Lactobacillus also known as Lab, is a type of bacteria that you can often find in soil and in animals’ digestive systems. It’s a good bacterium that helps clean up the soil and remove waste materials that could be harmful.

When it’s in the soil, lactobacillus helps break down natural waste, preventing too much heat or gas from being released. It’s also great at keeping diseases in check and regulating the growth of fungi, yeast, and other bacteria.

With lactobacillus around, there are fewer harmful organisms in the soil, creating a healthier environment for plants. In a nutshell, lactobacillus aids in breaking down waste and preventing diseases. Let’s learn how to make Lactobacillus for plants at home.

Making Lactobacillus at Home

It’s possible to make Lactobacillus at home using a few basic ingredients. Here is one of the cheapest and easiest methods to make Lab at home.

1. Start by filling a jar halfway with rice, and then fill the rest of the jar with water. Let this mixture sit for around 20 minutes. During this time, shake the jar a few times until the water turns cloudy.

2. Next, strain the cloudy water into a second jar. Cover this jar with a piece of cheesecloth, securing it with a rubber band.

3. Let the jar sit for a few days. Over time, the solution will divide into three layers: mold will form at the top, lactobacillus in the middle, and starch will settle at the bottom.

4. Carefully siphon off the middle layer, which contains the lactobacillus, into a new jar.

5. Now, take the serum you’ve extracted and mix it with fresh milk. Use a ratio of 1 part serum to 10 parts milk.

6. Cover this new mixture with a lid, and let it sit for a few more days.

7. During these days, the lactobacillus will multiply, releasing air in the process. To accommodate this, don’t completely seal the jar.

8. After several days, you’ll see that the solution has separated into two layers.

9. The bottom layer will be a yellowish liquid. This is the good stuff — it contains a large number of lactobacillus bacteria, which you can now use as needed.

How to Use Lactobacillus in the Garden?

Once you have prepared the concentrated Lactobacillus serum, you can easily dilute it and apply it to your plants. For optimal results, the recommended ratio for dilution is 20 ml of concentrated serum to 1 liter of chlorine-free water.

Based on our experience, it’s recommended to use 100 liters of the diluted solution for every 1 acre of land. This will ensure that your plants receive sufficient quantity of beneficial microbes to support their growth.

Preserving Lactobacillus for Future Use

To keep Lactobacillus for later use, you have a few choices. If you only need to store it for a short time, put the concentrated serum in a sealed jar in the fridge. This way, you can activate and use it within a few days or weeks. But remember, this method isn’t suitable for long-term storage.

For a longer lifespan, mix the serum with molasses in equal amounts. After mixing, seal the jar and store it at room temperature or in the fridge. The sealed jar won’t harm the Lactobacillus because these microorganisms don’t need oxygen. This technique preserves the Lactobacillus culture for an extended period.

However, we had the best results when we used the serum soon after producing it without preservation.

Benefits of Using Lactobacillus in Gardening

First and foremost, the use of Lactobacillus improves soil quality in multiple ways. It enhances pore space and soil ventilation, thereby enabling better water retention and nutrient availability. The result is a soil environment that is highly conducive to plant growth.

Additionally, Lactobacillus increases the solubility of fertilizers, making vital nutrients more easily absorbed by plants. This improved nutrient uptake can significantly enhance plant development and productivity.

Moreover, LAB directly promotes plant growth and seed germination. It also acts as a buffer against various abiotic stresses, helping plants withstand challenging environmental conditions and ensuring their sustained growth and vitality.

In terms of disease control, Lactobacillus plays a crucial role. Just as lacto-fermented food remains free from pathogens, the lactic acid produced by LAB in the soil helps keep disease-causing organisms in check. This natural defense mechanism contributes to healthier plants and reduced disease incidence.

Furthermore, Lactobacillus aids in sterilizing the soil and eliminating harmful byproducts that can accumulate over time. By creating a balanced environment that supports plant life while limiting undesirable organisms, LAB fosters a healthier ecosystem for plant growth.

Other Types of Microbes That Are Beneficial for Soil Health

There are many species of beneficial microbes that do wonders for soil health. Let’s explore some of them.

Rhizobia – These bacteria buddy up with plant roots and convert nitrogen from the air into a form that plants can use. It’s like they’re making a meal out of thin air for the plants.

Mycorrhizal fungi – These fungi also become friends with plant roots and help the plants to absorb nutrients from the soil.

Actinomycetes – These are another type of beneficial bacteria. They break down organic matter in the soil. When they’re done, they leave behind a treasure trove of nutrients that plants can use.

Diazotrophic bacteria – They’re similar to Rhizobia and help to pull nitrogen from the air and serve it up for the plants to use.

Plant growth-promoting bacteria, or PGPB – They help plants grow by doing a variety of things, like making plant hormones, turning nutrients into usable forms, and keeping plant diseases in check.

Except for the species of microbes, I mentioned above, there are many other types of beneficial microorganisms in the soil. They do all sorts of helpful things, like making the soil structure better, recycling nutrients, and helping the soil to hold onto water.

Therefore, having a mix of these friendly bacteria is key to keeping soil healthy and helping plants grow. It’s like a bustling city of tiny helpers, all working together to make a great home for plants.