Composting is the perfect way to recycle your garden and kitchen waste into nutritious food for your plants.

Dr Compost runs composting and gardening workshops in Queenstown and Wanaka. Click here for details of the next Get Growing and Get Composting workshops.

Dr Compost can also give you personal advice to sort out your composting woes. Email him your questions at:

There is a composting system to suit everyone, it’s just a matter of finding the right one for you and treating it right. Here’s a rundown of the different systems to get you started.

  • Bokashi buckets – easy, indoor, painless and odourless. Suits bach owners, busy people, and those who don’t like trekking to the compost heap every day with their food scraps. Need a garden to dig it into or a friendly neighbour who is keen to dig it into their garden. Attracts worms to your garden.
  • Worms – need more looking after than your average composting system, but less than your average pet. Can deal with your kitchen waste, but you need to be prepared to look after them. Great side-products for your garden (vermicast and worm tea).
  • Hot composting – the classic. Need greens (food waste, plants) and browns (straw, leaves, cardboard) to layer up at the same time. Works best for a bigger garden or for those with supply of materials. Makes amazing food for your garden.
  • Cold composting – works on the same principle, but you add the layers of greens and browns whenever they come to hand. Takes longer than hot composting but works well if you’re not in a hurry.
  • Earthmaker composter – tidy and contained plastic compost-maker, but can be tricky to get working effectively.
  • Chickens – a commitment, but a lot of joy too. Give them food scraps and they’ll give you eggs.