Select Page

How To Use Your ‘Fermented Food Waste’

After 7-10 days your fermented waste should have a sweet pickled like smell and often will have a white cotton like fungal mass growing on top similar to that shown in the image below

You can either place the fermented waste into a trench or hole dug into your garden.

Decomposing food waste.

Decomposing food waste.

Decomposing food waste.
The food waste will decompose quite quickly when mixed with soil.The easiest way to do this is to sprinkle a little soil over the waste food and ‘cut’ the soil into and thru the food with a sharp spade, then cover over with 50 – 75mm of top soil.After 3-4 weeks your waste will have decomposed and will be barely recognizable from the original material.
Decomposing food waste.
Sprinkle soil over waste.
Decomposed waste unnoticeable.
Sweet corn.This sweet corn was planted in soil used to cover over food waste which was buried in a trench.Compost bin.Alternatively – If you find garden space is at a premium you can add your fermented waste to the traditional compost pile or to an enclosed type compost bin. We recommend the Vertex Composta.
Composta.This material should be layered into the Composta using a ‘brown ‘ material such as leaves or bark fines. You will end up with a mound of quality compost when the Composta is full. This may take up to 3-6 months.


Ideally plan your garden in order to have an area clear of growing plants. Dig a shallow trench 30cm or so in depth and width depending on amount of waste. Place your fermented food waste into the trench and mix some soil through the food in order to increase the diversity of soil microbes in the waste.

Cover over a depth of 25 50cm of soil over the top, to allow the food waste to break down. Your fermented waste should barely be recognisable after 4 weeks. This process will take a little longer over the colder months. An area as small as little as a few square metres is all that is needed. You can continue to build the soil up with continuous applications of fermented waste until you are ready to plant.

Once plants are growing you can dig your fermented food waste in between rows of plants or around plants or shrubs. Try to avoid direct contact with plant roots.

Planting can take place over or directly into the fermented waste once 7-10 days has passed.

Remember:¬†The `juice’ from ZingBokashi Compost Zing Systems is “liquid gold” for your garden. Apply with water, for bare soil application dilute 1:100, for foliar applications dilute 1:1000.

Mixing with Green Waste into a Compost Pile:

If available space is at a premium, and trenching in your fermented waste becomes difficult you can either use.

1. The Vertex Composta or

2. A traditional Compost Heap.

The Vertex Composta

This is an enclosed type of plastic compost container made by Vertex Plastics.

Trials carried out by the Strickland Street Community Gardens in Christchurch found that the Vertex `Composta’ was one of the best compost bins suited for the processing of Bokashi fermented food waste.

Composta photo.Simply layer your fermented food waste together with good quality compost/green waste or soil until such time your’ Composta’ is fill and then spread out over your garden when suitable.

The `Composta’ has advantages in that it has a good fitting lid and being lightweight is easily transported. Plus it can easily be lifted off the pile you have built inside and placed to a new position for you to continue using [see photo]

This method is ideal when garden space is at a premium or can be used over the winter months when weather conditions do not favour digging of the soil.

Tip: Retain some of this compost material and use it to cover your fermented food waste when you start again.

Compost Heaps

The second method of using your fermented food waste is to incorporate it into a compost heap.

As you generate some garden green waste this can be formed into a pile and mixed with your fermented food waste. The fermented food waste should be mixed with the green waste at a ratio of between 1 part to 5 (1:5) to 1 part to 10 (1:10). Mix this into the centre of your compost pile keeping an outer layer of green waste as protection.

It is best if you can keep the heap covered between uses