Effective Microorganisms® And SCD Probiotics – Wow!

Bio Ag

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Canadians buy here

To most people, I say look no further.

If you had to choose only one product to bring into your garden, this would be it.

The benefits are many, especially reduced pests and dramatically improved plant health.

It’s the first inoculant I recommend for almost everyone.

(An inoculant is a product that brings beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi into your garden, and this one just happens to be one of the best.)

I’ve seen so many gardens benefit from using it that it has stayed at the very top of my list for many years now.

First, a little terminology. The original was called Effective Microorganisms®, known as EM® for short, and it’s still a good option.

Many people, including myself, tend to use “Effective Microorganisms” and “EM” as generic terms to describe many different brands of similar products that exist, but technically those terms are trademarked by EM Research Organization, Inc.

But there’s a newer product on the market made by SCD Probiotics that I’ve gravitated to called ProBio Balance (formerly SCD EM Original).

The Main Benefits Of EM and SCD Probiotics

Effective Microorganisms In Bangkok
Effective Microorganisms being used after a flood in Bangkok to help clean water, control odors and break down toxins.

This product brings many benefits in the garden.

Some of the main ones are:

  • Reducing pests by out-competing them on plant surfaces and in the soil, so they don’t get a chance to cause damage to your plants.
  • Improving processes from germination to photosynthesis to fruiting, so you get bigger, higher-yielding plants.
  • Helping plants to more efficiently use organic fertilizers, so they have all the nutrients they need to be healthy, and the food they produce is more nutrient-dense.
  • Cleaning up dirty water and removing toxins from soil, plants and even septic tanks.

There are thousands of trials that have shown benefits for soil health, composting and overall plant health.

Other Benefits Of EM and SCD Probiotics

Interestingly, it has many other uses as well, some of which are to:

  • Help decrease radiation from nuclear disasters, and toxins and smells from other natural disasters.
  • Disinfect buildings and hospital surfaces.
  • Spray on farm animals (and pets) to control odors and diseases, and to increase their overall health.
  • Make a special fermented compost called bokashi that is really useful for composting your food scraps.

On top of all that, it’s an incredible probiotic for humans.

It especially helps relieve digestive issues and cold and flu, but there’s a long list of other things it can help with, such as curing skin problems and healing wounds and all kinds of other fascinating stuff.

It’s helped me, my dad and my sister with all of these issues, and many of the hundreds of clients who bought if from me when I used to sell it in Canada.

I’ve heard of some holistic health practitioners selling it for hundreds of dollars a bottle to their patients, just because it worked so well. I truly believe it’s better than most probiotics on the market for human use, and for a much better price.

But back to the garden. These products are actually used in over 150 countries around the world.

Again, my customers who used them on their lawns and gardens over the years are the ones who really convinced me of the benefits – especially much healthier plants, fewer pests and increased yields.

About SCD Probiotics ‘ProBio Balance’

SCD Probiotics is the company name, and ProBio Balance is their flagship product. It’s similar to the Effective Microorganisms product EM-1.

Like the original EM-1, ProBio Balance is made by people who studied under Dr. Teruo Higa, the Japanese professor of horticulture who formulated EM in the 70s and 80s.

What Dr. Higa found after much experimentation was that if you bring together this specific selection of helpful bacteria and yeasts in the right proportions, they have a tremendously beneficial impact in a garden.

For those who are interested (feel free to skip this list if you’re not), there are 3 classes of microbes:

  • Lactic Acid Bacteria: Bifidobacterium animalis, B. bifidum, B. longum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. casei, L. delbrueckii subsp bulgaricus, L. fermentum, L. plantarum, Lactococcus lactis subsp lactis, Streptococcus thermophilus
  • Yeast and other: Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Bacillus subtilis
  • Phototrophic Bacteria: Rhodopseudomonas palustris and R. sphaeroides

Microbes are responsible for feeding and protecting plants as well as improving the soil, and these guys just happen to be especially good at it.

Most of these beneficial microorganisms are fairly common fermenting organisms such as those found in wine, yogurt and bread, but they have to be mixed together – in the right proportions – to offer the benefits I’ve been sharing.

That’s why the labs that make it need to have a lot of equipment and a lot of knowledge, and it’s why we can’t make it on our own.

By the way, be sure to read the comparison to both compost tea and mycorrhizal fungi on the right side of the page.

Who Needs This The Most?

ProBio Balance Quality Control
Whereas compost tea quality is highly variable, EM and Probio production is tightly controlled in the lab.

The benefits of these products are often so impressive that I have to remember not to imply that the products are magic bullets that will have an explosive impact on all gardens.

But with regular applications, the results are can be astonishing, especially on gardens that aren’t yet optimally healthy.

That lack of health can be for many reasons, such as when the soil had been overworked by construction equipment at some point, for example, or when chemicals had been sprayed in the area in the past.

In a healthy, relatively untouched ecosystem, these organisms are already going to be there, and while EM/SCD might still be helpful in this case, it’s in the degraded ecosystems most of us are dealing with where the benefits are much more visible.

I’ve seen rather sickly lawns and gardens transformed into much healthier, fuller landscapes after one season of monthly applications.

I’ve never seen the results that were obtained in some of the early EM trials (e.g. 50% increase in yields) and I would never expect gains that huge with any product, but I often see an overall boost in plant health and vitality, and a decrease in pest problems.

So I recommend everyone should try this product. It may actually be a magic bullet for you.

If you’ve been using quality compost for years in your garden, you may not see as big of a change, but I still recommend a 1 quart bottle of the Bio Ag as being a very affordable product to try just to see what happens.

I make and use compost every year and yet I still use this SCD Probiotics monthly in the garden, just to be sure.

Plus I use it for many other things – a probiotic for myself, to control odors, to clean kitchen surfaces, to remove rust – all kinds of really helpful uses.

Which One Should You Choose?

If you’re interested in picking up a bottle of the product I use, there are 2 options for what you can get.

1. The first is called ProBio Balance Original and it’s a ‘mother culture,’ so it’s been created in the lab to very specific specifications with all of these species of beneficial microbes.

What that means for you is although you’re welcome to use some of it right away, you can also mix some of it with molasses and water to create 20 times more than the original bottle.

That process is called ‘activation’ and takes at least a couple of weeks to do well, but it’s a great way to save money, especially useful if you have a bigger area to cover.

2. The second option is called Bio Ag and it’s already activated.

That means the lab has taken the mother culture and activated it for you. You can’t reliably activate it further, but you can use it right away in the garden.

If you have a regular not-too-big residential garden, you may only need a 1 quart or 1 gallon bottle for the year anyway, so it’s easy just to go that route.

Personally, I go with option 1 in order to save money and because I enjoy the process of activating the mother culture, but some people go for option 2 to keep things simple.

How Much Do You Need?

A few years ago, I went through a bunch of research that had been done with Effective Microorganisms in agriculture.

While the application rate for home gardens is often recommended at 500ml per 1000 square feet, I noticed they were using much less in agriculture.

It often worked out to about 1 quart per 1000 square feet per year.

So I settled on close to that. These days I use 1/2 cup per 1000 square feet, monthly during my whole growing season (regardless of whether I use the mother culture or the activated product). I end up using it about 8 times per year.

So for me 1 quart would do about 1000 square feet for a whole year (8 applications * 1/2 cup), and 1 gallon will do 4000 square feet.

If you buy the Probio Balance ‘mother culture’ and ‘activate’ it with molasses and water, you can make 20 times as much, so 1 quart will ultimately cover 1/2 acre and 1 gallon will cover 2 acres.

pH paper in the 3-4 range is helpful for figuring out when the activation is done – as soon as the pH is 3.7 or below, you’re good to go.

How To Use It

Whether you use the mother culture or the activated product, mix it with at least 250 times as much water, which is 1 Tbsp of inoculant per gallon of water, or about 8 gallons of water for each 1/2 cup of inoculant.

If possible, use more like 500 times as much water, which is 1/2 Tbsp per gallon of water, or a little over 15 gallons of water for each 1/2 cup of inoculant.

A hose-end sprayer comes in really handy to get these dilution rates. Personally, I just use a 1:250 ratio because that’s a little easier with my sprayer, but if you’re spraying sensitive plants, it may be better to go with the 1:500 ratio.

I’ve never had any issues, but in theory it’s better to avoid spraying flowers that are in bloom because it could harm them – perhaps because of the acidity, I’ve never been sure.

Both Probio Balance and Bio Ag are great mixed with molasses/dextrose, liquid seaweed, liquid fish and sea minerals. They also go well with compost tea and mycorrhizal fungi.

When I’m brewing compost tea, I’ll actually put 2 Tbsp into the 5 gallon bucket during the brewing process, and then I’ll add the rest right when I’m ready to spray.

Free $25 Bonus When You Buy Today

When you buy a quart or gallon of ProBio Balance Original (the mother culture), you get enrolled into my online course where I show you a detailed effective microorganisms recipe for how to activate the culture and make 20 times more than the original. I also teach you how to do EM bokashi composting. It’s about 50 minutes worth of videos.

When you buy a gallon of Bio Ag (the activated product), you get enrolled into my online course that’s more of an introduction to this category of inoculants. It’s about 30 minutes worth of videos.

How To ‘Activate’ Your Mother Culture

If you buy the mother culture, you can turn it into 20 times as much.

You’ll get more advanced instructions as part of the bonus above, but here’s the basics so you know ahead of time.

You don’t have to do it all at once, but when you’re going through the process it often makes sense to make several bottles at a time.

You can use any size container. I’ve used a quart bottle below, but you can multiply the ingredients out if you’re using a bigger container.

  • Add hot water (like a very hot bath) to a 1 quart plastic container until it’s about half full.
  • Dissolve 2.5 Tbsp unsulphured blackstrap molasses in the water.
  • Add 3 Tbsp mother culture to the water.
  • Fill the rest of the bottle with more warm water, but leave a little air space on top.
  • Shake/stir well, yet gently. Screw the lid on the bottle.
  • Put it in the warmest part of your house. You can do this at room temperature, but it will take 6-8 weeks to finish properly. I put mine in the oven with the oven light on, at least for the first week, but make sure to leave a note on the oven so the inoculant doesn’t accidentally get cooked. 90-110 degrees Fahrenheit is best.
  • After 2-5 days, gases will start building up in the container, so you’ll have to ‘burp’ it daily by simply unscrewing the lid and then screwing it right back on.

Your activation is done when the pH drops below 3.8, which can happen in a week if you kept it warm. Once you’ve done it a few times, you might be able to tell just by the smell and taste, without measuring pH.

As I say, there are more advanced instructions as part of the bonus course you get when you buy the mother culture, but that’s a good start.

Important Info

I go into more detail about ordering on the main page, but here are a few quick things I’d like to mention:

  • If you have a question about this product, leave it in the comment section at the bottom of of this page and I'll try to respond within a few hours.
  • Shipping is $10 if your order is $25 or less, $15 if your order is $25-$50, $20 if your order is $50-$100, and $25 if your order is more than $100 (AK and HI add $10)
  • Dry fertilizers and compost tea brewers ship for free, separately with USPS instead of UPS, so they will arrive on their own maybe a day or 2 apart from my other products.
  • I ship in the U.S. only. Products ordered by 2pm will ship same day. After that they ship next day. Weekend orders ship Monday.
  • All of my products have a 1 year 100% money-back guarantee.
  • With every order, I send $1 to Organics 4 Orphans and other similar organizations. O4O is working with the world’s poor to help them grow organic, highly nutritious, highly medicinal food for themselves, and then use the surplus food to generate income for themselves as well as feeding the orphans in their communities. My hope this year is to again send $1500US, which is enough to start projects in 25 new communities!

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Business Seals

In summary, these inoculants are:

  • Based on the principles of Effective Microorganism applied science started by Dr. Teruo Higa in Japan.
  • Proven to: increase seed germination, improve plant health, increase nutritional uptake of plants and enrich the soil
  • Organic, OMRI Listed – containing NO chemicals or GMOs

As a free bonus when you order today, I’ll also enroll you in my Effective Microorganisms course.

Just choose the product that works for you and click ‘Add To Cart’ up above!

*Note: The ProBio Balance ‘mother culture’ can cover a lot of area, but it’s best if it’s ‘activated’ first by mixing it with molasses and water and then letting it ferment for at least a couple of weeks, kind of like a sourdough or wine. You can certainly do it, but I just wanted to be clear about that.

Effective Microorganisms, EM, and EM1 are registered trademarks of EM Research Organization in Japan. TeraGanix is the exclusive distributor for EM Technology in the US and Canada.

143 Comments

  1. Michelle on March 6, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Do I have to make one huge batch at once with the mother culture or can I make several small batches throughout the summer? If I have to make one big batch, how long can it sit without going bad?My soil is pretty bad, I have clay. I’ve been working it 9 years and while they have gotten better, they aren’t nearly as good as a friend we call the Green Giant because his garden is phenomenal….beets the size of a kickball and not woody at all! I really hope this makes a difference.

    • Phil on March 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      You can make many batches. The mother culture lasts a good couple of years. Once you make a batch, it’s good to use it within a couple of months if possible.Sounds like you need to also send a soil sample to an organically-minded soil lab and have them give you some fertilizer recommendations in order to balance the nutrient ratios, which can have a big impact on your clay soil.

      • rick9748 on November 15, 2015 at 5:29 am

        Would you suggest some US labs?Are these much better than extension service test?

        • Phil on November 17, 2015 at 12:25 am

          Yes, they’re much better Rick. Here’s a list: https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/soil_testing/

          • Alysa on March 12, 2017 at 8:56 pm

            I do not see a soil lab listing on their website any longer. The prior link is removed but I did look around and did a search. Is there an updated list. Thanks.



          • Phil on March 12, 2017 at 10:18 pm

            Hi Alysa, I’ve updated the above link.



  2. Bear on March 10, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    You have answered a LOT of questions with all the info above, but my question is much more basic: our first gallon of your EM arrived safe and sound today. But it looks like the spout is part of the shipping carton. Do I open the carton and remove the gallon jug or just leave it in the carton and pry off the plastic lid to access the EM? That seems a little weird, but I want to do it right. Thanks.

    • Phil on March 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      I just leave the carton in place. It kind of holds the shape of the plastic container together.

  3. julie513 on March 12, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    How do I add the mycorrhizal product to my order on this page without making two separate orders?

    • Phil on March 12, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      As long as you add them both to your cart within a reasonable time, they’ll be on the same order. So you can add one of them to your cart, hit the back button (or the ‘Continue Shopping’ button), then go to another product page and add another product to your cart, and so on. I’m here if you need help 🙂

      • julie513 on March 13, 2014 at 1:50 pm

        I entered my order which came to $51, but the shipping came up as $40, not the $20 you explained in your shipping section. What is going on?

        • Phil on March 13, 2014 at 7:23 pm

          Are you in Hawaii or Alaska?

          • julie513 on March 13, 2014 at 11:50 pm

            Ohio



          • Phil on March 14, 2014 at 1:38 am

            Hi Julie, I just got an order from Ohio and it went through correctly. Make sure your country is set to United States.



  4. Patrice on March 20, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    When making Bokashi, can leaves be used? What others materials can be used?

    • Phil on March 20, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      I’ve made it with many different kinds of organic materials. It definitely seems to work best with fine material like sawdust, but I’ve done it with chopped straw and leaves and it worked out okay.

  5. Lynda on March 22, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I’m in England, so not cheap to get it sent from the US> Can I use Water Kefir instead?

    • Phil on March 23, 2014 at 1:27 am

      You might be able to find it if you search online in England for either effective microorganisms or scd probiotics. Water Kefir will probably bring some benefits – not as much as EM, but worth using for sure.

      • rtj1211 on April 6, 2015 at 7:54 pm

        http://www.effectivemicro-organisms.c... appears to be the authorised dealer, but there’s no advertised products for household gardeners on their website. I’ve dropped them an email enquiring as to whether products are available – we’ll see what they say when they reply.

  6. Barbra on March 23, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Hi: ‘not a terribly experienced gardener but I think I’ll try to order and mix some of your garden “goodies.” I have almost no “lawn” (green grass) but tons of plants and shrubs and even a small area where built raised beds for veggies, herbs and a few flowers too.Here is my question: Recognizing you cannot suggest the product/probiotics for human consumption, I am establishing an “IF Situation.” IF I had a very large dog/animal, say 130 pounds, and she was about 73 years old how much of the probiotic stuff should I feed her, how often and at what strength? At present, she is being given 2 probiotic pills each day on an empty stomach.Also, I do live near the sea/ocean and am anxious to go and retrieve some sea water to use in spraying my plants, trees and earth. I am assuming this should be strained first in case there are particles that will damage or stop up the spray bottle attachment you speak of. Do I need any additional advice or suggestions from you on this topic?

    • Barbra on March 23, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      I should have added that I do not use chemical outside or inside. My “animal” has been challenging cancer so we try to live as close to organic as we can

    • Phil on March 23, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      The food grade product says to take 1-3 Tbsp per day. I tend to do probably max 1 Tbsp most days, and then more like 3 Tbsp if I feel a cold coming on or something like that.Good question about straining the sea water. I haven’t used enough water straight from the ocean to cause clogging, so I never figured it would be an issue, but perhaps you’re right that over time it might become one. I’m not sure though – I don’t strain it.

  7. Jason LaMarche-Hunderup on March 27, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    I would like to purchase some ProBio Balance. You mention elsewhere on the site that you don’t ship in Canada. How do I get this product? How can I access the video if I don’t buy the product from you?I’ve been learning about bokashi recently and want to use it along with my worm bins. If you add bokashi compost to the soil do you get the same benefits as using the EM directly, do you get more benefits? What about using bokashi compost that has been eaten by worms? Is that the holy grail of soil inoculants?

    • Phil on March 27, 2014 at 11:39 pm

      You can buy the product in Canada at http://www.gardenerspantry.ca Good, finished bokashi compost is potentially more beneficial than just straight EM for the soil because it contains composted organic matter along with the beneficial microbes. The worms do bring their own benefits, too.

  8. Debra on April 2, 2014 at 12:04 am

    When would be the best time to start using the Bio Ag around my fruit trees? Do I need to wait until danger of frost is past?

    • Phil on April 2, 2014 at 3:14 am

      It actually can be helpful in theory to use it now, even year round. Certainly the most benefit will be during the active growing season, but I like to do a spray before bud break, too. Good practice also 🙂

  9. audrey on April 9, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Hi, I just received my order and did not realize that i ordered the mother culture scd. There are no directions on the bottle. You say i can use some right away, how much dilution.and can i mix sorgam syrup instead of molasses and how much? Audrey

    • Phil on April 20, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      Hi Audrey, I’ll paste it in from up above: “Whether you use the mother culture or the activated product, mix it with at least 250 times as much water, which is 1 Tbsp of inoculant per gallon of water, or about 8 gallons of water for each 1/2 cup of inoculant.”You can mix sorghum syrup for use in the garden. I doubt it would work for “activating” the product though – blackstrap molasses is best for that.

  10. audrey on April 9, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    OK< I just saw the directions above. Can I use some right away and at what dilution?

    • haleynauta on April 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      Hi Audrey, Phil’s out of the office until next week so I am responding on his behalf. The mother culture should be left to activate for 6-8 weeks as the directions above state. Also, if you have molasses on hand, it is preferred. You can really get a HUGE amount of product out of a mother culture though so it’s worth the wait! Happy activating 🙂

    • Phil on April 20, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      Yes, you can use right away. I’ve put the dilution down below.

  11. John on April 24, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Hey Phil,I was wondering about using this product on tomato plants. I saw on their website that they recommend not applying this to the buds on flowering plants. Would that be an issue spraying directly onto the tomato plants when they are flowering? Thanks.

    • Phil on April 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      A potential issue is that the microbes will cause a bit of fermentation of the buds and flowers. I actually have never found this to be an issue, but apparently it is possible.

  12. Ellen Erickson on May 9, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Am gardening on community lot which has had either Septoria and /or bacterial leaf spot in the past. Are there expectations that EM might help prevent infection this year? Also I have used Serenade, Copper and very occasional Daconil in the past. Any recommendations how to apply EM around those preventatives, of course spreading out time of application as much as possible but since Daconyl lets say block pores on the leaf will it also prevent EM from acting?

    • Phil on May 9, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      EM can definitely still do it’s thing to some degree. But you’re right, just try to spread out the applications as much as you can.

  13. Soapmaster on May 12, 2014 at 5:53 am

    I saw a video where you explain how to brew our own EM, but now I can’t seem to find the video. Also, where do I get a ‘mother culture’? I thought I could brew from a regular bottle of EM. Thank you for your help.

  14. Ellen Erickson on May 25, 2014 at 3:22 am

    Applied ready made EM with rest of the mix you suggest twice. Noted light yellow to the middle of the mostly top tomato leaves, transient period of time which resolved into deeper green. Overall plants look fabulous. Still am interesting does my anecdotal evidence means something….

    • Phil on May 25, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Cool, thanks for sharing Ellen.

  15. Ellen Erickson on May 27, 2014 at 1:16 am

    Can I use any of the products, especially EM for physiological leaf roll of tomatoes?

    • Phil on May 27, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Yes, you can use them all, especially EM, and many of them can help out in a situation like this. Also, as you probably know, physiological leaf roll is often exacerbated by improper watering or excessive physical damage to plants, so those are things to think about as well.

  16. Ellen Erickson on May 29, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    My Ph is about 3.5 or so by lacmus paper after about 3 weeks. Two bottles were at room temps at times and at warm weather sun- covered in dark cloth. So sometimes they were nice and warm and sometimes just room temps. The smell mostly seems like apple cider vinegar but after bottle is open fore few minutes smell does get sweeter … should I keep it for while yet, or it is ok to start using…

    • Phil on May 29, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Sounds perfect!

  17. Linda DeStefano on June 7, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Hi, Smiling Gardener! My interest in the product is as a boost for my compost. My food scraps take years to turn into compost – probably because we have two large recycled plastic composters but only two people to feed them. I imagine we don’t have enough bulk to get the pile hot. Would the BioBalance act as a boost to warm up our food scraps so it wouldn’t take so long to get compost? I’m not interested in making compost tea or doing any other labor and time-consuming process. I mostly just want to have a beneficial use for our food scraps rather than put them in the garbage.

  18. Emily Sullivan on July 2, 2014 at 5:23 am

    What a generous soul you are! Thank you for all the info on your website – I’m looking forward to trying the ProBio, but I thought I should use the Plus – with the extra phototrophic, purple non-sulfur bacteria (PNSB). Is that all hype? Do you not sell it for a particular reason? I’d like to give you the business, so if you thing the original version is good, then I’ll order that instead of the plus.

    • Phil on July 2, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      Hi Emily, good question – I don’t really know if it’s hype. I’ve used it before, but in the end I went back to using the Original because I feel it’s more tried and tested and in line with the original EM microbial balance. I’m very happy with it, but I can’t say for sure that the Plus wouldn’t have some specific uses.

  19. Brian on July 5, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Hi Phil, thanks for all your efforts on this site as well as all the amazing products you have made available to us! I spent some time in the late winter researching gardening methodologies and products and decided to just dive in head first here 🙂 I’ve been using most of the products this season and the results are like nothing I’ve ever seen, even just 6 weeks after transplanting from indoors! I do have a couple of questions though. First, we’ve had a pretty wet Spring here in the upper Midwest. I’m feeding weekly at this point and I’m curious how (or if) you adjust when it rains heavily several times a week. I’m really interested in how this affects EM applications. Second, I’m reading your Building Soils Naturally book and I’m confused about the longevity of the EM mother culture. The way I read the book, you can only use it once or twice before the formulation of the various cultures is imbalanced and the mother culture becomes ineffective. However, on this site I read that it can be used repeatedly, and apparently reliably, for a couple of years. Would you please clarify?BTW… my new favorite thing in life is the fragrance and “electricity” in the air right after spraying EM 🙂

    • Phil on July 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      Thanks for sharing Brian.1. Personally, I don’t do anything to adjust for the rain. Some of the microbes and nutrients will get washed from the plants down onto the soil, which is fine, and some will remain there.2. The mother culture can be stored for a couple of years, and activated whenever you need it, but it can’t be used to activated a batch which is then used to activate another batch which is then used to activate another batch, and so on. I only activate from a mother culture, not from an already-activated culture. That’s what I mean in the book when I say you can only use it once or maybe twice. Make sense?

      • Brian on July 6, 2014 at 4:27 pm

        Thanks for the reply! Yes, I see how I misread the yogurt analogy in the text now 🙂

      • Brian on July 6, 2014 at 9:05 pm

        Oh, and a good tip for keeping EM warm while activating… I found an old heating pad (like for sore backs and etc) that has an analog off/low/med/high switch. Keeping it loosely tied around the bottle and set on low maintains the EM culture right in the 95-110 degree range. It took a little experimenting to get it tied in the correct position, and bottle shape/size will affect this, but I found the spot that kept mine at a consistent 98 degrees. NOTE: It seems that the newer heating pads have timers built in that automatically turn them off after a few hours, so those aren’t of much use for this purpose.

        • Phil on July 6, 2014 at 9:42 pm

          Ya, that’s a great method.

  20. Tracey Loslo on August 3, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Re: “How much do you need”500ml per 1000 square feet is/was the rec’d rate, however after reveiwing research papers you noted that in agricultural applications that much less was used; often approx. 1 quart per 1000 square feet per year. Perhaps you meant the reverse? A US quart is 946 ml and an imperial quart is 1136 ml, both measures equaling a far higher vs lower application rate? Could you clarify :)? Many thanks.

    • Phil on August 3, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      Per 1000 square feet, 500ml per MONTH is often recommend, but I found that 946ml per YEAR is often used in agricultural research.So that’s why I use 120ml per 1000 square feet 8 times throughout the year (8*120=960), rather than 500ml each time. Hope that makes sense.

  21. Robert on August 16, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Hi Phil, I received my EM, sea minerals, and liquid kelp and have made one application to my garden. I recall reading that you believe it’s OK to mix these 3 into one spray. Is this correct ? If so, would you be willing to give me a per gallon recommendation for each. Thanks very much…the site is looking great !

  22. Σάββας on September 8, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Is it possible to make our own “DIY” EM? How?\

    • Phil on September 9, 2014 at 2:32 am

      No, EM has very specific strains of microorganisms and specific ratios between them, so must be made in a specialized lab.

  23. Neil on January 8, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Phil, you wrote “Even though I drink about 1 Tbsp each day of either option 1 or 2 for preventative health (and especially if I feel any little sign of sickness coming on), I can’t promote it as a drink because it’s not technically food grade, so I have this food grade option available for you and it is very tasty.” Can you say what specifically about the first 2 products are not “food grade” and what is different about #3 besides the flavoring? Also, it mentions above that the products may contain yeasts. Can you state which products contain which yeasts? Do you know if they would be in anyway contraindicated to take internally if someone already has issues with candida overgrowth in their body. I have read for instance that S. Boullardi might be a problem for people with compromised immune systems although that reference may refer to someone having a very severe situation. It’s not exactly clear what constitutes a “compromised” immune system. Also, I’m wondering if the added juice might contain enough sugar that it might actually be problematic for someone dealing with an intestinal yeast overgrowth as it might possibly “feed” the candida? Thanks.

    • Phil on January 9, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      Hi Neil, for the ‘food grade’, my understanding is that they don’t make it in a food grade facility. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I know their facilities are clean, so it doesn’t matter to me. But more important, I’ve just learned that the food grade one doesn’t contain the photosynthetic bacteria because they’re not recognized yet in the U.S. as being safe for human consumption (although they are in other countries and I consider them the most important species in the mix!). I may actually stop selling the food grade one soon.The yeast in all of the products is the common Saccharomyces cerevisiae. I expect some nutritionists/dieticians would advise against consuming it and some wouldn’t. Personally, I think advising against all yeasts and fungi for people with candida is a very limited viewpoint of the complexities of the human body. And as for these products, I believe they could be very helpful for a person with candida in their gastrointestinal system.The sugar isn’t a problem because it’s all consumed by the microbes. There’s almost no sugar left in the product.Hope that helps!

  24. Aaron on January 11, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Hi Phil,Just curious how the microorganisms would be affected, when using a hose end sprayer, and chlorine that is in tap water? I make worm compost tea, and have always thought that tap water is destructive to beneficial microbes, due to that being the common taught idea.

    • Phil on January 11, 2015 at 8:00 pm

      Ya, I looked into this a lot when I first got into both EM and compost tea about 10 years ago. Too much chlorine is detrimental to the compost tea brewing process, and probably isn’t ideal for the microbes in EM, but according to my research, the latter seem to handle it okay. I’m not sure exactly why, but even the manufacturer says it’s not a big deal to use chlorinated water for EM activation, but when you look into the compost tea research, they advise against it. Same thing when it comes to application through the hose end sprayer – in theory it’s not ideal, but I really don’t worry about it at all.

  25. Robert Foster on January 17, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Hi Phil, I have “pro-bio” and sea minerals from last season. They’ve been mentally abandoned and perhaps suffering in a cool but not freezing partially heated entry. Do you think they will be healthy ?…and will I be able to activate them ? Like I say…they’ve not be submitted to freezing conditions…just sustained “cool” temperature. I’m hoping my neglect hasn’t murdered my “invisible friends” :).

    • Phil on January 17, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      They should be okay. pH paper would tell you for sure with the ProBio Balance, but if it smells okay, it’s worth activating. The microbes will probably just be dormant, and activation will get them moving again.

  26. Gwendalyn on February 16, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Phil, thank you for the information and your positive enthusiasm. Ive been using EM-1 but will buy from you now that I know you sell it.Ive been making activated EM’s from your previous “pantry” site for years with amazing results. One example: One day needing an extra mattress quick, I bought a vinyl air mattress, really cheap, really nasty smelling. And I needed it the night I bought it so had no time for it to outgas. I blew it up and sprayed it with activated EM’s 3x (letting it dry in between sprays) and at the end it had absolutely no chemical smell! I had never seen anything like that.I also of course use it in my garden, drink it, spray the air in my house with it, use it to transform mold on leather, and even added it to my kombucha when it started to seem a little weird, every batch from then on was bright and tasty! I recently added it to a batch of beet kvass to see if the surface mold that so often forms is less, too soon to tell about that.I have two questions for you:Why do you use SCD instead of EM-1?The other question is a bit outside of this topic, its about EM’s ceramic powder. I have taken a 1/2 teaspoon of clay in water off and on for years. I was wondering if I put Super cera powder into the clay/water mixture if it would still be safe to drink. Any thoughts?

    • Phil on February 18, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      Hi Gwendalyn, I use SCD products instead of EM-1 just because they’ve been easier to get my hands on in the various places I’ve lived, and I find the company a little easier to work with. But both are great products – I don’t recommend one over the other.As for the super cera powder, I’m not sure if it would be safe to consume. All I know is that the material is quartz mullite powder. Sorry I can’t be of more help on that.

      • Gwendalyn on February 18, 2015 at 2:30 pm

        HI Phil,Thanks so much for the reply! Its very helpful to know what the super cera is, I’ll look into that furthercheers gwendalyn

  27. Ellen Erickson on April 20, 2015 at 1:38 am

    Is it ok to add both fish fertilizer and sea salt to activating EM mother culture? It seems to be not recommended for foliar sprays?

    • Phil on April 20, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      It’s okay, but one time the guy who makes my sea minerals product found that it doesn’t work as well when combined with liquid fish, so I tend to spray them separately, alternating every month.

  28. Irene on April 22, 2015 at 4:28 am

    Sorry, that link came out looking pretty garbled. If you Google BioAg you’ll see links to Monsanto. Please tell me it’s not the same BioAg! 😦

    • Phil on April 22, 2015 at 11:56 am

      It’s a very different BioAg indeed – I imagine it’s a fairly common 2 words to string together these days in the farming world.

  29. Irene on April 23, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    According to this website Monsanto has highjacked the name Bio Ag and created a very similar looking logo

    • Phil on April 23, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      Yes, and the Bio Ag I sell is from yet another company.

  30. Linda Beer on April 27, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Hello Phil,I Activated EM with a class group. One of the students said her AEM grew mold on top. I advised her to pour it on the compost and we will remake a batch. I have been making AEM for 3 years and of 15 batches made with that class this is the only one that failed. Any Ideas?Linda

    • Phil on April 27, 2015 at 9:36 pm

      Hi Linda, it’s fairly common to see a white scum on the surface, which is just the yeast. Even a red or purple scum is okay too. As long as the batch doesn’t smell bad, and the pH is below 3.8, it should be okay.But some of the most common reasons for failure are:-Inappropriate containers (previously containing chemicals, putrefied food, bad AEM batches)-Poor water quality-Not optimal temperature (too hot or too cold)-Using more molasses than EM or too much molasses in relation to water

  31. Barbara Powell on April 29, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Does the unsulphured blackstrap molasses come with the product, or is this something I have to seek out individually? I am particularly interested in this product for my 110 rose bushes.

    • Phil on April 29, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      Excellent, your roses will thank you. You need to buy the molasses separately.

  32. walter brown on May 18, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    I already have a quart of the EM-1 soil conditioner concentrate. Is this the one I can activate to make more

    • Phil on May 19, 2015 at 12:11 am

      Yes, that’s the one 🙂

  33. payday2222 on May 25, 2015 at 5:16 am

    Does anyone have any experience using em-1/lactic acid bacteria in beehives?

    • Phil on May 25, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      Sorry, not I.

      • payday2222 on May 25, 2015 at 10:11 pm

        Protection against the Varoa-mite for bees (translated)Many years on the whole wide world we have a great problem by bee-keeping. Whole bee-colonies died about the varoa-mite. This mite came from Asia and is a parasite, wich harms the whole beecolony, especially the breed. The mite is sucking the beeblood … lymph … of the breed and leaks it. So it dies. Experiments with vaporising Oxalic Acid Tablets in Europe, the tablets are mixed also with EM Ceramics ™ powder and the effect will be more intensive and EM ™ solution showered at the bee hive the varoa mite has no chance to harm the bees. For drinking: EM ™ Solution 20 ml in 10 l water is powerfull for the bees. EM.1 ™ mixed in the food for the bees (water and sugar and EM.1 ™ mixed up) after harvesting the honey, is preventively for many infections of the bees: diarrhea, American Foulbrood, chalkbrood. In European countries we noticed, that the bees which were provided with EM ™ were more healthier than others without EM ™. Some beekeepers mix EM.1 ™ with water (1: 200) and sprays it against the bee – hive – inside and outside. So the bees get a strong immune system. Using EM.X GOLD ™ Ceramic powder in paint to help the hive to have a higher nuclear magnetic resonnance than the pests; also adding EM.X GOLD ™ at 1: 10,000 and EM.1 ™ or AEM ™ at 1: 1,000 to sugar water to strengthen the bees against diseases. It’s fine to work with EM Technology ™, because it is a pure biological system. http://www.em-pars.com

        • payday2222 on May 25, 2015 at 10:14 pm

          Beekeeping – The immunological system of honeybees is greatly improved with the use of EM.1.Dear Dr. Syd Ali,I am sorry for my late reply. I am now entering my fourth year using EM technology applied to my bee farm. There have not been any major innovations since I last communicated with you.I found out that EM.1 is not effective against a fungal disease affecting the intestinal tract of honeybees. The disease has two haplotypes (Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae). Regardless of how EM.1 is given, the sporulation curve grows unaffected. However, other bee diseases seem to be controlled like American and European foulbrood.The overall situation is that the immunological system of honeybees is greatly improved with the use of EM.1.Since my consumption volume of EM.1 is rather small, because I only have to take care of slightly over 1,000 hives, I found it economical to purchase the local version of EM.1. I wish I could buy it from you but the incidence of freight charges and import duties is not affordable in small volumes.Best regards,Martin Braunstein— Martin Braunstein, Bee Keeper

          • Phil on May 26, 2015 at 12:18 pm

            Thanks for sharing!



  34. rebekah h on June 6, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Hi Phil I’ve really been enjoying reading the information on your site, I’ve learned a lot. My question is this, and I’m asking it because u did talk about a ‘mother culture’..ok I had made a batch of kombucha but then was unable to do another batch in time (altho for a while I kept adding ACV to it to try to keep it) I’ve realized now that there’s just been so much time that has passed with it sitting that it’s not going to be able to be used. I was curious tho as the scoby seems pretty thick and not too unhealthy looking, could I use it in my garden in some way? What are your thoughts on this?

    • Phil on June 8, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      Hi Rebekah. Yes, I would chop the scoby up into pieces or put it through a blender, mix with at least 20 parts water or even more like 100 parts water in order to make it go further, and water my plants with it.

      • rebekah h on June 8, 2015 at 5:19 pm

        That’s awesome, so glad I can get get some use out of it still. Thanks Phil 🙂

  35. Biker Dude on August 18, 2015 at 3:23 am

    Is this a foliar feed or strictly on the soil?

    • Phil on August 19, 2015 at 12:59 am

      Good for the soil, too, but I use it mainly for foliar feeding.

  36. Jason Williams on September 24, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Phill, Just trying to get a complete understanding about everything, Whats the difference between the Pro Bio and the Pro Bio plus? Would it be better to purchase the Pro Bio plus to enhance the results? Also, I brew kombucha every month, just like the Pro bio it has a “mother culture” also, once low I just brew another batch using the same ” mother culture”. Would this be the same concept with using the Pro Bio mother culture? Or would I have to use some of the pro bio each time i make a batch?For Bokashi composting, Could I add pro bio on top and get the same results as the all season bokashi compost stater?Thanks

    • Phil on September 24, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      The ProBio Plus is more for septic tanks. I use the ProBio Original for everything else.The balance of microorganisms changes with each activation, so you can’t keep activating it like you do with kombucha (I also brew kombucha and have had the same batch going for a couple of years, but it’s not the same with ProBio). It’s possible to do a second activation from a good first activation, but may not be as high quality, so I always activate from the mother culture.

  37. Jason Williams on October 6, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    When starting beginning of activating the mother culture, how to activate it with the fish, seaweed, salt mineral, and rock dust?

  38. Mangesh Surve on December 7, 2015 at 5:35 am

    Hello there !!Greetings from Envicare Technologies Pvt Ltd., Pune, INDIA.We are into waste water treatment plants from last 15 years.Can this (EM) solution use for improving the condition of biological treatment like – ASP ( Activated Sludge Process) and MBBR (Moving Bed Bio Reactor) , Anaerobic , Anoxic STP’s OR Can we use this for commissioning of the plants?? If yes we are interested in procuring this solution, please send us more details on my email id as – director@envicaresystems.com.Waiting for your reply on Urgent basis.

  39. Mark Renda on April 16, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Is it okay to use mix the EM with hard water?

  40. Mark Renda on April 16, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Can I mix EM with hard water?

    • Phil on April 19, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      Yes, no problem Mark. I’ve made a lot of EM with hard water.

  41. Bill Maki on April 18, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    I have mixed up some EM to treat my soil as part of the spring prep before planting. I have a one-half acre garden that I intend to plant in corn. I am leaning towards an ATV mounted sprayer which is 14 gallons, uses a 12 volt Sureflo pump, and currently has a 100 mesh strainer and three 80-03 spray tips. Are the spray tips proper for applying EM and will it go through the 100 mesh strainers OK? Any other concerns or recommendations you have? Many thanks.

    • Phil on April 20, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      Hi Bill, looks like you’re in good shape. For compost tea, they say a 400 mesh filter is sufficient to let through the delicate fungi and bigger microorganisms. You’re 4 times bigger than that with your 100 mesh, so nothing to worry about, and there aren’t any fungi (other than yeast) or bigger microorganisms in EM, so you’re good. The spray tip is fine, too. If you have control over the pressure, 60 PSI is ideal.

  42. Ligia Belli on July 14, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Hello Phil, I am from Managua, Nicaragua, Central America, and a constant reader of your site. We live in a small farm where we have been working as organically as possible since 2009. Have some cows for dairy products, a vermiculture project and we are growing vegetables with the biointensive method of John Jeavons since 2013. In 2011 I received a course to make Effective Microorganism from scratch. Going into virgin places of the woods and collect them under the rotting leaves. Then with molasses, whey and a source of CHO and water, we make a solid mother, and from this we make another (several) batches of the activated ones, and use it in several activities on the farm, plants, soil, animal, buildings, worms and compost. I always check the pH, for us is three parameters: color, smell and pH. How those this sounds to you? Would like hear your input.I wonder if I can manage to get some of your mother cultures to Nicaragua. Any advice?

  43. Lee on August 15, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    I raise orchids. Can I mist them with the EM? I also make vermacompost tea but have not used it on orchids. In nature I think they get very little microorganism but I could be wrong about that. Most orchid growers preach fertilize weekly and weakly.

    • Phil on August 17, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      I suspect microorganisms are just as important for orchids and anything else. Just don’t spray the flowers directly.

  44. Anna @GreenTalk on August 28, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    I have an issue with early blight rust and powdery mildew since I have an irrigation system. I might have had wilt as well with my tomatoes. I grow organically. Will your product stop this fungus and bacteria?Also should I spray the beds now in the fall before I crooked cover for next spring. I am zone 6.Lastly, my grass is low phosphorus. All other nutrients are good. We have mostly clay soil. Lots of dandelion thistle and other taproot in the grass. Will spraying in the fall and overfeeding help release the phosphorus locked up in the soil? I have grass. You wouldn’t know there is an issue except I did soil testing.

    • Phil on August 29, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      EM can be very helpful with these diseases if applied regularly. It can’t be sold to ‘stop’ disease because it’s not a pesticide, but it can improve plant health to the point where disease doesn’t cause problems. Yes, I would definitely spray this fall.EM isn’t particularly known for releasing phosphorus. It may play a role, but mycorrhizal fungi ( http://www.smilinggardener.com/sale/mycorrhizae-for-sale/ ) is more adept at that. Soft rock phosphate and fish bone meal are good sources of phosphorus (note: they will slowly become available over the several years following application).

  45. sweetufo on September 3, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Hi Phil,I saw the lady on You Tube talked about EM for drinking everyday. Do you think you can make it from “Mother Culture” for drinking? If you can, how do you make it? Thank you very much.

  46. Foothill Billy on September 7, 2016 at 6:37 am

    Hi, so you say the ph of the scd bio ag is around 3.7 or something low like that. I water my garden around 6.2-6.5ph. My water comes out at 8.7ph and then I lower it with ph down from advanced nutrients. I know these ph up and down chemicals can kill living microbes and bacteria, so my questions are 1, can I adjust the ph of my water to 6.3ph and then add the scd bio ag at a tablespoon per gallon and if the ph is still in the 6.2-6.5ph range, feed it to my garden? Or do I need to adjust the ph of my water down to what the scd bio ag is around 3.7ph, and then add the scd bio ag and water my garden with a liquid mix at such a low ph? Wouldnt that potentially harm the ph balance of my soil and shock the plants? Also, if I can balance out my water to 6.3ph, then add the sce bio ag, and if it brings the ph down too far past my ideal range, if I add ph up to the mix, will that kill a bunch of the EM’s? I can dilute the ph up or down chemicals with alot of water before adding to the tank if that would not kill soo much of the living EM’s? You know what I mean? Whats the best way to apply this stuff without harming the scd bio ag’s benefits and not shocking my garden with a mix of very low ph liquid? Thank you for any info!!

  47. Christine Grenke on November 23, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Hi Phil,My name is Christine, and I wanted to tell you that i had just recently found you online, and I was so inspired by your incredible, Earth Healing Organic knowledge that I sighed up, and am currently enrolled in the OMG here in Toronto!I want to THANK YOU because I love it so much!!! 🙂 I feel so empowered by everything I’m learning, and feel so good that i will get to pass this knowledge down to my children. It has given me a very precious gift; a beautiful and powerful vision that we can heal the Earth, one garden at a time! :)Anyway, I am now doing my Bokashi composting assignment and of course my research would take me to your wonderful pages. I wanted to tell you that I am very disappointed that you do not sell to Canadians!!!!!I would like so much to buy the ProBio Balance mother tincture etc. etc. for my garden that so deeply needs it, and i think I might need to drink some of this stuff too. And I am also saddened that I will be excluded from the free online EM and bokashi courses that I am sure will be amazing and that I need right now too. Boo hoo:(Please, please, please, reconsider! :)Thank you!:)

  48. Christine Grenke on November 23, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Ahhhh. I didn’t mean to post my last name! I don’t really post ever! ugh.Sorry 😛

  49. Aspiring Permie on December 29, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I want to inoculate my soil to encourage nitrogen fixing. Does EM or one of your other products do that? In addition to legumes, I’m growing a variety of perennial nitrogen fixers such as peashrub, false indigo, golden chain tree, and eleagnus.

    • Phil on December 30, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      EM can do a little bit of nitrogen fixing, but what you really want is to buy legume inoculant for your plants. You may also see if you can find azospirillum or azotobacter inoculants. They are nitrogen-fixing bacteria that don’t need a legume host. I haven’t kept up on the research as to what’s available in that realm, though, or how effective those inoculants are.

  50. Shari on March 30, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    I’ve got 13 raised garden beds that are about 3 1/2 x 10 …the nutrients have been depleted over the years and I’ve added compost two years in a row. I have purchased Boi-ag and Neptunes Seaweed. How much should I use and how often? I also purchased the Chameleon end hose sprayer to use with some adr. Runners Sals Suds and Neem oil for a pesticide.

    • Phil on April 3, 2017 at 8:19 am

      My calculator will help you figure out how much to use ( https://www.smilinggardener.com/sale/calculator/ ). I tend to spray once a month.

    • Shari on April 7, 2017 at 8:58 am

      Thank you kindly, that was very helpful. Have you ever tried putting equal amounts of Br Bronners Sal’s Suds in with the neem oil as a natural emulsifier so it goes through the sprayer better?

  51. Tim on April 6, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Hi can I use this product on my tropical fruit trees and my soil ph 8 ?

    • Phil on April 7, 2017 at 7:50 am

      Certainly.

  52. AdkGirl4Ever on April 6, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Hi, I purchased the Bio-Ag and Neptunes Seaweed. I have 13 raised beds that are about 3 1/2 x 12 and the soil has been depleted over the years. I’ve added compost but the plants are still stunted and not producing. Going to test the soil but how much should I put in my Chameleon hose end sprayer and what do I set it on? I am new to this.

    • Phil on April 7, 2017 at 7:56 am

      If you mean 3.5×12 feet times 13 beds, then you have a total of 550 square feet, so I would put 1/4 cup of Bio Ag and 1/4 cup of Seaweed into the sprayer, set it to spray 1 Tbsp per gallon of water, and spray away.

      • Shari on April 7, 2017 at 8:59 am

        Thanks so much!

      • Shari on April 13, 2017 at 10:45 am

        I just applied some lime a couple days ago…how long should I wait to apply the Bio-Ag, Seaweed and Molasses?

        • Phil on April 14, 2017 at 12:51 pm

          No need to wait, Shari.

  53. Patricia Royster on April 9, 2017 at 11:49 am

    I m in North Carolina and our last frost date is April 15th. Just getting my garden ready and read all of your instructions for using BioAg and then read the directions on the bottle. It says do not use if pH is above 3.9. Our soil pH averages 5.5-7. Should I dilute it more or not use it at all? Thanks for your help!

    • Phil on April 13, 2017 at 10:30 am

      They’re referring to the pH of the product itself. As long as you use it within the next couple of years, the pH will be below 3.9, so you’re good to go.

  54. Shari on April 10, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Have you ever tried putting equal amounts of Dr Bronners Sal’s Suds in with the neem oil or Bio-Ag with Molasses and Seaweed as a natural emulsifier so it goes through the sprayer better?

    • Phil on April 13, 2017 at 10:44 am

      Yes. Dr Bronners with neem oil every time, and molasses with Bio Ag every time (but not Dr Bronners with Bio Ag because I don’t want to smother the microbes).

  55. Susan on April 20, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Ready to order Bio Ag Probiotic – already activated. Considering purchasing several quarts instead of gallon so the entire culture will not be exposed before I plan to use it. Is this a good idea?

    • Phil on April 20, 2017 at 10:30 am

      Good question, Susan. I wouldn’t worry about it too much. If you were hoping to keep it good for several years beyond the expiry date, it may make sense, but as long as you use it within the next 2-3 years, you should be fine.

  56. Phyllis on April 27, 2017 at 12:26 am

    Which of your products would be best to use to improve the health of our lawn?

    • Phil on April 27, 2017 at 8:23 am

      There’s no one right answer for this. It partially depends on what your lawn is deficient in. Most important is to water sufficiently throughout the summer, mow high, and leave the grass clippings to decompose on the lawn. After that, effective microorganisms can be very helpful, as can mycorrhizal fungi, as can sea minerals fertilizer and liquid fish fertilizer.

  57. PDaddy on May 4, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    I would like to try this. Will this kill Monarch butterflies larva or Monarch caterpillars?

    • PDaddy on May 4, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      I should have specified that I plan to use it on milkweed plants.

    • Phil on May 7, 2017 at 10:40 am

      Definitely not. Go for it!

  58. Sergio on May 9, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Hi–I’m wondering where I might find a list of the specific species that are in EM? Thank you.

    • Phil on May 13, 2017 at 6:21 pm

      I included that in the article above under the ‘About SCD Probiotics ProBio Balance’ section.

  59. Julie on May 14, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    I bought the mother culture a year ago, and I didn’t either ever know how to utilize the further detailed instructions, or never got them. What can you tell me about how to get them?

  60. sunny gorg on May 16, 2017 at 4:45 am

    hi, i’m wondering if EM can be used to treat black mold in my home? i would appreciate a swift reply as i live in peru and am having a friend bring some things down for me from the US, so the EM would need to ship soon. thanks!

    • Phil on May 16, 2017 at 8:56 am

      Sometimes with repeated applications it can help, but sometimes not. Sorry I can’t give a better answer. If you do try it, spray the mold every few days with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of EM per quart of water.

  61. Will on June 1, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Can BioAg be used to create Bokashi grains in use of a Bokashi composter?

    • Phil on June 1, 2017 at 7:38 am

      Yes, it’s used the same as EM for this purpose.

  62. Stephanie Newman on June 2, 2017 at 3:45 am

    I purchased the Beginners Package. Applied once. Now three weeks later, garden tower plants are big, strong…and today I noticed a little bug with wings that’s eating hole in my gorgeous pak choy and kale.

    1. Should I add the BioAg and liquid seaweed once a month 1tbsp/1 gallon of each?

    2. Spray that mixture on leaves and add some to soil at base of each plant? I’m using a turkey baster to deliver water to base of plants and a spray bottle if you say to spray all the leaves topside/underside.

    3. Time to add Intermediate ingredients?

    I LOVE my daily breakfast salad!!!

    Thank you!

    • Phil on June 2, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      1. I tend to think about it more in terms of square footage, and I tend to use 1/2 cup of each per 1000 square feet (1 Tbsp per 100 square feet). But yes, 1Tbsp/gallon is good for EM and seaweed, although you can do as many as 5 Tbsp per gallon with the seaweed.

      2. Yes, that’s all good.

      3. Certainly would be great, but for things you harvest regularly like lettuce and greens, you might want to not use the smelly fish. Just stick with the other products in that case.

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