Using bokashi compost in your garden

One of the best gardening decisions I've made is to start using bokashi. This method is so effective and easy. Give it a try!

A hole in the ground an a bucket of bokashi compost in it.

This is how bokashi compost looks like when it is time to put into the ground.


For me bokashi started as an experiment. I thought that the bokashi method seemed really interesting and decided to give it a try. To my surprise, I managed to convert almost 300 gallons of food waste into compost in the first six months. How did this happen?

I started using bokashi a few years back when I realized that we really needed to start doing hot composting. We were turning the compost heap and suddenly discovered a mouse nest. It was quite unexpected. My children started chasing the baby mice across the yard and the whole experience was just a bit too much.

At this point, I was completely set on doing hot composting instead. But then I heard about this new trend that everyone was  talking about: bokashi. I was skeptical at first but my friends in the gardening community talked me into giving it a try. I did, and I've been hooked ever since.

Watch the video to get to know more about what bokashi is:

The biggest advantage of using bokashi is that I can simply dig down my food scraps (after about two weeks in buckets) directly in my garden beds, or get started on my own little soil factory elsewhere. The waste will turn into soil in just a few weeks. It almost sounds too good to be true, but it actually works! This means that I don't have to do as much work in the garden since the soil is created right there in my garden beds.



Bokashi works!

I want to give you an idea of how efficient this method actually is. We're quite a large family and we produce a lot of food waste. On top of that, I also compost toilet paper (only used for no 1 of course) and all of the scraps from the green grocer in the village where I live. All of this added up to almost 300 gallons of compost in the first six months. It's crazy!

In this video I will show you how fast bokashi turns into soil:



In the beginning, I also started collecting grass clippings and leaves in autumn. I then put the mix in my pallet collar raised beds together with bokashi compost. This became my own little soil factory. The material started to heat up and later turned into top quality soil. Since then, I have also bought a special bucket for my bokashi project. The bucket has a spigot that drains the fluid from the mix, so you don't have to use for example newspapers to absorb it. This means that you can put even more material in your bucket and it's also a lot easier to fill it. I then started using the bokashi juice as fertilizer.

What about the toilet paper then, doesn't it smell? Actually, it doesn't! We go through a lot of toilet paper in our family and using the paper this way has actually been beneficial in so many ways. When I started using toilet paper, we actually didn't have to empty our septic tank as often anymore. So it's both convenient and saves us some money!

Using bokashi and making sure to mulch means that I don't need to have a separate compost pile anymore. It's great! Why not give it a try?
/Sara Bäckmo


13. December 2022

12 responses to “Using bokashi compost in your garden”

  1. Alice Nakajima says:

    I currently do hot composting and am very interested in switching to Bokashi composting so thank you for making the videos. You mentioned adding paper to your bokashi bucket to absorb the condensation. I thought you need to drain the excess liquid from the bucket every so often or is that not necessary?

    • Sara Bäckmo says:

      It depends on what kind of bucket you use. I have two different buckets, one with a tap and one without. In the one with tap I don't ad paper, and in the one without I ad paper to absorb the condensation. Good luck!

  2. Lindsay Vermillion says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. It's difficult to find comprehensive information regarding the Bokashi method...which you've definitely convinced me to try in my little garden!

    Thanks again!

  3. Aileen says:

    Hi, do you have any problems with rats using this method? I had raised beds & rats nested in them, I had to dismantle the beds.

  4. Aileen says:

    Do you have any problem with rats in winter? I tried this with raised beds & a rat set up home in one. The only compost I've managed without rat infestation is a bin with small holes drilled in it to let liquid out & a tight fitting lid but it takes a long time to rot & is difficult to aerate.

  5. Barbara says:

    Hello, thanks for the very interesting video,my question is :what about the winter time, do you still damp it on snow beds . Thanks

  6. Anna Maria says:

    Thank you for this.
    I live in southern Italy and my composting efforts have not been working well, so I think I will give your method a try. I am familiar with Bokashi but it seemed more complicated.
    Happy gardening!

  7. Diane says:

    I am very interested in this Bokashi method. I'm not a great gardener - only have a small patch for my flat. I'm moving into an even smaller apartment and will be gardening on my balcony. This Bokashi composter seems fine for me. I want to transform kitchen waste into soil. I feel this is an important contribution (in just a small way) to caring for the environmental resources of our planet.

  8. Rita says:

    Online bokashi kits have an "activator" to help the food breakdown. What do you use as the activator?

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