My Favourite Biological Brew


bed of spring salads at edible backyard

The health of all life above ground – you, me and our crops included, rests on the shoulders of the trillions of tiny organisms – the bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes et all that inhabit healthy soil. These microscopic critters are in constant motion performing checks and balances that counteract our often diabolical actions and restore equanimity and bring best health. You cant see them but you see their handiwork in the health of your crops. They are the key to an abundant garden.

leaf mulch in the winter greenhouse
Leaf mulch

Create the ideal habitat for soil life with natural, simple soil kai like compost, seaweed, leaves, green waste and rotted manure. Soil knows and understands these things – they’ve been working together a long time aye. Keep the soil covered in either plants or mulch, water wisely and plant in guilds.

There after, put the cherry on top with a monthly biological feed to keep the life humming above and below ground for strong growth and immunity. Biological life is the perfect antidote to pesticides, herbicides and pollution. Lets bring it – less killing and more life!

Here’s my favourite 2 ingredient, biological brew.

Make it

Em molasses and fish to make a biological brew for the soil

Half fill your watering can or sprayer with water then add in one biological ingredient + one packed lunch from the lists below. Dilute each to the recommended rates then top up with water. This mixes the feed through the water better than adding it first or last.

  1. EM Garden 1 or homemade activated compost tea are liquid biological brews full of beneficial fungi, bacteria, yeasts and actinomycetes – all the good guys. Use one or the other you don’t need both.
  2. Send this living liquid out into your garden with a packed lunch to kick start it. Add either worm wees or liquid seaweed or liquid fish or molasses.
  3. Neem is an optional third addition if sucking pests populations are booming.

(I’d love to claim the phrase “packed lunch”, but they’re Cherryle Prews words, not mine.)

Use it

liquid feeding the vegetable garden with a biological brew

This one brew does everything – vegetables, fruits, roses and pasture.


Spray or pour over all your edible crops, once a month as maintenance to keep everyone in good heart. Foliage, leaves, bark – the lot! Spray in the cool of the evening or early morning. If you’ve added Neem, you’ll need to do an evening spray.

Biology slows right down in the cold, so if plant growth comes to a standstill at your place in winter – when soil temps dip below 10°C, stop with the biological sprays until things warm up again and get moving.


You can use this brew more often – as much as weekly, when pressure of one kind or another is high. For example in new gardens, in the greenhouse during the peak summer, on any crops burdened by disease or pest, where soil is tired, weather is far from ideal or weed pressure is through the roof.


Pour on newly made compost and kick start new crops by saturating the soil with it pre planting.

Biological brews are the perfect weekly booster during autumn for strong growth before soil cools.