Friday, May 6, 2011

Chapter 28 - Yogurt For Your Garden

"I noticed white mold in my compost pile but now it's spreading into my garden soil. 

I don't want to use sprays or chemicals but how else can I get rid of it?   Help!"

White mold on our
composting leaves

The white mold in your compost and garden is something to treasure.  It means that microbes are working their magic to insure a healthy garden and gorgeous plants.  Leave it alone.

Think of the white mold as yogurt for the garden.  Just like the yogurt we eat for the beneficial bacteria it produces in our bodies, your garden thrives on the beneficial bacteria that live (and grow) in your soil.

White mold is a sign that your garden soil is healthy.  The mold helps your plants absorb nutrients from the soil.  

The 4 pound bag
lasts for a long time

Espoma packages a dried mold/bacteria mix called Bio-tone Starter Plus.  It's an all natural plant food that contains mycorrhizae and other beneficial bacteria. Think of it as dried yogurt for the garden.  It grows the same white mold you have in your garden.

We use Bio-tone Starter Plus when we transplant.  We put a sprinkle (or a small spoonful depending on the size of the plant) into the hole along with some of our rich, home made compost.  We feel adding a shot of bacteria to the soil helps prevent transplant loss by jump starting the roots to take up nutrients.

Our herb, rose and lavender garden

We don't reapply the Bio-tone Starter Plus because the bacteria will continue to grow in the soil. 

Seeing white mold in your compost or in your garden soil is something to celebrate.  Life is a magical eco-system of things you can see and things you can't but they all work together.  

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