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How to know when the bokashi pre-compost can be buried

Common questions we get asked are “how long should I leave my bokashi bucket” and “how do you know when your bokashi pre-compost is ready to be buried”?

We recommend leaving your bokashi bucket for at least 2 weeks to complete the bokashi fermentation process. This simply means that, after you have added the final layer of food waste and bokashi bran, seal the lid and leave the bucket for two weeks. Depending on how long it has taken to fill the bucket, the material at the bottom will obviously have sat for longer than two weeks.

You can leave your bin longer than 2 weeks to ferment. Longer is often better, especially if you have added harder to compost food items such as bones, raw meat, and cooked food.

TIP: Remember to drain the bokashi tea every few days. Too much liquid in the bottom of the bucket can cause the contents to get too wet and start to smell.

Do I have to wait for white mold before burying?

Bokashi bucket ready to be buried
A bokashi bucket that is ready to be buried

No! Some companies suggest that the bokashi pre-compost is ready to bury when you see white mold on the surface. However, this white mold will not always form. It is actually a sign that the bin is not completely airtight; often caused by a cheaper, ill-fitting lid. Many times you will not see any white mold with our fully airtight bokashi buckets.

Read more about mold in your bokashi bucket.

Can I leave the bokashi bucket for longer than 2 weeks?

Absolutely! Once the fermentation process has completed, the bokashi microbes will simply go dormant. The well sealed bin can be left for months, likely years, before being added to your garden or compost pile.

Again, remember to keep draining any bokashi tea so that the contents don’t get too wet and start to smell.

Do I have to fill my bokashi bucket?

No. The bokashi composting process will work on any scale. Most households take around 2 weeks to fill a bokashi bucket. This means that a 2 bin system works well; the first bucket can sit for 2 weeks while the second bucket is being filled etc. However, it’s fine if your household doesn’t produce much food waste, and it takes longer than 2 weeks to fill the bokashi bucket. You can choose to either seal the partially full bin after 2 weeks or wait until you have filled the full bin. Either way, you should then leave the bin for 2 weeks after sealing before burying it.


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6 responses to “How to know when the bokashi pre-compost can be buried”

  1. Line Côté says:

    HI!

    How can I keep the are-compost in winter? Can I put it in a big garbage bin and cumulate the compost for Spring? If yes, how long should I wait to change the compost container?

    Thanks,

    Line

    • Nicki Casley says:

      Thanks for the question. Yes, you can store the bokashi pre-compost over the winter. Once the fermentation process has completed, the bokashi microbes will go dormant until mixed with garden soil. The bokashi pre-compost needs to be stored in an airtight container. We would recommend storing it in a rigid container; the pre-compost can still have quite a lot of moisture in it and there is a higher risk of leaks from a garbage bag. You can then bury it when the soil is workable in the spring.

      This blog post has lots of information about bokashi composting through the winter: https://bokashiliving.com/composting-in-the-cold-and-snow/

      Happy composting 🙂

  2. Bud Burner says:

    I made my Bokashi pre-compost using all fresh fruit and veggies and let it ferment for 3 weeks. When I opened the bucket there was a beautiful white fungi starting to grow. For the soil I use forest floor that is a nice black soil… from what I’ve read on that, it’s high in carbon.
    Anyway I have a question about this.
    After this is done breaking down, do I need to mix this with potting soil or just use it as is?
    Thank you for your time and help.

    • Nicki Casley says:

      Hi,

      Thanks for the question. Once the pre-compost has fully broken down in the soil then you can just use the finished compost as is.

      Happy composting 🙂

  3. Julie says:

    After my bokashi compost has processed in the soil factory for two weeks (or more) can I add more bokashi ferment? Or do I need to empty the soil factory and start over?

    • Nicki Casley says:

      Thanks for the question. You can keep adding more bokashi pre-compost when your first batch has broken down. But remember, if you want to harvest any of the compost, you will need to wait 2 weeks from the last time you added the bokashi pre-compost.
      Happy composting 🙂

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