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Indigenous and Exotic Aloes, Trees and Plants

We explain some of the best ways to use compost around your garden.

Before starting, you'll probably want to find out if it actually is ready to go! You can do this by making sure your compost is dark brown and smells nice and earthy. It should also be slightly moist and have a crumbly texture.

It probably won't look like the compost you buy in the shops and it's very likely that yours will still have twigs and eggshell in it!

Don't worry... it's still perfectly good to use. Simply sift out any larger bits and return them to your compost bin.

Your fresh compost is nutrient-rich food for your garden and will help improve soil structure, maintain moisture levels and keep your soils pH balance in check while helping suppress plant disease. It has everything your plants need, including nitrogen, phospherous and potassium and it will help improve soils that are very acidic or alkaline. Compost improves your soil's condition and your plants and flowers will love it!

Help your new plants and flowers bloom by digging a 10cm layer of compost into the soil prior to planting.

If your flowers have already been planted, you simply need to spread a thin layer of compost-enriched soil around the base of the plants. Nutrients will work their way down to the roots and your plants will enjoy the healthy boost compost provides.

It is important that you leave gaps around any soft stemmed plants.

Enrich new borders
The borders of your garden will also greatly appreciate your compost.

Spread up to a 5cm layer of compost over the existing soil. Worms will quickly like getting to work mixing it in for you! Otherwise you can dig your finished compost into the soil prior to planting.

It is important that you leave gaps around any soft stemmed plants.

Using your compost as mulch is a great idea.

Using 'rough' compost (where not everything has completely broken down) over flowerbeds and around shrubs, helps prevent soil erosion and will replenish much needed nutrients.

A layer of 5cm should do the trick. Make sure that you leave a gap around any soft stemmed plants.

Adding mulch after it has rained will help keep the moisture in the soil.

Around trees
Compost is great for your trees. Spreading a 5-10cm layer around the roots will provide them with important nutrients and can protect against drought and disease.

Avoid the base of the tree and do not spread too close to the trunk. Your trees will also benefit from less weeds growing around them. Doing this once or twice a year will help your trees grow taller and bushier in no time at all.

Replenish pots
Give your potted plants and containers an extra boost by removing the top few centimetres of existing soil and adding your freshly made compost.

Leave a gap around soft stemmed plants. This will provide food for your plants and flowers and is a great way to make them more healthy and robust.

Patio containers
You can mix home compost with regular soil or leafmould to create your own healthy potting mixture for patio containers.

Your plants and any new plants from seeds will enjoy the additional nutrients and minerals that your compost enriched potting mixture contains, and outdoor container plants will love it too.

About a third of the mix should be compost, slightly less when you are planting seeds. The reason for this is that home made compost is too strong to use on its own for planting into.

Healthier herbs and vegetables
Compost is excellent for growing herbs such as chives, parsley and mint.

Simply crumble it around the base of the plants for heathlier, leafier herbs. Your vegetables will also grow better with compost added to their soil. Apply compost with each rotation - it's exceptionally good for planting potatoes and carrots.

Feeding your lawn
Dressing your lawn with compost helps young grass take root and can make your garden heathlier and greener.

First, you'll need to sieve the compost and remove any large twigs or any other items that have not quite broken down. Next, mix it with an even amount of sharp sand to compost as this will allow it to spread more easily. You will need a layer of about 2.5cm.

Mature lawns can really benefit from this little extra kick of nutrients but be aware that newly seeded or turfed lawns can be scorched by it.


Aloe acutissima, Aloe africana, Aloe andogonensis, Aloe arborescens, Aloe aristata, Aloe barbarae, Aloe boyleii, Aloe brevifolia, Aloe camperii, Aloe chaubaudii, Aloe ciliaris, Aloe cooperii, Aloe congolensis, Aloe daweii, Aloe dichotoma, Aloe ellenbeckii, Aloe ferox, Aloe fosterii, Aloe gerstneri, Aloe globuligemma, Aloe gracilis, Aloe grandidentata, Aloe greatheadii, Aloe hildebrandtii, Aloe humilis, Aloe longibracteata, Aloe maculata, Aloe marlothii, Aloe milotii, Aloe mudenensis , Aloe musapana x wildii, Aloe nyeriensis, Aloe petricola, Aloe pluridens, Aloe pretoriensis, Aloe prinslooi, Aloe pruinosa, Aloe reitzii, Aloe rupestris, Aloe schelpei, Aloe sinkantata x andoginensis, Aloe speciosa, Aloe spicata, Aloe striata, Aloe striatulata, Aloe succotrina, Aloe suprafoliata, Aloe teniour, Aloe thompsonii, Aloe umfolosiensis, Aloe vanbaleni, Aloe vera, Aloe vryheidensis

Acacia caffra, Acacia karoo, Acacia nigrescens, Acacia robusta, Acacia sieberiana, Acacia xanthophloea, Apodytes dimidiata, Bauhinia galpinii, Bauhinia tomentosa, Berchemia zeyheri, Bolusanthus speciosus, Buddleja saligna, Buddleja salvifolia, Carissa bispinosa, Carissa macrocarpa, Cassinopsis illicifolia, Celtis africanum, Calodendroum capense, Calpurnia aurea, Combretum erythrophyllum, Combretum kraussi, Cussonia natalensis, Cussonia spicata, Dais continifolia, Diospyros lycoides, Dodonaea angustifolia, Dombeya rotundifolia, Dovyalis caffra, Ehretia rigida, Ekebergia capensis, Erythrina lysistemon, Euphorbia ingens, Ficus ingens, Ficus natalensis, Grewia occidentalis, Halleria lucida, Harpephyllum caffrum, Heteropyxis natalensis, Ilex mitis, Jasminium multipartitum, Kiggelaria africana, Milletia grandis, Nuxia floribunda, Olea africana, Pappea capensis, Peltophorum africanum, Podocarpus henkelii, Podocarpus falcatus, Portulacaria afra, Ptaeroxylon obliquum, Rapanea melanophloeos, Rhamnus prinoides, Rhus chirindensis, Rhus lancea, Rhus pendulina, Rhus pyroides, Rothmania capensis, Rothmania globosa, Schotia afra, Schotia brachypatela, Sclerocarya birrea, Spirostachys africana, Syzygium cordatum, Tarchonanthus camphoratus, Trichilia dregenea, Trichilia emetica, Vangueria infausta, Vepris lanceolata, Zanthoxylum capense, Ziziphus mucronata

Caesalpinia ferrea, Cupressus Gold Crest, Cupressocyparis leylandii, Liquidamber, Plantanus x Acerifolia, Populus simoni

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