Download article as a pdf.

Habitat 19 - Just a bucket or two

Make a Bokashi composter from Resene paint buckets

› Download article as a pdf   › Return to Habitat 19

Habitat 19 - Just a bucket or two

If you don’t have room for a full-on compost bin or a worm farm, grab a couple of used 10-litre Resene paint buckets and make a bokashi compost.

Many of us like the idea of composting food scraps and being able to feed our gardens with the results, but we may not have room or a suitable site for a full-sized compost bin. A great alternative is a bokashi compost, which is easily and quickly made from one or two paint buckets.

A bokashi (Japanese for ‘fermented organic matter’) is fed with kitchen scraps – and because it’s airtight and odourless, you can also feed it meat and dairy scraps. A bokashi inoculant containing wheat germ, bran or sawdust, molasses and microorganisms is layered in with the scraps, then the mixture is left to ferment for 10 or more days. It can then be dug into the garden.

You can also fertilise the garden with any liquid produced by drilling holes in the base of the main bucket and setting it inside a second one to collect the drained liquid. Or you can get fancier and attach a tap to the bucket to draw off liquid.

You will need:

  • Two recycled 10-litre Resene buckets
  • Bokashi inoculant (available online or at gardening stores)
  • One lid
  • A drill

Step 1
Thoroughly wash the buckets first. Drill 20 to 30 holes with a large drill bit in the bottom of one bucket.

Step 2
Start adding food scraps.

Step 3
Add a tablespoon of the inoculant.

Step 4
Set the drilled bucket into the other bucket and cover with the lid – you may want to use a piece of brick or something to sit the top bucket on so that there’s plenty of room to collect the liquid. Keep adding food scraps and inoculant at the ratio suggested on the packet. Once it is full, leave for 10 days. In the meantime, check the lower bucket for liquid, dilute it, then use it to water the garden.

Top tip
The bucket needs to be airtight for the contents to ferment properly. Bokashi is an anaerobic system. If the lid doesn’t fit as tightly as you’d like, place a cloth or old t-shirt over the top of the bucket before fastening the lid.


Search Habitat Magazine Stories

Want to get your own free copy of future issues of Habitat?

If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit Habitat, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.

› Return to Habitat 19

Resene Paints Ltd

Resene Paints Ltd   –

We would love to hear from you if you wish to use Resene's images, information and ideas for social medial, blogs, newsletters and other media use. Please email and let us know what you need, what it is for and how Resene will be acknowledged as the source of the content. We are happy to assist with most requests.

Our vision is to be respected as a trusted, ethical and sustainable company and acknowledged as the leading provider of innovative paint and colour technology. View Resene’s profile, Quality Policy, Environmental Policy and Health & Safety Policy.

Any personal data, such as name, address, phone, email details, supplied to Resene for the purposes of receiving newsletters, orders etc will be retained by Resene Paints Ltd and used only by Resene Paints Ltd and its trusted agencies for the purposes of communication/promotion/providing service to you. We do not sell, trade or otherwise transfer your personal data to outside third parties.. If you wish to opt out of communication from Resene please complete our contact us form. View our full Privacy Policy.

Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

View Videos