The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Cambridge Botanical Gardens (Compost Corner) 3


By balcony


Cambridge Botanical Gardens (Compost Corner) 3

Liquid Compost

Comfrey & Nettles can make a superb liquid fertiliser. All you need is a container & some water.

Both plants grow very fast, so there will probably be a constant supply nearby.

The leaves of both Comfrey & Nettles are high in Nitrogen & Potassium. As the leaves are soft, they decompose in just a few weeks, making a good, general feed for house & garden plants. This is so strong that before use it should be diluted with ten parts water.

Making the brew!

1. Cut or shed the plants. Wear gloves, because the leaves & stems of both plants can irritate your skin.

2. Put the prepared plants into a container of water & just leave them to compost. We have used a standard water-butt with a tap.

You can add more comfrey & nettles at any time.

3. After two or three weeks, you can start draining the concentrated liquid fertilizer from the bottom of the container.

Worm Power

Worm composting (Vermicomposting) is idea if your waste is mainly kitchen scraps or if you don’t have a garden.

The worms eat the contents & digest them. Their droppings make a valuable compost for your soil.

How does it work?

Worm dropping make a fine, mineral-rich soil additive. This is high in Nitrogen & too strong to be used on its own. Mix one part of worm compost with about three parts of standard soil or potting compost.

You can make your own wormery, or buy a stacking system like this one. (See photo) We started off the worms in the second lowest container with small amounts of food. When they had eaten this this, they moved up into the next level, leaving a fine compost behind, which we removed & used. We then returned the empty tray to the top & put more fresh scraps in, ready for the worms to start the process once more.

The liquid from the compost drips into the base. This needs to be diluted with ten parts of water & used as fertilizer.

Can I use any old worms?

No, common earth worms are not suitable. You need composting worms such as Eisenia foetida or andrei that live in leaf litter, piles of manure & compost heaps. You may prefer to buy yours, as you’ll need about a thousand!

What do these worms eat?

Mostly things like lettuce & cabbage leaves, carrot tops, potato peelings, egg shells & little scraps of meat. Limit strong foods like onion, garlic, chillies, orange & lemon peels. Worms can’t process large amounts at one go, so add food little & often.

Yes, please – I like these …

Lettuce & cabbage leaves, carrot tops, potato peelings, egg shells, banana skins & fruit peelings.

… but I only eat small amounts of these …

Onion, garlic, chillies, orange & lemon peels, bread & little scraps of meat.

No, thanks – don’t give me these …

Fish, cheese, grass cuttings or metal & plastic.

The last part will come in a day or two. Hope you are finding them interesting & informative as well as useful.

More blog posts by balcony

Previous post: Cambridge Botanical Gardens (Compost Corner) 2

Next post: Cambridge Botanical Gardens (Compost Corner) 4



Keep them coming Balcony, I'm still awaiting delivery of my compost bin and you have provided us with loads of useful info, Thanks.

20 Nov, 2010


Glad to be of help. Littlelegs! :-))

Good to hear about your new compost bin! Hope my blogs on composting will be of help to you - as well as other GoYers who've said how much they appreciate them! :-))

20 Nov, 2010


As an avid composter,you have done a great job in giving this info to those about to start,or to those who are unsure..very clear Balcony.I never put citrus or onion and garlic in mine,although I suppose small amounts would be ok,if its a large composter..I do put grass cuttings in,but mix them in well,and only if it hasn't been treated for a while,so only in the summer.I only have one small lawn,so a large amount would be too much...i enjoyed reading your blogs..:o))

20 Nov, 2010


I `ve been composting all my gardening life and have three bins on the go, a lot better than the heap hidden away in the corner which is how it used to be done, no wormery but the more I read I am tempted to give it a go.
Thanks Balcony.....

20 Nov, 2010


oops nearly missed this one,thanx Balcony adding this one to favourites..:o)

20 Nov, 2010


Thanks, ladies :-)) I am interested in your experiences as well, so thanks for contributing what you do. I hope your comments, as well as this blog, will encourage more people to compost their garden waste & so contribute to the up built of a healthy garden & reduce their contributions to land fill sites. After all most biodegradable waste in these sites eventually is converted into methane gas, even worse for atmospheric warming than CO2.

21 Nov, 2010


great informative blog yet again!

12 Sep, 2013


Thanks, Jane! :-)) I'm so glad you find it of interest!

19 Sep, 2013

Add a comment

Featured on

Recent posts by balcony

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Aug, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Mar, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    18 Sep, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    24 Jun, 2007

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 May, 2010