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Beneficial Bacteria for Organic crops

Hey you guys,
Wanted to hear some opinions on using bacteria strains to create a richer soil environment?

What products do you like the best?

Do you use photosynthesizing bacteria on the leafs for extra growth and biomass?

This was the best supplementary product Ive found thus far. Depending on the strain and growing method you could see a 15-35% increase in harvest.


Good topic @igodfrey. Pinging @MammothKeith as he works for and I’m sure has some good info to share.


Excellent, another highly recommended company.

Hey, thanks for the detailed explanation.


I’ve heard nothing but good things about Mammoth P and would be interested in a trial.

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Could you guys share any information you may have concerning photosynthesizing bacteria that one could use as a foliage spray? Ive only heard of Photosynthesis Plus or Quantum Plus, which is great, but any additional products or information would be a huge help. Thanks!



I’m confused – why would you want photosynthesizing bacteria as a foliar spray? Wouldn’t that mean less energy for the plant to absorb? Unless I’m missing something.

Hey Hunter, Dont know too much about this. Would like to understand a bit more as well.

Check out the link.

"The proprietary formulation and culture growth enhances product performance via selective adaptation, resulting in superior performance in aerobic, facultative, anaerobic and anoxic environments. Shelf stable for two years.

What it does:

Enhances plant functions at the foliar level and the root zone in both soil and soilless substrates. Enhances photosynthesis and biological function by allowing plants to capture and utilize radiant energy more efficiently. Speeds uptake and distribution of essential macro- and micro- nutrients required for all plant metabolic functions and growth. Promotes plant vigor and reduces input costs while increasing yields."

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This sentence is science-ey sounding jargon. It means almost nothing to me. It reads like someone tried to take all the fancy science words from a Biology 101 course and tried to make a nice sounding sentence out of them.

Quick breakdown:

  • “Proprietary formulation and culture growth” – Could’ve just said blend of microorganisms.
  • “Enhances product performance via selective adaptation” – What’s being enhanced? What’s being selected? What’s being adapted? How is selective adaptation working? What?
  • “resulting in superior performance in aerobic, facultative, anaerobic and anoxic environments.” – Facultative is being used in the wrong context in the sentence (facultative is not a descriptor of an environment, but an organism) and anaerobic and anoxic basically mean the same thing. You also don’t want your plants living in anaerobic conditions. That’s no bueno.

This description makes it sound like a miracle product, but doesn’t explain how it works.

Now I can’t speak for or against the efficacy of the product. It might work well, and it might not. If it does work though, it wouldn’t be used as a foliar spray – it would be used as a root drench. Improving nutrient and water uptake is about improving the bacterial/fungal ecosystem in the soil or grow medium and facilitating that symbiosis.

Using it for a foliar spray… well, I can’t see any benefit in that. Might even be detrimental and cause some leaf rot.

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Beneficial bacteria is usually applied to the soil or media. It breaks down nutrients for the plant and carbohydrates to feed itself. As a foliar, you are looking for insecticidal activity from BT. Other than that, I would have to look closely at the claims. 35% increase in harvest compared to what?


Based on a recent talk I heard regarding plant microbiology, it sounds like bacteria and other microbes will inhabit the surface of your leaves in a typical grow situation, so it would be desirable to make sure the inhabitants are beneficial. I don’t have the evidence to back that up on hand but it made sense to me at least as a preventative against pathogens. That being said I’m a fan of Hydroguard and have been for many years.


You’re absolutely correct! It’s nearly impossible to avoid bacteria and other microbes unless you happen to work in a specially designed cleanroom. Can’t even get rid of them in space. For example, the microbes living on the surface of grape skins are what turn grape juice into wine.

Generally speaking though, you shouldn’t need beneficial bacteria on the leaves to protect the plants. Our beautiful plants have evolved over millennia to create conditions for the bacteria they like, so you shouldn’t need to add anything unless there’s an obvious issue such as leaf rot.


Back in 1999 I took an intense 3 day course from Dr. Elaine Ingham, then an ag professor at Oregon State University and now a guru on organic microbial action in the soil aka the Soil Food Web. It was all based on brewing aerated compost tea. In it she showed with microscope photos projected on a big screen all the different microbes at work in the soil. She also talked about how spraying aerated compost tea on leaves of plants not only feeds the plant but creates a biofilm that fungus, mold, mildew and black leaf spot can’t penetrate. But when rain or irrigation water washes it off of the leaf it has to be applied again. It is important when brewing compost tea to know what microbes are in the compost. So identifying them yourself with a microscope or sending it to a lab are important. It is like knowing what is in the Cannabis flowers one consumes. The only way is to test it at a lab and see the results.


We are developing our own in house recipes. We have successfully brewed our own Lactobacillus Serum effective microorganisms. With other beneficial enzymes its possible to run full organics through an irrigation line without gunking. Yes increased yield but the plant needs to be able to take it. Too much is too much. Great topic!


@sungreengardens. Hey Adam. That sounds interesting. Can you tell us how you got started doing this and why?


Beneficial bacteria + mychorizzal fungi are two of the keys to a healthy soil ecosystem. Both play integral roles. As @tom mentioned the Soil Food Web is probably one of the most overlooked and yet important parts of growing exceptional organic cannabis and other crops. If the soil is healthy, living and dynamic the plants will be too.

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It’s also one of the parts of science surrounding agriculture that is still relatively unknown. We know that there are symbioses between many of these organisms and plant roots, but we don’t know how they communicate and why they work the way they do.


Here is some info on Microbe life products. I’m very curious what research has been done on the purple photosynthesizing bacteria?


Here’s one interesting study I found on stevia yields:

I did some reading the other day on the subject, because evolution was kind of my thing in college. I love learning this stuff.

So when plants were first starting to evolve (the first green algaes), most of the photosynthetic organisms were bacteria using a molecule called bacteriorhodopsin. Bacteriorhodopsin soaks up most of the visible light spectrum (reflecting blue and red light, the far ends of the spectrum, thus appearing purple), and its mechanism for generating energy is fundamentally different than chlorophyll. Bacteriorhodopsin is a proton pump. It essentially moves protons across a membrane against the concentration gradient. This proton gradient is then eventually converted into chemical energy. The process of bacteriorhodopsin is inefficient because it takes two energy conversion steps. Photons are converted into kinetic energy, and the kinetic energy is converted into chemical energy. This is why it soaks up such a large amount of the visible spectrum.

Chlorophyll, due to the fact that most of the available light was taken, had to be more efficient. It uses the sun’s energy to excite electrons instead, and uses these excited electrons to perform endothermic reactions. The process is a single conversion (light into chemical energy), and thus significantly more efficient.

I don’t think there would be much benefit genetically engineering bacteriorhodopsin into plants, because the mechanisms of energy generation are too different, and the plants might absorb too much light energy as a result, spontaneously combusting.

(FYI, this is oversimplified, the chemistry is way more complicated. But it is fairly accurate representation)

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