bin ration is about 500 worms, around ½ pound, for every cubic foot worm bin.

Sift through the organic material left in your bin and remove any debris. Fallen twigs or rocks make for difficult composting.

Once your bin is cleaned and your composting worms are in order, add in a fresh batch of layered browns and greens. Be sure to shred your materials extra carefully to help your worms begin the break-down more easily as they rev up towards normal decomposition rates.

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