Using Bokashi Compost In A Worm Bin


How To Use Bokashi Compost

When the food waste in your Bokashi bin has fermented (you can find instructions on this process here), you will be left with a mixture that is often called “pre-compost”. It’s given this name because the material has begun the process of breaking down, but isn’t quite there yet. There is still a bit more to be done before the material is ready to be used for planting. There are several different options for completing the Bokashi process and transforming your food waste into nutritious compost. Bokashi pre-compost can be:

Keep reading to find out about using a worm composting system to complete the process.

 

Adding Bokashi Pre-Compost To A Worm Composting System

If you already have a worm composting bin, this can be a really useful way to complete the transformation from food scraps to nutritious compost which has already begun in your Bokashi bin. In fact, a Bokashi composter makes a great addition to a worm composting system. You can use the Bokashi process to prepare foods which cannot normally be used in a worm bin (such as meat, dairy and citrus fruits), ensuring that all of your food waste is recycled at home.

 

Another advantage of using Bokashi in addition to a worm compost bin is that you can store food waste that is waiting to be added to the worm compost bin without it rotting and smelling bad. A Bokashi / worm bin combination is especially ideal for people living in apartments with limited outdoor space for composting.

 

Before adding Bokashi pre-compost to a worm bin it is important to drain off any excess Bokashi juice. The juice is acidic and could upset the moisture and pH levels of your worm bin. There are plenty of different ways to use the Bokashi juice, so make sure that you collect and store the drained liquid.

 

Once the Bokashi pre-compost has been drained, it is ready to be added to your worm composting bin. The important thing to remember is to add the pre-compost little and often. If you add too much Bokashi pre-compost in one go the worms won’t like it very much. However, if you add a little Bokashi at a time the worms will go crazy for it!

 

So, add a handful or two (I don’t recommend more than two) of Bokashi pre-compost to your worm bin. Add to the top layer, and spread out a little. If the Bokashi pre-compost looks like it contains a lot of moisture, you might want to add some dry bedding (shredded newspaper or something similar) first.

 

Now all you need to do is stand back and let the worms get to work! You might find that they’re not interested in the Bokashi pre-compost for the first couple of days. Don’t worry, this is normal. After a day or two though, you should see the worms move in and devour the pre-compost.

 

Once they’ve almost finished the pre-compost in the bin, add another handful or two. Again, spread it out over the surface of the bin, adding dry bedding if required. Before too long, the worms will have made their way through all of the pre-compost from your Bokashi bin.

 

Using a Bokashi kitchen composter to compliment your worm composting bin is a brilliant way of incorporating difficult foods into the system. This approach is ideal for people short on space, or those who want to complement their existing worm composting systems.


16 Comment(s)

  1. Linda

    April 18, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Thanks for the explanation, just bought a bokashi bin and I really need to learn how to use it!

  2. Nicole Rice

    July 15, 2012 at 4:36 am

    So should I still feed the wormbin other foods too- or just the Bokashi pre-compost? Thanks!

    • Graham

      July 18, 2012 at 10:41 pm

      Hi Nicole. You should be fine feeding the worms with just Bokashi pre-compost, although there is certainly no problem with feeding them a mixture. Sometimes worms are reluctant to start eating the Bokashi pre-compost straight away because it can be quite acidic. In this case, giving them something to munch on whilst the pH of your Bokashi pre-compost in the bin rises a bit could be a good plan.

      It’s up to you really, but there aren’t usually any problems with just feeding the wormbin with Bokashi pre-compost.

  3. Cameron

    November 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Hi Graham,

    I’ve been doing this for several years now, that is feeding Bokashi to my worms.

    I’ve now got a whole rotational system in place…. food scraps into Bokashi bin (I have 2), once bin has been full and left aside for approximately 2-4 weeks, put contents into a compost tumbler with grass clippings and shredded newspaper. Turn compost tumbler for about 2 to 3 weeks, then those contents are fed to the worm farm.

    Doing it this way seems to make the worms go absolutely crazy, and also prevents some increase in temperature in the worm farm that I’ve observed when putting bokashi directly in.

    From there, the worm castings are then used to brew compost tea. I just recently bought a 12 gallon brewer from the US, and its a marvelous contraption.

    Last year, the chilli plants I grew were over a metre high in the garden beds, I’m a big advocate for bokashi, worm farming and compost tea, and think more people will get into it once they can see the results from their hard work.

    • Graham

      November 20, 2012 at 12:08 am

      Sounds like an effective process there. You’ve found a way to quickly get the worms munching through the Bokashi mix. For people who have the space for a worm bin and tumbler, this looks like a brilliant way to go. Thanks Cameron.

    • Pete

      March 24, 2013 at 8:46 pm

      Hi Camron, I am useing the Bokashi system for a school kitchen waste program. If I fed the worms too much fermented or Bokashi treated waste, you mentioned an increase in temperature?? Will this get too hot for the worms & then they will die? or there is no danger of combustion like traditional composting is there??? thank you!
      Peter

  4. Cameron

    November 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    By the way, use garden lime to mix with the bokashi makes it a bit sweeter for the worms.

    • Graham

      November 20, 2012 at 12:06 am

      Good tip – thanks Cameron. Adding lime is a great way to raise the pH of the Bokashi mix (which is usually slightly acidic) to something the worms are more comfortable with.

  5. January 7, 2013 at 10:26 pm

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  6. Joseph

    January 11, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Approximately what volume of garden like would you add to a typical 5 gallon bucket of finished bokashi, please?

  7. Mo O'Neill

    February 21, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    When you suggest adding more dry beding for the worms when putting in wet bokashi do you put the bedding on top or on the bottom? I would think the bedding would soon get wet with the bokashi dripping down.

    • Graham

      March 28, 2013 at 5:05 pm

      Add the dry bedding first, underneath the Bokashi. You’re right – it will get wet. The idea is that it’ll soak up some of the moisture from the Bokashi and the overall effect will be something that isnt too soggy.

  8. Rowena

    April 28, 2013 at 7:44 am

    Does anyone know if newspaper based cat litter could be added to the bokashi mix or directly to the worm bin and how it might affect the ph? If I could dispose of the cat litter in my composting cycle somehow that would be ideal – any suggestions on the best stage? Perhaps instead of grass clippings….

  9. Annette

    August 31, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Hi, I’m composting the way I was brought up in the 70′s with worms in my traditional bin and it’s great but I was wondering if sprinkling Bokashi in the bin would be detrimental to my worms and would it speed the process.

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