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Microbe Munchies

Hello everyone, we’re back from the lab with some helpful knowledge about feeding your plants, but more importantly feeding your bacteria. It doesn’t matter whether you have your own recipe or following the feeding chart your plants need to be fed. They are craving nutrients from the start. The real question is are the nutrients available for your plants to absorb? How can you make your nutrients available for the plant?

We can understand when the plant is being fed too much or too little, the ladies will let us know. This can be visually observed from the leaves and the overall condition of the plant. While your N-P-K’s may be on point and your micronutrient game is strong your plant could still experience nutrient deficiencies. Pump up the parts per million (PPM) all you want but there could still be no change, it may make the situation worse. Flooding the system with excessive fertilizer can lockup other nutrients in the soil. Just because there is more fertilizer going down, doesn’t mean that plant can absorb it all. Plants actually only absorb a small of nutrients at a time, we are talking about fractions of a percent.

There are a couple approaches we can take to minimize this issue. For a microbiologist the first route is to use beneficial microorganisms to our advantage. This can be done by introducing beneficial bacteria into the system. A product like “Acktina” would be the perfect choice, these pure cultures come from the Streptomyces family.

They are well known for their ability to breakdown organic matter and recycle nutrients. How this happens is the bacteria are looking for a carbon source, they need to feed too. Attached to this carbon source can be just about anything, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, or any number of micronutrients. As for the bacteria they will consume the carbon and a small amount of the nutrients, the rest will left available for the plant to consume. Remember that plants only absorb a small amount of nutrients and bacteria will need even less than that. They have no problem sharing and both organisms benefit from it. One thing I would stay away from is adding sugar to the system like molasses. If the bacteria are consuming sugars, then they are not breaking down and releasing the nutrients you just fed to your plant.


Another approach that growers can take is to use inputs that are rich in microbial diversity and activity. Products like

“Life” and “Essence” start with all natural bases, chicken manure and kelp respectively. Chicken manure is not only a great source of N-P-K’s, but it also contains beneficial bacteria like the Bacillus family and many others. It is a slow releasing nutrient giving the bacteria plenty of time to break it all down for the plant. Speaking of plants, kelp is an excellent source of microbe food, but also has many other benefits. While kelp has N-P-K values, it is better known for the plant hormones it contains.

Another advantage of kelp is the nitrogen fixing bacteria that come along with it. The bacteria associated with kelp can produce plant growth regulators (PGRs) like cytokinins and auxins. These PGRs not only help kelp grow, but they will also help your plants grow nice and healthy.


The process of bacteria breaking down nutrients is not an instant phenomenon. It is a slow process that can take hours, even up to days depending on the function the bacteria is trying to perform. Just a little advice is to be patient and observe. Keep feeding the beneficial bacteria in your system, they will do their job of breaking down nutrients, protecting the roots and keeping your plants healthy.

For more from HyKreations, click here.

HyKreations is a Scientific Solutions company offering Microbials, Fertilizers, Consulting, and Writing Services. HyKreations is located in Goodyear, AZ and can be reached at: 602-527-5678 (Derex) or 602-527-3767 (Anthony). Check out our website at, visit our Facebook page @HyKreations, and give us a follow and a like on Instagram @hykreations_az.


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