Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The Benefits Of Using Alfalfa In Your Garden

 We recently made an alfalfa fermented plant extract (FPE) and applied it to the vegetable garden. We did this because lots of people on social media were telling us that alfalfa had all kinds of benefits for our plants. So, we decided to take a look at some of the top reasons why and we think you should too.

Alfalfa has a long history in agriculture. According to a fact sheet from UC Davis, “remains of alfalfa more than 6000 years old were found in Iran. The oldest writings about alfalfa are from Turkey, dating back to 1300 B.C. Alfalfa was probably domesticated near Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey, the Caucasus regions, and other regions in Asia Minor”.  Alfalfa can build your soil and provide nutrition to livestock. It is one the main crops fed to livestock, including horses and cattle. Furthermore, “Alfalfa is an important rotation crop as it adds nitrogen to soil and improves soil structure for future crops. Unlike other crops, alfalfa does not need nitrogen fertilizer. Nodules on alfalfa roots contain bacteria that take nitrogen gas from the air and convert it to nitrogen plants can use. This process is called nitrogen fixation.”
https://alfalfa.ucdavis.edu/-files/pdf/alfalfaFactSheet.pdf

Once alfalfa is planted, it will grow for several years. Many farmers use it in rotation to recover their soil and to increase nitrogen and organic matter. Several farmers my company works with in the Southwest will grow it for 3 years in rotation. Adding Activated EM-1(commercially available as Ag1000™) to their regimen has helped establish the plant faster and has increased yields of upward to 35%. We have seen farmers go from 8 cuts to 13 cuts, with an extra trim. The application of Ag1000 is 5 gallons per acre per cut.

For the home gardener, there are several benefits of growing alfalfa.
learningandyearning.com has a list of 10 benefits for using alfalfa in your garden. These include building organic matter, minerals, and of course the nitrogen fixing aspects of the crop. The Epic Gardener (epicgardening.com) goes into more detail, which touches on the main reason people were suggesting we make an alfalfa FPE. All forms of alfalfa contain trianconatol.  Check out https://manicbotanix.com/triacontonal/ for more in-depth (with cited research papers) discussion of this growth stimulant. Besides increasing yields, this fatty acid will help alleviate issues with salt stress on several types of plants. It will also increase uptake of nutrients and water. These will all help you have better success in growing plants. Interestingly, the data on the manicbotanix website show that the best yield increases were as a foliar spray, not applied to the soil. This correlates with research TeraGanix did a few years back on tobacco where we achieved an additional 20% in yield on the fields that had a foliar treatment of Ag1000, proving foliar applications can have a significant yield impact.

We recommend doing a 4 week fermentation to ensure full extraction of the alfalfa. There are organic acids produced by the microbes in EM-1® including lactic acid and carbonic acid. There is also a small amount of alcohol produced (by the yeast) during the first few weeks of fermentation that will speed up the extraction process. Not to worry, the alcohol is digested in about a month by another microbe in the formula. Here’s how we do it. Buy a bag of alfalfa meal, some blackstrap molasses (Wholesome Sweeteners or Barbados Blackstrap. It doesn’t matter if they are sulfured or not). You’ll need a container with an airtight lid (a gallon milk bottle will work fine) and a funnel.  Finally, get some EM-1 Microbial Inoculant (teraganix.com or your favorite grow store). Using the funnel, pour in 1 cup of alfalfa meal, 3/4 cup molasses, 3/4 cup EM-1. Fill the container with hot water (filter if you have contamination issues such as arsenic or excessive amounts of chlorine).  Screw on the cap. Shake to mix molasses. Check the container every day for the first couple weeks, unscrewing to release pressure. After a couple weeks the amount of pressure will decrease and you won’t have to keep gassing the product. It should have a ‘grassy’ smell like hay and also a sweet to sour smell from the fermented EM-1.

The exact dilution rate and frequency is highly debated online, ranging from 1ml to 2oz/gal. I diluted 1oz of the extract and mixed in 1 gallon of water and drenched the plants (I learned about doing foliar later). It worked out great. Most of my plants grew 8” to 10” in about 10 days. I also noticed a lot of greening up in the leaves of all my plants. Choose your dilution and spray your plants’ leaves. Since you are applying to the leaves to get the best benefit, you should mix with a sticker/wetting agent, like yucca extract. That will help the mixture stick to the leaf surface and give time for the plant to suck it up. The extract will be good for up to a year when stored out of direct sunlight in a closed container.

During the vegetative cycle you can apply this mixture once per week (or bi-weekly). You can mix it with any other foliar nutrients and inputs.  Mixed info about spraying after flower is out there. I asked a few growers about their applications and got all sorts of answers. Therefore, you will have to experiment and find out what works best for your plants. I imagine it will vary by the plant type.

We suggest you try incorporating alfalfa into your growing operation, if you haven’t already. In our simple trial we saw quite a bit of growth with just one application. We are sure with regular applications you’ll have some monsters on your hands in no time!

Adding molasses to the fermentAdding EM-1 to the ferment


Adding alfalfa meal to the ferment
Adding water to the ferment
Finished mix, closed cap, ready to ferment.


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Dr. Teruo Higa: The Pioneer of Effective Microorganisms


Since the beginning of Dr. Teruo Higa’s life, agriculture and science have always been major influence in all of his life choices. From a very young age, he decided that he would become trailblazer in the agricultural field. He graduated from the Agricultural Department of Ryukus University where he also completed his doctorate in Agricultural Research. In 1970 he was invited to be became an instructor at Ryukus University and 10 years after that, he became professor of the university.

Dr. Higa is best known for his discovery for EM Technology® or Effective Microorganisms®. However, this incredible discovery occurred by accident. In the 1960’s, microorganisms were constantly being being studied, all across the globe, for many different applications. One day, Dr. Higa was working in the lab and accidentally spilled microorganisms near some shrubs. A few days later, he noticed that those shrubs had grown extremely well. Dr. Higa grew up farming and knew that farmers often only had the choice of expensive chemical pesticides and treatments for their crops. He decided to find a natural method through the use of beneficial microorganisms that would help relieve the farmers of their chemical dependencies.

Based off of this accidental discovery, Dr. Higa experimented throughout the years to discover the optimal combination of microorganisms and finally create the first use of EM Technology. The first creation is known as EM-1. EM-1 is a soil conditioner that can be used on gardens or crops. The soil conditioner creates healthy soil to allow plants and vegetables grow to their maximum potential. EM-1, is a liquid bacterial product that is made up of three main microorganisms. These microorganisms are Yeast, Photosynthetic Bacteria, and Lactic Acid Bacteria. All products using EM Technology contain EM-1 in some part of their manufacturing process. However, being a soil conditioner is not the only application of the EM Technology.

Another product produced from EM Technology is PRO EM-1. PRO EM-1 is a liquid probiotic supplement that supports healthy digestive and immune systems, supports weight loss, improves absorption of food nutrients and aids in controlling yeast infections.

EM Technology has also assisted in supporting oral health. Dr. Don's Antioxidant Oral Hygiene products helps prevent food from sticking to teeth and in-between teeth and gums. These products also deep clean and polish your teeth, ordinary toothpaste cannot compete with this kind of EM Technology.

Potent and nutritious health drinks have been created thanks to the EM Technology. EM-X Gold is a potent health drink formed from the effective microorganisms. This drink can help strengthen the immune system, reduce risk of infection, reduce allergies, improve the body’s acid/alkaline balance and increases the decontamination of your organs.

EM Technology has not only helped agriculture, but it also has assisted in the fields of livestock, the environment, construction, industry and health. Dr. Higa’s brilliant discovery of EM Technology has been introduced in more than 140 countries worldwide. Teraganix is the exclusive distributor of EM Technology products. These products are available on their website by visiting their online store.

What EM Ceramics Can Do for You


What are EM Ceramics?


EM Ceramics are ceramics (baked clay) that have been fermented with powerful EM technology. EM Ceramics are known to have powerful cleansing, adhesion, ultrasonic and far infrared properties. EM Ceramics are used because they have the ability to cleanse a variety of liquids and can actually help restructure their stability. EM Ceramics are often used to stabilize the structure within liquids, and use their strong adhesion properties to draw out unnecessary chemicals within water and other liquids. The powerful and ancient properties within EM Ceramics omit ultrasonic and far infrared properties that allow these ceramics to cleanse and restructure liquids naturally. EM Ceramics have even been made into beads and then crafted into jewelry because of their far infrared properties. Far infrared technology is compatible with human body tissue and can be used to promote circulatory health throughout the body. This far infrared technology has the ability to naturally penetrate human body tissue to truly promote improved circulatory function over time.

How EM Ceramics are Used


EM Ceramics are frequently used for many household purposes. EM Ceramics can be used to cleanse your overall water supply, drinking water, and it can be used to extend the life of indoor plants and your garden if you water your plants with water that was treated with EM Ceramic technology. EM Ceramics can also be used to improve the cleaning ability of your water. Once your water supply has been treated with the powerful cleansing properties of EM ceramics, you will certainly notice a difference in the water that you use. There are a number of uses for EM Ceramics in every day life. The powerful cleansing properties of EM ceramics can be used to improve all sorts of household functions that involve water. Buildup on pipes? Bad tasting drinking water? All of these problems can be improved through the use of natural EM Ceramic technology. Don't waste time and money using expensive and harsh chemical products to try and solve problems that can be fixed naturally and organically.

How EM Ceramics Can Help You


EM Ceramics can certainly improve many parts of your day to day life. By using EM ceramics to help you cleanse the water that you use every day, you are taking a step in the right direction to a healthier and more natural lifestyle. You will notice an overall improvement in your water supply and how well your water works once it has been treated with EM ceramics. Drinking water and even the water you use to clean and shower with may all be greatly improved with the use of EM Ceramics in your home. EM Ceramic pipes can even be installed by a plumber to improve your incoming supply of water throughout your entire household. If you use EM Ceramic jewelry, you may notice improved circulatory health and well being. There are many household and personal uses for EM ceramics, get started by trying some of our line of EM Ceramic products today!

Overwintering Plants & Getting Started Before Spring


What is overwintering?


Overwintering is the process of helping your plants survive through harsh winter conditions. Not all plants are made to withstand the winter weather, especially if you live in an area that experiences freezing temperatures around this time of year. There are a number of different steps you can take to help your plants survive through the winter. This will ensure that your plants will be able to be replanted or will bloom again once spring comes along.

Overwintering can take place in a lot of different ways. Most commonly, people take their plants that have been planted in containers and bring them inside. These kinds of plants can be left in a basement, garage or other protected area. Letting your plants still get exposed to the cold weather is okay, but you don't want to leave them out there in the elements completely unprotected. Some people may even dig up certain plants and bring them inside in a container, and then are able to replant them in the spring time.

Another method of overwintering your plants is simply covering them outdoors. Depending on the type of plant, you may be able to protect it with some burlap, but other types of plants can be covered with natural substances such as leaves. You can simply put wire around your plants, fill the area with leaves or hay, or even cover it in burlap, and it should help protect your plants throughout the winter. These can then be removed in the spring, allowing your plant to flourish naturally under warmer weather. There are many other types of methods for overwintering your plants, make sure to do your research on what type of overwintering will work best for your plants.

How To Transition To Overwintering


Some people who use containers for their plants often start their plants indoors. You can start your container plants indoors, so that when spring comes along, they will be ready to be planted outside. This is a great way to allow your plants time to grow and bloom earlier and last longer throughout the year. If you start your plants indoors, make sure that they are getting a good source of light, as well as the nutrients and water that they will need to succeed when the time comes for them to be placed outdoors. Planting your plants at the right time in the spring is also essential. Make sure you know when is the best time for your plants to be placed outdoors so that they will be able to grow properly when the time comes.

How you can help your garden


Want to know how you can help your garden grow better this spring? At Teraganix, we offer a number of different products that will help your garden flourish! From composting kits to our microbial inoculants, we have something for every gardener! Whether you are just a novice or a professional, you can count on Teraganix to make your garden look great. Shop our gardening products on our website.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Natural Remedies to Repair Damaged Soil

If your garden has soil damage, here are a couple organic remedies to try for a more vibrant and healthier garden.

What Is Composting & Why You Should Start


Composting begins with raw, organic materials, like coffee grounds and eggshells. The organic material is broken down into organic matter by microbes and the surrounding environment. You can actually see the difference between organic material and organic matter. When held in the palm of your hand, you should not be able to identify the food of origin. The shells, peels, and other food scraps you started with should be dark and crumbly, and smell like fresh earth. This is organic matter or compost.

Most flowers, vegetables and plants can survive in soil with little to no organic matter. Surviving is not flourishing. There are many benefits to using compost in your garden. Perhaps, the most important contribution is the large number of beneficial microorganisms from compost.

The Need for Microorganisms in Soil


A healthy ecosystem contains millions of microorganisms, which sustain structure and fertility within the environment. The microorganisms work cooperatively with plants and provide tremendous benefits for the surrounding soil. In exchange for the food and nutrients they take from plants, the beneficial microorganisms:
  • Convert nitrogen from the air into a reusable resource.
  • Make water available to plant roots.
  • Release nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, sulfur, and iron into the soil.
  • Breakdown pesticides and various chemicals in soil.
  • Suppress harmful pathogens – plant enemies - that lead to disease.

Overuse of chemical-based fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides destroy these natural organisms that are so vital to plant health. Applying your kitchen compost is a sure way to reintroduce the microorganisms and repair soil damage.

Read our recent blog post to learn how you can make your own composting kit with bokashi bran.

The Benefits of EM Technology


Another useful product to enrich your garden is effective microorganism (EM) technology. EM-1 products act as natural, kitchen compost accelerators. Combined with compost mixtures, EM-1 Microbial Inoculants significantly improve seed germination and plant health.

EM products consist of a broad range of beneficial and non-pathogenic microorganisms. EM-1 is produced naturally, neither chemically nor genetically altered. The Microbial Inoculant comes in a liquid form and has no adverse effects on plants, humans or animals. Just add one fluid ounce to every gallon of water, and spray over plants and soil. You'll notice the benefits in no time!

Microbial Inoculants: How They Can Help Your Garden

What are Microbial Inoculants?


EM-1 Microbial Inoculant poured on a pepper plant

Microbial inoculants are soil amendments that you can add to your soil to improve the quality of the soil, as well as promote the growth of strong and healthy plants. Microbial inoculants are a collection of microbes that work with the soil to improve it's health, as well as supporting the overall environment around it. These microbes are not only helpful to plants, but also support other organisms and insects that aid in plant growth overall. This is a much more organic and natural approach than adding unnatural additives to your plants that may be harmful to the area around them. Microbial inoculants are a much safer and more natural approach to encouraging plant and soil health. A nutrient rich base is essential for any plant or garden to thrive, so why not encourage your garden with an organic and natural approach with microbial inoculants?

How do they affect your soil?


Microbial inoculants will work to improve the quality of the garden soil that you have in place. If you are struggling to maintain healthy plants, a microbial inoculant works well in any garden! Try adding a microbial inoculant to areas where your plants are struggling. You will certainly notice a difference between your plants that have been exposed to a microbial inoculant and those that have not. To ensure the success of all of your plants, using a microbial inoculant throughout your entire garden is recommended. Building a strong soil base for your plants to grow in will not only help your long term plants stay strong, but will also help newer plants grow. Starting with a strong and healthy soil base will encourage all of your plants to grow throughout your garden. Microbial inoculants are the safe and natural way to improve the growth of your plants and overall success of your garden! Microbial inoculants are a great addition to any composting regimen, and will contribute to a nutrient dense base for your garden. They are also a great addition to any other liquid organic fertilizers that you may be using.

Will I see benefits from using microbial inoculants?


Absolutely! Microbial inoculants are designed to help your plants grow from the start and promote the growth of your plant over it's life, and they even the support the environment around it. Using a microbial inoculant will ensure that you are doing everything you can to promote and encourage a healthy environment for your plants to thrive in. Microbial inoculants are easy to use, and will help you build a strong and healthy environment for any plant or garden. If you are looking to improve your garden at home, this might be something that you want to try. Thinking about trying a microbial inoculant for the first time? We have a wide selection of products that will help improve your soil and garden as a whole. Our EM-1 Microbial Inoculant is a great place to start, and is easy to use. Try our EM-1 Microbial Inoculant today to see the results!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Healthy Diet Tips: The Importance of Enzymes

Enzymes are protein-based catalysts found in every cell of every living plant and animal, including humans. All of our life processes are sustained by metabolism. Metabolism is the series of chemical reactions responsible for everything from growth and reproduction to digestion and breathing. Enzymes are extremely important to metabolism as they control and regulate the metabolic pathways.

The number of enzymes a cell produces is limited, and as a result, we must rely on the food we consume to replenish enzymes in the body. Unfortunately, the average diet of fast food, soda and coffee does not provide a healthy amount of enzymes. Valuable enzymes are depleted when food is fried, microwaved, baked, frozen, canned, or even dried. There are not enough vital nutrients left to fuel the body. Common side effects of enzyme insufficiencies in the body include: Fatigue, headaches, excess weight gain, heartburn, bloating, constipation, gas and moderate to severe digestive disorders.

Take digestive enzymes, for example. Digestive enzymes breakdown food into smaller compounds that are then introduced into the bloodstream. When this process malfunctions, the body cannot properly absorb the necessary nutrients and byproducts of digestion. Instead, the unabsorbed food particles collect in the bowels and become a nutrient-rich source for unwanted bacteria and yeast. Digestive disorders are very disruptive to your normal routine, and be extremely painful and debilitating. Enzymes are absolutely essential to properly digest and assimilate food.

Vegetables The Nutritional Benefits of EM-X Gold®


You can make simple adjustments to your diet to prevent enzyme-related disorders. Avoid fast foods, beverages high in sugar, and processed foods or artificial ingredients. For maximum nutrients, eat a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables. Improving your diet is a straightforward means of improving your health, and can be achieved very easily.

If you are not receiving enough enzymes from food, you may want to consider introducing a supplement into your regular diet. Taken alone or mixed with hot liquids, enzyme drinks, like EM-X Gold®, can strengthen your immune system and reduce the risk of infection. The ingredients found within EM-X Gold can also alleviate stress, stabilize metabolism and ensure healthy skin.
 
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