Planting Seeds Right With EM-1® By treating your seeds or seedlings with EM-1® you can ensure a better start to your garden with beneficial microorganisms.
Starting your garden from seed can be a satisfying accomplishment and ensure you know everything your produce comes in contact with.
It is pretty well-known that plants and microorganisms have an essential symbiotic relationship in order for each to thrive. This relationship doesn't begin once the plant emerges from the soil, it starts with the seed.
Just as a seed needs oxygen, water and food, seeds rely heavily on a plant-microbial relationship. The enzymes, proteins and hormones produced by the microbes are utilized by the seed for healthy growth. Although research is not as plentiful as root and leaf plant-microbial relationships, plenty show the importance of seed micro flora on the surface as well as the inner tissue of the seed.
Starting with transplants can be equally enjoyable especially if seeds were not planted in time or you just lack the patience.
Be sure to research high-quality seedlings and purchase from a trusted source. Lots of store-bought plants are pretreated with pesticides and fungicides and/or are grown from GMO verities. If the seedlings were not started from high-quality seeds, you may have an uphill battle for successful growth.
Just as the plant-microbial relationship can help increase the growth of seeds, beneficial microorganisms can decrease the stress on transplants by strengthening the health of the roots. In addition, microbes increase water permeability and decrease the chance of water stress. This keeps soil moist and your garden soil less stressed.
Whether you choose to start from seed or transplants, soil health is important.
Focusing on disease-resistant soil can ensure beneficial microorganisms rule and pathogenic microorganisms are few and far between.
Research suggests that beneficial microorganisms are key to plant health, plant growth and seed survival while pathogenic microorganisms can be detrimental. This means focusing on soil health can have a big impact.
Disease-resistant soils are self-purifying because of the high populations of beneficial microorganisms such as Lactobacillus, Saccharomyces, and Rhodopseudomonas. With their natural antibiotic properties, these bugs prevent pathogenic bacteria from moving in and can even render some useless by blocking certain pathogenic proteins.
Ensure you are providing your garden soil with loads of high quality organic matter and beneficial microorganisms to increase the natural protection against common disease and pests that can hinder seed growth.
Don't discount soil structure when planting seeds or transplants
Seeds and seedlings do best in soils with a strong structure that can support a strong root system as well as enough permeability to allow air and water to move freely. A proper balance of pores also ensures the soil is not compacted and the seedling can break through the surface.
Microorganisms can increase the soil structure by breaking down organic matter and cycling nutrients. In doing so they secret glue like compounds that bind the soil aggregates together. This creates a strong structure while also creating needed pockets for air and water. Larger organisms, such as worms and beneficial nematodes, aid in this by feeding off the microorganisms and soil.
“To Plant a Seed is to Believe in Tomorrow”
Seeds need properly functioning hormones and a healthy microbiome.
Countless studies show the plant's microbiome effects seed germination, seedling strength, and plant vigor. Hormones produced by both the plant and soil microbes control cell division and plant growth within the seed.
Much like the human body, hormones are greatly influenced by the microbiome health. Seeds and seedlings need these hormones to work properly to help store food, produce proteins and lipids and cycle nutrients. Microbes also increase nutrient cycling and increase water permeability, increasing the availability of nutrients and water needed for seed growth and vigorous seedling growth.
In a study on EM-1® and a succulent plant called Mother of Thousands, plant growth was significantly higher when seeds were pretreated with a EM-1® and water solution. Other research on cotton and hydroseeding grass with TeraGanix has also shown positive results with faster germination and stronger plants.
Research on Tobacco seedlings showed an increase in growth and a decrease in transplant stress when treated with EM-1®. Seedling roots were soaked in a solution of EM-1® for 24 hours before planting.
Don't forget about organic matter
Organic matter provides the food for the microbial population and other beneficial organisms. Provide your soil with high-quality compost throughout the season for strong, living soil. Homemade compost is the best option as you can control what is being put into the soil.
Pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are often found in compost and can hinder your soils health. Check out our tips for high-quality, nutrient-rich compost.
Use EM-1® to treat your seeds before planting.
EM-1® can be used on any seed before planting. Be sure the seeds are not already pre-treated with synthetic antimicrobials or fungicides as this can kill the microorganisms in EM-1® . High-quality, organic seeds are best.
(1) Create a solution of 1 part EM-1® to 1,000 Parts Water or about 1 tsp per gallon.
(2) Submerge seeds and let sit for the following times;
Small Seeds - 20 to 30 Minutes (i.e. mustard, kale, broccoli, cabbage)
Medium Seeds - 30 to 60 Minutes (i.e. cucumber, carrot, peppers, tomato)
Large Seeds - 2 to 3 Hours (i.e. pumpkin, beans, squash)
(3) Air dry seeds before planting if they are sticking
(4) Plant the seeds in nutrient rich soil and water with the same EM-1® solution after planting.
(5) EM-1® can be applied weekly throughout the growing season to increase root and plant growth.
(6) Apply EM® Bokashi as a top dress after seed planting and throughout the growing season bi-weekly.
Use EM-1® to treat your seedlings before planting.
(1) Create a solution of 1 part EM-1® and 1,000 parts water. This equals about 1 tsp per gallon of water.
(2) Soak roots, doing your best to keep plant out of the water, for 12-24 hours.
(3) Plant in nutrient-rich soil and water in with the same 1:1000 solution of EM-1®.
(4) Sprinkle EM® Bokashi as a top dress on the soil.
(5) Continue to apply EM-1® onto the soil or as a foliar weekly and EM® Bokashi on the soil surface bi-weekly.
Have some fun with seed planting!
Seeds can easily be started indoors if the weather is not quite right or you want more control over their growing environment. While some species may not do as well being transplanted, many vegetable varieties do better when started indoors or in the greenhouse. Seed trays work great and are readily available at most plant nurseries, but why not get a little creative and think outside the box instead.
Plant in egg shells
The ultimate in biodegradable material, an empty egg shell provides nutrients to your seed and plant and provides organic matter to the soil. This can decrease the transplant stress since you can simply plant the entire egg and soil into the ground.
Plant Peppers seeds in the fruit
Have a pepper getting wrinkled and past its ripeness? Cut the pepper in half and knock the seeds into the pepper. Fill with high-quality soil and water in with EM-1®. Keep the pepper indoors if the weather is not warm enough or bury the pepper directly into the ground. The pepper will slowly decompose and provide organic matter and nutrients to the growing seed and seedling.
Use your empty TP rolls
Cardboard provides valuable brown material to compost piles but can also be used to hold seeds. Pack the TP roll with high-quality soil and push the seed down to the recommended depth. These stack nicely together if growing seeds indoors or in the greenhouse, or simply burry the tube in the soil.
Empty egg cartons are perfect seed trays
If your eggs come in cardboard egg cartons, these make for easy recyclable seed trays. Fill the entire carton with high-quality soil. Place 1 seed in each egg spot and cover with more soil. If growing indoors for some time, be sure to use a tray as water will penetrate through. Once you're seedlings are ready to plant, cut out each section and plant with the carton. This provides brown organic material and lessens the transplant stress as roots are undisturbed.
Test EM-1® Yourself We planted the same organic cucumber seeds in container boxes and gave plants EM-1® weekly and EM® Bokashi bi-weekly. The control received no inputs.
EM-1® Treated cucumbers did significantly better in a simple at-home trial. The strength and vigor of the plant continued to out compete the untreated cucumber.
The untreated cucumber remained healthy and grew well, but was definitely slower then the EM-1® Treated. Plant were planted the same date and were from the same seed package.