Using Grokashi

grokashiIn many ways, the types of garden amendments that you can use are limited only by your creativity and willingness to experiment with innovative ideas. Recently, grokashi has entered the organic gardening scene as a specialty fertilizer that promises some pretty impressive benefits. Though it is still relatively new in the mainstream organic gardening the world, those that use it swear that nothing else can compare.

If using grokashi interests you, this article will tell you what you need to know to start.

What is Grokashi?

Based on ancient methods of fertilization, grokashi is a specialty form of fertilizer that incorporates the principles of inoculated fermentation. For centuries, it has been popular in east Asia. Grokashi itself is technically the wheat bran dregs from a fermentation process similar to what happens to kombucha, beer or wine. The dregs used for grokashi are filled with enzymes and antioxidants that add nutrients to the soil as a specialty form of fertilizer full of beneficial bacteria.

In many ways, the grokashi is similar to bokashi, a Japanese form of composting that involves adding inoculated wheat bran to food scraps. Unlike with bokashi, however, grokashi also has other inputs such as minerals.

How Does Grokashi Work?

Because grokashi is made from inoculated wheat bran and molasses, it creates a living form of fertilizer that is an ideal feeding and breeding ground for beneficial bacteria. When added to your garden, grokashi introduces these networks of microbes to the soil. Even more so, it works to nourish the life already present while helping plant roots to produce the defenses necessary for keeping them safe from pathogens, rot or mold.

There are several ways to use grokashi, including diluting it to create a foliage spray, compost tea, or simply adding it to soil as a top dressing. You can combine grokashi with other forms of fertilizer or use it on its own to increase the nutrient levels in your garden.

Where Can You Get It From?

The best way to get grokashi is to buy it from Gro-Kashi, a specialty garden company that prides themselves on their high quality, all organic product. Their grokashi is made from red wheat bran, spring water and beet juice as a sugar source. Additionally, there are various trace vitamins and minerals. For even more microbial benefits, each batch of grokashi is dried in the early morning in order to capture microorganisms directly from the natural environment.

What are the Benefits?

The probiotic-building benefits of grokashi are numerous. Not only will your garden soil gain organic material that provides nutrients directly to plant roots, your plants will grow more vigorously and robustly because they will be better equipped to fight off pests and disease. The soil building properties of grokashi also create the space for your plants to grow better root structures. This aids in anchoring them in place. Plus, with fewer chemical inputs needed to keep your plants healthy, you won’t have to worry about the runoff from your garden contaminating water sources or other plants.

Because the natural immunity of plants is boosted through the use of grokashi, you will enjoy better color and flavor, as well bigger yields than before. Even the nutritional value of your crops will improve, as more robust plants tend to have a higher antioxidant content.

General Application Rates

Using grokashi is simple. Because the best results come when you integrate grokashi with other forms of natural, probiotic-based farming, it pays to become intimate with the biological systems of your garden in order to fully understand the benefits that grokashi will add to your soil.

  • To use it as a soil conditioner, top dress each square foot of growing space with a third of a cup of pure grokashi every two weeks.
  • To make a soil drench, you can mix one third of a cup into a gallon of water and cover the container with a loose fitting lid. After one to two days, stir in one tsp. of black strap molasses and strain the entire mixture. This drench can be used immediately or stored in a cool, dry location for future use. Some people find it easiest to add their grokashi to a fabric “tea bags” in order to skip the straining step.

When added to soil, you should see an impressive increase in the growth rates of your plants. Have the patience to try it out, and you’ll be amazed at the difference some beneficial bacteria can make on your garden.