The Benefits of Probiotics in your Soil



This is an image of a composting kit

While the traditional image of probiotics is all about digestive health and enhancing the benefits of your morning yoghurt, not many people are aware of the diverse benefits that probiotics offer, extending far beyond the human body. When used in the garden, probiotics from Probio offer a multitude of benefits for the soil and in turn the plants, while also doing away with the need for harmful synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Probio is a local product developer and producer of non-toxic, fully biodegradable and sustainable probiotic based chemical alternatives. They have developed the Probio Bokashi composting kit that includes Bokashi (wheat bran that has been inoculated with beneficial probiotic microbes) and a Probio Bokashi Composter bin that makes composting easy by turning waste from the kitchen into organic soil conditioner.



So how does it work?

Probiotics control plant pathogens while also increasing the nutrient availability in the soil – in short it makes the soil richer, allowing the plants to flourish. The probiotic microbes secrete organic acids which unlock plant-unavailable nutrients, making them available for uptake, thus increasing the fertility of the soil. Additionally they also secrete compounds which act as plant growth hormones, further stimulating plant growth.

Probiotics are live strains of good bacteria that have been classified into three groups: lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and phototropic bacteria. When grown together, these groups create a synergy that results in numerous benefits when consumed or used in a variety of applications. Remember, when working with probiotics, the less they have been altered through freeze-drying or similar processes, the more effective they will be. Always be on the lookout for probiotics that have been maintained in a liquid form, as these will have higher microbe counts – also known as the good stuff. Probiotics have been documented in scientific literature to cause growth responses in plants, control pests and increase soil fertility.

So how does it benefit the garden?

Gardens that have been chemically stimulated do flourish, but ultimately it is an unsustainable practice. By adding the right balance of probiotics and fertilisers to the soil, your garden will become the envy of the neighbourhood as the probiotic enriched soil makes greater amounts of nutrients available to your plants. Ensuring that the soil remains enriched and continually fertilised, gardens can last for seasons when perennials are planted, while seasonal blooms reach new heights among emerald landscaped lawns.

Even the best cared for gardens can still be affected by pests and diseases. This can be prevented by ensuring that plants and trees receive the proper amount of nutrition. 95% of plant diseases are due to nutritional deficiencies as a result of insufficient soil nutrients. Probiotic bacteria play a positive role in stimulating nutrient uptake in plants by increasing nutrient availability. Different results can be achieved by adding different elements that are suited to the needs of the plant; a targeted approach to crop nutrition will yield the best results. Inclusion of kelps, calcitic and/or dolomitic lime and gypsum (micronised if possible) are key to stimulating adequate levels of nutrient uptake. This is because Calcium is the most important element with regards to plant growth. Your plants can be sprayed with probiotic bacteria to directly stimulate foliage growth and your compost can be treated with the same probiotics to stimulate rapid breakdown and to build humus in the soil. An indication of a deficiency in soil probiotics is if your autumn leaves don’t break down rapidly. Treat your leaves with probiotic bacteria to break them down rapidly and help build humus in your soil. With every increase of 0,5% in soil Carbon ( humus),  the water holding capacity of the soil doubles. Thus the best way to conserve water in your garden is by building the soil Carbon content.

At Probio, gardeners and landscapers alike can find a probiotic to suit your every need. Be it a liquid product for application via irrigation systems or a dry powder to apply during soil preparation, Probio does it all. We have a dedicated team of professional agronomists, soil scientists, horticulturalists and experts in sustainable agriculture to provide you with all of the technical support you could ever need. So why not give the natural approach a go, and contact Probio!





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