Compost tumbler doesn’t work in cold weather

Q: I’ve got a compost tumbler that’s totally full but not composting. I don’t know what to do with my kitchen compostables! 

A: It is too cold now for bacteria and fungi to break down stuff in your tumbler. Winter high temperatures in Atlanta average in the 50’s. The microbes involved in composting like temperatures in the 60’s or higher. The black color of your compost bin helps to absorb heat during the day but I’m sure it gets cold at night.

Depending on how much raw material you have each day, digging holes and burying kitchen compostables makes a lot of sense. You can dig a hole 12″ deep and 18″ wide and get a metal garbage can lid to cover it. If you see that critters dig around the edge, get a heavier lid or put a cinder block on top.

You can start using your compost tumbler in April when night temperatures are rising. Keep it in the sun and don’t let the stuff inside dry out. Tumble it a couple of times a week and rich compost will be yours.

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