LAB is short for Lactic Acid Bacteria. In natural Farming, it is one of the most essential ingredients, and also one of the easiest to culture. See lactic acid is a bacteria that is present everywhere in the air. See, it is not one specific type of bacteria rather a group. And this group of bacterias are the workhorses behind some of our favorite pickled products including kimchi and sauerkraut. LAB is also responsible and used in the process of making cheese, yogurt, butter and sour cream.
Notice all of the foods listed are all said to be rich in probiotics, and we have been told a diet rich in these foods can improve our gut health through the introduction of microbes. This does not just apply to humans. You can give LAB to livestock. Ingesting food or water mixed with LAB helps to increase the health of livestock animals.
Now when it comes to gardening, LAB is dope! These fast-growing microorganisms have a high tolerance to acidic environments and can outcompete a lot of other bacteria in nature which helps to inhibit pathogen growth. That’s right. They help to stop the spread of diseases. This happens whether you apply the diluted lab as a foliar feed or a soil drench. When the diluted mixture is added to the soil, it has the capability of Aiding in the decomposition process. These Microorganisms help jumpstart the whole decomposition process. So adding the diluted LAB to a compost pile or directly to the garden bed will help strengthen the soil food web by aiding in the decomposition process. This process also helps unlock nutrients and makes them more accessible by the plants' roots. This helps improve the tilth of the garden. The LAB helps aid in the decomposition process, which strengthens the soil food web helping to improve the soil texture.
When the mixture is used as a foliar feed, it can encourage Leafy greens to produce bigger, brighter colored leaves. Pay close attention to the ration used when diluting the LAB mixture. Applying a mixture that is too strong can burn the leaves or even cause them to curl up. Also, applying as a foliar spray to leaves or stems can help aid in making the plant more pest and disease resistant. The microbes from the lab occupy the space on the stems and leaves, leaving no room for the pathogens.
If you are using LAB in gardening, you need to pay close attention to the dilution ratio. You are told to mix LAB serum at 1000:1. Now, if you look at that ratio and say WTF, understand this, a little goes a long way. That works out to be roughly 1 teaspoon per gallon. When you see how easy it is to make and how much you actually yield, you will be ecstatic. You know how to make LAB, right? Read here.
I am looking forward to gardening this season. I am trying to make a switch to being more than just organic. I mean organic is cool, but what's the next level beyond that? The answer, Natural Farming.