Tracey Cole

Tracey Cole

Feed your garden with home-made compost!

One of the easiest and best ways to nourish your garden plants and keep them healthy is to make your own compost.

You can use a specially designed composting bin, if you have access to one at home. Failing that, just make a compost heap, maybe enclosing it with spare bricks, pallets wired together, or fencing. Position the heap in a suitable sunny spot, on well-drained soil. 

Before setting it up loosen the soil under the heap to attract worms and bacteria to come into the heap. Small branches or twigs laid on the bottom of the pile will provide essential ventilation to help with the composting process.

A successful compost heap, or bin needs to have compostible waste added in layers of garden and household materials. Adding a little more Brown (household) waste to Green ( garden) waste will help avoid the heap becoming too wet and smelly.

Now you can add garden waste, such as untreated grass cuttings, which are high in nitrogen and a natural compost activator. Fallen leaves, readily available in Autumn, are a great source of carbon. They do take a little longer to break down but generate the best compost. This is Green waste.


Shredded newspaper, used tea bags, coffee grounds, seaweed, crushed egg shells, torn-up egg boxes and a mixture of vegetable and fruit peelings can all be used for composting, even pet hair will compost down! This is classed as Brown waste.

There are some definite materials to avoid adding to the compost, such as cooked or raw food, any dairy products, diseased plants, virus peelings, seeded weeds or any plant sprayed with a chemical solution.

Make sure your heap is covered and don’t let it dry out. Just add a little water if it seems to be dry.

In 3 or 4 months you’ll have some lovely, rich, organic compost for your garden plants! Well done!

More advice and articles :

We at village gardens have a knowledge of all of your local edible plants here in South Africa. We can happily plant up your garden with edibles of all varieties from Mediterranean herbs and local indigenous edibles. We are surrounded by such stunning hardy indigenous plants, let’s get back to nature and have our own garden of local goodness.


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