Although today in nurseries and garden stores, whether physical or online, they sell fertilizers and fertilizers for almost all kinds of plants, it is still very interesting to acquire those that are of organic origin, or even make them ourselves.
In fact, there are some that are quite easy to make, such as bocashi . This is a type of solid organic fertilizer that has been made in Japan for centuries, and that does not require as much effort or patience to do well as compost.
What is bocashi or bokashi?
Image – Wikimedia / Fredda89
It is neither more nor less than fermented organic matter , which in its beginnings in the Japanese country was prepared with the own excrement of those who were in charge of growing rice, but that currently use other materials that you probably already have at home or that, failing that, you can easily get it.
It is a technique based on the activation of yeasts and microorganisms found in the materials used to prepare it. After 12 to 21 days it mixes with the soil , increasing its microbiological life, something that will have a very positive influence on plants, since they will have more means to grow with health and strength.
What materials is it prepared with?
There are many recipes, depending on the region and the circumstances of each one, but the most used materials are:
Essential for moisture . Of course, do not throw too much. You have to control well the amount that is thrown so that everything is not spoiled.
During the fermentation process the acidity can increase considerably; that is why it is required to use agricultural lime, since in this way the pH is better controlled.
It is an ingredient that will favor the correct development of the roots , since it improves the structure of the soil, both aeration and its capacity to retain heat and humidity.
Taking into account the characteristics of the charcoal, it is important that the grains or particles of the charcoal to be used are all more or less the same size.
When a soil is very heavy, with little aeration, if you over-irrigate a plant, the roots can suffocate. To avoid this, one of the things you can do is add rice husk to your bocashi recipe to improve soil drainage . If it is charred or semi-calcined, it will also provide silicon, potassium, phosphorous and traces of other minerals.
In the event that you cannot get it, you can replace it with husk or coffee pulp, but yes, it must be dry.
Herbivorous animal manure or manure
It is essential, since it is the main source of nitrogen , which we must remember is a very important macronutrient for plants, since thanks to it they can grow. But in addition, it provides others such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, potassium and boron.
This is an ingredient that will help improve the biological properties of the soil, making it richer in nutrients.
A quality bocashi contains molasses. And it is that without it, the fermentation process would not take place in the correct way , since the microorganisms that take care of it could hardly multiply. It also provides important nutrients such as potassium, zinc, boron and manganese.
Yeast is essential for it to make greater microbiological biodiversity . Therefore, it constitutes one of the necessary ingredients when preparing this organic fertilizer.
To be collected from a garden or orchard where NO chemicals have been used . Thus, you can ensure that it has a higher concentration of microorganisms and minerals.
Of course, sieve it before using it to remove any stones and to be able to remove grains or particles that are too big or small.
How to prepare bocashi?
If you dare to prepare it in your garden, we recommend you follow this step by step:
- 40kg of guano
- 40kg of common earth
- 20kg of rice husks
- 1l of yogurt
- 20g yeast
- Half a cup of molasses
- 20l of water
Step by Step
- First, you have to mix the guano, the earth and the rice husks.
- Then, dilute the yogurt, molasses and yeast in the 20 liters of water. Once done stirring, add it to the mixture little by little, while you stir it.
- If necessary, add a little more water so that, when you catch a little, it maintains its shape, without dripping.
- Next, make sure that the pile does not exceed 30 centimeters in height, and then cover it with plastic.
- Stir it about 2-3 times a day.
- On the fourth day, you must reduce the height to 15 centimeters, and you must remove the plastic.
- From day 7, reduce the height even further, to 10 centimeters.
- Finally and for a while longer, you have to keep removing the pile 2-3 times a day, until it has acquired a brownish color, maintaining the height of 10 centimeters.
Bocashi is an excellent natural fertilizer, which will help your crops grow in health as long as you apply one kilo of fertilizer for each square meter of soil . It is also suitable as a substrate for pots, and can even be used in seedbeds -preferably of native plants and / or vegetable gardens-.
How is it stored?
Image – Wikimedia / Phil’enCorse
If you want to store it for later use, you should store it in sacks or cubes without moisture . These must be in dry and well-ventilated places, so that they are preserved longer.
You can use it for up to 3 months after making it.