How to Make Compost for Bay Leaf Plants


According to Margaret Roberts, world renowned herb gardener and author of "Margaret Roberts' A to Z of Herbs," people have used parts of the aromatic bay laurel tree for various purposes throughout the centuries, including as a digestive stimulant and a pain reliever. Today, cooks use these leaves (sometimes called sweet bay or bay laurel) to season a wide range of dishes, often growing the plant in a large pot outside their kitchen door. Amend the soil around your bay leaf plant with a general purpose compost mix to create the rich, fertile soil in which it thrives. Making it yourself provides an inexpensive, convenient source of this nutrient dense soil for your bay leaf plant.

Step 1

Select a well draining but sunny area of your property for your composting location. Clear away any sod at the composting site, exposing a 3 foot by 3 foot area of topsoil, to allow the microbes in the soil to have immediate access to your compost waste.

Step 2

Cover the exposed topsoil with a 3 to 4 inch layer of high-carbon organic waste, such as straw, dead leaves, sawdust, newspaper and cardboard. Include a mix of different materials to create a richer finished compost product. Shred any large scraps into pieces that measure no more than about 1 ½ inches in diameter to shorten the overall composting duration. Mist the layer of high-carbon waste with your garden hose, adding enough moisture to make it about as damp as a wrung out sponge.

Step 3

Spread a 2 to 3 inch layer of high-nitrogen organic waste, which consists of moist materials, like cow manure, yard clippings, coffee grounds, fruits scraps and vegetable peels. Sprinkle two to three shovelfuls of plain topsoil or finished compost atop the nitrogen waste to provide extra decomposing microorganisms to jump start the composting process.

Step 4

Place another layer of damp carbon waste on the pile, followed by another layer of nitrogen waste. Repeat the layering process until the pile measures at least 3 feet tall.

Step 5

Aerate the compost heap after allowing it to sit for two to three weeks. Insert a metal rebar post straight into the heap and rotate with a circular motion to add extra oxygen to the heap. Repeat this process five to 10 times in different areas of the pile. Aerate the heap once every two to three weeks to help speed up the composting process.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • High-carbon organic waste
  • Garden hose
  • High-nitrogen organic waste
  • Shovel
  • Plain topsoil/finished compost
  • Metal rebar post


  • "Margaret Roberts' A to Z of Herbs"; Margaret Roberts; 2000
  • "The Complete Compost Gardening Guide"; Barbara Pleasant & Deborah Martin; 2008
Keywords: bay leaf compost, growing bay leaf, growing bay laurel

About this Author

Regan Hennessy has been writing professionally for 11 years. A freelance copywriter and certified teacher, Hennessy specializes in the areas of parenting, health, education, agriculture and personal finance. During her time with Demand Studios, Hennessy has produced content for Ehow, Answerbag and Travels. Hennessy graduated from Lycoming College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.