Cold Composting

Cold Composting (Cool and Easy)


  • low maintenance
  • can add materials as they become available


  • doesn’t heat up enough to kill weed seeds
  • may create unpleasant odors if carbon/nitrogen ratio and balance between wet & dry materials are not maintained


  • grass clippings
  • brown leaves
  • twigs
  • water


  • garden fork
  • water hose with spray head
  • compost bin (optional)
  • burlap scraps or black plastic to cover top of pile (optional)


  1. Set compost bin or start pile in an area where it is sure to get rained on, yet preferably out of direct summer sunlight.
  2. Put yard trimmings in bin or pile as collected from garden cleanup or mowing. Moisten dry materials as they are added. Mix grass clippings with leaves or composting materials already in pile.
  3. Chop or shred woody trimmings over 1/2 inch diameter if adding large amounts.
  4. Cover top of pile with burlap scrap or black plastic to keep materials moist but not too wet.


When material at the bottom of the pile looks like dark, rich soil, pull aside undecomposed materials to start a new batch. Harvest the finished compost to use in the garden.