Effective microorganism (EM) products are liquid probiotics for the garden.
I don't know what it is about them, but they often produce incredible results after using them for just one growing season.
They certainly have for me and for my garden. When I say for me, I mean for me - yes, you can drink certain EM products, too.
I started using EM myself and in my garden in 2005. I noticed a slight improvement in my digestion and a big improvement in the overall health of my garden.
I did a lot of research back then, such as this post on application rates and dilution.
But when I started selling effective microorganisms products is when I got to see, or at least hear, the results they can produce, because of the feedback I received from my customers.
Let's get into exactly what EM is. Effective microorganism products were originally developed for agriculture where they were found to improve compost and soil organic matter breakdown.
That's really what the basic goal was back then, in the 70s and early 80s.
The microbes used are back then are similar to now - mostly fermenting microbes. Many of them are important for making yogurt, bread, wine and beer.
They're very common microbes - it's just when they're brought together in specific proportions that the magic happens.
Eventually, EM started to be used in other areas. It can help plants beat diseases such as Botrytis and insects such as weevils.
Not that it’s a pesticide. It’s just that microbes help defend plants against predators, and just as important, improve plant health so plants can defend themselves.
Actually, to be clear, the product I sell is a different product than the original EM that I have found works just as well, but since effective microorganism is a brand name, this product is called Efficient Microbes.
Most people tend to use the terms "EM" and "effective microorganisms" to describe a whole group of similar products that are on the market, but EM and Effective Microorganisms are either registered trademarks or trademarks of EM Research Organization, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.
So back to what this Efficient Microbes product does in your garden. The simplest answer is that the microbes do most everything that beneficial microbes do.
They feed nutrients to plants, protect plants from predators, break down toxins, break down organic matter, improve soil, clean water, and on and on.
The microorganisms in this product just happen to excel at it when brought together. Take any of them out or even change the proportions too much and you don’t get the same benefits. You can read more about this interesting stuff on my EM page.
I also have to say this: "Effective Microorganisms, EM, and EM1 are registered trademarks of EM Research Organization in Japan. TeraGanix is the exclusive distributor for EM Technology in the US and Canada."
(Although their products aren’t actually available in Canada, which is why I started using the Efficient Microbes products many years ago.)