Yeast for spraying and as fertilizer. How to prepare them, how they work and how to apply them to garden and house plants
Baker's yeast can also be used in the garden to prepare a fortifying fertilizer, as well as a spray against fungal diseases. We explain how to make the right preparations.
In addition to water and the right location, plants need the right amount of nutrients to thrive.
Artificial fertilizers - effective but not always recommended
The easiest way to provide them with nutrients is to use convenient, ready-to-use fertilizers. However, this type of fertilizer has its advantages and disadvantages. Although it is quick and easy, it can lead to over-fertilization and adverse changes in the soil (e.g. salinization).
It is also particularly risky to grow herbs, fruits and vegetables, which accumulate chemical compounds in them and then release them back into our bodies.
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A better solution is to use organic or natural fertilizers, which are not only safer for the plants (they are difficult to overdose), but also for us. They should be used especially in the cultivation of useful plants, so that the excess chemical compounds do not end up on our tables along with the harvest.
Yeasts for plant nutrition
One way to fertilize plants naturally is to use yeast. This may seem a bit strange, as yeast is mainly associated with bread or wine, but if you look closely, you will understand why it can have other applications.
Yeast is nothing more than a fungus that feeds on simple sugars. The economic importance is mainly given to the useful noble yeasts (there are also other yeasts, e.g. pathogenic yeasts that cause fungal diseases) belonging to the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae (e.g. baker's yeast, wine yeast).
You can usually find baker's yeast in grocery stores, and it is this yeast that should be used to fertilize the plants.
What yeast contains and how it affects plants
And what does nutritional yeast contain? Well, a lot of good stuff. They are a rich source of vitamins (mainly B vitamins), minerals (mainly potassium and magnesium, calcium and phosphorus, but also valuable micro-nutrients such as selenium, chromium, sodium, zinc, iron), proteins, amino acids and many other important organic compounds, so they can be very valuable to plants. The use of yeast as a fertilizer accelerates plant growth and promotes the development of the plant's root system, as well as encouraging the development of beneficial soil micro-organisms and driving out dangerous pathogenic fungi.
Precious yeasts also form a kind of mycorrhiza (association with fungi) for plants, as they help them to absorb valuable nutrients from the substrate.
Yeast fertilizer also promotes the growth and development of young plants. It is therefore worth trying it, especially as it is easy to prepare.
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How to make fertilizer from yeast
You can choose between a non-fermented yeast fertilizer and a fermented yeast fertilizer.
Unfermented yeast fertilizer
To make fertilizer, simply pour a crumbled cube of fresh baker's yeast (usually about 100 g) into ten litres of warm or hot water, mix thoroughly and leave for about an hour. After this time the fertilizer is ready to use and does not need to be diluted. The liquid must be cooled.
Fermented yeast fertilizer
Another way to obtain it is to prepare a fermented fertilizer from yeast. The whole process takes longer (about a week), and the finished preparation must be diluted (in a ratio of about 1:40), but the fertilizer is stronger.To obtain it, place a fresh, crumbled cube of yeast in a large container and sprinkle it with a glass of sugar. After about 1-2 hours, pour in 10 litres of warm water, mix well and leave to ferment for a week.The liquid obtained, after dilution with water, is used to water all cultivated plants, both at home and in the garden. Undiluted fertilizers, on the other hand, accelerate the formation of compost in the compost heap.
Yeast fertilizer can be used for different types of plants: ornamental, edible, indoor and garden plants. You can feed the plants with this product about every two weeks (not more often).
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Yeast for spraying against plant diseases
Interestingly, yeast is also useful as a plant protection agent against fungal diseases. They help control gray mold, potato blight, powdery mildew, among others. The action of yeasts consists in competing with pathogenic fungi for food and space and secreting substances that negatively influence their development.
How to make a yeast spray
To prepare an antifungal agent, dissolve one cube of fresh yeast in 0.5 litres of whole milk, then dilute with 10 litres of water.
To the finished liquid, add a tablespoon of gray soap, which will make it easier for the agent to stay on the plant. With this preparation, you can spray all plants at risk of fungal diseases (both useful and ornamental) even once a week.