I am looking to buy dreid molasses, I have read about it several times on here, but when I ask my feed store about it they look at me as if I am from Mars!!
Hi scorpiontackle...the big problem has been catchin' enough of um to dry...:-) Franklin
Dry molasses is sold mainly as a cattle feed supplement, even though to us it is a powerful biostimulant soil microbial food product.
It is usually made from blackstrap molassses sprayed and dried on grain flour roughage (i.e. soy or rice based, etc.).
If you can't find 50 lb bags of the stuff, look for farm grade liquid molasses at various farm or outdoor sports stores. I found liquid molasses sold at a deer hunting supply store.
Also you can substitute any form of economical or free sugary carbohydrate organic material you can find as a good biostimulant source (just like molasses products), for any of your composting or compost tea brewing needs. I have been known to use old candy or cookie products for such purposes!
Gosh I'm kinda shocked that a feed store didn't know what dried molasses was. I don't think I've ever visited a feed mill that didn't have several pallets of it.
As has been said it's a good feed additive for cows and horses.
One added plus is it's smell. It's wonderful. Doesn't taste bad either.
Here it's very inexpensive, usually $3 to $4 per 50lbs.
I've used molasses in every form and concentration with zero to show for it. The worst I ever tried was the dried version. That stuff, if you don't use it all immediately when you open it, solidifies into rock candy after the bag sits for a few days. Then you need a hammer and chisel to break it apart.
One of the moderators on another list used to work in the molasses industry. She said the dried stuff was made from 35 pounds of rice hulls or chipped corn cobs plus about 15 pounds of molasses. If you find a co-op selling molasses by the pound (bring your own bottle), 15 pounds of molasses would cost you about $1.50. Liquid molasses is a lot easier to spray around than the dried stuff is to haul around.
I guess I have heard more testimonials about molasses and sugar not working than I have about success...and I know this forum has discussed this before, and I know that I have very little experience, and I know that both of you (dchall and compostal) are studied, so is there a definitive answer on this or am I going to spread a placebo on my garden and appease myself with "happy gardening"?
I have it on good authority that molasses in any form works to stimulate microbial growth. It doesn't seem to do that for me, though.
Know this isn't much help for those of you in different locations, but Southern States in Laurel, Maryland and Sykesville, Maryland, sells 5-gallon buckets of molasses, for what I think is a very cheap price--about $15.00. I know a few who smear it on tree trunks (with a paint brush) to bait Bears. I happened to be asking for the same product at another Southern States in another (farming) community--South Boston, Virginia, and they only had DRIED molasses, in 50-pound bags. When I was very young, a Southern States store in Louisa, Virginia--located on a railroad spur--used to pump it out of rail-tankers into holding vats. Somehow (the method is unknown to me) they dried it and incorporated it into a grain-mix that we called "chop" (other areas in Virginia called it "sweet feed"); mixed (generally) with ground oats and corn, it was used for feeding cattle, particularly milk cows, to pacify them WHILE they were being milked. About a quart coffee-can full of "chop" would occupy a milk-cow for nearly an hour. Ground grain, with molasses to sweeten it, is very appealing to livestock of any kind.
Dr Inghram told me that in her experience, SULFURED molasses do cause damage to soil biology and that I should get UNSULFURED molasses instead. I don't know what kind of mollases co-op farm sells but most likely the ones you see at Lowes, garden centers, etc are sulfured types. i've had to get unsulfured blackstrap molasses on amazon website because i can't find them locally. They appear to be the type that we use for cooking. I'm going to experiment with it sometime soon and spray them on the lawn after i put down soybean and corn meal.
I think sulfured or sulfated anything does damage.
I have used dried molasses as a lawn fertilizer/stimulant for several years and I have also used it as a fire ant repellant when I lived in the Houston area. It seemed to have a postive effect on our lawn (bermuda and St Aug.) but I did nothing to document or test it, so I may just be seeing what I want to see. However, I can say with confidence that it worked as a fire ant deterrant. Within a week of each application our yard and garden were free of fire ants. Each application would last about 3 months before they started showing up again. I would repeat the application and see the same results. During this time the ants were continually present in our neighbors lawns and in the common areas of our neighborhood. I also have used liquid molasses as an additive to batches of compost tea. The only place I have found the non-sulfured type is the "Brer-Rabbit" brand sold in the food section of Wally World. It comes in small jars, but I use relatively small amounts (about a glug per 5 gallon pail) so that isn't a problem.
I am using dried molasses to kill fire ants, I put it in the mound right next to the house as well as broadcasting it in the yard. Is this overkill or will it move the mound away from the house where it is a threat to both pets and people?
Molasses do not kill ants. Ants simply do not like sugar so they move elsewhere like your next door neighbors!
Orange oil solution will kill ants although if the solution is too strong, they will kill grass so measure it carefully...
My theory about sugar and fire ants is this. First of all, fire ants are not sugar ants. If you put sugar in their path, they will avoid it completely. What I think is that when you spray and/or saturate their mound, the sugar allows microbes to grow on their underground food supply making it unpalatable. Then they leave.
What is your recipe for adding molasses to tea? What is the benefit of adding it? Thanks
molasses are food for bacteria so if you wanted to boost bacterial population, that's what molasses are for.
It really depends on what you're trying to do. Typically, we need MORE fungi in the soil but that's harder to do though.
I used liquid molasses with 10% sulphor diluted in spray bottle (1 tea spoon for quart) to kill weeds. The leaves simply dry out and fall.
I also add it to spray (add few tsf to a gallon of water in lasagna gardening) or to hasten breakdown of mulch (.I think it helps in breakdown to winter months)
One can buy jiggery in Indian grocery stores. It is a cake of molasses.
Occasionally I used brown sugar from Wal-Mart.
How much dry molasses do you need per square foot,thanks
Here's a URL documenting effects of molasses on microbial growth. It is from Australia a few years ago.