My dirty secret is out.

18 months ago I removed 7000 square foot of turf grass, mostly Bermuda, with the help of a sod cutter. I then used a process called sheet mulching to build healthy soil. Together, both these steps were supposed to kill the Bermuda.

A year later, I was so disheartened as the Bermuda just kept coming back. I spent every weekend out in my front yard, tediously digging out every bit of root I could find, section by section, and then re-sheet mulching. It was just such a large area that I could never get on top of it all.

Bermudagrass kicking my butt

Bokashi Compost To The Rescue

Around that time, I learned how bokashi compost could help. Ronnie McCord is our go-to person for bokashi and he will be teaching a workshop about this method on May 6 in San Marcos. Ronnie explained that using the bokashi we could ‘compost in place’ and create temperatures so hot that it would kill even the Bermudagrass. I was in!

Ronnie bought over a couple of tubs of spent brewer’s grains. These tubs had been treated with the bokashi bran, and stored in an airtight container for a couple of weeks.  When they got to me there was no spoiling or strong smell, nothing to attract flies or vermin. We spread it out in one of the worst areas, and added a thick layer of mulch on top. We wet it down, and stood back and waited. I used a long compost thermometer and took readings every couple of days.

Bokashi hot composting to kill Bermudagrass

That compost pile reached 140 degrees in just a few days. About two weeks later, we flipped it and moved it to another section of the landscape to do it’s thing. Step by step we kicked that Bermudagrass’ butt, instead of it kicking mine.

See It For Yourself

I recorded a quick bit of video today that shows you the difference between the area that just had the sheet mulching treatment, and the area that had the bokashi compost treatment. Beautiful, rich, dark, moist soil. Amazing results.

Bokashi Compost In The Landscape from Earth Friendly Homeowner on Vimeo.

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Diane Downey and Sheri Menelli specialize in earth-friendly landscaping practices, including vegetable gardening, rainwater capture, soil health, native plants, and efficient irrigation. Diane is a professional landscape designer with over 10 years’ experience, and Sheri is a certified permaculture designer with a six-year-old food forest in her backyard. Combined, they have over two decades of teaching experience. Their classes are taught to the public in the classroom, in the field, and via one-on-one garden coaching sessions.
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