Harnessing the power of bokashi as a soil amender: how-to and benefits

Sprinkling bokashi branBokashi bran is not just for composting. Each handful of bokashi bran is teeming with plant friendly microbes. A simple way to harness the power of these microbes is to add them directly to your soil or growing medium. Adding our premium bokashi bran builds a healthier and stronger soil food web. This, in turn, results in more productive plants and higher yields.

Once bokashi bran is added to your soil, it springs to life. Right away the bokashi microbes start breaking down and mineralizing amendments and organic matter into bio-available forms. The bokashi microbes are often visible as white mold or hair on the surface of your soil. These bacterial filaments resemble fungal mycelia and are mostly made up of the Streptomyces genus (part of the Actinobacteria group). These microbes are essential in healthy soils and compost.

Another important group of bokashi microbes are LAB (lactic acid bacteria). These are invisible to the naked eye but are considered one of the most important and prolific composters. LAB rapidly digest organic matter and convert it into readily available plant forms. LAB also play an important role in suppressing harmful plant pathogens and diseases.

How to add bokashi bran to your soil

Adding bokashi bran is really simple. Here are our top 3 most commonly used methods for adding bokashi bran to your soil or soil less mix. Don’t be nervous about adapting these methods to work for you to get these essential microbes into your soil. Your plants will reward you whichever method (or methods) you choose.

Top dressing with bokashi bran

1. Top dress

Firstly, bokashi bran is perfect for top dressing your plants. Simply sprinkle approximately a third of a cup of our premium bokashi bran for every square foot of growing space. Repeat every 2 weeks.

After top dressing with bokashi bran you may notice that a white mold forms on the surface of the soil. This is nothing to worry about. In fact it is a sign that the bokashi microbes are happy, thriving and doing their work.

2. Mix into growing medium

Again, this is a really simple way of adding bokashi microbes to your soil. Just mix 1 cup of bokashi bran to every cubic foot of soil or soil less mix. Use your growing medium as normal.

3. Add to planting hole

Finally, bokashi bran can be added directly to a planting hole. Adding bokashi bran to the planting hole will actually accelerate and enhance the effectiveness of the other soil amendments. The beneficial bokashi microbes will rapidly transform the soil amendments making them readily available to your plants.

After digging a hole, add your preferred soil amendments (bone meal, blood meal, minerals etc). Then sprinkle a layer of bokashi bran in the bottom of each hole before planting. Add the plant and water, as normal.

Garden benefiting from bokashi compost

Benefits of adding bokashi bran

Many gardeners and growers are discovering the benefits of adding bokashi bran directly to their soil and soil less growing mediums.

  • Adds beneficial plant friendly microbes. These microbes are the foundation of healthy, productive soils.
  • Increases nutrient availability to your plants. The bokashi microbes break down organic material and soil amendments into plant available forms.
  • Produces healthier and more productive plants. Healthier soil with more plant available nutrients grows stronger, healthier plants. Stronger, healthier plants create more abundant yields and crops. This experiment shows over 20% increase in yield when our premium bokashi bran is added to the growing medium.
  • Reduces plant diseases. The beneficial bokashi microbes help to suppress bacteria that cause certain plant diseases. Furthermore, plants grown in bokashi enriched soils are healthier and stronger making them more resistant to diseases and pests.
  • Unlike some organic fertilizers which take time to activate within the soil, the bokashi microbes start working immediately.
  • Long term benefits. Chemical fertilizers will only benefit your plants for as long as they are present in the soil. The benefits of chemical fertilizers stop once they are used up or washed out of the soil. By adding bokashi bran, you are building a healthy soil food web which will have long lasting benefits for your plants and garden.
  • Better water retention. Healthy soils retain water better. This means less watering, which means less labor and costs.
  • Natural. Using bokashi enhances the natural process for building soils. Using bokashi encourages gardeners and growers to understand and appreciate the natural biological systems within their gardens.

When added to soil, you will see an impressive increase in the growth rates of your plants. You will be amazed at the difference some beneficial bacteria can make in your garden.

Order now! Find all your bokashi composting supplies in our online shop.

4 thoughts on “Harnessing the power of bokashi as a soil amender: how-to and benefits

  1. I am trying to reestablish my lawn without fertilizer. I have purchased 2 liquid bokashi “fertilizers ‘ how should I go about reseeding and using the product and when should I start the grass seeds…
    Thanks

    1. The best time to sow your lawn seed will depend on the region you live in. A quick google will show you the optimum time to sow grass seed in your area. Typically, grass seed is best sown from late summer to mid-autumn. The soil is warm, and there is plenty of rain to keep the seed damp. Alternatively, mid-spring can be a good time to sow grass seed, but only if you are able to water the new grass seed sufficiently.
      The bokashi microbes will help the grass seed tremendously. I am not sure exactly what liquid bokashi fertilizer you have purchased, but make sure to read the instructions thoroughly. Bokashi tea and other bokashi fertilizers can be very acidic and need to be diluted before applying to any plants or seeds.

  2. I have a question regarding the microbe bacteria in a completed bokashi bucket. Has acidimicrobium strain sp A6 ever been analysed in a bokashi bucket.
    I want to know because we are busy with house building plans. The local council has stopped planning permission until the ground is analysed for PFAS contamination. Previously a house on our land was burned down and the fire had to be extinguished by the fire brigade. Apparently PFAS components are in extinguishing foam. We fear that our plans for a new house may become much more difficult and very much more expensive.
    I have been a bokashi maker and user in the garden for about 3 years now. Is it a good idea to start using the bokashi bucket contents on the building land for the time being in the hope that any PFAS contaminants are neutralised by our own bokashi?

    1. Hi Lindy

      Thanks for your question. We’re not familiar with that strain of microbe and, unfortunately, don’t believe it is present in the bokashi bran. However, adding the bokashi bucket contents (as well as bokashi bran and EM mother culture) to your land can’t do any harm. The vast majority of toxins present in pesticides have been shown to break down during composting through the actions of the composting microbes. Although, the same may not be true of the PFAS.

      We have reached out to our wider network to see if others have more specific experience with PFAS contamination. We will update this response if we get any further information.

      Best of luck with your house plans,
      The Bokashi Living team

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