Using EM•1 as a Foliar Spray
EM-1 Microbial Inoculant can increase soil health and populations of soil organisms. It can also be used as a foliar spray for added microbial benefits.
EM-1 Microbial Inoculant can increase populations of beneficial microorganisms on the plant surface. Applying inputs on the leaves helps in efficiency and protects the plant surface. Applying nutrients or microbes as a foliar can increase uptake and decrease deficiencies. With microbial inoculants, foliar feeding increases the plants defense against disease and pests.
Adding Microbes on the Leaves
Microbes produce byproducts when consuming the carbohydrates and sugars on the leaf surface. Byproducts from microbes includes enzymes, vitamins, bioflavonoids, and antioxidants.
One of the beneficial microorganisms in EM-1 is Lactobacillus or lactic acid bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria is in fermented foods for preservation. Also found in the soil and on plant surfaces, lactobacillus can protect against pests.
A symbiotic relationship forms when lactobacillus eats the sugars or sap on the leaf. The microbe then provides pathogen protection to the plant. The microbe produces natural antimicrobial and antifungal compounds as waste. Compounds such as hydrogen peroxide, acetic acid, and lactic acid.
A second microbe in EM-1 is Saccharomyces, a beneficial yeast. By producing an enzyme called chitinase, Saccharomyces renders pathogenic fungi useless.
Application of EM-1
You can foliar feed your plants EM-1 with any irrigation system, hand sprayer, hose-end sprayer, back-pack sprayer, or overhead drip irrigation system.
For best results, apply in the early morning, evening, or on overcast days. (Liquids, even pure water, can cause leaf burn in direct sunlight). Also, avoid spraying on a windy day in order to reduce waste, however there is no risk to nearby plants from spray drift as EM-1 is safe for all plants, animals, and humans.
Watering the leaves before can "wake-up" stomata and aid in absorption. Stomata are on the underside of the leaves so be sure to spray the entire plant. If the foliar feeding was effective, you should start to see visible results within 48 hours.
If adding a liquid fertilizer with the EM-1, dilute the fertilizer before EM-1 is added. Stick with all-natural fertilizers for best results.
Optional: Add a surfactant or wetting agent to increase absorption.