Cold Composting

Last updated: November 18, 2021

What Does Cold Composting Mean?

Cold composting is perhaps the simplest method of composting, but it takes a considerable amount of time and does not kill weed seeds. Using the cold composting method, the gardener simply continues to add layers to the top of the compost pile without turning it.

Cold composting is in contrast to hot composting, which is essentially the act of turning the compost pile every so often to create heat during the composting process.


Maximum Yield Explains Cold Composting

Composting allows you to create nutrient-rich material for use in your garden. It can be used in top-dressing, as fertilizer, and as soil amendments for potted plants, and more.

The most common method of composting today is called hot composting, where layers are added, the mound is flipped, and the entire process creates heat. This kills off pathogens and weed seeds, and increases the speed of the composting process. Cold composting is different.

You can think of cold composting as being “hands off”. In this situation, the gardener simply continues to add layers to the compost pile, but does not turn it. This is perhaps the simplest option available for gardeners hoping to create nutrient-rich material for use in the garden.

There are some drawbacks to using the cold composting method. The compost does not reach the same temperatures as a hot compost pile, which means that seeds and even pathogens from diseased plants are not killed. These can be spread to new garden areas if the gardener is not careful.

Another potential drawback to cold composting is the fact that it can take a long time. In some cases, it may require a year or even two years before material is composted to the point that it can be added to the garden.

Determining the required duration of composting is difficult to determine, as it hinges primarily on the size of the particles added to the compost pile. The smaller the particles, the faster they will compost. The larger the particles, the longer they will take to break down.


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