Thursday, April 12, 2018

How to Make Your Own Bokashi Composting Kit


Currently, organic waste takes up about 20 to 40 percent of space in the average landfill. Landfill space is limited, and the organic waste is truly being wasted! Now there is a solution to convert the organic waste into a rich organic fertilizer: Bokashi. Bokashi is an anaerobic fermentation process that is commonly associated with composting. There are many benefits - for you and the environment - of integrating the bokashi system into your everyday food removal routine.

The Benefits of the Bokashi System


Bokashi uses a specific group of microorganisms that effectively break down all food waste, including meat and dairy. The fermentation occurs within a closed system so there is little to no risk of attracting insects or creating bad odors. It is also extremely fast; the compost is ready to be introduced into the soil in about 2 weeks. You can compost on a small or large scale to suit your exact needs, and the process is relatively simple and inexpensive.
The end result is a far superior product when compared to traditional composting. There are two notable differences between the bokashi method and traditional methods. Bokashi employs beneficial microbes, or living microscopic cellular organisms, whereas traditional composting often relies on heat and soil microbes. Bokashi breaks down all food scraps while traditional methods target plant-based food waste.
The result is a higher quality compost that offers more nutrients and beneficial microbes to your soil. The resulting compost can be used as slow-release fertilizer and is good for the environment.

Build your own Bokashi Compost Kit in 10 steps


While the bokashi system is still relatively unknown in North America, it is becoming more recognized and appreciated globally. You can buy a compost kit like the Bokashi Food Waste Recycling System, at specialized retailers. Or, if you prefer, you can follow these steps to create your own bokashi-based compost system:

  1. Purchase bokashi bran.
  2. Purchase buckets with lids from your local hardware store.
  3. Drill holes in the bottom of one bucket for the liquid to drain out.
  4. Place the first bucket inside the second bucket. The second bucket will collect the leachate, also known as bokashi tea.
  5. Sprinkle bokashi bran in the bottom of the first bucket.
  6. Add food scraps, breaking apart larger pieces and puncturing foods like grapes and tomatoes.
  7. Create about a two-inch layer of food waste before sprinkling more bokashi bran.
  8. Use a type of heavy plate to push down on the scraps, which eliminates air that will slow the decomposition process.
  9. Repeat this process until the bucket is completely full.
  10. Place the lid tightly on the bucket and leave in place for 2 weeks.
You can never add too much bokashi bran to your bucket, but you can add too little. If you do not add enough bran, you may start to notice unpleasant odors or see black fungus growing in the bucket. There should only be a light vinegar scent. If you notice smells or fungus, just add more bran. After two weeks, your compost should be ready to be buried in the garden!

Are You Using the Right Soap?

Choosing the Right Soap


Many of us have used the same soap for years, without giving much thought as to what goes into the soap that we use every day. Soap plays an integral part in how we keep everything from our hands, faces and bodies clean. Many people look for soaps with a great scent and ability to make them feel clean, but do you know what's in that soap? Many common bath soaps are made with harsh additives and can be quite wearing on the skin. These soaps often dry out the skin, or cause redness and irritation. Those who suffer skin conditions such as eczema, acne, psoriasis, or generally dry skin can attest to the fact that regular bar soap can often only dry out the skin even more. Some scented soaps can even irritate skin conditions or cause allergic reactions due to the heavy scents that have been added to the soap. Those who suffer with dry skin or skin conditions know that it's hard to find relief from their skin conditions, especially this time of the year. If you're using the wrong soap, it could be really affecting the way your skin looks and feels.

Shabondama Bath Soap & It's Benefits


Shabondama Bath Soap is a pure soap that does not contain any harsh additives or heavy scents. This soap is imported from Japan and contains EM Technology to help improve it's ability to clean while being soft on the skin. Shabondama Bath Soap is a 100% natural product, unscented and even helpful to the environment! This type of soap works great for those with sensitive skin or skin conditions, as it doesn't contain any additives or harsh scents that will harm the skin. This soap is something that you would definitely want to consider using if you suffer from any skin condition. The regular bar or bath soap that you are using at home could be exacerbating the skin condition that you may already have. Switching your soap may even help improve your skin condition. Why not switch to a more pure form of cleanliness?

When it's Time to Switch Soaps


If you notice that the bar or bath soap that you are using at home leaves your skin feeling dry and tight, you may want to consider switching soaps. You would want to discontinue the use of any bar or bath soap that causes your skin to feel uncomfortable or causes any irritation. You may want to check into the ingredients in your soap to find out what may be causing any irritation, or you could switch to a purse soap like Shabondama Bath Soap. Shabondama Bath Soap is great for those who are looking to make the switch to a more skin friendly soap. Consider trying Shabondama Bath Soap to try and help with any of the minor skin conditions that you have. Shabondama Bath Soap is available on our website for you to purchase, try it today!

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

How to Improve Your Landscape Soil for Better Grass

Lawns Should be Aerated


Your lawn is most likely the highest traffic area of all your landscaping, especially if you have animals and kids. Throughout the years the soil under your grass will become extremely compacted. Mowing your lawn will also compact the earth under the grass. Hard compacted soil creates problems with water drainage, nutrient absorption and especially the absorption of natural nutrients. Compacted soil does not allow for the earthworms to inhabit the soil under the grass. These conditions lead to various diseases, making it important to prevent early on.

If your lawn is already in poor condition, you may need to aerate your lawn. To aerate your lawn you can simply punch holes about 3 inches deep into your lawn. The holes will allow for your lawn to have better air circulation by loosening the soil. Homeowners with large lawns may want to rent a large aerating machine to do their lawns once a year. For smaller lawns, there is a handheld aerating tool that is simple to use and will take care of improving your lawns quality.

With aeration, your grass will make better use of the natural nutrients in the soil and use water better. Micro-organisms and worms will have a better chance of establishing themselves in loose soil if your lawn is aerated properly.


Water Less Often but Deeper


Watering for a few minutes two or three times a week with a sprinkler will not help to give you a deep, lush, green lawn. In order for your lawn to flourish it needs to be watered deeply, so the roots get nourished and will grow deeper into the soil. During periods of drought or areas with extremely hot weather, grass with deep roots in the soil will survive.

A deep watering is considered to be a one-inch watering over a period of a couple of hours or so once a week. The best way to find out if your lawn is getting a deep watering is to put out small containers that can measure the amount of water that your sprinkler is putting out. After an hour or so, check the dishes by measuring the amount of water in the dish. This will also tell you if you are watering your lawn evenly or if your sprinkler needs some adjustments. If some of your dishes have just a little water in them, it may be the reason your lawn has brown spots. By adjusting the sprinkler, you will see the brown areas nourish with the proper watering.

Do Not Overwater


Overwatering is not good for your grass. You will learn to know when to water again by feeling down about 3-4 inches in the soil. If it is dry, it is time to water. Lawn care experts use an electronic soil tester to test the moisture in your soil. You can use a screwdriver or a trowel to dig down about 3-4 inches and feel with your hand if the soil is dry and needs another watering. When you do water your lawn, the best time is early in the morning and on a day with no wind. Watering under these conditions will help to keep the evaporation down.

Grass Clippings


Grass clippings will help your lawn to flourish and grow greener. Clippings will give back to the soil the needed nutrients by decomposing quickly and acting like a natural mulch. The grass clippings will help to:

  1. Retain water on the grass
  2. Improve soil texture
  3. Reduce the need for fertilizers
  4. Save time when you mow
  5. Reduce landfill waste

Most mowers can be converted to a grass-cycling mower that will leave the clippings cut in short pieces on your lawn. If you do not like the grass clippings on your lawn you can use a compost bin. You can then use the compost material as a natural fertilizer for your lawn and gardens.


Proper Cutting Heights


To have healthy and strong grass you will need to know the important fact of how to cut your grass. Different grass types need to be cut at different heights. Some examples of proper grass cuttings are:
  1. Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye grass and Fescue: mow at 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches
  2. Tall Fescue: mow at 1 ½ to 3 inches
  3. Bermuda: mow at ½ to 1 inches
  4. St. Augustine: mow at 1 to 3 inches
  5. Bentgrass: mow at ¼ to ¾ inches
  6. Centipede grass: mow at 1 to 2 inches
  7. Zoysia: mow at ½ to 1 inch
  8. Buffalo grass: mow at 2 to 3 inches or you can leave it completely natural

In order to get an effective cutting, make sure the blades of your mower are sharp at all times. Reel mowers will cut your grass like scissors while regular rotary mowers tear the grass.

For Greener Grass, Compost Kitchen and Garden Wastes


Composting is a great way to cut down on waste and will help your lawn and garden grow healthier. Some of the composting benefits are:
  • In clay and sandy soils it will improve water drainage
  • Stimulates root growth and generates a slow release of plant nutrients
  • Garden pests and soil-borne plant disease problems are reduced
  • Helps to prevent erosion of valuable topsoil
  • Most soils pH levels are balanced
  • Kitchen wastes and yard clippings help the grass to go greener and not fill up our landfills

Composting can also attract insects, worms and other organisms that will beautify your lawn.

Microorganisms


Adding soil based microbes to your lawn will accelerate the breakdown of dead plant materials such as the grass clippings, turning it into organic matter that will help build soil structure and prevent the need for aerating soil. Microbes such as EM-1 Microbial Inoculant, will also stimulate the growth of roots, feed worms, feed beneficial fungi, and make nutrients more available for the grass. Apply 1 quart of Activated EM-1 per ¼ acre of plants once a week throughout the spring, summer, and fall. You can also add some EM-1 Rice Bran Bokashi as a fertilizer. It is a great slow-release organic fertilizer with a 2-4-4 NPK as well as many micronutrients. Apply about 1lb of EM-1 Bokashi  per 100 square feet in the spring and again in the fall.

Corn Gluten Meal


Used as a lawn fertilizer and natural herbicide, corn gluten meal is high in available nitrogen, which acts as a natural herbicide for organic and turf grass crops. It also fertilizes the soil and is a totally natural product. It will also help control weeds and keep your grass fertilized.


Author Bio: Sarah has loved gardening and nature since childhood. She loves to read about new plants and gardening tips. She works for “YourGreenPal” which helps you to quickly find, schedule and pay for Lawn Care Services.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Five Reasons You Should Test Your Soil's pH Level


Testing your soil can play an important role in the way that you manage your garden or crops. Knowing what type of soil you have, and the pH level, can give you a better idea of what types of plants are better suited for your area. Many people can pay to have a professional or commercial soil test done, but for those who are more amateur gardeners, you can simply test your soil by using pH strips or a pH meter. There are a number of different ways to perform a soil test, so you may want to do your research to help you determine what process will work best for you. Below are some of the most important reasons as to why you should pH test your soil:


1.) Slow Or Stunted Plant Growth.

Many people think that their plants just aren't "happy" or they aren't getting enough sunlight or water. Despite the fact that all of these factors are important, you might be overlooking the importance of your soil. If your plants aren't able to grow properly because your soil is too acidic or too alkaline, then adding more light and water won't fix the problem.


2.) You Have Unknown Or Untested Soil.

If you're not sure if you have more acidic or more alkaline soil, you might be planting the wrong kinds of plants for your garden. Getting a pH test of your soil will let you know which types of plants will work best with your soil, or if you should attempt to raise or lower the pH of your soil.


3.) You Are Unsure Why Plants Aren't Surviving.

If you've tried to add some plants to your garden and they didn't survive, you might have not looked at what type of soil they need. Different types of plants and crops need different types of soil to grow properly. If you were unsure of your soil type and planted the wrong kind of plant, it probably didn't do so well in your garden.


4.) Desire To Plant A New Crop Or Garden.

Before planting any new type of plant or crop, you'll want to be sure to give it the optimal environment for it to grow in. You'll also want to make sure that the soil you have will work with this plant, and if you will need to take any steps to accommodate this new plant or crop into your garden.


5.) You Want To Provide Extra Plant Care.

You always want your plants to grow properly, so why not give them what they need? Looking into what type of soil you have might give you some insight as to what changes you need to make in your gardening regimen.

All in all, it's important to test your soil no matter what purpose you are using it for. If you don't know how to care for your soil properly, your plants might not grow successfully! It's important to give your plants, garden and crops the soil that they need so that they can grow properly and develop into the plants that you've always wanted. At Teraganix, we carry a variety of gardening products and pH test strips so you can get your gardening back on track.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Commercial Composting: Get Started In Your Town Or City

Cities Are Beginning To Adopt Composting Regimens


Composting has grown as an acceptable and eco-friendly waste reduction program. Many people have taken to composting due the the wide array of benefits that you can receive by composting at home. Not only will composting cut back on the amount of waste you produce, but it also provides a nutrient rich base for your garden as well. Did you know that many cities across the United States are adopting urban and commercial composting systems? It's true! Cities including Seattle, WA and Portland, OR provide composting bins to residents as an eco-friendly addition to trash pick up. This is a recent undertaking by a number of cities to try and cut back on urban waste.
Composting is a great alternative to just throwing items in the trash. Certain items that you throw away can be naturally decomposed quickly instead of being carted off to a landfill. Composting then allows these materials to break down in an organic way, reducing the trash burden and producing a nutrient rich waste that can be used in gardens and farms. Composting can easily be done at the residential level, and many people actively partake in a composting regimen at their home.

Composting At A Commercial Level

Composting at a commercial level can bring up a number of issues. Initially, composting in such a large volume can be difficult. This is why it's important that any city or company that decides to take on a commercial composting regimen should have some sort of composting infrastructure for it's residents or employees. For example, when Los Angeles was required by California to offer a composting solution to the green waste issue, the resulting compost yard made profit by selling its compost to large growers and landscaping services. Setting up an infrastructure like this can help to make an even more positive impact on the local economy in addition to the environment.
Another issue that is actively being tackled by those composting commercially is contamination of crops. When mass amounts of compost are collected from various sources, heaps of herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals hazardous to agriculture come into the resulting compost. A solution that may come into play here is to set up guidelines on what can be composted. While this may limit the amount of compostable materials, the results would still be positive in the same way that recycling has provided many benefits since its growth in the US in the 1970s.
Regardless of the issues still being worked out, composting on a wide scale can cut back on a large amount of household, commercial, and urban waste. Creating a large amount of nutrient rich compost can also benefit a number of local farmers in an area! Think of all of the benefits that can arise from having a composting system set up in your city. Composting can be performed on a commercial level with the proper materials and infrastructure put into place. Setting this up in any place, city or workplace can be a worthwhile undertaking that provides a great solution to a growing waste problem, especially in large urban areas.

Composting: Get Started (At Any Level!)

Do you want to lobby for composting in your city? Bring this issue to your local government representatives to see if a composting program for your city would be a possibility. You can also seek out local groups around the internet and neighborhood to see what progress has already been made!
On a smaller level, you can start composting at your home at any time! Getting started with composting is easy. At Teraganix, we have a variety of composting kits and materials so that you can begin a composting regimen right at home! Use your compost to nourish your garden and reduce your amount of household waste. Easily implement composting in your everyday life by learning acceptable materials for composting bins and beginning to separate your household waste accordingly. We also have a variety of blogs covering additional information on composting and how you can get started composting at home!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Kids Love Getting Dirty, So Let Them!
Tucson Village Farm
by Amber Gibby

It is no secret that kids like to get dirty. It is also no secret that playing outdoors and encouraging children to become comfortable with nature is an important part of a healthy and balanced life. In the last 20 years children have been spending less and less time outdoors, with most only spending on average 30 minutes a day outside, while spending up to seven hours in front of electronics or screens. It’s no wonder child obesity rates have doubled in the last 20 years. Science also shows an increase in ADHD and depression in kids since the 80s and 90s. Take playing outdoors to the next step and get them involved in gardening. From creating their own compost from food waste to applying needed nutrients and microbes weekly, kids will learn valuable lessons such as where their food comes from, patience, and responsibility. They may even enjoy eating that broccoli without complaint knowing it was something they grew.

Get Your Kids Involved
The first step is composting. Composting is a vital element in successful gardening. When done properly, compost can enhance your soil structure, provide nutrients to the soil that may have been depleted, and provide a healthy microbial community needed for plant growth. The Bokashi Food Waste recycling system is a simple and mess-free method perfect for young children to turn their normally wasted food such as meat, dairy, vegetables, fruits and garden waste into nutrients that can be added to their garden soil in just one to two weeks. Compost is a great way to feed other organisms in the soil such as worms, which are vital to a healthy soil.


After you have a garden bed with the nutrient-rich compost, allow the kids to pick out season-appropriate seeds or transplants and let them get their hands dirty. To get the most out of your garden and to teach kids about the importance of microorganisms in the soil and environment around them, add EM-1®.  In addition to fertilizer, mix 1oz of EM-1® per 1 gallon of water and apply to the composted soil if you planted seeds or both the soil and foliage if using transplants, and continue once a week until harvest for added soil and plant health. EM-1® is simply a probiotic for the soil and completely safe and non-toxic for kids to handle. EM-1® supports the growth of important organisms such as mycchorrizae, earth worms, and insects already in the soil. For a fun learning experiment have the kids treat only half the garden with EM-1® and keep the other untreated. Have them make note of the differences they notice such as greener foliage, greater yield and better tasting and longer lasting vegetables in the treated half. 

Sources: http://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Kids-and-Nature/Why-Get-Kids-Outside/Health-Benefits.aspx
Hanscom, Angela J. Barefoot and Balanced. 2016

Image source: https://www.facebook.com/TucsonVillageFarm/photos/a.435042367554.233134.255907022554/10154184133182555/?type=3

Saturday, January 23, 2016

We have other blogs too!!!

TeraGanix has a LOT to say and share! We have created blogs for specific subjects to streamline information. If you are interested in it all, please check out the various blogs we have and subscribe to the ones you like and share with friends.

Here is a list of our blogs:

ProEM1/Digestive Health: Here we discuss digestion, new probiotic and prebiotic information, health, exercise, food preparation, and other topics of healthy lifestyles.

Bokashi: In this blog we discuss food waste recyling, recycling, uses of bokashi in the US and around the world.

TeraGanix: This blog covers a wide range of topics that involved EM Technology in some way.

Effective Microorganisms: This blog mostly focuses on household uses of Effective Microorganisms, including growing vegetables, lawn care, growing flowers, have a healthy home, etc.

Don't forget the TeraGanix Facebook page or our YouTube Channel!

Subscribe to them all and enjoy!
 
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