The Basics of Home Composting

Why Compost At Home?

  • Compost creates a useful product that can be used as mulch, soil conditioner, lawn conditioner or as part of a seed and potting mix.
  • Compost reduces the need for landfill.
  • Compost reduces the risk of global warming. When kitchen and garden waste breaks down in a landfill, methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is produced.
  • Compost saves the Earth's natural resources by reducing the need for peat taken from endangered habitats.


Uses for compost

  • Mulch - a layer of compost can be applied to the surface of soil. This will add nutrients, helping to encourage plant growth.
  • Soil conditioner - mix compost into the soil to improve structure and add nutrients.
  • Lawn conditioner - mix an equal amount of sand and fine compost and spread over your lawn.
  • Seed and potting mix - mix equal amounts of soil and compost. Experiment to find out the best proportions.

The key to successful home composting is to remember a few guidelines. It is important that you put both green (wet) and brown (dry) materials into your Green Johanna™. A good starting point is to use one part brown materials to two parts green. It is important to have structure within your compost to create air pockets which allow air to circulate and enable the creatures which make your compost to breath and move around your compost.


GREEN materials are wet and contain lots of nitrogen. They break down quickly and help to keep the compost moist.

  • Bread
  • Cooked food
  • Dairy products
  • Egg shells
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Garden and house plants
  • Grass cuttings
  • Raw meat and fish (including bones)
  • Tea leaves/bags and coffee grounds
  • Weeds

BROWN materials contain lots of carbon. They break down more slowly and add structure to your compost.

  • Bedding from pet cages
  • Feathers
  • Hedge trimmings
  • Scrunched up paper & cardboard
  • Straw & hay
  • Wood chips & sawdust
  • Dried leaves & grass

Please do not place the following in your Green Johanna

  • Cat or dog litter
  • Coal or coke ash (wood ash is ok)
  • Diseased plants
  • Diapers, glass, plastic or metal