FAQ’s

Beneficial Soil Microorganisms

Beneficial soil microorganisms, both beneficial bacteria and beneficial fungi, are finding more and more uses in

beneficial soil microorganisms

Custom GP contains beneficial soil fungi.

agriculture, sustainable farming, and gardening. Here’s some frequently asked questions that we receive.

Q. Why should I add beneficial soil microorganisms, aren’t they already in my soil?

A. Overused or over fertilized soils tend to lose their microorganisms. Additionally, soil microorganisms are lost to fire, flood, drought, freeze, and other environmental factors. It’s estimated that healthy soils contain up to 100,000,000 bacteria per gram of soil. This is equivalent to one ton of bacteria per acre. Overused or unhealthy soils can see this number drop to 10,000 bacteria per gram. Thats a 99.99% decrease in beneficial soil microorganisms and will significantly impact the health of your soils.

Q. Which are more important, soil bacteria or soil fungi?

A. Actually, both beneficial soil bacteria and beneficial soil fungi are equally important and are both a key component of the soil’s food web.

Q. What’s the relationship between food web and soil health? 

A. The soil food web, formerly called food chain, is vital to the health of your soil. Beneficial soil microorganisms are the first step in this web. The soil food web is responsible for:

  • Nutrient Cycling
  • Nutrient Retention
  • Improved soil structure and water holding capacity
  • Disease suppression
  • Degradation of contaminates
  • Biodiversity
Q. How do beneficial soil microorganisms help with mineralization and immobilization of nutrients?

A. In general, soil nutrients occur in two forms; organic compounds part of living or dead organisms, and inorganic compounds dissolved in water or attached to minerals. The soil food web, particularly the soil bacteria, fungi and protozoa, are constantly transforming nutrients between the two forms. When these organisms consume inorganic compounds they are said to be immobilizing the nutrients. When they excrete the waste they are said to be mineralizing the compounds.

Here’s an example. Bacteria in the soil consume nitrogen. This step is considered nutrient immobilization. The bacteria are then eaten by protozoa. The bacteria contain to much nitrogen for the protozoa so they release the excess as NH4+ into the environment. This step is mineralization. Some of the released nitrogen is used by the plant and some is again taken up by bacteria (immobilization).

What are Microbial Inoculants? 

Microbial inoculants are simply microorganisms that are added to the soil. The idea is simple, you add enough microorganisms to the soil to get the colony started. In this way, you are changing the indigenous microbial community. Since  microbes are the first stage of the food web, microbial inoculants ultimately change the dynamics of the soil. Microbial inoculants and sometimes called biofertilizers or soil probiotics.

Custom Biologicals manufactures a wide variety of microbial inoculants. 

Why are some Microbial Inoculants SO much more expensive than others? 

Simple! You’re paying for WATER. Most of those products are liquids and highly diluted with WATER. We manufacture highly concentrated products. Contact Custom for more information.

What’s the difference between microbial inoculants, biofertilizers, soil inoculants, biological soil amendments, soil probiotics, and probiotic fertilizers.

There’s really not much difference between microbial inoculants, biofertilizers, soil inoculants, biological soil amendments, soil probiotics and probiotic fertilizers. At the end of the day, all of these words describe the process of adding beneficial microorganisms to soil to improve soil quality and improve plant health and plant performance.

What is PGPB – 

PGPB stands for plant growth promoting bacteria. This is a group of bacteria that tend to colonize the root zone of plants. PGPB’s form synergistic relationships with plants.

Have more questions about beneficial soil microorganisms? Contact Custom Biologicals at (561) 797-3008 or via email at Bill@Custombio.biz.

 Custom Biological manufactures and distributes a wide variety of biological products. Here’s a list of our products. 

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2 comments

  • Doug

    I have multiplied other bacteria before application in aerated water with molasses for nutrition. Would this work with the BiotaMax, GP, and B5 or do you have other suggestions for pre application multiplication?

    • MrBill

      Doug – Great question.
      You can aerate and multiply before if you prefer; however, I generally don’t recommend any pre application multiplication. We’ve had better success allow the bacteria/fungi to multiply in the soil. This allows better use of the microbe/plant interaction. Applying with molasses will “jump start” the process very well in the soil.
      I hope this helps.

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