I’m one to learn by trial and error. When I first learned about bokashi, I knew I’d eventually bury my fermented scraps in a container and not in the yard. This is a no-brainer for a gal who is embarking on a container gardening journey.
When my fermented wastes were ready, I took a 5-gallon bucket into the yard and filled it with yard dirt. I took that dirt and lined the bottom of a 25-gallon Rubbermaid container situated on the deck. To that dirt, I added my 5 gallons of fermented kitchens scraps.
Bokashi Mistake # 1:
Dumping 5 gallons of bokashi scraps onto 5 gallons of dirt. What I should have done was dump maybe a gallon of the scraps, mixed it with dirt and then dump the next gallon. I should have used the lasagna or layered approach.
Next, I added 6 to 8 inches of topsoil atop of the bokashi scraps.
Bokashi Mistake # 2:
Pouring 6 to 8 inches of topsoil over 5 gallons of unmixed, unintegrated fermented bokashi matter. You see, the fermented mix breaks down faster if it’s fully integrated with the dirt.
Mixing bokashi with dirt to break it down is similar to seasoning a piece of meat. Seasoning on a huge slab of beef then cooking it within the hour is nowhere as tasty as taking the same piece of beef, cutting it into smaller portions and then seasoning it. The seasoning to meat ratio works better when the hunk of meat is cut into smaller pieces.
Bokashi Mistake # 3:
Increase the dirt to bokashi scrap interaction. A single banana peel will break down faster if the peel is cut into smaller pieces prior to being integrated with the dirt. I could have cut the banana peel before placing it into the bokashi fermenting bucket, or I could have chopped it up with the shovel as I mixed it with the dirt. I did neither.
After making all of the above mistakes I thought my bokashi would be ready in two weeks. When I opened the container I fully expected to see rich, black, nutrient-rich soil.
Mistake # 4:
It may take more than 2 weeks for the fermented items to break down. It will take even longer if you made all of the mistakes that I made.
Moral of this Post
Learn from my mistakes. You can use a container to break down your fermented bokashi, but it won’t be ready in two weeks if you make the above mistakes.
It’s a good thing I have another 5-gallon bucket ready to be buried. I’ll correct my mistakes on the second go ‘round. Stay tuned!.
5/16/12 Update: Apparently my big mistake wasn’t a mistake at all. Everything was working as it should. I was laboring under a huge misconception. See my “Aha” moment post