In the Northeast we have to wait until after the last frost before we can plant most vegetables. This works out just fine. I was a little concerned that I was starting my vegetable garden too late, but it seems that I’m right on time.
When I went to the local agricultural supply store to buy wheat bran for bokashi mix and seeds for the vegetable garden, the gentleman behind the counter gave me a bit of a gardening lesson. He saw the number of seeds I was buying and mentioned that I was pretty good for all of them except I’m too late in the season to start tomatoes and red peppers from seeds. Those I will have to purchase as plants in order to plant them in my vegetable garden this year.
He also advised not to wait until Memorial Day to purchase the plants. I should plan to purchase them 2 to 3 weeks prior to Memorial Day or else I’ll be stuck with the runts of the vegetable litter.
Not in Bad Shape
Now that I have some breathing room, I can concentrate on making my bokashi mix and creating more self-watering containers. So far I’ve only created one, but I intend to make several more.
As far as the bokashi goes, since I’ve got about a month before I can plant, my first 5-gallon bucket of bokashi has enough time to fully decompose leaving behind nutrient-rich soil for my vegetables. If I’m lucky, I might be able to get two of my buckets fully decomposed. According to the information I’ve read, the bokashi process takes 2 weeks of fermenting and 2 weeks to decompose after its buried in the soil.
My first bucket is already filled and starting its 2-week fermentation. According to my calculations, if I bury the scraps on schedule, I should have soil by May 8th. That gives me ample time to use some of the soil in my container.
Homemade Bokashi Mix
In the meanwhile, I’ve gathered all the ingredients for making my own bokashi mix. Making my own mix is much more economical than ordering it online. It cost me $12.50 for 50 pounds of wheat bran. I already had molasses in my pantry and I ordered EM1 Microbial Inoculant for my effective microorganisms.
I ordered the 32 oz. Size of EM 1 for $22.99 (plus I paid a ridiculous amount in shipping charges). When you consider I only need ¾ cup or 6 ounces per 50 pounds of bokashi mix, I’ll get 5 batches out of the 32 oz bottle.
Ordering bokashi mix online costs about $15-$20 per 5-pound bag. At that rate it would cost $150 for 50 pounds of mix. By making it myself, including the unreasonable EM1 shipping costs, 50 pounds of mix costs less than $20.
BTW, EM1 isn’t absolutely necessary for making bokashi mix. You can make your own effective microorganisms, but I chose to order it instead.
My goal is to have the bokashi mix made and ready for use before my current 1.8-pound bag runs out (they advertise 2.2 pounds but I measured it and it’s only 1.8), but I think that’s cutting it too close. You see after making the mix it has to sit for 2 weeks before it’s usable. There’s a good chance my 5-pound bag won’t last that long.
I’ve got my work cut out for me so I had better get busy.
A side note: When I went to buy the wheat bran, the gentleman asked if we had horses. My husband said, “No, my wife is making bokashi mix.” Dead Silence…The guy just looked at us with a blank stare and said, “Okay, y’all have a nice day.”
I’ll be back with a bag of mix, a bucket and nutrient-rich soil. He’ll be a bokashi convert before it’s all said and done. 😉