In this video the owner of Dr. Earth answers some frequently asked questions about his popular organic fertilizers. He describes the remarkable benefits of probiotics and mycorrhizae in the fertilizer and soil. He tells us how much to use and how often to fertilize our plants. With all the various blends is there a Dr. Earth succulent fertilizer? When it comes to fertilizing succulents we recommend the Dr. Earth Root Zone premium organic fertilizer.
Good morning, my name is Milo Shammus. I’m owner and developer of Dr. Earth company. Dr. Earth was created in 1991 and is the first probiotic fertilizer on the market. What does probiotic mean? Probiotic means “for life” derived from two words – pro which means “for” and biotic which comes from the Greek word BIOS which means “life” or together – for life.
Now why do we call it a probiotic fertilizer? Because it contains beneficial soil microbes infused with the fertilizer products. Now what does that mean to you as the gardener? What that basically means is that the fertilizer materials are gonna be broken down quickly. They’re gonna be broken down thoroughly and plants are going to benefit from many, many features that the probiotic package offers. Disease resistance, soil aggregation, faster results, that’s what TruBiotic translates to as far as our gardens go.
At the heart of all Dr. Earth products are seven champion strains of beneficial soil microbes and fungi that perform a variety of tasks in the soil each contributing to the decomposition of all the organic material that make up the Dr. Earth fertilizers. For instance when we apply a protein aqueous material to the soil, a nitrogen-rich protein aqueous material such as blood meal fish meal fish bone meal plants can’t use protein. Plants want the nitrogen from the protein. For example we start up here with a very complex protein molecule. Well the plant can’t use that. We have to simplify the molecular structure of that protein aqueous molecule and here’s how it works. We start up here with a complex protein. We have to break that protein down into polypeptides, further reduce the polypeptides into peptides, further reduce them into amino acids then ammonia, ammonium, nitrite and then ultimately nitrates. That’s the form that the plants can absorb it in. So if you think about that entire process it’s the beneficial microbes their digestive enzymes that break down this protein molecule for us.
All of the Dr. Earth products contain the same champion strains of beneficial soil microbes not just our blended fertilizers that are single ingredient fertilizers. For example such as alfalfa meal. Alfalfa meal is a TruBiotic product as well because we’ve infused it with beneficial soil microbes. We have 10 products, ten single ingredient fertilizers that contain the same technology as well fish bone meal, blood meal etc. They all contained the same 7 champion strains of beneficial soil microbes.
There are basically two different kinds of mycorrhizae. There’s ecto mycorrhizae and there’s endo mycorrhizae. Ecto comes from the greek word ectos which means outside endo comes from the greek word end dose which means inside. So the literal translation is inside fungus root or outside fungus root and they’re classified differently because they develop the relationship with the plant roots in a different way. Ecto develops the association with the plant roots but stays on the outside of the roots plant cells and endo develops a relationship with the roots as well but actually penetrates the inside of the cell and that’s why the classified is being either ecto or endo.
We use both ecto and endo mycorrhizae in all of our products because we’re really not sure where the fertilizer is going to be applied or where the soil will be applied. We want to make sure that both ecto and endo mycorrhizae are available for up to ninety percent of all hosts out there.
All of the benefits of the beneficial soil microbes in the mycorrhizae that we’ve discussed mean very little unless there’s good organic materials for them to break down and for them to make available for the plant roots to absorb. We at Dr. Earth have been very selective in choosing the different components that make up all the doctor or fertilizers. We want to make sure we have ingredients that break down very quickly. We also want to make sure that we have ingredients that last a long time in the soil. So the whole idea is that you guys get results quickly but the fertilizer still has a nice long lifespan in the soil.
Humic acid is a powerful all-around organic ingredient that we use in our products. It’s very rich in carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. It benefits both plants and microbes in the soil. The whole idea is that with an abundance of humic acids, organic humic acids in the soil, there’s better plant performance and soil performance.
Also seaweed extract. We used an abundance of seaweeds. Seaweed contains 70 trace minerals plus three powerful naturally-occurring growth hormones; cytokinin, auxins and gibberellins or gibberellic acid. More specifically these hormones what they do is they participate in plant growth – cellular elongation, cellular division and cellular enlargement. Phenomenal ingredient and in abundance in all the Dr. Earth products.
Also the base ingredient in all Dr. Earth products is fish bone meal. Very rich in phosphorus more available over the phosphates also very rich in calcium but more importantly fish bone meal contains an abundance of micronutrients. Now of course we know the ocean is the lowest part of the Earth. Minerals have been eroding into the oceans for millions and millions of years starting with plankton all the way up to higher plant life. These plants are absorbing these minerals but of course what eats this plant life but the fish. So therefore fish have a very high micro nutrient content in their tissues and that’s the reason why we’ve chosen fish bone meal as the base.
There’s many products out there that contain dried poultry waste or chicken manure as their base. The key difference between these two ingredients is fish bone meal lasts a much longer period of time in the soil than the dried poultry waste. But more importantly it’s really the trace elements that we’re looking for because plants require much more than just NPK. They require both macro nutrients and abundance of micronutrients for maximum plant health.
We’ve discussed the concept behind Dr. Earth, how it works, why it works, what’s in it, do you guys have any questions for me?
Milo how often should Dr. Earth fertilizers be applied?
Every two to three months depending on soil temperature. Once again, every two months in warmer seasons and up to three months in cooler seasons. But that’s phenomenal if you really think about it. Chemical fertilizers have to be applied every two to three weeks so if you look at the three months period Dr. Earth in one feeding can feed for that whole season. A chemical fertilizer would have to be applied oh four, five times to do the same amount of work that one application of Dr. Earth can do. But even more importantly Dr. Earth because it contains the biological package gives us results quickly but still has that longevity in the soil.
When is the best time to apply Dr. Earth fertilizer?
Any time, there’s no wrong time to go ahead and apply Dr. Earth. Cold temperature warm temperature any time is the right time. Now when you’re using a chemical fertilizer you have to be very careful when to apply it. You have to take into consideration when it’s gonna rain, frost, heat, all these things have to be taken into consideration. With organics you don’t really need to bother yourself with them. Anytime you apply it is the right time. Now keep in mind that as temperature warms plants are producing more photosynthesis. That’s the time they require the most amount of nutrition from the soil at the very same time activity in the soil is heightened because the microbes are digesting more material therefore making more nutrients available for plant roots absorb.
Now as temperature drops plants are producing less photosynthesis. That means they require less nutrition from the soil. Same exact thing happens in the soil. The microbes activity slows down. What that means is they’re breaking down less organic material in the soil. What ultimately that translates to is we think we begin to build a food reserve in the soil for what environmental conditions permit. Again the nutrients become available for the plant roots as they need it. It’s a self-regulating cycle that’s occurred from millions of years.
Dr. Earth Succulent Fertilizer Called Root Zone
Our Summary: Although this video is a little older it provides some good answers to fertilizing questions. All of the Dr. Earth products have been improved since this video was published. As mentioned earlier we recommend the Root Zone fertilizer for succulents.