Beneficial bacteria have made a strong impression because they can be used as a soil or medium additive, or even a foliar treatment. When added to the soil or medium, beneficial bacteria quickly colonize and feed off organic matter or pathogenic microorganisms. As they break down organic matter, they turn it into soluble compounds that are easily absorbed by plants.
The plants consumption of the pathogenic microorganisms is beneficial because pathogens that are eaten can’t adversely affect the plant. Organic fungicide and pesticide manufacturers have jumped on the beneficial bacteria bandwagon as well, since certain bacteria (bacillus subtilis, for example) will consume pathogenic fungus on the surface of a plant’s leaves as well as in the soil. Many insects also refuse to feed or lay their eggs on plants that have been sprayed with beneficial bacteria formulas.
Just as every garden is different, every gardener’s methods and techniques will differ greatly. However, regardless of the technique or method used, it is crucial for every indoor horticulturist to stimulate the growth going on below the surface.
Current innovative horticultural products allow growers to mimic, enhance or supplement microorganisms, or—better yet—combine all three approaches to supercharge the complex microscopic ecosystem that is the foundation for plant health and vitality.