Without healthy populations of microorganisms in your soil, you simply cannot have healthy plants. Microbes work in synthesis with plants, breaking down organic materials into forms plants can take up through their roots, and oxygenating the soil. “Good” microbes can also help destroy harmful pathogens that can damage plants. Microbial pre-inoculants are starting to become more well-known, but they still are not used nearly enough, in our estimation, despite the benefits they provide. This blog is an introduction to EM-1, the microbial pre-inoculant, and some of its many uses.
EM-1 (Effective Microorganisms-1) is a combination of microorganisms that was developed and patented by Dr. Teruo Higa in the 1960s at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan. Dr. Higa’s research into sustainable farming methods, based around traditional methods of Japanese organic farming, led him to a combination of anerobic bacteria that serve multiple positive functions in the home and garden.
EM-1 comes in a couple of different forms with different methods of application. There is a liquid form, TeraGanix Organic EM-1, that combines three groups of microbes (Yeast, Photosynthetic Bacteria, and Lactic Acid Bacteria) and can be used as a spray or drench in multiple applications.
Bokashi (a Japanese term meaning fermented organic matter) is the name of a granular or powdered form of EM-1. EM-1 Rice Bran Bokashi is composed of Organic Rice Bran saturated with beneficial microorganisms, and can also be used for a variety of purposes.
Ward Off Blight and Other Diseases: By mixing the Tonic (2oz) per gallon of unchlorinated water, you can treat soils that have been compromised by diseases. Or pre-treat to combat any threat of future infestations. You can also use your mixture to spray the foliage of plants/trees in the same fashion to ward off blights, mildews and fungal diseases.
Improves Soil Structure and Productivity: Use the Tonic as a soil drench, or mix 2-4% Bokashi into your soil mixes to make a huge impact on the tilth of your soil. Building soil microbial life will also help plants absorb nutrients and help soil retain moisture better.
Amazing Compost Activator: Activate the beneficial microbes in your compost by using a drench of the tonic or sprinkling some Bokashi periodically on your pile.
Eliminates Foul Odors In The Home (Pets, Garbage, Drains, etc.): Sprinkle some Bokashi into your kitty litter box, or drop some EM-1 down your drain to remove smells without any toxic chemicals entering the environment. You can also dilute with water at a 1:10 ratio, and spray to remove odors in carpet, furniture, or the air.
Improves Water Quality In Aquariums, Ponds and Water Features: Choke out sludge and algae by using EM-1 at a rate of ½ Gallon to 5000 of water.
We love talking beneficial microbes at the shop, so if you have any questions or want to learn more, we will be happy to help in any way.