Where should compost be—in sun or shade?

QUESTION: Where should compost be—in sun or shade?

ANSWER: If you live somewhere warm, the sun can evaporate the moisture you work hard to get into your compost heap, so a shady spot is a better bet than a sunny one. Although it may instinctively seem like a sunny location will help heat up your compost pile, the sun isn’t a big factor since the heat comes from microbial activity.

In warm regions, choose a shady location so the moisture stays in your compost and it’s more comfortable for you to work with in the summer. That said, avoid choosing a spot too close to a tree, or the tree’s roots may infiltrate through the bottom of the compost as they seek out nutrients.

If your climate is colder and wetter, the rain will likely make your compost wetter than it needs to be, so you should choose a sunny spot to help dry things out.

Learn more about compost bin or pile placement.

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