I sometimes get the question, “Can I use bokashi in a container garden?”
The answer to that is, “Yes!” Bokashi is the perfect compliment to container gardens. It takes a little pre-planning the first year, but if you time it right, you can set up your containers so there’s a layer of bokashi in the soil before planting.
Since this is my first year of using bokashi and planting in a container garden, I wanted to make sure I took my time to plan things right. If you’ve read any of the earlier posts on how to bury bokashi, you’ll know my preferred method is in a container.
Once the bokashi is buried, wait two weeks before planting your garden. Two weeks is the time needed for the acid levels in the bokashi to normalize. Never plant immediately on top of fresh bokashi because it’s too acidic and may burn plant roots.
Benefits of Bokashi in Containers
The one obvious benefit to adding bokashi to containers is it creates nutrient-rich soil with favorable microbes. The rich soil not only provides nutrients but it also holds onto moisture thus requires less watering than depleted soil.
Another benefit is there’s no need to look for a place to bury the scraps. If your yard is nicely manicured, you may not want to dig it up to bury bokashi. By burying it in a container, you get the benefit of quality soil and leave your yard intact. When the bokashi is fully decomposed, you can top dress your lawn (spread a thin layer of composted soil).
A container is the perfect place to bury bokashi during winter months. It’s nearly impossible to dig through frozen ground to bury bokashi. With a little pre-planning, you can container bury bokashi in the harshest of winters without missing a beat.
The Following Spring
The second year of container gardening will be better than the first. If you compost your food scraps in a container all winter, you can spruce up your container gardens with fresh soil in the spring.
If you have more nutrient-rich soil than you can use, give some to your neighbor. Or, use the soil to plant few seedlings and give them away as gifts. Bokashi is the gift that keeps on giving.