Herbs to help composting

Nettles help compost
Nettles are so full of all types of goodies that including them in your compost will help it process faster


There are some common herbs that help break down compost.  They work either through providing a nutritional boost for the critters that do the work of breaking down the organic matter or by providing trace elements that increase the chemical reactions that occur during composting.

After reading this page, you might see a correlation between herbs that are great for our health and those that can really kick off your composting. It’s because all we all need pretty much the same basic nutrients whether  plant, human or bacteria.


Here’s a list of really helpful plants to help your composting –

Bracken – accumulates Potassium, particularly during the leafy green growing stage.

Capeweed – accumulates minerals to toxic levels

Chamomile – Calcium and Sulfur

**Chickweed – Calcium, Copper, Silicon and Sodium. The related plant Cleavers does too.

**Comfrey – accumulates Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron and Zinc. It also has a good Carbon/Nitrogen ratio. Borage does too, as well as accumulating  Zinc.

**Dandelions – Iron and  Potassium, Phosphorus, Copper Magnesium.

Fennel  – potassium copper

Lovage – Potassium and Nitrogen

**Nettles – high levels of Iron and a lot of Nitrogen

Seaweeds (including kelp) – accumulate trace elements, including, of course, Iodine.

Tansy – lots of Potassium

**Yarrow – Copper, Potassium and Phosphates

** indicates the the herbs we grow extra of for the compost.


Comfrey has an almost perfect C/N ratio and lots of other goodies


How to use activating herbs –

All you need to do is to chop up some material from the selected plants and place them in your compost, whichever composting technique you use – it will help them all.

You can make an activated compost tea from them or a more specialized Nettle or Compost tea.