Home Made Super Soil

Home Made Compost is possible in crowded, urban tropical cities like Singapore.

This process of recycling kitchen green waste into compost for gardening , is good for plants, ourselves and the environment .

Look at how my edibles garden turned out with this “home made” super soil for yourself  !

From THIS –

Composting methods in Singapore

March 2015 – Dead or dying citrus plant, abandoned after Chinese New Year

Benefits of Organic Compost

March 20 2015 – Dead Tree awakening with organic compost!

TO THIS – !!!

How to use and benefits of organic compost

Dec 14 2015 – A fully recovered plant! 🙂

How to use and benefits of organic compost

A healthy thriving plant again

Update of this tree on July 17 2016 (16 months from when I start composting in this pot) –

using compost

2016 July 17

This plant continued to thrive on its own without much fuss. Every six months, we still used this pot as an open composting bin. It remained amazing to witness how recycled raw greens for compost is good for gardens.

home made nutrients rich soil

2016 July 17

Uses of compost

How lime/citrus begin their fruiting journey – Isn’t this cute?

When I see how this little tree continued to prosper, its as if it talking to me, ” I am okay now. Thank you! ” 🙂

Benefits of recycled green waste compost

Jan 20 2017 – STILL ALIVE and Thriving!

No other fertilizer was added in this pot, beside composting of peels and adding earthworms from the garden. Imagined this – whatever nutrients that this plant gained from the compost, allowed it to rejuvenate its drive to recover from a dying state. Then I often wondered what we will gain when we consumed edibles grown in this kind of natural compost ?  Will we be able to rejuvenate ourselves as well?


Meyer Lemons –

How to use and benefits of organic compost

Growing Meyer lemon in compost pot

Sweet basil 

How to use and benefits of organic compost

September 16 2015 – Sweet Basil

How to use and benefits of organic compost

Layer upon layer of kitchen raw greens, soil, dried leaves are added to the pot until its almost full.

How to use and benefits of organic compost

Sweet basil in compost pot is bigger than my herbs grown indoors

Rosemary and Curly leaf Parsley

How to use and benefits of organic compost

Rosemary and curly leaf parsley thriving in spite of the thunderstorms!

Our MINT was grown without pesticide and in our own compost from recycling kitchen greens waste –

Benefits of home made organic compost

Kids love to harvest home grown mint for tea when they are studying

Bell Peppers or Capsicums – 

Growing bell peppers in home made compost

Bell peppers or capsicum grown in home made compost, taste sweeter. Kids are eating them raw like green apples!

Growing red bell peppers in home made organic compost

Red and Green bell peppers in the same pot

Even strawberries! 🙂

Growing strawberries in outdoors Singapore garden

We weed our strawberries outdoor to learn more about growing them in the tropics.

Two varieties of strawberry plants were weeded here from October 2015, to see how they fared in our special acidic compost in normal SG temperature.

So far, sick plants have recovered in them and survived our terrible haze and thunderstorms, to flower and bore fruits by December 2015.

Growing strawberries in Singapore

2017 – One of my plants thriving in natural SG environment

Why not wolfberries too?

Growing wolfberry or gojiberries in Singapore

February 28 2017 – Wolfberries or Gojiberries

In our household, recycling raw greens for compost bins is second nature! 🙂

How to make organic compost

We are striving toward zero-waste in our household

What GREEN goes into our compost bin?

  • Fruit Peels (banana, watermelon etc)
  • Fruit or Vegetable Pulp (from juicer, raw)
  • Soya bean pulp (Okara , 豆渣 / 豆腐渣)
  • Used tea leaves or coffee grinds
  • Egg shells – membrane inside egg shells can attract snails. Contrary to beliefs, snails love to eat egg shells. Having them on surface soil will attract snails to the plants and will not deter them from feasting. This need to be buried deep in outdoor gardens.
  • Spoiling raw vegetables or fruits – remove seeds if possible as they may germinate in the compost bin
  • No fish, meat or bloody innards as the scent of rot is foul and likely attract rodents


How to make organic compost

Any plant based waste from kitchen

5 Easy Steps to prepare organic compost OUTDOORS

  1. Cover the holes with net or any material (pebbles, sand) that allow liquid to drain while stopping soil/compost erosion
  2. Dried leaves or any organic dried matter from the garden
  3. Any soil – new, used, spent
  4. Add kitchen green waste
  5. Cover with soil and dried leaves, raise the compost container for aeration is a good idea.


How to prepare compost bins for outdoor garden

Cover pot’s drainage holes with net to allow water to drain out but not erode the soil and compost.

Dried leaves, grass, used pets’ bedding (such as straw, hay), tree barks, shredded paper, cardboard can be used as brown for layering in compost bins.

How to prepare compost bins for outdoor garden

Step 2 – Dried leaves from trees.

Any soil (old, new, spent) can be used in the compost bin except soil that had been infected by pests such as roots mealy. We don’t re-used such soil because there may had been unhatched eggs in them.

How to prepare compost bins for outdoor garden

Step 3 – Add soil

How to prepare compost bins for outdoor garden

Step 4 – Add raw greens etc. Cover with soil and top off with dried leaves so less fruit flies hovering around the pot!

How to prepare compost bins for outdoor garden

Layers after layers are repeated until my pot is almost full.

What to do when it rained, and the compost become wet?

After a heavy rain, its good to “turn/stir” the pile and add dry soil . I usually top off with dried leaves to ward off fruit flies. The soil smell like orange, nothing foul.

In our tropical heat when there is a dry spell, our compost would be ready in 2 – 4 weeks.

How to prepare compost bins for outdoor garden and what to do when compost is wet

Almost ready

A “ready” state is when the green waste are indistinguishable from each other.

Composting in Singapore

The ready product is a soft, citrus smelling dark soil!

Benefits of composting

Color of nutrients rich compost is BLACK !

Home made compost

Lots of worms as raw greens break down! Not for the squeamish 🙂

When the compost is ready, the color of the compost is very dark and none of the peels and kitchen raw greens are distinguishable. This is my super soil which I used as a top soil in my pots.

2) For apartments’ corridors composting,  please followed this group’s “Composting in Singapore” instructions.

There is no smell and not much presence of pests , it is neighbors’ friendly but takes longer to breakdown.

Compost bins suitable for apartment’s corridors

How to prepare compost bins for indoor area without pests or smells

Step 1 – Plastic Bin with cover, drilled holes at the bottom for drainage

How to prepare compost bins for indoor area without pests or smells

Step 2 – Cover holes with net. Second layer is shredded newspapers, followed by dried leaves and soil.

How to prepare compost bins for indoor area without pests or smells

Step 3 – add greens and my idea of a toilet roll for aeration! 🙂 Top off with soil, newspapers and cover bins!

How to prepare compost bins for indoor area without pests and smells

In the process of breaking down organic matter for compost, heat and moisture are created in the compost bins. Newspapers absorb liquid and smells.

Composting in Singapore

Thumbs UP – Compost bins like these are neighbors friendly – no smells, no pests!

For an easy non fussy indoor method, Lim San had uploaded a new video in February 2017 –

Just for knowledge, the following video showed what happened in my compost bin when too much raw greens is added over brown ratio! Thus do keep Lim San‘s advice in mind (Brown : Green , 30:1 ratio) when starting a new compost bin! 🙂

Compost bins in Singapore

Bins can be used outdoors but mind the mosquitoes breeding when it rained on the bin’s covers! Best to lay a cloth than tile like this.


We love to cook with edibles from our organic garden!

It is possible to grow edibles without using commercial fertilizers.

Sweeter edibles grown in home made organic compost

Young chefs in training and home made Quiche with herbs from our garden 🙂


Growing vegetables with children in our organic garden

SG Strawberries kids helped built this  edibles garden (2015 ) 🙂

Recycling waste for compost

September 1 2017 – still at it!

Benefits of composting

2017 November 5 – Gardens get better the longer we compost!

A small pleasurable plot of edibles, grown in nutrients dense compost by recycling waste, and shared freely with neighbors now. It was an empty corner where people abandoned plants and discarded pots, changed for the better.

Gardening has become my voice for sharing ideas to promote recycling in our communities and how every household can play a part to protect our environment. This is also a good way to teach the younger generation how to grow food from “own-made” super charged soil! 🙂

SG Strawberries kids

2018 March 15 – Trio who helped me with this garden

Benefits of natural compost fertiliser

2018 August – Outdoor salads “Bowls” in natural compost

In addition, we took science out of the textbooks and learned how to protect our environment while growing delicious food.





5 thoughts on “Home Made Super Soil

  1. Pingback: Wisteria Lesley’s Mulberry Trees | Growing Strawberries and Other Cool Stuff in Singapore

  2. Hi Vic thanks for sharing. I have a citrus plant that celebrated 10 CNYs with me. Like you, I compost my waste and put some on the citrus plant soil. Then last year it had a bout of bad attack from white flies. My sis in law said its probably due to the compost and I changed to a new pot. It fared better and I managed to get rid of the white flies. This year it got attacked my scaly bugs and the poor tree looks really pathetic. The leaves have almost all dropped. It has stabilized now after I wipe.off with alcohol swipes. How do you keep your compose bacteria and pest free?

    • At the beginning, for flying pests, I used those yellow sticky paper & tied them on mid- point branches. If you have a Byblis plant ( carnivorous plant ), you could placed it near compost pots too. I still have the occasional grasshopper or caterpillar which will eat most of the leaves and then it recovers on its own.

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