How to use EM1 full directions and FAQs
Excellent choice on getting EM1 for your indoor plants or outdoor garden. Here's what's in the bottle, how it helps our plants, and the directions and dilution rates for how to use it for different applications.
What is EM1?
EM1 is a liquid inoculant packed full of beneficial microbes that create a healthier micro-biome in your soil. With increased organic activity comes a whole host of benefits for our indoor plants (and outdoor gardens too). Including increased soil quality and fertility, increased pest and disease resistance, and a growth boost from roots to foliage, flowers to fruit.
EM1 directions for use
INDOOR PLANTS & GREENHOUSE / GROW TENT PLANTS
SOIL DRENCH Dilute 1 cap of EM1 (that's 10 mls), per 1 litre of water and thoroughly saturate the soil. Apply EM1 as a soil drench around once a month.
FOLIAR SPRAY Dilute 1 cap (10 mls), of EM1 in 1 litre of water in a spray mister. When using for added disease protection, increase concentration to 1 cap of EM1 to 500mls water. Spray foliage as often as weekly.
OUTDOORS: FOLIAR DRENCH For a thorough soak, including foliage and soil, mix 100ml (10 capfuls), of EM1 per 10 litres water in a watering can. Water heavily until foliage and soil is saturated. This method's very popular for seedlings and newly potted plants but can be used for vegetables, roses and more.
What's in EM1?
A whole host of good guys, dormant and waiting to activate, including photosynthesizing bacteria, multiple strains of lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and more. EM1 has also shown to increase growth of other beneficial soil fungi such as mycorrhizal fungi, making EM1 and Seacliff Organics Myco a great combo.
The microbes in EM1 break down organic matter in soil, turning it into food for our plants, releasing nutrients locked in the soil, and helping convert less immediately accessible nutrient sources like urea, into life-giving essential minerals like nitrogen.
One of the major beneficials in EM1 are photosynthetic bacteria. In soil, they've been shown to increase root growth, and produce sugars that feed other beneficial bacteria. On the leaf surface, they produce phytohormones, protective molecules that increase growth while helping plants defend against both abiotic and biotic stresses, reducing the risk of root rot, temperature stress, pest attack and diseases.
Does EM1 work in soil-less potting mixes?
Yes, EM1 works very well in soil-less mixes to inoculate indoor plants, bringing their substrate closer to nature, increasing growth while helping support a plant's natural defences against disease and pests. Soil-less substrates (such as perlite and pumice), make a perfect home for the microbes in EM1.
However EM1 does not replace fertiliser when using a soil-less substrate (used outdoors you may find no need for fertiliser). You still need to use fertiliser as normal indoors, or for better results, use with organic fertiliser. Seaweed is a great option also, such as Grosafe Organic Seaweed or Seacliff Organics Tri-Kelp. Because soil-less mixes typically have low or no nutrients, when you fertilise your plants, you're also feeding the microbes in EM1 so they can keep looking after your plants. Win win!
Does EM1 work with fertiliser?
Yes, EM1 plays nicely with indoor plant fertilisers. When mix-feeding, add fertiliser to the water first, mix, then add EM1 last, before watering, or apply EM1 separately, (water with your EM1 solution after applying fertiliser).
EM-1 extra tips
Make and use fresh. EM1 is acidic because of the lactic acids, also a natural preservative that keeps the microbes dormant, but once diluted with water, the pH changes, which activates the microbes.
Little and often gets best results, as often as weekly for foliar spray application, and monthly when applied as a soil drench. EM1 is gentle and harmless and can be applied (diluted), every time you water if desired.
As a foliar spray, EM1 populates the leaf surface with good bacteria that helps prevent pests and pathogenic (bad) bacteria from setting up home and taking hold.
Using the same ratio as the foliar drench, EM1 can be applied to activate your compost heap, including covered or air-less composts like the Bokashi method.
Storage and safety
EM1 is very safe to use (fit for human consumption, not that you should drink it). While in the bottle, the microbes are dormant. To keep them dormant and extend the shelf life, always store with the cap tightly on, and make sure to keep in a cool, dark place, at room temperature indoors, always out of direct sunlight. Best to only leave the cap off for the shortest time possible.
Where can I buy EM1 in New Zealand?
From me here at Love That Leaf. EM1 available here