Is it better to locate your compost pile in a shady or sunny area?

I've been advised to locate my compost pile in a shady area, with a little pit in the middle. I understand the reason for the pit-to catch rainfall-but I have always assumed a compost pile should be located in a sunny area. What do you recommend?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

You're right. Compost piles usually work best if they are located in sunny spots. (They warm up faster and stay warmer than shaded ones.) However, if you live in a dry climate or are unlikely to water your pile during dry periods, it's a good idea to locate your pile in at least partial shade to keep it from drying out too quickly or too much. Dry compost piles will compost slowly or not at all. You can cover the compost bin with shade cloth or landscaping fabric to prevent moisture loss. Gardeners who live in moist climates have less concern with the compost drying out. Another thing to consider when locating your compost pile is its proximity to your garden and other parts of your landscape. The closer it is to your garden, the less distance you have to cover when hauling waste to it and finished compost away from it. Because a compost pile is a less attractive feature of a landscape, place it out of sight. You could use attractive materials such as lattice to hide your compost pile.


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