Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Effective Microorganisms

    One of my experiments this season will be to brew and use effective microorganisms (EM) on the garden, raised beds, raspberry patch, and compost bins.  The brand available in Canada (it took some tracking down) is from SCD and is called,"ProBio Balance Plus".  I ordered the Mother culture (the most economical option) earlier this year to activate myself.  It is pricey, particularly when shipping costs are factored in, but curiosity won out over frugality and I splurged.  Fortunately, a little goes a long way.  Application and dilution rates vary, but generally speaking, 1L of EM covers 10,000 square feet.

    I mixed up a double batch this morning in a 2L pop bottle and will set it on a heat mat for the next few weeks.  I also ordered some short-range pH test strips from Amazon so I can test the batch before I use it.  (Ideally, EMs should be below 3.7 before using).  This might be overkill, but I have never used EMs before.  I don't want to apply a useless/ineffective brew to the garden.  Better safe than sorry.   

     EMs are supposedly good at eliminating pet smells, so I plan on dousing the front step with the brew, too.  (Our property is Grand Central Station for strays and neighbour kitties who like to drop by and snooze under the trees).

I don't know if they will 'save the earth, but this is a neat little video about effective microorganisms:

This one is a little dry, but different uses for EMs are outlined here:

   It will be interesting to see what impact, if any, the EM solution will have on the garden. Some studies say that EMs used in agriculture show an improvement in yields and a decrease in soil-borne pest problems, while others say EMs show little significant effect.  I have also found instructions for making an EM mixture from scratch.  I think I will leave that for another year!

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