Composting in hot weather

Abi Reid baking away,  reducing food waste across South Yorkshire
Abi Reid
22 Aug 2023

Composting relies on the material in the bin reaching a relatively high temperature to ensure the effective breakdown of garden waste.  When it's hot outside this temperature can be easier to reach but you also risk your heap or bin drying out.

A colourful allotment garden in the summer with compost bin, flowers and vegetables.

Composting when temperatures spike should be a dream but sometimes too much of a good thing can cause problems.


When it’s hot compost bins, heaps and wooden compost bins can dry out, if they get too dry the composting process basically stalls.  If they are drying out you can add water, rainwater if you have it, or for an extra boost soaks some nettles or comfrey in water for a couple of days then add to the heap.  But watch out, it’s important not to get it too wet and to make sure it is turned to keep air in the mix.


In the height of summer when grass, plants and weeds are all growing their fastest it can mean you end up with an excess of green material which rots down quickly but on its own will give you a wet, slimy, smelly heap.  Be sure to balance the abundance of greens out with an equal amount of browns such as carboard, shredded paper, eggshells, tea leave and woody prunings.


By keeping the mix right , ensuring you water your bin if it’s drying out and turning your material regularly you will have beautiful, crumbly, dark brown compost ready to use on your garden in no time.

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