You have heard how important probiotics are to your health, but have you ever considered how important they are to the health of your garden? Have you considered fortifying your perennials with a probiotic foliar spray or giving your fruit trees a probiotic boost next time you water? I had not even thought of this myself until recently, but I'm excited about the results seen in my garden.
While you really could use just about any probiotic to give your garden a boost, I use a solution of cultured molasses because of the impressive mineral profile. Molasses is rich in iron, magnesium, and calcium, all of which are as necessary for plants as they are for people.
The recipe can be used to start garden probiotics from scratch as well as to propagate your culture in batch after batch.
Just like us, plants need beneficial bacteria to protect them inside and out. With a healthy probiotic colony, plants are protected from molds or other pathogens and are even better equipped to deal with insect attacks.
Their use dates back at least to 17th century Japan when an agricultural revolution swept the country. Family farmers developed potions called bokashi, specially adapted to their area, to nourish and protect their crops. Today, bokashi is manufactured commercially in Japan and is available elsewhere under the name "effective microorganisms" or "EM."
Garden probiotics can be used three ways in your garden:
I occasionally water the trees and shrubs with it, but normally I use the foliar spray, because foliage can absorb the nutrients more efficiently than roots (since the solution diffuses in the soil and not all of it makes it to the root), and the beneficial bacteria will be able to colonize the foliage immediately.
I aim to use the foliar spray every 2 to 4 weeks during the growing season. If you use kelp liquid fertilizer or another natural liquid fertilizer, it can be mixed in with this application.
To water with garden probiotics, simply:
1. Dilute one part garden probiotics with 10 parts water. That's about 3/4 cup per gallon of water.
2. Use immediately on any plant.
This is a great way to get your perennials off to a good start early in spring. Use it again in the fall as the plants go dormant. A good culture will also help your indoor starts.
It only takes a little to make a big difference in your garden.
To make a foliar spray, simply:
To share it with your chickens or other animals, simply mix a small amount with their water (about 10:1). My birds love it.
This method of nourishing plants and ecosystems has stood the test of time and deserves to be a part of our gardening. Probiotics can enhance the health of your plants and garden as a whole, making it stronger and more resistant to infestation.
Question: Are you using probiotics mix capsules made for human consumption or ones that are specifically for plants? I haven't been able to find capsules specifically for plants.
Answer: I use probiotics for humans.
Question: Why does this recipe require a cup of molasses but you only used 1/4 cup?
Answer: Good question. That was not clear, and I will change it. However, to keep your culture alive, you will want to continue to make new batches, using 1/4 cup molasses each time. Thanks for point this out.