Rather like how green tea is a healthy drink for humans, brimming with antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients and amino-acids that has a healing and protective effect on your skin and entire system, bokashi tea, a by-product of the Bokashi Bran system, is a similar organic liquid gold for plants and gardens.
As you may already have realised, whether you are a novice or an advanced gardener, taking good care of your plants is a labour of love. Giving them water, eradicating pests and composting is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this wonderful hobby because not all plants are created equal, especially when it comes to feeding them.
What is Bokashi Tea?
Bokashi tea, also known as leachate or juice, simply put, is the liquid that can be tapped from your bokashi kitchen digester bucket during the fermentation process in bokashi composting, which you can read more about on our blog page. This environmentally friendly ‘green’ tea contains a mixture of bokashi microbes, nutritional liquids derived from food waste as well as the liquids produced during the bokashi fermentation process. It is the ultimate gold standard in organic liquid fertiliser. When your bucket of bokashi-treated food waste is full, it must be left for 2 weeks, out of direct sunlight, to complete the fermentation process. During this time, the liquid from your food waste seeps through the straining tray and collect in the bottom of the bucket. Shake the bucket around to hear the liquid “sloshing” around. Open the tap and balance the bokashi bucket on top of another bucket to empty the liquid. You should get a cup of bokashi tea; sometimes more depending on how high the water content of your food is that has gone into your bucket. Lettuce, tomato, pineapple, watermelon etc. will have a much higher water content than rice or bread.
3 Ways to Use Your Bokashi Tea for Gardening
Bokashi tea should be used as soon as possible after tapping it from your digester bucket so that your plants get the full benefit of the beneficial bacteria and goodness in it. Leaving the tea unused could also result in it turning bad which produces a pretty offensive smell.
Be warned that bokashi tea is rather acidic and it is thus very important that you dilute it before use. The recommended dilution ratios are 1:1000 for foliar spray and 1:300 for lawns, garden beds and as a soil additive. It’s advisable to test the dilution rate on sensitive plants and adjust as necessary. To be safe, it is generally better to apply your bokashi tea solution to the soil rather than the foliage as some plants may be susceptible to being ‘burned’ by the high acidity level. Using a mix nozzle also makes it easy to ensure that your bokashi tea is well diluted.