top of page

Adding Your FoodCycler Fertilizer To Your Garden: 5 Methods

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

Go-To-Section Menu: The Bin Method The Layered Bed Method The Pile-As-You-Go Method The Buried Method It's gardening o'clock friends! That means that the sun is shining (or should be soon), the weather is warming up, and the last frost is either fast approaching, or has come and gone - YAY! It also means that you probably have quite the storehouse of foodilizer just waiting for its time in the sun. Here are five methods to incorporate your foodilizer into your garden soil: Hey... what's foodilizer? Read me to find out!

The Bin Method

Indoor garden | Outdoor garden Benefits of this method:

  • you can be sure that the amount of foodilizer to soil is close to exact

  • the best and likely the only method for indoor gardeners

  • you can contain results within a bin - if a mistake is made, you can empty the bin and try again later

  • you can continue to mix the foodilizer-soil mixture after you've added them together

Six weeks before you plan on using the soil in your indoor or outdoor garden, add your foodilizer to your soil at a minimum ratio of 10 parts soil to 1 part foodilizer. You can do this by measuring out 1 cup of foodilizer, adding to the bin and then measuring 10 cups of soil and adding to the bin. You'll want to mix up the soil with each layer of foodilizer-soil. If you have a lot of foodilizer and a lot of soil, you can use a bucket to measure everything out. If you have a tumbler compost bin, or even just a round plastic bin, this process is even easier! Add the same ratio into your tumbler, spinning it intermittently, or once very thoroughly after you've finished adding your foodilizer and soil. You're done! Now you can just hurry up and wait for a few weeks (for best results, we recommend 6 weeks) to allow the foodilizer to "cure" in the soil. How do I add foodilizer to my soil? Check me out!

The Layered Bed Method

Outdoor garden | Raised bed garden Benefits of this method:

  • you can be sure that the amount of foodilizer to soil is close to exact

  • you can incorporate your foodilizer and soil together while preparing your garden bed(s)

  • an hour of work, and you're done for the season!

For this method, you're going to want to have your foodilizer measured out in advance. So, if you've stored your foodilizer over winter, you'll want to know how many litres of homemade fertilizer you have on hand. When you purchase/collect your garden soil, you'll want to purchase a minimum of ten times more soil than foodilizer. To give you an idea of what this looks like: 4 litres of foodilizer means you will need 40 litres (10.5 gallons) of soil. The average large bag of soil is about 28 litres, so you'll want to get two bags of soil for the foodilizer-soil mixture, and another half-bag or full bag for the final layer. Measuring Out Your Layer Ratio Using the example above, you'll want to divvy up the foodilizer to its relative amount of soil. You can do this by using the bin method above for each dumping of soil-foodilizer onto your garden plot. Or, you can measure as you layer - we'll explain how.

Measuring your layer amounts example: 28 litres of soil x 2 bags = 56 litres of soil 56 litres of soil / 4 litres of foodilizer = 14 litres of soil per litre of foodilizer So, with this amount of soil and foodilizer, your new ratio of foodilizer-to-soil is 14:1


Don't have a litre measuring cup? No problem! To create your own zero-waste measuring cup, find an old soda bottle or milk jug. Cut away the bottom of the container, as close as you can to the edge without including the divots on the bottom. Voila! You now have either a 2 litre (soda) or 4 litre (milk jug) measuring cup with a handle built for scooping! How's that for a nifty trick?


Time to select your plot. If you're starting a garden from scratch, you may want to do some research first on how to create a garden bed. Add your first layer of soil by scooping the appropriate measurement of soil (14 litres, in this example) and dumping in increments along your plot bed. Use a hoe or rake to spread the soil out evenly. Add your first layer of foodilizer by scooping the appropriate measurement of foodilizer (1 litre, in this example) and gently sprinkling over the entire soil bed. Repeat layers until you run out of foodilizer! Complete your final layer by adding a last layer of soil - this can be as deep as you like. This final layer should be quick thick, and should entirely cover the preceding layers, like a blanket. This layer is to protect the foodilizer-soil mixture while it cures beneath the surface, and to keep any resulting odours from the breakdown process from attracting unwanted pests. Allow layers to cure by waiting a minimum of 1 week (we recommend 6 weeks for full curing).

The Pile-As-You-Go Method

Outdoor garden Benefits of this method:

  • Easy!

  • You have a central location from which you can collect your gardening soil to plot out as required

  • You have a central location where you can keep adding your foodilizer as you make it

  • Adding as you go means you can have an unlimited supply of usable fertilized soil

This method could easily be referred to as the compost-pile method - because it uses a lot of the same techniques to cure your foodilizer. We'll use the same measurement technique and examples that we demonstrated in the Layer Method.

Select a bare patch of ground to use as your pile location. This patch should be in a shaded area, where it won't be baked too intensely by spring or summer sunshine. If you don't have bare (no grass) space anywhere, you can lay down a tarp on which you can store your pile. Dump a thick layer of soil (using the above example, you'd dump one bag of soil) onto your chosen location. Spread it out so that it covers the patch, giving you have a broader base with which to work. Add foodilizer in the centre of the pile and spread outward with a hoe or rake. This is a preliminary mix to make sure that your foodilizer is covering the entire base of soil and isn't too thickly clumped together, or patchy. Cover each addition of foodilizer with soil spread outward so that it covers everything beneath it. Add foodilizer and soil as you create it! Always add a minimum of 10 times more soil for every addition of foodilizer to ensure it's getting the soil ratio it needs to cure. Cover the pile with another tarp or garbage bag. This will protect the pile while the soil cures the foodilizer. After 6 weeks since your last foodilizer addition, mix the pile with a hoe, rake or shovel. The foodilizer should be completely broken down in the soil - you can now add your fertilized soil to your garden bed(s)! *With this method, you'll want to ensure you wait the full 6 weeks to allow the foodilizer to cure completely before using the foodilizer-soil in your garden.

The Buried Method

Outdoor garden Benefits of this method:

  • One afternoon of work and you're good to go!

  • Requires far less bought-in soil than any of the previous methods

This method uses the same "logic" as the pile method above, or that of trench composting. By burying your foodilizer in existing soil, you're allowing the foodilizer to break down using Nature's own tools. This is a very natural, DIY method, as you don't have to buy-in potting soil. You're using what you have on hand (or underfoot)! To make sure you are incorporating your foodilizer into the appropriate amount of soil, you'll need to do some quick guesstimate measurements (we say guess-timate, because this if far from an exact science). Let's say you have 4 litres of foodilizer. Rather than buy two bags of potting soil, you'll need to dig a deep enough hole that your foodilizer will a) come into contact with a sufficient amount of dirt and b) will be completely covered while it cures.

Measuring Your Dig Plot Example: 4 litres is approximately 16 cups 10 times more than 16 cups is a 160 cups 160 cups is equal to a little over 1 foot cube

This means that if you'd like to bury your foodilizer and mix it in properly with the soil, you will need to dig a 1 foot square x 1 foot deep plot in the ground (minus sod). Your hole does not need to be perfect - it doesn't need to be square or uniform. As long as you dig a space along these lines and mix the dug-out earth with your foodilizer, you can't really go wrong. Cut your sod with a spade to the approximate shape of the hole you'd like to dig, and roll it back so that it's out of the way. Dig out the earth within the shape you've made until you have a pile of earth beside your hole that looks to be 10 times as much soil as foodilizer. Add your foodilizer to the hole. Add dirt to the foodilizer and mix - this is easiest with your hands, and a small garden tool. Pat down the mixed soil and foodilizer so that it fits into the hole and is level with the surrounding ground. Cover with the sod patch you removed earlier. *Optional - you can leave the ground bare as a garden plot for use later in the season. *With this method, you'll want to ensure you wait the full 6 weeks to allow the foodilizer to cure completely before using the foodilizer-soil in your garden.


Need to know more about foodilizer-to-soil ratios? Let's go! >



Back To Blog

60 views0 comments
bottom of page