Flowers You Can Eat

3 DIY Options for Creating the Best Compost for Flowers

It goes without saying that compost is your garden’s best friend! It enriches your flower beds by providing essential nutrients for optimal growth and longevity.

Therefore, choosing the best compost for flowers is necessary if you want them to thrive. And there are surprisingly many different types of compost available, from do-it-yourself options to store bought compost.

There are three main types of composting: the traditional composting method, Bokashi composting and worm farming. Each possesses unique characteristics and comes with its own list of pros and cons.

In this post, I’ll ‘break down’ these three DIY options for creating the best compost for flowers. Try these composting methods when growing your edible flowers and see how they thrive.  So, if you’re ready to help your edible flowers flourish into beautiful blooms, read on!

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a healthy looking flower patch, thriving by using the best compost for flowers

1. Traditional Composting

When most people think of composting, they think of traditional composting. It’s easily one of the oldest, tried-and-tested methods which involves layering organic waste materials such as dry leaves, yard trimmings, and kitchen scraps in a composting bin.

Depending on how you treat your “waste pile,” there are two ways to go about this method.

1. Hot Composting:

Requires you to regularly turn your compost pile to keep it aerated and support bacterial activity. Once the bacteria get busy breaking down the waste, it raises the temperature and accelerates the composting process.

One distinct advantage of hot composting is that the high temperatures effectively destroy pathogens and smells. Ideally, it gives you finished compost within a month or two.

2. Cold Composting

Cold composting is the ultimate “set it and forget it” method. No fussing, no turning – simply toss your organic waste in a composter and let nature do its magic. But be warned – this method may produce some gnarly smells and can take up to a year or more to make the “black gold”.

Reasons Why Traditional Compost is the Best Compost for Flowers

  • Introduces lots of beneficial nutrients and microbes that are excellent soil conditioners.

  • Loosens tightly bound particles in the soil and improves soil structure, allowing roots to easily spread and impede erosion.

  • Improves soil drainage by soaking up excess water that would otherwise cause waterlogging, which is bad for your flower beds.
Best compost for flowers being worked through the soil

Steps for Creating and Maintaining a Traditional Compost Pile

  1. Select a compost bin that fits your outdoor space, compost requirements, and the amount of organic waste you produce.

  2. Place the bin in a shady spot that’s easily accessible, yet far enough away to keep any undesirable smells at bay.

  3. Layer equal amounts of green and brown waste into the bin. Green waste includes organic kitchen waste, leaves, and clippings; while the latter includes sticks, paper, and branches.

  4. Add water in between each layer or whenever your compost looks dry to keep it nice and moist.

  5. Stir your compost with a pitchfork to keep it aerated and speed up decomposition. No strict rules on how often, but regular turning helps reach your goal faster!

  6. When your compost turns dark brown and has a rich, earthy scent, it’s ready. Take it out of the bin and incorporate it into your flower bed to give your plants the best possible start!

2. Bokashi Composting

Bokashi composting originated in Japan and translates to ‘fermented organic matter’. When comparing Bokashi vs traditional composting, unlike the traditional method that involves the breakdown and decay of organic matter, bokashi essentially ‘pickles’ your leftovers to bring them to a pre-compost state. Then, once added to your flower garden it breaks down into rich compost.

This composting technique involves collecting kitchen waste in a sealed container and sprinkling it with bokashi bran. The bran is the key element in the whole process, containing effective microbes that ferment your food into nutrient-rich and odor-free compost. Without it, all you’d have is a smelly bucket of moldy food scraps!

Once your Bokashi bin is full, let it sit for 2-3 weeks before digging into your garden. Then, watch as your waste transforms into compost (and a fabulous fertilizer: bokashi compost tea), ready to bring your garden to life!

Reasons Why Bokashi Composting is the Best Compost for Flowers

  • Much faster than traditional composting; Bokashi composting can provide high-quality compost in just a few weeks.

  • Composts a wide variety of organic materials. Bones, cooked foods, fruits, and vegetables, all can go into your bokashi bin.

  • Produces little to no odor, thanks to its airtight design. So, you can keep it anywhere you like without the risk of unwelcome smells.

Tips for using Bokashi Compost Effectively as the Best Compost for Flowers

  • Much faster than traditional composting; Bokashi composting can provide high-quality compost in just a few weeks.

  • Composts a wide variety of organic materials. Bones, cooked foods, fruits, and vegetables, all can go into your bokashi bin.

  • Produces little to no odor, thanks to its airtight design. So, you can keep it anywhere you like without the risk of unwelcome smells.

3. Worm Farming (Vermicomposting)

Worm farming, or vermicomposting, is another great way to create rich, organic compost from your household waste.

Worms are the star of the show in a vermicomposting system. These little compost champions eat the waste and turn it into worm castings which act as a powerful soil supplement. And that’s not all – they also brew up a potent liquid fertilizer, worm tea, that further nourishes the soil.

Reasons Why Worm Farming is the Best Compost for Flowers

  • Contains high nutrient content and microbial activity that aid the growth of flowers and improves their quality.

  • Loaded with beneficial fungi and bacteria that support other organisms in the soil food web – a crucial component of organic gardening.

Setting up and Maintaining a Worm Bin for Composting

  • Select a worm bin that best suits your needs. This can be anything from a converted garbage can to a plastic tote. Just make sure it has a tight-fitting lid and drainage holes.

  • Worms prefer moist, dark spaces and bedding creates a perfect home for them. So, make bedding for them in the bin using cardboard, leaves, and shredded newspaper.

  • Introduce worms in the bin. You’ll need about one pound of worms for every square foot of surface area of your bin. And since these are not your everyday garden worms, you can find them online or at your local garden center.

  • Next, add in your kitchen scraps. Coffee grounds, tea bags, fruits, and veggies are some things that your worms will gladly munch on. Just avoid oily foods, citrus, and meat, as they don’t like these and they can make your bin smell bad and attract pests.

  • Once your worm farm is set up, maintain its cleanliness, moisture, and temperature to keep your worms happy and productive.

  • Harvest your worm castings once they are ready.

Applcation of Worm Castings in Flower Beds for Enhanced Plant Growth

  • Sprinkle top-dressing flower beds with compost for ongoing soil enrichment

  • Mix it into planting holes for new flowers

  • Steep them in water to make “compost tea” and use it as a natural fertilizer for your edible flower container garden

Create the Best Compost for Flowers

Flowers need nutrients to thrive, and compost gives the soil that extra boost to ensure they grow their best. 

Teeming with vital nutrients and valuable microbes, the best compost for flowers boosts growth, strengthens immunity, and keeps them thriving all year round!

By understanding the different techniques, you can choose the perfect method to create your very own compost for your beautiful blooms. Just remember to consider factors like space, time, and efforts required before making your choice.

Don’t let the possibilities overwhelm you. Choose a composting method and try it out! After all, gardening is all about exploring new things to keep our beloved plants happy!

Elle Reed - The Potager Project

Author – Elle Reed from The Potager Project, is a passionate gardener and advocate for teaching beginner gardeners how to grow their own food. Elle’s mission is to inspire and empower people to get back to basics, grow their own produce, and embrace a sustainable lifestyle.

“Whether it’s a few herb pots in an apartment, a potager or a full garden plot, we can all ‘start somewhere’ to grow our own food, and in doing so, provide healthier food for ourselves and those we love”.

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