Straw & hay are high in nitrogen, a compost activator is needed to rot them down. Comfrey, Chamomile and Yarrow are all excellent activators.

– Cleavers is rich in minerals.
– Corn Cobs are very high in silica and potash.
– Seaweed is very high in potash.
– Poultry manure is high in nitrogen.
– Sawdust (untreated) is excellent for creating a more friable soil mix, but leeches nitrogen.
– Animal manure’s – Horse, Cow, Pig etc are all high in nitrogen.
– Paper scraps, newspapers etc are better mixed with straw.
– Dry leaves are best mixed with other material and rotting is better achieved with nitrogen added.
– Kitchen wastes are excellent. Meat scraps are best not added.
– Grass clippings, ensure they are layered.
– Chickweed contains copper, phosphorus.

Ensure that all materials are layered in the compost heap. A little dolomite sweetens the mix and assists activation. Use herbs that assist activation and add minerals to the heap.


Yarrow – contains copper and activates best in small doses.
Plantain – contains calcium, potassium and sulphur.
Wormwood – contains potassium, iron.
Watercress – rich in phosphorus, calcium, iron, fluorine and sulphur
Willow – contains calcium.
Sorrel – rich in copper, phosphorus and calcium.
Roses – the leaves and heads are rich in iron, vitamin C and magnesium.
Parsley – a storehouse of minerals, iron and copper.
Honeysuckle – rich in potassium.
Chicory – contains calcium, iron and copper.
Cleavers – is mineral rich, contains calcium, copper, iron and magnesium.
Clovers – contain sodium, iron and copper.
Dandelion – rich in potassium, silica, calcium, copper, iron and magnesium.
Dill – contains phosphorus and sodium.
Fennel – rich in sodium, sulphur, copper and potassium.
Borage – rich in potassium and calcium.
Comfrey – rich in copper, iron, silica, zinc, calcium, potassium and vitamin B12.
Chamomile – rich in calcium – the highest level in the plant world is found in this plant.

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