Compost Bocashi to fertilize the garden: Complete guide

Bocashi compost is a type of natural fertilizer of Japanese origin that we can use to fertilize the land. In addition to nourishing the plants, the Bocashi compost helps the crops to stay strong and better defend themselves against the attack of pests and diseases, such as the agricultural biostimulants that I told you about in the previous post.

Cords of traditional compost during its maturation

In the post 5 ways to fertilize the organic garden we saw several methods to fertilize organically, such as vermicompost, green manure, manure or some homemade preparations, but we did not talk about this complete and ecological product, bocashi compost. Let’s see what it’s all about!

Differences between Bocashi compost and traditional compost

  • This fertilizer not only contains organic matter, it also provides the soil with a large quantity of minerals and microorganisms, always beneficial because they favor the uptake of nutrients from the soil by plants.
  • Bocashi compost prepares much faster than traditional compost. It is ready in two or three weeks, while the maturation of the traditional one, as I told you in the article How to make homemade compost step by step, takes several months.
  • It follows a more strict «recipe» or method of preparation, with specific components and quantities that must be added to the compost heap. Traditional compost, however, admits a lot of different components but none of them is «mandatory», it is enough that there are green and brown materials, as I have already told you in other articles.
  • In the compost we can add crop residues, food or biodegradable materials in the amount we want for weeks or even months, as we dispose of them, while the bocashi compost is prepared at once, adding all the components in the same moment.
  • Turning is basic, and this is common to both types of compost, but in the case of bocashi turning should be done more frequently: at first twice a day and then once every day.
  • The temperature of the bocashi compost during its maturation should not exceed 50-60 ºC, hence the continuous turning and the disposal of the compost in a mound 30-40 cm high (not in very high piles or in drawers, like compost). traditional, where the interior temperature can rise much more).

How to compost Bocashi

The first thing you should know is that Bocashi compost is a fermented material. This implies that the living microorganisms that we add and that are part of some of the ingredients, ferment and decompose the materials, so we must maintain the optimal conditions for the fermentation process to occur properly:

  • Protect from the sun: make the bocashi compost in a place protected from sunlight.
  • Protect from rain or excessive moisture.
  • Regulate the temperature by turning and watering so that the microorganisms do not die from excess heat.

Ingredients for bocashi compost

Now let’s see the basic ingredients:

  • 1 liter of molasses or sugar.
  • 150 grams of fresh yeast.
  • 2-3 liters of warm water (without chlorine) to mix with the molasses and yeast and water the compost.
  • 2 bags of rice husks or other crop residues, stubble, straw…
  • 2 sacks of chicken manure or other type of manure.
  • 2 bags of common soil (if it is not uniform, sift it first so that the particles have the same size).
  • 5 kg of rice bran or other cereal.
  • 1 kg of crushed charcoal.
  • 5 kg of rock dust + ash.
  • 5 kg of forest land or mature bocashi to inoculate more microorganisms to the mixture.

Each of these ingredients is interesting for the contribution of microorganisms, minerals such as silicon, organic matter, basic nutrients such as nitrogen, or for the improvement of the soil structure.

Go adding the ingredients in layers and watering with the mixture of water, molasses and yeast. Then mix the layers with a shovel, leaving all the materials in a homogeneous mound, not too high. For two or three weeks you will have to turn the pile every day and control the temperature so that it does not rise too much.

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