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Tell me about your microbes!

Nice! Thanks @AltMedReed! We still need to get together and put one in the air :smiley:

Anybody else have experience with microbes and bokashi?


Yes I definitely am curious about microbes!


Lots of fun microbial talk, and for more basic biological info I recommend Jeff Lowenfel’s book @TeemingwithMicrobes. We might also talk about Fungi too (btw Jeff also has @TeemingwithFungi and @TeemingwithNutrients books), and the symbiotic relationships between microbes, fungi, nutrients, water, air and soil that make up the natural @rhizosphere that exists beneath the surface! Booyah!

At Key to Life, as an @EquipSupplier we’re all about carbon-based concentrated powders to deliver all these amazing beneficial bacteria in a more sustainable form - meaning not in water, (because why pay to ship water?). One of the magical things about microbes is that when given the right stimuli (air, water, food) they love to reproduce. Powdered forms of these microorganisms, combined with @molasses, @kelp, @sulphur, @fulvic and @humic acids, etc can be brewed into ‘microbial teas’ that generate population explosions and can be distributed through automated irrigation or @fertigation systems such as @Dosatron. Watering with these teas will make your moms very happy - and you will see the difference!

At KTL, we wanted to provide diverse species of microbes including varieties of Bacilli, Pseudomonas, Streptomyces, and Trichoderma (this is actually a fungus). Benefits of these species include speeding up rooting times, increasing root nodulation and vigor, as well as keeping root zones healthy and clean. They assist with nutrient chelation, cleaning root radicals, and also cleaning leaf stomata when applied in a foliar fashion. They also have a flushing effect, helping to solublize and eat salts and prevent nutrient lockout. In short: beneficial microbes and fungi help plants to be healthy and strong, maximize canopy during veg, maximize macro and micro nutrient uptake during flower and oil production, maximize terpene development, and help plants fight off mold, mildew and pests.

Since I’m on a roll, I’ll just mention these points:

  1. When evaluating microbial amendments, be sure to check species diversity and cfus (colony-forming units) per gram. KTL microbes contain 1.2 billion cfus per gram.
  2. Biochar is a great way to promote microbial and fungal life, as well as nutrient and water retention in your soil.
  3. Mycorrhizal fungi are really cool! They actually provide the capability for communication and even nutrient exchange between plants! How cool is that?
  4. @powdertothepeople!

Good point! Great read! Booyah!

Thanks so much for that awesome microbial roundup, @mike4! How many microbial products do you currently offer?

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I’m a true believer in Microbes and it’s great to hear from the experts. I like brewing up a batch of fresh tea but knowing the specific fomulations would be a gift and a true craft brew not just home brew :grin: I do have a good friend who is a soil microbe analyser but I feel it’s critical to brew for the workload ahead. Thanks everyone who helps us grow better and healthier crops.

I’m now incorporating Bacashi and brewed teas to enhance Terpenes and flavours. It’s easy to go crazy so I learnt Less is More! Any guidance or recipes would be amazing. Thanks for asking and sharing. Any Canadian input would appreciate. Bert in Ottawa


SECOES Microbial Solutions provides a balanced blend of microbes, enzymes, algae, bacteria, and archaea. This patented technology has proven to increase terpenes and cannabinoids, increasing the value of your cannabis crops. Our microbes promote robust growth and increase plant health far beyond your traditional single microbe that simply unlocks phosphorous. We provide a symphony of microbes!

Check out the SECOES Performance testing category

Check out the SECOES Category

Check out the @Growernick SECOES Microbial Bloom Study for a study conducted by an industry leader.

If you have questions or are interested in testing out our microbes, call Donnie at 602-334-5312.

Wild-Crafted on Big Island HI
Cannabis Specific
Phosphorus, Potassium, Micronutrient solubizing Microbes


Hi Bart, what soil media are you growing in?


Thanks Nick!

Key to Life has 1 all-in-one microbial product called Root Life Microbes. Links to our product Data Sheet and Certificate of Analysis for our microbes from the Organic Materials Review Institute are attached to this reply.

Other KTL amendments include:

  • Root Life Fungi
  • Key to Uptake (fulvic acid)
  • Key to Boost (humic acid)
  • Revitalize (amino acid)
  • Silver Bullet (micronized Sulphur)
  • Molasses Magic
  • Key to Kelp
  • Key to Silica
  • Foliar feeding

KTL Microbes data sheet

KTL Microbes COA


I second “Teaming with Microbes.”


I was taught that microbes created a symbiotic relationship with the plant. The microbes make available nutrients to the plant in a usable form and in return the plant feeds the microbes carbohydrates. In hydroponics where nutrients in the form of salts are used the nutrients are readily available and there is no symbiotic relationship. The plant will treat the microbes like a pathogen and will use energy to fight off the microbes stealing energy from fruit production.


That’s a really great and easy to understand explanation of the relationship between microbes and the plant!


Hi @mdrust that’s a great description of the symbiosis between plants and nutrients.

The one point where I would differ is about synthetic nutes. Plants will always welcome the right species of bacteria, regardless of what form of nutrients are being used. In fact, we have found that applying microbes or microbial tea in a synthetic grow will produce a healthier plant. Using organic inputs (microbes, fungi, fulvic, humic, amino acids) in a synthetic / hydro grow will help plants to be more efficient in terms of nutrient cell wall absorption and micro and macro nutrient uptake.

Applying organic inputs should help decrease the amount of nutrients needed in synthetic grows, and also decrease the possibility of force-feeding, over-feeding and the negative effects of that. The result should also include a healthier plant that is stronger and more resistant to molds, mildews and pests. Btw, some forms of media are less hospitable to microbial and fungal life - such as Rockwool - but should still provide some beneficial effects.


I agree with you here @mike4, however I want to point out that I have successfully used microbes and rockwool for some time now (in limited applications, however I have made it work) and have seen vigorous growth. The only adverse effect that I have observed with rockwool and microbes is an increase in algae growth (ie more rapidly that normal). I suppose this is a combination of the light and microbes feeding the same photosynthetic processes as the cannabis plant. I have never observed any adverse reaction in the cannabis plants themselves. I think it’s an illustration that the microbes are in fact helpful to plant life!


No doubt Nick, and good to hear about your experience with Rockwool! I’ve never heard of anyone adding biochar to their Rockwool, but that would be a good one to experiment with as well.


Hey Nick!

This is actually a topic I’ve been studying in depth for some time. I can understand the desire to be long-winded regarding the subject. If I’m not careful I won’t shut up about it! Microbes are essential to all life though, and the driving force behind decomposition!

We’re also just starting to understand how important and synonymous the fungal network is to tree and forest plant production. (Cannabis would be considered in this category) The largest known organism on earth is actually a fungal body out in an Oregon forest!

In conventional ag the mistake had always been to feed the plant, and in all fairness that WILL work. (at the expense of the land) Scientist’s were able to figure out how to take nutrients and chelate them themselves and bottle and sell that chelated product. (Essentially microbes poop that is immediately plant available) Effectively bypassing the microbes.

That “slash and burn” idea and methodology worked for a long time because the microbes were able to recuperate. Now though, we’ve decimated them to the point of the American dust bowl back in the day. It’s also what’s causing the severe compaction-layer of soil. The salt build-up is also responsible for the microbes not being able to recuperate.

In an effort to be succinct however, I’ll end by answering your question. I try not to buy store-bought microbes for my cannabis or ag projects; there have been times though, and there are some good ones out there in my opinion. However, there’s usually about a six-month fall-off rate of the microbes dying in your soil, so you constantly have to reapply. I’ve been using my AACT and working on cultivating and using my own indigenous-micro-organisms or IMO’s. I’m incredibly passionate about cannabis science, bio-remediation, bio-intensive soils, and microbes.(both land and aquatic, although the aquatic interest and study is recent) As I said though, I’m pretty ardent about the subject. So again in an effort to be succinct I’ll end there, because I could go on for days still!


Ryan Cahill

P.s. For the most part, there will always be microbes. The best idea is to out-compete the bad microbes with the good!


I’m not sure if there’s ever been a more passionate articulation of ones love of microbes! You were gushing! I fully understand this passion!

Do you mind if I ask how are you developing your IMO’s?

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Wow! That’s an incredible process! What a way to bring nature into your grow! I’m blown away!


Microbes are mother natures key to growth. Without them plants will not thrive and in most cases will not survive.

They are the key to organic growing and will aid in your cannabis testing final results.

Salt based nutrients will kill most microbes. If the traditional three part nutrients are used you MUST flush with clean water between uses.

What do microbes do ? They are mother natures pesticides, insecticides and fungicides. They dictate how a plant absorbs water and nutrients.

Want larger - stronger and more potent plants? Learn more about what microbes will do for your plants.



I just read about Bokashi. A while back I saw one a kitchen compost unit that turns table scraps into usable compost in a few days. I thought that would be impossible!! But if I’m understanding correctly, you wouldn’t put the Bokashi straight on your plants right? It still needs to be broken down further. So, if you could save it up and treat your garden in the spring or maybe even the fall, it would be amazing.