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Heather's Garden - Compost - 1 Jun

How to make Compost

Conventional Garden Method:

Find an open sunny site with a reasonable amount of air circulation.
Use a wooden structure - mine comes from Kiwi Backyard Company -
NB good black plastic compost bins are a good alternative - ensure they have plenty of air-holes.
Layering - Start with a layer of garden soil or twigs and green waste and place a layer of kitchen peelings on top. Cover with soil and repeat the garden soil, or a layer of compost. Place more garden waste over this and continue layering as before.


Using different layers of media is important. Too much kitchen waste is liable to turn the mixture soggy and take forever to break down - plus it'll stink!
Kitchen Waste: Pumpkin seeds grow pumpkins. Kiwifruit skins take too long and egg shells can take a while.
Garden Waste: Use soft leaves and lawn clippings, avoid large sticks, leathery leaves and rocks.
Using an activator can help speed up the process.
Turning the pile every so often (once a month) can assist 'a good brew'.
2 Bins (or the Kiwi Backyard layers) are a good idea so you can have one bin for depositing new waste and the other maturing ready for use.
Lime is a great activator for compost heaps, but if you've relied on plenty of it, take care using your compost around acid loving plants.

Alternative - The Bokashi Method

Two bucket system that allows kitchen waste to be composted quickly and effectively with building a compost bin.
Bokashi is a fermentation process that uses EM (effective micro-organisms) breaks down the food waste yet retains the energy (nutrient) value of the food being composted.
The product is 100% made in NZ and all EMs used in the process are used in the food industry currently.
The process is odour-less and the process takes 15-20days to be ready for garden application.
Soil use and benefits: may be applied again and again in small garden spaces - adds beneficial bacteria to soil that may exclude undesirable pathogens.
Liquid drained off the bucket every few days can be used down drains and septic tanks and if diluted as specified as a soil or foliar feed.
More info:


Gardener's Diary

Time to plant garlic and shallots.
Herbs to plant: Angelica, chervil and rosemary.
Put a cover on the compost heap to prevent it becoming soggy.
Tidy up spent foliage to encourage winter perennials coming on.