“I thought you weren’t supposed to put weeds into home compost?”

Where oh where did this belief come from?

I too once believed that the weeds were a nuisance, and used to hide them in the corners of gardens wherever I lived: if I had a compost bin, it was only for food scraps.

I remember showing my landlady the beautiful soil I was building in one of these hidden corners (she was a gardener) back in 2007 in Hamilton, and she was impressed by the humus I was creating. Back then, I didn’t even know what humus was, but she seemed happy, and I loved not having to pay for garden waste to be collected.

Fast forward to 2021 and I am proud to say there is nothing growing in my home garden that is a nuisance — it’s ALL turned to soil.

Bit by bit I’m gaining a reputation as someone who loves weeds… it’s not quite accurate, as I really, truly love flowers, and herbs, and vegetables. But the care I take caring for my treasured plants doesn’t suddenly become irritation or agitation if I’m working with convolvulus or agapanthus or kikuyu grass. If anything, I adopt an attitude of curiosity:

  • How can I create an equilibrium where my flowers thrive?
  • What is this weed telling me?
  • What’s the best way to turn it into soil?
  • Will it grow again from any little section that’s doesn’t fully break down in my hot compost piles (oxalis), or will the worms turn it all into soil (agapanthus)?
  • What’s the soil like when I use lots of that particular plant in my compost?
  • Is this plant better for using in summer compost (agapanthus & ginger) or winter compost (kikuyu grass)?
  • Is it better to be cut and left to dry (like kikuyu grass), or to break down in a big pile before adding to the compost (e.g. pampas grass)?

And many more questions.

What’s your approach to managing your garden waste? Are you still using a garden waste removal service but want to cancel it? Are you hiding a few things in a dark corner of the garden hoping they vanish?

If you’d like to learn to make compost using the hot composting method, then I recommend the Blue Borage approach — it’s working so well, that I’m ready to create tools for managing a truly circular garden.

I hope you join the growing number of home owners cancelling their green waste collections. Let’s treasure our future soil.

You too can cancel your green waste collections. Learn to make hot compost, or get your garden maintenance contractor to up skill their staff in this technique.

Ideas for innovative edible gardening solutions using biodynamic methods to make ‘soil with soul’ is what New Zealand needs right now. For tips, advice and online courses go to www.blueborage.co.nz or get in touch by email at katrina@blueborage.co.nz

Compost Coach based in Titirangi, West Auckland, New Zealand. Using biodynamics to help home gardeners make top quality soil. https://www.blueborage.co.nz/