Three things you need to know about the ‘soil sponge’ in your garden

How dry is your garden?

Over the past few weeks, I have visited many food gardens on Waiheke and in the Coromandel to discover that most of them have suffered or been pulled out due to the drought, and the lack of water-holding capacity in the soil.

Water is the new gold.

It is the essence of life and is essential in growing food. The reason that a lot of our soils dry out is because our soils are depleted and abused. The soil sponge has disappeared which in turn means our soils have no water-holding capacity. Therefore, what water we do receive is not able to be fully absorbed into our soils and just runs off.

Soil and the soil sponge are the key to holding valuable water in our soils, which will then become available to our plants in times of drought and be there for the roots to take up to produce our very valuable food.

How can I improve my soil to create a better soil sponge?

The most effective and quick way to start improving your soil sponge for the home gardener is bokashi composting.

I like to call it ‘Bokashi Gold’ as it is the gold all our soils require and it is also a great circular way to process your food scraps from seed to soil – to plate to bokashi compost – to soil…


Bokashi is so much kinder to the environment than any other type of composting.

Benefit #1

It is an anerobic fermentation process that keeps all the goodies and energy in the organic material.

It holds higher nutrient and energy levels than traditional composting due to the much lower heat that is generated – bokashi is around 40 degrees and traditional and hot composting are 60 and above.

Benefit #2

In this process, when food scraps are put in the bucket, they are inoculated with EMAS (expanded EM), which is either in a liquid or inoculated bran. This makes the organic material more digestible to the soil – providing a greater soil sponge – as it holds much more moisture in the soil and helps your plants grow quickly to maturity.

By adding bokashi to your soil, you will be saving on your plants watering-needs, thus giving you a much healthier soil.

Benefit #3

In a nutshell, bokashi can increase the water retention of soil, improve drought tolerance, provide humus, prevent the growth of weeds, boost crop yields and reduce the need for fertiliser and chemicals.

The time is now…… Improve your soil, absorb more moisture, create healthy plants and do your bit for the planet.. BOKASHI is GOLD for your soil!

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If you’re keen to start trying Bokashi composting at home, discover the range of home composting bins available from Urban Composter, and my review of them here.

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