Do you have a backyard compost pile? In the spring, summer and fall months, composting kitchen scraps and yard waste is an ecological way to use naturally occurring microbes to break down organic matter into beneficial mulch. But in the winter months, these microbes either slow down or stop completely. To protect your compost in the cold months, you should protect it from the oversaturation of water that comes from snow and ice. By covering it with a tarp, the microbes will be protected from the elements and will still be active come spring. You can still add kitchen waste to the pile through the winter months just by lifting and replacing the tarp.