The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the capability of near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) as a simple method to monitor the lipid content of garbage compost, which is a potential inhibitor of plant growth. We conducted a cultivation experiment with vegetable mock pak choy (Brassica rapa L. Parachinensis Group) using two application rates of four garbage composts that differed in lipid content. The input of lipid from the compost to the field showed a significant negative correlation with germination rate and plant height in the initial growth stage. Reflectance spectra of untreated and freeze-dried and milled compost samples were taken using a scanning monochromator. Second-derivative spectra and multiple regression analysis were used to develop calibration equations for lipid and moisture contents. The calibration was carried out with the short wavelength region ([SWR] 800–1100 nm) and the long wavelength region ([LWR] 1100–2500 nm) separately. The calibration equations with the LWR were more accurate than those with the SWR for lipid and moisture determinations. The accuracies of the calibration equations for untreated samples were comparable to those for freeze-dried and milled samples. In conclusion, we suggest that the application rate of garbage compost can be determined by measuring the lipid content of untreated samples by NIRS.