One of the most unique features of HOTBIN is that it produces wonderful rich liquid fertiliser as part of the composting process.
During the HOTBIN composting process water is released from the garden or food waste content. Some of this evaporates through the valve in the lid; the remaining liquid works its way down through the green waste (absorbing valuable nutrients on the way) and forms a rich liquid fertiliser (or leachate as some gardeners refer to it) in a chamber at the base of the HOTBIN.
The amount of liquid generated fluctuates dependent upon the water content in the waste being recycled. Vegetables and grass are high in water content, whilst other waste may contain significantly less.
It is worth remembering that a caddy of food waste (5L) could produce up to 2L of liquid so regular checking, removal and use is essential to avoid overflow.
So, whatever you recycle, check weekly and remove and use the liquid fertiliser. You can store this liquid fertilizer and use it later. Do note that the strength of it will weaken over a long period of time.
Collecting the liquid fertiliser
The liquid fertiliser naturally forms in the base of the HOTBIN and that chamber is easily accessed by removing the blue cap on the bottom right hand side. The liquid will flow out naturally (so be ready to collect it) and can then be poured into a shallow container, ready for use.
To make this easier many users prefer to mount their HOTBIN on a solid, firm, level platform so they can access this tap easily when they need to – some have used bricks, others pallets, or even a step. As long as the HOTBIN is stable then the choice is yours
How to use the liquid fertiliser produced by the HOTBIN
The liquid created by the HOTBIN does not have a high NKP (Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorus) value so can be used as a fertiliser. The brown odourless liquid will be mainly Fulvic Acid and Humic Acid – both improve the uptake of minerals and can stimulate plant growth.
As with all liquid fertilisers you need to dilute the HOTBIN liquid fertiliser. Always dilute at a ratio of 1:10 (1 part liquid fertiliser to 10 parts water). Stir thoroughly and then feed your plants, veggies, shrubs and trees every week.
How should the liquid fertiliser look and smell
Ideally the liquid fertiliser should be a brown colour and odourless. If it is much lighter in colour you may need to add more shredded paper/cardboard as well as a good handful of wood chips to remedy. It is an easy thing to rectify and balance. However, until the colour appears brown don’t use the liquid as you may do more harm than good.