Eco

Simple Guide to Bokashi Composting

by The Team at Cheap Cheap Rubbish Removal

Friday September 24th 2021

Simple Guide to Bokashi Composting-Bokashi-Composting.

No room to compost? Don’t like the smell?

Did you know you can compost even if you leave in an apartment or only have a small garden?

Food rubbish in Sydney is one of the easiest items to compost and Bokashi Composting doesn’t produce a foul smell, can be used as indoor plant food and doesn’t take a lot of space, in fact, it is designed to use on a kitchen bench or balcony.

The act of composting is very much appreciated by gardeners and eco-enthusiasts alike. There are many different ways to do it such as:

  • Vermicomposting;
  • Onsite composting;
  • In-vessel composting;
  • Windrow composting;
  • Static pile composting.

In this article, however, we will talk about the art of Bokashi composting, which is a bit different from the rest we just listed. It takes the least amount of time to finish the process and also has a higher nutritional value of the compost.

So if you’re a fan of sustainability or an avid gardener, this article is just for you!

Grab a pen and let’s dive into the wonderful world of Bokashi composting.

What is the Bokashi composting method?

Bokashi is a Japanese composting technique that consists of layering organic scraps, including meat and daily, with an inoculant in a special bin. This inoculant is more often composed of wheat bran or germ, sometimes stardust that is combined with molasses and EM (Effective Microorganisms).

As a whole, Bokashi is an anaerobic composting technique that uses bran/molasses to ferment all kinds of kitchen waste, resulting in a product you can then use as a rich supplement for your plants or as a soil builder. In order to complete this process successfully, you need a special air-tight compost bin that you can either buy online or make yourself.

This fermentation usually takes from ten to twelve days and must not be interrupted by checking the waste and opening the air-tight container. After that, if you decide to add the Bokashi pre-compost to your normal composting pile, it will take only up to a month for it to break down fully, compared to the many months it usually takes. The incredibly fast production of the useful byproduct and decomposition of the pre-compost is one of the reasons why Bokashi composting is so popular and sought-after but it’s not just this.

Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of Bokashi composting:

Advantages of Bokashi composting

  • It’s the only composting method that allows the incorporation of dairy products and meat scraps.
  • It doesn’t produce a foul smell.
  • The main byproduct is extremely nutritious and can be used in compost trenches.
  • The liquid that is drained at the bottom of the bin can be used as plant food and fertilizer.
  • The resulting material can also be used as food in a vermicomposting bin - the one that uses red worms.
  • The container used for Bokashi is very small and doesn’t take a lot of space so you can easily place it in your kitchen.

Disadvantages of Bokashi composting

  • You can’t do it without the special airtight bin so you need a bit of initial investment.
  • The resulting material is not actual compost that you can just use as mulch right away. It’s a fermented product that needs to be added to a compost dig or buried in trenches in order to break down completely and be used in the garden.

How to start with Bokashi composting

A big part of the process revolves around the air-tight container, so in order to start your Bokashi adventure, you need to get one. The easiest way is to buy one online but you can also make it yourself. We will begin by revealing how to make a Bokashi compost bin on a budget.

Making a DIY Bokashi compost bin

First, you need to get two 20l plastic buckets, an air-tight lid for one of them, and a drill. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Take one of the buckets and drill around 30 holes with a diameter of 6mm.
  2. Place the drilled bucket into the other one.
  3. Put the air-tight lid on the top bucket.
  4. You’re done! You can start layering the inoculant and scraps in the bin.

How to Bokashi compost

  1. Begin by adding around 2 tsp of your chosen inoculant at the bottom of the bin.
  2. Then you can add your kitchen waste in - vegetables, fruits, meat, bones, dairy, pasta, bread, whatever you have basically.
  3. With every 3 cm layer, sprinkle another 2 tsp of bokashi bran, and continue layering until you reach the top or you’re finished with the waste.
  4. Press the contents of the bin to compress them even more and seal the lid tightly.
  5. Leave it for 2 weeks until the fermentation process is complete.
  6. If you have a store-bought Bokashi kitchen composter, you can drain the liquid every day through the tap and use it for your house plants.
  7. After the kitchen waste has done fermenting, you can open the bin and take it out. Expect a vinegary sour smell coming from the bin, and a thin layer of white mould at the top. Those two things mean that the process was successful.
  8. Now you can add to a trench or in a compost pile.

Adding Bokashi pre-compost to a garden trench

Experts recommend that you add the Bokashi waste to soil that needs enrichment. If you have an area in your garden that is a bit hard to work with or things just don’t grow there, the nutrient-rich Bokashi compost might just be the thing you needed all along. Simply dig a hole in that area, add the fermented waste, mix it a little bit with the soil, cover it entirely, and leave it there for about 2 weeks.

After that, you can plant directly there, spread it around the soil, or dig it out and use it in other parts of your garden.

Adding Bokashi waste to a compost pile

If you already have a compost pile in your garden, you can easily add the Bokashi product to it. As a matter of fact, it will even speed up the decomposition in your regular compost pile.

Start by turning the pile carefully and then you add the Bokashi pre-compost to the mix. Make sure you take out the bottom plate that comes with the store-bought Bokashi bin. Spread everything out and break it good so that it doesn’t stay in chunks. After that, add a bit of normal soil at the top.

This technique will help introduce new microorganisms to the mix of normal compost and Bokashi waste so that they can decompose together properly.

Helpful tips

  • If the lid doesn’t fit well, you place a piece of cloth over the bucket and then try to put the lid again.
  • Cut your kitchen waste into smaller pieces so that it can ferment faster.
  • Accumulate the waste for a day or two before you start layering in the bin. This way you won’t have to open it as much.
  • Always have at least two bins ready so that while one of them is sealed and fermenting the scraps, you can still use the other one to put the new waste.
  • You can never have enough bran, so don’t worry about putting too much.
  • Whisk the contents of the bin before you seal it to distribute the bran equally between the scraps.
  • If you haven’t filled the bin entirely, press the waste and put a plastic sheet on top to make sure no oxygen comes through.
  • Use the bokashi tea right away and if you can’t, just drain it in the sink.
  • If you do decide to use the bokashi tea, make sure to dilute it properly because it’s very acidic.
  • Hose down and thoroughly rinse the bin after each use.
  • If you don’t have a trench big enough to bury the compost, you can distribute it in smaller holes next to plants in your garden.

Conclusion

Bokashi is a very multifunctional method of composting that gives people the chance to use all kinds of kitchen waste, even meat and dairy products. It’s easy to implement and has many benefits both for you and the environment. So if you’re looking for a more efficient way of using your kitchen waste and compost, Bokashi is just the thing for you!

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