How to Make Compost for Flower Gardens


When at all possible, it is best to use an organic fertilizer for your flower garden. Chemical fertilizers can burn flowers if they are not given in the proper dose. One way to have an endless supply of organic fertilizer is to make your own compost. Compost contains decomposed organic materials that have the power to both enrich and condition your soil. Just sprinkle the compost around your flower garden the same way you would apply a mulch.

Step 1

Set up a compost bin near your flower garden. If you don't have one, you can build one out of wood. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection recommends a compost bin with the dimensions 4x4x4 feet. If you aren't good at constructing a wooden bin, you can make your compost bin out of hay bales.

Step 2

Save your grass clippings after you mow the lawn as well as your leaves after you rake them in a pile. Place these on the bottom of your compost bin. Then toss some kitchen scraps on top. Water the pile.

Step 3

Add a layer of cow, horse, chicken or pig manure to your compost pile. Use whichever of these is the easiest to get your hands on. Then water the new layer you just added.

Step 4

Shovel a small layer of soil on top of the manure. Water the pile again so the soil is moist.

Step 5

Repeat steps 2 through 4 until your compost bin is full.

Step 6

Take a shovel or pitchfork and toss all the layers together. This is called turning. It adds air throughout the pile to speed up the decomposition process.

Step 7

Check the moisture content of the pile every three to six days, and add more water if the pile is getting dry. Then turn the pile again.

Step 8

Sprinkle the compost around your flower garden once it has turned dark brown in color and feels crumbly to the touch.

Tips and Warnings

  • Kitchen scraps that should not be composted include cat and dog feces, meat, dairy products, human feces, animal fats and fish.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost bin
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • Kitchen scraps
  • Manure
  • Soil
  • Shovel or pitchfork


  • University of Missouri Extension: Making and Using Compost
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection: How to Make Compost
Keywords: compost fertilizer, homemade compost, fertilizing flower gardens

About this Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for six years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Associated Content and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the current cooking guru for LifeTips. She has received awards for being a top content producer.