Molasses For my Garden

joetoeApril 13, 2014

I am looking to use Molasses on my garden to get the microorganisms working in my garden,

I would like to know if one could use Molasses from a Feed store where they mix feed.

Would it be the same as you buy from a store?
Would it be different than the store brought Molasses in what way?

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I am looking to use Molasses on my garden to get the microorganisms working in my garden,

How do you know they aren't working?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 10:53PM
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Do you have any worms in your garden? I don't.
So what else don't you have, if you have NO WORMS?

I had my soil tested so I know what I have and what I don't have, do you?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 5:08AM
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Pouring molasses into your soil could attract some negative aspects (such as ants which will later farm aphids or decrease root/soil contact) as easily as it could increase beneficial microbe soil content.

Most people gardening in non-saline/sodic soil and non-abused soils which aren't lacking in organic matter already have decent "good guy" microbe populations.

Also, unless you're in a rather warm part of the world it's a bit too early for worms to come to the surface. It generally takes until nights get in the 50s/60s and days in the 70s/80s rather regularly to find worms in a shovel's distance in the soil profile. Part of their "magic" is made by their burrowing down in soil as it gets too cold and too hot (as well as too dry even during ideal temperatures) while making their way closer to the surface when it's just right for temperature and moisture conditions. In this way they burrow up/down the soil many times a year rather than just a single cycle.

This post was edited by nc-crn on Mon, Apr 14, 14 at 6:02

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 5:38AM
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What is the level of organic matter in the soil? The microorganisms need organic matter as do the earthworms. If the amount of organic matter is too low spraying molasses would be a waste of time, energy, and money since the Soil Food Web still would have nothing to feed on, except the molasses a simple sugar that would temporarily stimulate them.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 6:15AM
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My organic matter is 13%
Where before it was about 2%

Is this good enough?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 4:28PM
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Molasses IS organic matter. Its addition will certainly stimulate microbial growth, but whether of such types that do any good is hard to say. Some people use dried molasses (then wetted) in attempt to treat for nematodes. I have never heard of it hurting anything.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 8:32PM
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greenleaf_organic(8, TX)

Little Acorn I noticed no one addressed your question. The lighter sweeter molasses is more likely to be sold as sweetener at grocery stores although even blackstrap can be purchased there. Feed store molasses will be cheaper and probably better since it will be the darker variety which is also more nutrient rich.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 4:48AM
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How long has the amount of organic matter been at 13 percent? The appearance of the Soil Food Web takes some time after adequate amounts of organic matter is worked in to the soil and simple sugars will not speed that repopulation up.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 6:10AM
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How are your plants doing? That's the key question.

The strong urge to "do SOMETHING" is best resisted. Go turn your compost heap, pull weeds, or something other than dumping money onto your soil.

Having earthworms is NOT the only indicator of good or bad soil. And molasses will not attract them or make them anything but sticky. It's basically sugar syrup with incredibly tiny amounts of minerals. To make a significant boost to the mineral content you would have to use large quantities of it ... really large. Like barrels of it. A quart, diluted in a hose end sprayer and spread over your garden is going to deliver basically nothing.

Here's the minerals per cup of blackstrap molasses ... note it's in milligrams per cup, or micrograms per cup. What is a significant part of the DAILY needs of a 150lb human is an incredibly tiny amount if spread out over the top 6 inches of dirt of a 20x40 foot plot as food for the bacteria.

Calcium 691 mg
Iron 15.9 mg
Magnesium 816 mg
Phosphorus 104 mg
Potassium 4933 mg
Sodium 125 mg
Zinc 1.0 mg
Copper 1.6 mg
Manganese 5.2 mg
Selenium 60.0mcg

Here's a list of recipes for culture media for various bacteria ... notice the quantities to make 1 liter of medium ...

Here is a link that might be useful: The soil guy on molasses

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 9:58AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

ed- deleted

This post was edited by albert_135 on Thu, Apr 17, 14 at 9:29

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 3:05PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Many potato companies recommend using molasses as a deep liquid fertilizer for potatoes. I got it cheap in gallons at the feed store for years and did this. Last year I never did and had the best potato crop ever. So I conclude it doesn't benefit potatoes that much.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 7:09PM
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There is also something called humic acid, which should also stimulate microorganisms. It could also be something not necessary (like lazygardens said, you could use that time and money on other aspects of your garden), but at least there won't be the issue of having a sticky garden!

I've usually seen the molasses or dried molasses that is sold at feed stores, but some articles do say grocery store molasses and even granulated white sugar can be used in place of those items from the feed store.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 4:02PM
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