Microp is soil superfood. It is a bio-fertilizer that enhances soil fertility, improves soil aeration and aggregation, and enhances soil’s ability to retain moisture. Like a magic sprinkle from a fairytale, plants grow bigger, greener and meaner with Microp.
Microp is composed of cyanophytes, also known as blue-green algae, and chlorophytes, or grass-green algae. Cyanophytes and chlorophytes are single-celled organisms that produce their own food through photosynthesis. In addition to chlorophyll, cyanophytes contain the pigment phycocyanin, which also harvests light energy and gives them their bluish hue. Different types of algae are found in nearly all soil.
Why is algae so beneficial for soil? It works in a number of different ways to enhance its life-giving and life-supporting properties.
- Nitrogen-fixing – Algae “fix” nitrogen, making it available to plants as one of their macro-nutrients. They also take up and release phosphorus, which also increases soil fertility.
- Cementing agent – Algae act to bind soil particles together, thereby reducing erosion and increasing the soil’s ability to retain moisture. They do so in two main ways. They generate polysaccharides which are complex sugars. Humus is composed about 25% by polysaccharides. This organic chemistry tends to remain stable in soil over time and, while the role of polysaccharides is not fully understood, they definitely contribute to soil aggregation.
- Soil fertility – When algae die, they decompose right in the soil, substantially increasing available carbon and an array of essential micronutrients, including vitamins and minerals.
- Aeration – A soil which is well aggregated, especially the clay fraction of the soil profile, will naturally breath better. This means the soil to air exchange is more efficient. This provides a free flow of oxygen into the soil, which is then taken up by a plant through its root system. All plants take up oxygen through their root system. Oxygen is an essential element to plant metabolic processes.
Microp can be used as an addition or a substitute for compost and/or worm castings. It can be a great shortcut for gardeners low on compost. The algae largely reproduce the biochemistry of humus, but they do it right in your garden soil and, unlike compost, do not require a fermentation period.
The standard recommendation for Microp is to spray a 1/2 pound for every 15,000 square feet, but you really cannot overdo it. More Microp just means more fertile soil, so if you can afford it, double, triple, or even quadruple the standard application.
At American Natural Products, we carry Microp in a variety of sizes to suit any gardening situation:
New gardeners may fail to understand how intensive it can be to get an organic garden up and thriving. Commercial agriculture has striven to make growing plants as non-labor-intensive as possible. Because of this, inorganic fertilizers are hugely concentrated, with as much as 64% of their weight being a single plant nutrient. Organic fertilizers typically contain relatively low amounts of a given plant nutrient. However, organic fertilizers also enhance soil stability and fertility in a multitude of ways that concentrated inorganic fertilizers do not. With organic products, there is no such thing as nitrogen burn, in which plants die from the introduction of too much nitrogen, a frequent problem with commercial fertilizer, so there is also no such thing as too much. Nonetheless, they require more intensive application. But, once you have built up your soil with organic fertilizers, it will contain a large array of constituents that will help to effortlessly maintain soil strength and fertility.
Blue-green algae have been widely researched and have been shown to dramatically increase crop yields. In one study using blue-green algae, rice yields were 30% higher.
At American Natural Products, we stand behind Microp. In fact, our parent company is the manufacturer — Soil Technologies Corp. This company has been producing natural agricultural products for over 30 years. Try Microp on your garden or lawn and tell us what you think.