Composting 101

Composting 101

In the cut-flower industry, many of us are keenly aware of the environment, and we look to find ways to reduce our individual imprint on the planet. At times, it can be frustrating as it is hard to make impactful choices about sustainability.


One thing we can do that has a tremendous impact is to compost a significant portion of our waste. But even if your city has a composting program, it can be daunting to determine exactly which items are compostable, and which must, unfortunately, be thrown out. We've compiled a list to help you, and if you want to take it one step further, David is going to show you how to do it yourself! 



Composting Blog header

Compostable Materials

Plant-based materials:

Stems & Vines
Grass clippings - these need to be widely distributed in the compost pile and not thrown in en-masse, as it causes lack of air circulation
Twigs & Branches
Fruits & vegetables
*Note: Seed pods are not recommended as the seeds will grow and may not be wanted in a particular plant bed. 

Biodegradable containers:

Paper-based containers
Cardboard boxes
Pressed fiber pots
Peat pots
Coconut coir pots
Bamboo containers
Palm leaf containers
Cornstarch-based containers

Natural Fabrics


Biodegradable packaging materials:

Paper wrapping
Tissue paper
Kraft paper
Corrugated cardboard
Shredded paper

Natural decorative elements:

Dried flowers
Pressed leaves

Organic growing media:

Peat moss
Coconut coir
Wood chips
Sawdust - this needs to be widely distributed in the compost pile and not thrown in en-masse, as it causes lack of air circulation

Remember to remove any non-compostable materials like plastic, metal, or foam before composting. It's also essential to ensure that the composting process is managed correctly to facilitate proper decomposition of these materials.




In the flower industry, we have all the components to make compost quickly and easily at our fingertips. In this video, we outline the easy and simple steps to accomplish effective composting.




The basic ingredients are as follows:


  1. A good supply of green waste, such as flowers and foliages. Cut up into small pieces about 1–2 inches in size. In addition, coffee grounds, tea bags, vegetables, fruits and so forth add diversity to the final product.

  2. A good supply of dry waste. All the cardboard packaging can be cut into small pieces, about 1" x 2". If you have a heavy-duty paper shredder (20 sheets) you can produce great material for composting. It is recommended that cardboard with heavy amounts of ink is not used, nor white coated cardboard, but much of what we use is Kraft and small amounts of ink are not an issue. Dry leaves, small twigs, and dry stems cut to 1–2 inch lengths are very good as well.

  3. Large bins with tight-fitting lids to complete the process, with plenty of small holes to allow aeration

  4. Small quantities of water.


The components are placed in the bins in layers of 3 parts by volume of dry material and one part green or wet material.

Add a little water from time to time as you add the layers, so the materials are damp but not sopping wet.


Leave for a week, then turn the mixture. It is recommended that you turn the mixture from one bin to another. This allows for the complete aeration of the compost. Then the mixture can be returned to the compost bin. This should be done once a week for about 4–5 weeks, or until the final product is obtained. It should resemble and feel like rich soil, and it should smell wonderful.


Only items derived from plants should be used. Absolutely no meat, poultry or fish should be included. No cheese or eggs. You can add shrimp shells, eggshells, and fish bones, but these need to be run through a food processor to reduce them to very small pieces. These need to be widely distributed throughout the layers, and not congregated in one place.


If the compost smells malodorous, it could be because your mixture has too much green material, or it is too wet... or you accidentally added meat.


If you are a gardener (or you know one) the resulting product is always appreciated, and it is great for the environment. If you choose to pursue this, all of us at Mayesh wish you good luck and happy composting. I'll check back in about a month to show you if my compost was successful!


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