Bokashi Soil Factory Bokashi Composting For Apartments [What No One Tells You]

A bokashi soil factory will help you turn your bokashi compost into a finished product. Before you start bokashi composting for your apartment there are a few things you should know.

A bokashi soil factory will help you turn your bokashi compost into a finished product. Before you start bokashi composting for your apartment there are a few things you should know.

Bokashi Composting Does Not Make Compost

Bokashi composters are becoming very popular but what most people dont realize is they dont really make compost. Before you can use it it must be allowed to age.

Here is more info about bokashi composting from Wikipedia

Looking down into a bokashi bucket you an see things are not very well broken down. They are covered with bokashi starter (usually inoculated bran)than contains the necessary microbes.

Bokashi Soil Factory Bokashi Composting For Apartments

Composting usually takes months but bokashi is made in just a few weeks. It is very acidic and it pickles your scraps but they are not yet broken down. 

The standard advice is to bury it in your garden for several weeks or add it to an outdoor compost pile.

But we are talking about composting in your apartment and it is a safe bet you don’t have a compost heap there or a place to bury your bokashi. We need a soil factory in your apartment.

But don’t worry because an indoor soil factory is not hard to make. I have 2 solutions to this problem. The first is building a simple bokashi soil factory. The second is adding it to your worm bin if you have one.

What Is A Bokashi Soil Factory And Why You Want One

A bokashi soil factory is a simple device that turns your bokashi into crumbly brown compost that is ready to use for your plants. Because bokashi is very acidic with a pH of 3-4 it can damage plant roots so it needs further processing.

The great thing about bokashi composters is you can put anything in them. All the things you can’t or shouldn’t add to a compost pile or worm farm can go in here. And it only takes a few weeks to process it. This is all great but now you need a way to finish it.

Making A Soil Factory Is Easy Here’s How

Finishing off your bokashi compost is where your bokashi soil factory comes in. This can be a simple plastic tote with a tight fitting lid. You can keep it under your sink or in an out of the way corner somewhere in your apartment.

For small amounts of compost 5 gallon buckets can work but a large flat surface works better than a narrow tall one.

You might want to add drain holes to the bottom of your soil factory to catch any runoff.  You can place that tote or bucket inside another similar sized one or you can use a tray. Another option would be to add a spigot or cooler drain to your tote.

Depending on the size of your tote you will want to add a few inches of soil to the bottom. Since we are gardening indoors you will want to use coco or a good potting mix.

Add your bokashi to this soil and break up any clumps as you do. Then add more soil on top of it. You want a bokashi sandwich with about 1/3 of each layer.

You can add worms to the soil if you want and they will eat the compost as it begins to mellow. This would be good because they add their gut bacteria to the mix.

Make sure you have a tight fitting lid for your soil factory because we don’t want flies or other pests to get in. Odors should not be a problem if your bokashi turned out right. You might have a slightly sour smell for a day or two though.

Wait 2-4 Weeks For Soil Factory To Finish

It can take 2-4 weeks for everything to break down. Worms will speed up the process and cool temperatures will slow it down. If you get impatient it is okay to peek in and stir things around once a week. This can help speed things up.

Use your finished compost to feed your veggies or houseplants. I would probably not use the bokashi leachate on my plants because it might be too acidic. However, I heard it can be used as a natural drain cleaner.

If you want to use your finished bokashi compost as soon as it is done you will not want to add more bokashi to your soil factory. Instead, let it finish and then start a new cycle or start a second tote if you have a full bokashi bin.


Worms in bokashi soil factory
Find out more about bokashi composting Bokashi Composting Easily Start A Bokashi Bucket

Adding Bokashi To Your Worm Farm

As you can see from the picture above worms a very happy inside this soil factory. But you can actually add them to your worm composting bin too.

Generally, it is recommended not to add really acidic foods to a worm farm. But people do it and it seems to work.

I would only add a small amount at first and see how they react. The best thing would be to treat your bokashi first. I would add some pickling lime to raise the pH and a little goes a long way.

Pickling lime is calcium hydroxide. It is used to make tortillas and you guessed it pickles and it is relatively safe and harmless. It will easily raise the pH of your bokashi.

Bokashi Soil Factory Final Thoughts

Bokashi composting is great because you can compost things like meat, oils and dairy that should not go into a regular compost pile or worm farm.

A lot of people are not aware that the finished product that comes out of a bokashi composter is not really compost. It needs more time before it can be used.

It takes about 2 weeks to make bokashi. If you build a bokashi soil factory you will be able to finish the process off in 2-4 weeks. This means you can have garden ready compost in about 6 weeks while conventional composting can take up to 6 months.

You can also feed the bokashi to your worm farm. Some can do it directly but you may need to use some lime to alter its acidity first.

Either way, it means all the stuff you compost stays out of the landfill and you have very happy plants.