Bokashi composting: What is bokashi and how to do it
Bokashi compost is one of the best known and most beneficial types of compost. If you are someone who works in your garden or orchard, you have surely heard of this type of natural fertilizer and organic compost. It is an ecological way to recycle waste and enrich the soil of your garden or orchard without artificial chemical additives.
Would you like to know what its benefits are and how to prepare it in your own home? So, we invite you to read this post about what bokashi compost is and how to make it.
What is bokashi composting
The word bokashi means “fermented organic matter” in Japanese. In Japan, rice farmers developed their formula to boost the production of their land while taking advantage of the waste generated by themselves.
Bokashi has many advantages over regular compost. One of the most important advantages is its preparation speed. Normal compost takes about 3 months to be ready for application, while bokashi takes just two weeks to prepare.
On the other hand, its composition does not attract undesirable insects and, in fact, drives away many of them. It does not cause unpleasant odors of any kind, and enriches the composition of the soil, providing organic matter and a large amount of nutrients that strengthen the growth and health of your plants.
How to make bokashi compost
At this point, you are already wondering how to make your own bokashi at home. Do not worry, because its preparation is simple and you can easily get the necessary ingredients. Once you have gathered the ingredients that we are going to detail, follow these simple steps to make your own bokashi.
Ingredients to make bokashi compost
- 1 container of 5 liters capacity
- 4 liters of rainwater, river or lake.
- 6 kg of manure or chicken manure
- 6 kg rice husk or straw
- 600 grams of bran
- 100 grams of molasses or brown sugar or normal sugar
- 600 grams of ashes or calcium carbonate (agricultural lime)
- some fresh yeast
- 6 kg of black earth
- 1 kg of charcoal
This list is made with indicative quantities. You can reduce or increase them as long as you respect the proportions.
How should you prepare bokashi?
- We begin by preparing the inoculum, which is the name given to the cultivation of beneficial microorganisms that we want to introduce into our preparation. Place the water in the container, and add the molasses or sugar and yeast. Move it until it is homogeneous, cover it and let it rest for 24 hours.
- In the place you are going to use to prepare your bokashi, place the black earth mixed with the charcoal, which is preferably in small pieces of a similar size. Add a layer of manure or chicken manure, the rice husk and the bran, in addition to the lime or ashes.
- Once this base is formed, pour the inoculum from the container over it, ensuring that it is distributed more or less equally. With the help of a stick or a gardening tool, move the mixture and let it rest for 24 hours.
- Keep stirring your mixture twice a day, preferably in the morning and late in the evening. In about two weeks your mixture should be ready, and the fermentation process will have taken care of maintaining a high temperature that will have killed undesirable microorganisms. It is important that you do not notice unpleasant odors in the process, since they are an indicator that something is not going well.
- After 15 days, you can use your bokashi to enrich the soil or substrate for your plants. The mixture will remain useful for about 3 months, after which it will lose its properties and you will have to get rid of the rest.
How to use bokashi compost
Our suggestions on how to use bokashi compost:
- Simply mix the bokashi with the soil or substrate in which you are going to plant.
- You can use it both in orchards and outdoor crops as well as in pots or seedbeds.
- In the case of pots or seedbeds, it is sufficient to use a proportion of no more than 20% bokashi and 80% black earth.
- If you want to add it to the soil of your crops, you can apply it every 3 weeks to give your plants that extra supply of energy and protection against pests and diseases.
If you want to read more about compost, we recommend reading our post: “Home Composting: A way to help our plants and the environment.”