It sounds strange, but a can of Coke can actually be beneficial for the garden.
In fact, various forms of sugar are very useful to use in your foliar sprays.
If you’re applying any kind of microbial inoculant, such as effective microorganisms or compost tea, the right sugar will give the microbes some food to eat right when they get out there, to wake them up and get them working away on all the amazing things they do for us.
Along the same lines, if you’re applying any kind of organic fertilizer, sugar will give your existing microbes the food they need to get them moving so that they’ll start breaking down that new fertilizer, making it available for plants.
That’s especially helpful when applying a source of nitrogen such as liquid fish, because the carbon in the sugar balances out the nitrogen, much like we try to do when building a compost pile.
So yes, I apply some form of sugar every time I spray anything. It’s not expensive either.
I’d use Coca-Cola in a pinch, but really, there’s another type that is ideal…
Molasses For Plants
I’m talking about unsulfured blackstrap molasses.
The ‘unsulfured’ part is important because sulfur is used in some products as a preservative, to kill microbes, and we obviously don’t want to do that, as we’re trying to encourage microbes.
The ‘blackstrap’ is important because it’s the most nutritious of all types of molasses.
I use blackstrap molasses for plants whenever I’m ‘activating’ effective microorganisms and sometimes again when I’m spraying it, about equal amounts of EM to molasses for each process.
So if you’re buying the ProBio Balance mother culture, pick up 1 or maybe 2 times as much molasses. If you’re buying the Bio Ag ‘activated’ culture, just pick up the same amount of molasses to apply along with it.
The benefits of molasses as fertilizer, in addition to the sugar, are that it actually contains a nice array of minerals for the garden, and it’s also very sticky, so it helps your microbes and fertilizers stick to plant leaves during application.
Who Needs This The Most?
If you’re just picking up 1 organic fertilizer, I definitely recommend liquid seaweed or sea minerals or even liquid fish before getting a sugar source.
But the professionals really do use some type of sugar in every application, and I do too, and since it’s so inexpensive, I say go for it.
How To Use It
If applying it with EM, I use it at the same rate as my EM.
So for me, 1 quart will do about 1000 square feet for a whole year (8 applications * 1/2 cup).
Additionally, if you’re getting some ProBio Balance mother culture and planning to activate it, you need almost as much molasses as mother culture for that process, too (we use molasses during activation and again during application).
I dissolve the molasses in a small amount of warm water first, right in the sprayer, to make sure it doesn’t clog the sprayer.
Get It Here
- Blackstrap molasses is a great companion to microbial inoculants and organic fertilizers.
- It helps plants more effectively uptake organic fertilizers, and helps microbial inoculants more effectively do everything they do.
Just choose from the drop-down menu and click ‘Add To Cart’ up above!