Dr. Higa’s Original™ EM-1 Microbial InoculantMicrobial Inoculant Concentrated Effective Microorganisms®. Active microbial life in the soil and on plants is a better solution than synthetic chemical fertilizers. A liquid combination of yeasts, actinomycetes and two kinds of bacteria, photosynthetic and lactic, which promotes plant health and growth and improves nutrient absorption and soil fertility. Increase the volume of active microbes by further fermentation (below), but you can also just use it straight out of the bottle. Adam Tomash raved that for two years in a row he sprayed his tomatoes several times with activated EM-1 and they made it into September with no significant blight damage.
To “activate” EM-1
You can increase the volume of effective microbes provided by EM-1 through fermentation. Mix one part EM-1 and one part molasses with 20 parts warm water, 110°. Put into an airtight bottle or brewing container with an airlock. Ferment at room temperature for 3–5 days. (If you use an airtight bottle, unscrew the lid daily to release pressure buildup.) Let the activated EM-1 rest for 5–7 days. By then it should smell slightly alcoholic. Use within 45 days.
For 5 quarts of activated EM-1, use 1 cup each of EM-1 and molasses with 4½ quarts water.
For 1 quart of activated EM-1, use 1½ fl oz each of EM-1 and molasses with 3½ cups water.
Note: Organic Molasses tends to have some type of pH buffer in it, which sometimes prevents the fermentation process. Add an equal amount of vinegar to the molasses to help break the pH buffer.
Recommended uses for activated EM-1:
- As a component of the Holistic Orchard Spray. A 5-qt batch of activated EM-1 is enough for the spring applications; then brew 1 qt in fall.
- As a drench for transplants. Make a 4% solution (1 part activated EM-1 to 24 parts water) and apply it to the furrow or hole.
- As a foliar spray. Use 1½–3 gal/acre or 4½–9 oz/1000 sq ft of activated EM-1 mixed with enough water to provide coverage.
- As a soil treatment. Apply 40 gal/acre of activated EM-1 over the course of a year.
- To help break down crop residue. Spray 1–5 gal of activated EM-1 per acre on fields after harvest.
- Add to compost to speed up the breakdown and digestion of plant material.
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