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Herbal starter cultures for plant nutrition

Herbal sourdough is an excellent fertilizer for plants. To understand why, you need to remember that in addition to macronutrients - nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, plants need the main building material - carbon. The effectiveness of certain organic fertilizers is assessed by the ratio of carbon to nitrogen (C: N). Carbon predominates in wood waste, for which the C: N ratio is 208. For comparison, the same indicator for slurry is much lower - 0.8. Compared to it, composted green mass has a C: N ratio of about 7, mowed lawn grass - 12, legumes - 15. But the higher the carbon content in plant residues, the longer it takes microorganisms to process it. Preparation of herbal infusion allows you to speed up the process of extracting nutrients, although their final content in it, of course, is lower than in compost.

Preparation of herbal starter culture (method of Elena Shutova)

Chop freshly cut grass (the best fertilizer is obtained from nettle, since it is rich in silicon and trace elements). Pour several buckets of grass into a barrel and add the same number of buckets of water. For every 10 liters of the resulting infusion, add 40-50 g of double superphosphate (if you do not add superphosphate, then fruiting plants experience potassium starvation even when ash or other potash fertilizers are added). Mix everything and leave to ferment. In order for the fermentation process to take place more evenly, the infusion must be stirred periodically, and the barrel must be placed in the shade, loosely covering it. The liquid level should be 20-25 cm below the edge of the barrel, otherwise the valuable fertilizer, which will actively foam, will "run away".

The infusion is ready in 7-10 days, when the abundant release of foam stops with stirring. It is used unfiltered, diluted with water 1: 2-4, depending on the age of the plants, 1 liter per plant or 3-5 l / m2. With mass flowering and fruiting of plants, 0.5-1 glass of ash or 10-15 g of potassium sulfate must be added to each bucket of already diluted fertilizer. During feeding, you should try to stir the solution as often as possible to evenly distribute the sediment at the bottom of the bucket.

EM extract (method of Lyudmila Andreevna Vinogradova)

It is prepared using microbiological preparations containing effective microorganisms (EM preparations): the best is Vostok-EM1, but you can use Baikal or Vozrozhdenie. Since these preparations are highly acidic, a plastic barrel should be used. For a volume of 200 liters, lay:

  • 5 buckets of grass (best of all - nettles, legumes, lawn grasses);
  • 1-3 kg of dolomite flour;
  • 3 kg of bone meal;
  • EM drug;

Add water to a level of 10-20 cm from the edge.

Tie the top of the barrel with black foil and leave in the sun to ferment.

Within 10-14 days, the solution will boil, then settle. It must be diluted in a ratio of 5 liters to 200 liters of water (in the second barrel) and used under any plants, pouring over them entirely. The resulting extract is enough to process a plot of 30 acres or more, it must be used within two weeks (for two treatments). EM extract is an excellent fertilizer mixture that stimulates plant development, enriches the soil with beneficial microflora and helps to suppress pathogenic microflora.

Read the article about EM drugs

Biotechnology and its tasks

Influence of EM drugs