Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bokashi Sidedressing and the Summerbowl

I said I would talk more about bokashi so here it is. Below is a picture of 2 tomato leaves, oversaturated to emphasize that one is greener than the other. The one on top is one of my ground tomatoes while the one on the bottom is from my box planter. I noticed a few weeks ago that the ground tomatoes have become distinctively less green than the box tomatoes. The reason why I believe this is so is because the box tomatoes have been enriched with bokashi.

And so, I decided it was high time I gave the ground tomatoes some of their own bokashi richness. I can't just top them with it. This is super rich stuff. Instead, I side dressed them.
I have a special skinny shovel that is perfect for digging deep narrow holes. I dug a hole as close as I dared to without damaging my tomato's roots. I have a little secret thing I've been planting in tandem with my bokashi, it's hair, hair of any kind be it my own, my pet's or in this case waste alpaca. Why do I have waste alpaca? If you wanna know check out Gabrielle Spins, my other blog which I have not been very active with. Perhaps I will again as it gets cold again but really, the dynamics of a garden are much greater than spinning.

I got interested in using hair to fertilize when I heard about Smartgrow. This seemed indeed to be something smart but it also seemed to be something I had available already that normally I just threw away. Anyway, burying hair below the bokashi means it will break down faster for my plants to use sooner.
Right on top of the hair is the bokashi. Then a little bit of backdirt mixed with some lime. Bokashi smells like vinegar and is very acidic. In part because this is in fairly close proximity to my well established plants it is a good idea to help the soil to maintain a go pH balance. Then I backfilled the rest of the soil. I hope that in a few weeks from now I will see some positive results.
My garden is revised many times during the growing season. This saladbowl is one example. I spared you the shot of the chervil fully bolted and gone to seed. Gone is the pretty flower phase, it was down to the seeds turning brown while the plants yellow. I pulled the majority of them up. Indeed I pulled out most of the lettuce. It too was bolting and bitter. The soil for being so overwatered had become pretty nutrient poor. Really, in all honesty, this is NOT an efficient way to grow vegetables. It was a pretty experiment.

Now I'm not ready to just chuck it all away so instead I pulled up the worst of it, leaving in particular these lovely beets. I mixed in some fertilizer, not bokashi this time. I don't think bokashi is a good option here, just a dry organic fertilizer with a bit of lime and some water retention crystals. This time, I hope to keep whatever I have here growing. With that in mind I planted just about the least sensible thing I could think of, a watermelon.
I will keep you posted on how that works out unless it is a complete disaster that is an embarrassment to me. I am not above being embarrassed and under-reporting my failures.
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1 comment:

frazzledsugarplummum said...

I put hair in the soil too. Look forward to hearing how the bokashi goes.