Compost question

I'm a first time composter & made a small 3'x4' one from old pallets. Its maybe a foot deep now and layered sorta in grass clippings, wood chips, a little dirt and some dry sunflower and pumpkin plants (damned squash bugs!!!), kitchen veggie scraps etc. I've dampened it a few times but... So here's the question. I've covered it on top only with a piece of solar cover from our old swimming pool to increase the heat inside. Its worked well so far as it relates to the heat. So is this a good idea to continue into the fall and winter, or should I uncover it and let nature take its course? Compost bin is next to the house, direct morning sun only, very little rain.
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wrote:

We don't cover any of our bins and we keep a watering can nearby to add water (from the pond) if needed. They stay steamy hot in the middle of winter and they are in shade. It probably does not hurt it to cover it, but if it turns sour (stinky) you know more air circulation is needed. I'm more concerned about varmints digging into the compost and have covered with with hardware cloth.
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Phisherman wrote:

So far no smell and no critters. Should I keep it damp or let it dry out? Right now I water it maybe once a week or 10 days. Mine is pretty dry for the most part. FWIW, I'ce read several books and web sites wilth info but int he end they all seem to contradict each other<sigh>, thus I ask for others experiences - thanx!
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