Wet bins in winter
It is common for allotment plot holders to finish composting with the autumn tidy up and not revisit their bin until the spring. Unfortunately, a lot can happen in a compost bin over the winter and I would advise that it should be checked at regular intervals.
During a dry windy winter, the composting materials can dry out and will need the addition of greens or rainwater.
However, during wet spells such as the UK autumn and early winter this year the contents of bins may become very wet. Surprisingly we have found that on the Stokes Wood composting demonstration site in Leicester it was the plastic bins with tight fitting lids that became water logged while the pallet and new Zealand bins, with open tops but with the composting material covered by plastic or carpet had retained the correct moisture level .
The situation is easily rectified with the additional browns in the form of shredded paper or dry shredded leaves and a wood chip to dry the composting material and open it up to provide air spaces to encourage aerobic microorganisms.
It is suggested that it might be a good idea to monitor all bins during both wet and dry periods and when being left resting during the winter so that they do not dry out or become so wet as to give rise to anaerobic conditions and a smelly surprize when opened in the spring.