What is LAB? LAB is short for Lactic Acid Bacteria. In natural farming, it is one of the essential ingredients and one of the easiest to culture. See, lactic acid is bacteria is present everywhere in the air. It is not one specific type of bacteria rather a group. This group of bacterias is the workhorses behind some of our favorite pickled products, including kimchi and sauerkraut. LAB is also responsible and used to make 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 by introducing microbes. This does not just apply to humans, and you can give LAB to livestock. Ingesting food or water mixed with LAB helps 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 many other bacteria in nature which helps to inhibit pathogen growth. That’s right. They help to stop the spread of diseases. Whether you apply the diluted lab as a foliar feed or a soil drench, this happens.
Adding the diluted mixture to the soil helps aid 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.
How To Supercharge Your Garden with LAB
When the mixture is used as a foliar feed, leafy greens can produce bigger, brighter colored leaves. Pay close attention to the ratio used when diluting the LAB mixture. Applying a too strong mixture can burn the leaves or even cause them to curl up. Also, applying a foliar spray to leaves or stems can help make 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 use LAB in gardening, you need to pay close attention to the dilution ratio. You are told to mix LAB serum at 1000:1. If you look at that ratio and say WTF, understand this, a little goes a long way. That works out to be roughly one teaspoon per gallon. You will be ecstatic when you see how easy it is to make and how much you yield. You know how to make LAB, right? Read here.
I am looking forward to gardening this season. This time, I try 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.