Compost making in a hot climate

I am so excited!

We are well under way in Zambia.

Fredrick has finally got the computer and printer set up. I sent him the money to buy a computer so I could send him articles and instructions of how to grow many things. It probably would have been less expensive and a newer computer if I had bought it here but it was going to cost me more to send it than purchasing the computer.

He has printed off the step by step instructions on how to make a compost pit in a hot climate like Zambia. They certainly don’t waste anything over there as all of the food scraps, if there are any, would go to the dogs, chickens, oxen or cattle.


This is a chicken proof stand to grow seedlings. Note the roof over head to give some relief from the hot sun and the chickens cannot steal the young plants.

This picture is compliments of Ripple Africa and so is the composting process which Fredrick is using in Zambia.


  • Compost: Compost needs to be made in April so that it is ready for tube filling in June

( compost can be ready for use in six weeks). Typically, compost should be made in pits

– a pit of 2 metres( 6 1/2 ft.)  long by 1 metre (3 ¼ ft) wide and I metre ( 3 ¼ ft) deep will produce enough compost for up to 8,000 small polythene tubes.

  • Compost making process: The first layer in the bottom of the pit is 10cm (4 inches) of forest or dambo soil. The second layer is 10cm (4 inches) of leaves or grass which should be compacted by walking on top of it. The third layer is 10 cm (4 inches) of manure. Except for the first layer, each layer should be watered with three watering cans of water before adding the next layer. These layers are then repeated in the same order until the pit is full. Normally. There will be three layers of each material in a 1 metre deep pit. The compost pit should be completed with a final 10cm (4inches) layer of soil which is compacted by walking on it, and the finished compost heap should be the same level as the surrounding ground.

Compost Layers

Final Layer- Dambo or forest soil 10cm
Manure 10cm
Leaves/grass 10cm
Dambo or forest soil 10cm
Manure 10cm
Leaves/grass 10cm
Dambo or forest soil 10cm
Manure 10cm
Leaves/grass 10 cm
Dambo or forest soil 10cm

Tube filling mix

Dambo soil 2 parts

Compost 2 parts

Sand 1 part

Compost provides the nutrients for the tree seedlings and vegetable seeds. This picture is also from Ripple



4 responses to “Compost making in a hot climate

  1. Jonathan Mungandi

    I like your ideas. I originally come from Kalabo. I am now living in Kaoma, 200 km west of Mongu. What is exciting me is that we have a similar program we are staring in Kaoma.
    Jonathan Mungandi

  2. Thats great Jonathan! I am happy to hear that someone else is making Zambia a better place. What exactly are you doing? You should check out the Ripple Africa web site as they have been doing this for 10 years and have step by step instructions on how to do a lot of great things and they also love to share as I do.

    • Jonathan Mungandi

      Thanks for your response. Please keep me updated on the progress on the Kalabo project. I will definitely visit the sites sometime. Our program in Kaoma is called Maranatha Grassroots Institute. We offer Skills Training, Health Education and other Community Services. Our Skills training program is a six-month program where we teach gardening, entrepreneurship, computer and other life skills. Lets keep in touch.
      Jonathan Mungandi

      • That is so exciting. If you read some of the earlier blogs you would have seen that I originally wanted to open a Hospitality /Trade school in Kalabo as I feel that when that road is finished there will be a lot of people traveling through there. I would be happy to keep in touch. Let me know if there is anything I can do. If you click to Follow this blog it will send you an email every time I write a new one. I think you will see the Follow button in the bottom right corner when you open the blog. Just click and give your email.
        I will send you an email as well after I finish this benefit I am doing. It is taking up all of my time. Good Luck and talk soon!

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