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Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between EM and Activated EM? Can I keep re-activating my Activated EM?

I wish! Sadly EM is a bit different from yogurt or sourdough making. The first activation will turn out very closely similar to the mother culture, but with subsequent activations the intricate balance of microbe species and numbers will start to shift, and the effectiveness will decrease. I only ever use fresh mother culture when activating.

EM mother culture can be used the same way as Activated EM, but for economic reasons most people buy it to make their own activation. If you're new to gardening with EM and you just want to try it out, or if you don't want to spend the time and effort of activating, then go for the already activated product.



What's the difference between EM/AEM and Compost Tea?

While EM, AEM, and Compost Tea are made differently, they have similar benefits and compliment each other beautifully. For a comparative summary of these products, see the March 2011 Newsletter.



Can I combine products for easy, all-in-one application?

Yes, almost all products are compatible. The only exception is with fish and sea minerals, which are better applied separately. Keep in mind that dilution rates are different for each product, and try to apply right away after mixing.



Do I need a sprayer?

For soil and compost application, or treating small lawns, a watering can is just fine. For application to foliage, finer droplets are advantageous. You can use a spray bottle, a hose-end sprayer, or a hand-held or backpack sprayer. The wand of a sprayer will help greatly with getting to the underside of leaves. Whatever container you use, be sure it never held any pesticides or liquid synthetic fertilizer.



How do I store the products, and how long do they keep?

Store all products at a cool room temperature, with the lid on tight, and out of direct light. Store pure and undiluted - once products are mixed or diluted with water, they go off quickly. EM mother culture keeps up to two years, activated EM six months or longer. Mycorrhizal fungi, liquid fish, liquid kelp, and sea minerals are good for about a year. Humic acids, molasses, and Penergetic can be stored almost indefinitely.



I live in the USA, and I see you ship in Canada only. Where can I get your products?

Look on-line, and ask around locally.



What's Phil doing these days?

Phil is a Smiling Gardener!