When you create soil using the bokashi fermenting method, your resulting soil isn’t like the same old everyday depleted soil you buy from your local home improvement store. Your bokashi soil is nutrient-rich, moist and filled with beneficial microbes.
Something I Learned
Last year I created a container garden. To be efficient I decided to use the self-watering container concept. In essence, the bottom of the container held a reservoir of water that was wicked up into the soil when needed. The one thing I didn’t take into account was the use of bokashi soil.
Bokashi soil is moist and doesn’t need as much water as “traditional” soil. I use the term traditional loosely because soil is supposed to be nutrient-rich and moist. Unfortunately, we’ve become so accustomed to the poor quality soil that we believe it’s necessary to constantly water our plants and fertilize them. That’s not the case with bokashi soil.
Over Watering Mistake
Throughout the growing season I made sure there was enough water in the reservoir so the dirt could wick it up when needed. The only problem was it really wasn’t needed. By the end of the season my plants started showing signs of root rot.
This year I created another container using the old-fashioned method. I drilled holes in the bottom of the container, filled it with bokashi dirt and topped it off with topsoil. I only topped it off with topsoil because the bokashi dirt had a distinctive “aroma.” You see, the bokashi soil was soil I had accumulated over the winter and although the fermented foods had disintegrated, they hadn’t completely converted to soil. I guess the frigid temperatures slowed the process.
Anyway, after filling the container with bokashi soil, there was plenty of water/liquid drainage. The drainage continued for about a week. To top it off, we had a spell of rain so the dirt was extremely moist (I wish I had taken photos of the rich black bokashi soil before covering it with topsoil).
Less Water and Tea as Fertilizer
This year I’m taking a different approach. I’m not adding excess water. I’ll let the rain water my plants. If we run into a dry patch and the plants tell me they need water, I’ll water them accordingly. It is my belief that it will take an extended dry patch before it’s necessary to water the plants.
As far as fertilizer goes, bokashi tea was the fertilizer of choice. The tea, rich with nutrients and microbes, is all the fertilizing the plants needed. Last year we had a bumper crop of veggies. I can’t wait to see what this year brings. Imagine what would happen if I actually started planting in the yard instead of in containers.
Who knows, maybe I’ll tackle that next year.