How to Make Biodynamic Compost


Developed by Rudolf Steiner, biodynamic agriculture takes organic growing to a higher level. It is designed to work with the systems and cycles of the planet. It includes the use of special "preparations" that are designed to work with the cycles of the moon and sun and to instill additional soil nutrients, from minerals to medicinal herbs. There is even a special way of preparing and aging cow manure to draw forth its best properties. Biodynamic compost is no exception; it has its own prescribed methods and ingredients.

Step 1

Assemble a layer of mulch or straw the length of your desired pile and approximately 2 yards wide. It should be 9 to 12 inches deep. Pull the mulch back from the center to the sides of the pile, leaving a tunnel approximately 9 inches wide the length of the pile.

Step 2

Lay a layer of strong twigs and very loose straw to fill the tunnel. This tunnel filling should be 3 to 6 inches taller than the surrounding mulch layer. This will supply aeration to the entire pile, so it needs to be very loose and not easily collapsed.

Step 3

Add your layers. Use a mixture of 60 percent protein rich materials, manure, lawn clippings, fresh grass, weeds or leaves, with 40% carbon rich materials like straw, hay, dry leaves and grasses, or wood chips and sawdust. Water the base thoroughly, then add a 6-inch layer of manure. Water, then add a 4-inch layer of mulch. Water, then add a sprinkling of bone and blood meals. Now, add another layer of mulch and water, and a layer of manure. Water, then add a sprinkling of lime, then a layer of mulch. Now a sprinkling of blood and bone meal. Continue this process until you have a pile a yard and a half tall. Add a sprinkling of old compost and old soil every few layers or so. End with a mulch layer.

Step 4

Bore five deep holes into the pile at various points. Add one gram of preparation 502 in the first hole, one gram of preparation 503 in the second hole, preparation 504 in the third hole, 505 in the fourth hole and preparation 506 in the fifth hole. These preparations are based on yarrow, stinging nettle, chamomile, oak bark and dandelion. The directions for them can be found in any complete reference book on biodynamic gardening.

Step 5

Make a hole in the top of the pile. Make a hole on the top of the heap. Add 34 ounces of water to a clean bucket and stir in five tsp. of preparation 507. Keep stirring for ten minutes. Pour 1/2 of the preparation into the hole. Sprinkle or spray the remaining half all around the pile while walking in a clockwise direction. Preparation 507 is based on valerian and the recipe can be found in any good reference book on biodynamic gardening.

Step 6

Water the pile weekly, and more often if it seems dry when you dig in about 6 inches. Turn the pile every six weeks, but maintain the original shape. Monitor the internal temperature with a stick thermometer. Your compost should be ready in about four months.

Tips and Warnings

  • Make sure your aeration is good. The bacteria need sufficient oxygen to do their job. Pile your materials loosely when you turn the pile, to maintain aeration and microbial activity.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Gardening fork
  • Stick or compost thermometer
  • Loose mulch or fluffed up straw
  • Manure
  • Barrel or large bucket
  • Old compost (if available)
  • Lime
  • Blood meal
  • Bone meal
  • Old soil
  • Dried leaves and twigs and/or dried grasses


  • Bio-Dynamic Association of India "Rudolf Steiner & Bio-Dynamic Agriculture"
  • National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service "Biodynamic Farming & Compost Preparation"

Who Can Help

  • "A Biodynamic Farm"; Hugh Lovel; 2000
  • "Agriculture Course: The Birth of the Biodynamic Method"; Rudolf Steiner; 2004
  • Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association
Keywords: biodynamic agriculture, rudolf steiner, organic gardening

About this Author

Patricia Bryant Resnick started writing when she was 7. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Sonoma State University in 1975. She began writing professionally in 1996 and has been published in "Rolling Stone," "Georgia Family Magazine" and online. Resnick specializes in food and gardening articles; she is a regular reviewer of tea on the Web.