Increasing your yield with bokashi bran

So the results are in for our medical marihuana test. And they are exciting!

We appreciate that this may be a controversial topic. However, the growth of marihuana for medical use is legalised here in BC for licensed growers. We field lots of calls from growers about bokashi. Therefore, we chose to complete this test to gather our own data on the effects of bokashi bran on plant growth and yield.

The test

First we would like to acknowledge that this grower has a licence to grow medicinal marihuana, for personal use. We did not pay this grower anything. All we asked for was permission to be there at various stages of the growing process, to provide bokashi bran, and to document what we observed.

We began the test with a fresh round of 18 healthy looking baby ‘clones’. Our grower planted 17 of these clones in small 4″ pots, as he usually does, and in the 18th pot we mixed in a half cup of bokashi bran with the soil before he planted the clone in it.

The growing medium he uses is a soil-less potting mix. Watering and feeding was done using his regular store bought supplies (non organic by our observation).

For full details of the test and to find out the initial findings of the study (up to 26 days into the flowering cycle) please read the original post here.

Harvest day: visual results

So, we left off at day 26 with a visibly stronger and larger plant treated with bokashi bran. Our next photo was taken at harvest day, which for this grower was at exactly 7 weeks (49 days) into the flowering cycle.

Here is a photo of our three plants on harvest day (remember, the plant on the right has had bokashi bran added to the soil twice during its growing cycle and the two plants on the left have not):

We notice that the bokashi plant (on the right) is the larger plant. At this time, we should say that the 2 non bokashi plants on the left in the picture were looking very similar in size to the other 15 plants that are not included in the photos. And the bokashi plant looked slightly bigger than all of them.

Comparison of yields

The plants were harvested and the buds separated and weighed. A tally of the number of buds was kept for all 18 plants.

Here is a photo of our three plants after harvest, showing the weight of the buds for each plant **note these weights are of ‘wet’ buds i.e. not dried or cured:

The two non bokashi plants produced 86 and 89 grams each (an average of 87.5 grams per plant). The bokashi plant produced 105 grams. Thats a 20% bigger yield compared to these two non-bokashi plants.

How did these results compare to the other 15 plants?

The results for all plants are as follows:

These show that the yields from the non-bokashi were pretty consistent; ranging from 69 g to 90 g and averaging 85 g.  The plant with bokashi added (plant number 18) had the highest yield by far at 105 g. Even we were surprised by how clearly bokashi bran was increasing the yield of the test plant.

How did the bokashi bran affect the root structure?

We were curious to see how bokashi affected the quality of the root structure. Upon pulling out the root ball, we noticed that the bokashi plant had, very noticeably, a stronger and more developed root system.

The following three photos show the root systems:

Very clearly, the bokashi plant on the right has a stronger and more developed root structure.

Summary:

We recognize that it was not an exact test, strictly speaking, because we had only one plant to work with. But this one plant was selected at random. The selected plant appeared to look perfectly the same as the other 17 clones did when we began the test. That it outperformed every other plant, consistently and by a very noticeable margin, to us is positive proof that the bokashi bran made the difference. The results certainly convinced our grower.

By adding bokashi to one plant, our grower increased his yield by 23.5% compared to the average of all 17 non bokashi plants in this study. Other than the addition of the bokashi bran, the bokashi plant was treated exactly the same, at all times, as the other plants throughout the growing and flowering period.

This case study supports what we are learning about bokashi and root structure. By creating microbe rich soils, we are helping plants develop stronger and better root structures. This ultimately results in stronger, healthier, and higher yielding plants (of all types).

On a parting note, we feel that if our grower was growing organically, the bokashi test should have yielded even better results. Growing with chemical and synthetic fertilizers, in a sterile growing medium, is not optimal for any microbes. That they survived and achieved these results was impressive, and should be encouraging to medical marihuana growers of all styles.

And if bokashi bran can help marihuana plants… just think what it can also do for your vegetables, flowers and lawns!

You might also like to read

Bokashi bran as a soil amender, compost accelerator and compost tea brew

Medical marihuana: Using bokashi bran to grow strong plants

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