What can I do with my excess kombucha and kefir?

by | Sep 15, 2019 | Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Waste Free Living | 3 comments

So you’ve fallen in love with fermenting your food and making your own kombucha…but you suddenly realise that you have huge amount of kombucha, kefir and other yummy goods that are growing out of control and your family isn’t as big as your microbe family.

So now what? Time to step-up your waste free living a notch.

If you have been making kombucha for a while you would know that the kombucha scoby multiplies and grows every time you feed it. However, we don’t need many scobys to be able to ferment enough kombucha for the whole family.

Now throwing them away in the trash is an unnecessary waste. Some of my favourite ways to repurpose kombucha and kefir is in the garden. Kombucha and kefir are classified as effective microbes as they can aid in rebuilding soil. By feeding your soil beneficial microbes and nutrients, you help to re-mineralize and activate the soil, which increases the plants resistance to pests and potentially increases the harvest.

The fastest way to utilise your excess kombucha and kefir is to throw them straight into your compost or bury them into your garden bed. But this means only a small area of your garden is receiving the beneficial bacteria. A more effective why is to make a biofertilizer that you can use on your entire garden. By doing this you can see all your plants enjoying the benefits of the kombucha and kefir.

How to Make an Effective All Natural Bio Fertilizer

biofertilizer, waste free, sustainable living, homeschool, backyard farm, planet schoolingBiofertilizers are like a liquid version of your original compost. They are easy and affordable to make. Studies have shown that biofertilizers stimulate plant growth, activate the soil, restore soil fertility and improve the soils resistance to disease. Biofertilizers also provide a certain level of fungicidal, insecticidal and bactericidal action that help to protect your plants. Biofertilizers ensure the health of your organic soil so you will not need to apply any chemicals.

Harvest yield increases by 20-30% when you use biofertilizers.

Biofertilizers assist with quick nutrient absorption, both through the leaves and roots of the plants. It can be made in two ways:

aerobic (with oxygen): it will take about 90 days

anaerobic (without oxygen): will take about 30 days

Today we are going to look at aerobic biofertilizers, which is your no fuss option. Aerobic biofertilizers are easy, quick and affordable.

You require minimum materials. What you will need is a plastic bucket with a lid, water and organic mater.

  • Half fill a bucket with organic materials.
  • Fill with water (rainwater if possible).
  • Stir with a stick and close the lid.

The bucket should remain closed. Now and again, open the bucket to release the gases that are produced during fermentation to escape. Or make a tiny pin prick in the lid, making sure that the hole is too small for insects.

In about 90 days bacteria will ferment all the organic matter, which will transform the material into biofertilizer. However, when you add kombucha, scoby, yogurt or kefir you are increasing the beneficial bacteria within the biofertilizer, which speeds up fermentation.

When using bioferilizer as a foliar spray, dilute the biofertilizer with water – 20 parts water and 1 part biofertilizer. Spray on leaves either before 10am or after 3 pm. If you just want to add it to the soil, dilute 10 parts water and one part biofertilizer. I usually pour this straight onto the sugar cane mulch.

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How to Make Compost Break Down Faster

Simply add kombucha and kefir to it!  When I first started to ferment foods I washed all my containers and threw the water into the compost bin, Magic started to happen. The compost started to break down at a much faster rate. This made perfect sense, as the healthy microbes in the kombucha and kefir assist with increasing the microbes within the compost. As a result the compost breaks down faster. So now I always wash my excess into a bucket and either add straight onto mulch or into the compost bin.

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We Make Soil


  1. Cristina Danila

    May I use the kombucha or water kefir as a fertilizer? For roses or tomatoes?
    Thank you!

    • Lucy Legan

      Hey Cristina, we have used both kombucha and kefir on our tomatoes. We pour in onto our mulch which is usually sugar cane mulch. Tell us how it goes!



  1. Free resources for permaculture living and Homeschooling during these challenging times – Planet Schooling - […] What can I do with my excess kombucha and kefir? – recycling at its best. […]

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