Organic Feriliser From Kitchen Refuse




About: Appreciate what you've got, every day will bring something new.

Using everyday organic kitchen refuse I'll go over a couple of ways you can distribute the left-over matter in to the garden. Essentially re-using waste from the kitchen to make food.

If you dont already compost, what you'll need is a way to collect all the stuff you'd normally throw in the thrash. You could build a system similar to the happy farmer composter which I first heard about on treehugger no less!

You could build a bucket similar to the Happy Farmer design, however its hard to beat the purpose made off-the-shelf handiness of the design. Dealing with kitchen waste is not a pretty job, and getting the 'juice' (detailed later) is a hair's width short of requiring a hazmat suit.

Ok, on to the good stuff....

Step 1: Kitchen Waste, Storage

What makes in to the compost and what goes to the landfill? That all really depends on how much dirt you own/rent to compost with.

There are various takes on this, and frankly... as far as I'm concerned, If its not paper, plastic, metal or glass... it probably belongs in the composter.

We started with a pint sized container beside the sink for ease-of-use in the first leg of the process.

When the kitchen top container get full, throw its contents in to the Happy farmer bucket and sprinkle on some Bokashi. You dont need to use the bio fermenting aid but it pretty much doubles the juice output of the bucket. There's instructions on happy farmer's site about making your own additive.

Step 2: Fertilizing With a Sprinkler System

I re-purposed Miracle Grow in-line fertilizing container and filled it with undiluted kitchen juice. Connected it to a sprinkler hose, thats a porous hose you lay down in between the plants.

Step 3: Fertilizing With In-ground Water Dispensers

I got these garden water dispensers from Harbor Freight at 6 for 99c. Mix about 1/3rd kitchen juice to water. Vine plants prefer nutrients straight in to the roots.

Step 4: The Fruits of Your Labour.

Some photos of the garden and produce



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    28 Discussions


    5 years ago on Step 3

    Thank you for the great Idea for how to process the compost tea that accumulates during fermentation!! I never though of putting it in a bottle to be dispensed like that! Yay!!!

    you shouldn't capitalise Step or Pumpkin and you're missing a full stop at the end of your sentence. Kind regards.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    In an attempt to be constructive*, may I point out that correct spelling actually does help with fast and easy reading comprehension: it is a shame to see an otherwise good Instructable lessened by such things.

    Yerboogieman was probably being helpful, although I see that he missed your spelling of "beats" (for "beets) in the same photo. A more constructive* response would have been "Oh, right! Thanks Yerb; I must have missed it when I spell-checked everything else like it suggests in "Authoring Tips". I'll change it and my punctuation errors now".

    Three and a half years later you still haven't corrected the spelling. I almost missed your 'ible as you are missing the "t" in "fertiliser": your title would not come up in a search for either correct spelling of the word.

    Finally, "Step 2" was correctly written by Yerb; it is a proper noun in this case, and is also written thus as the step's title anyway.

    *We have a "be nice" comment policy. Please be positive and constructive with your comments'


    11 years ago on Step 4

    I checked harbor frieght and can't find those water dispensers anywhere. Can you post a link to them?

    4 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Step 4

    They were in the paper catalog. Might have been a special clearance item. I had a scan through the latest catalog, cant find them. Try calling harbour freight. Otherwise, any garden center will have them. They're pretty good. Alternatively, someone else posted an instructable on burying plastic bottles with holes in them. Seems a little more work though.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great instructible and I have passed it on to my parents who live on a farm.
    Up until now they have composted kitchen scraps by feeding them to chickens (they will eat anything), and later using their bedding as a natural compost for the gardens and fields.

    I this case, and for a suburban city dweller like me, I was wondering if it would be possible to use old silicone cartridge end-cones as dispensers applied to pet bottles? They do seem similar in appearance to what you are using here and would be a great way to recycle them.
    If the hole at the tip is too big, just leave some silicone in and puncture with a wire to the desired diameter.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    That should work. Try it with the existing hole and if it drains too quickly maybe plug it will silicone. But if I recall correctly the purpose built stakes aren't that expensive. Good luck!

    The Hater

    9 years ago on Step 1

    that link seems to be dead, any chance you have a mirror or another source for that info on the home made additive?

    1 reply
    DIY-GuyThe Hater

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    The link itself may not function, but going to the search box on the main site brings up the Bokashi. Enter BOKASHI in search box.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, I just started reading up on Bokashi. I read in one website that there is no odor produced. Based on your experience, is this true?

    4 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    with the lid on - there is no smell at all in the kitchen. And day to day.. there is no lingering smell at all. The major pain in the ass with keeping a compost container in the kitchen, including the intermediate container, is cleaning. The compost containers need to be cleaned after they're emptied. The issue is the 'effluent' juice or rotting bits really stink (which is good - decomposing) and if you get it on your hands or clothes you then stink. But back to your question, no smells in the kitchen. We still use this after 3 years - highly recommended product.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    A different way to make the "juice" or liquid fertilizer is to make an aerobic compost first and then boil it as making tea. A third option is by simply putting your kitchen refuse in the blender with a few liters of water and use this water directly in your garden (allthogh it takes longer to make an effect since the organic matter is still not decomposed) in any case remember NO ANIMAL PRODUCT WASTE should be used (meat leftovers or oily leftovers etc.) since fats and oils are the ones making the really bad smells


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Good idea!
    Is this "good" even for the balcony?

    (sorry 4 my english but I don't speak it well ^^;)