microbes tagged posts

SGTX Custom Blends Follow Road Map to Match Biology with Desired Plant Growth

SGTX promotes the use of Fungi-to-Bacteria ratios as a key to understanding how a below-ground soil foodweb succession parallels an above-ground plant ecological succession.  The following chart illustrates this concept.  Early-successional plants (invasive weeds and annual crops) are bacterial-dominated while late-successional plants (prairies, trees, and forests) are fungal-dominated.  The numbers in the chart are based on soil biology lab tests.  They are reported as Total Fungal Biomass : Total Bacteria Biomass (F:B) in micrograms per gram.

The soil biology test provides a practical glimpse of which kinds and how many soil critters make up the existing soil foodweb on a farm, ranch, yard, park, etc.  This chart guides SGTX work...

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Liquid Compost Extract (LCE) versus Aerated Compost Tea (ACT)

Liquid Compost Extract (LCE) Advantages Over Aerated Compost Tea (ACT)

LCE can be generated in large volumes in a short time frame, it is shelf-stable, and it offers the flexibility of activating for use as compost tea. Also, we see a longer lasting response time from the extraction process over the tea brewing process. We need the depth of this response time in Texas soils.

In the process of compost extraction, the beneficial biology in compost is dislodged and goes into a solution. An important distinction is that the majority of these micro-organisms are inactive or dormant. The liquid biology that results from LCE is similar to the conditions that exist in compost; only a small percentage are active and working, the others lie dormant until they are woken up in response to external sti...

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Making Liquid Compost Extract: What Does Our Microscope Reveal?


Bacteria in liquid compost extract


Bacteria are tiny, one-celled organisms which decompose organic matter, mineralize and immobilize nutrients, suppress diseases, fix nitrogen, and solubilize phosphorus. In agriculture soils a desirable range is 100 million to 1 billion bacterial organisms in one gram of dry soil.

Fungal hypha

Fungal hypha


Fungi are microscopic cells that grow as long threads or strands called hyphae. These single-celled strands push their way between rocks, soil particles, and roots. When these strands fuse together they look like fungal roots called mycelia. Fungi decompose organic matter and crop residues, solubilize nutrients from parent rock, and physically bind soil particles into aggregates which improves soil structure...

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Ratio of Fungi: Bacteria | A Road Map to the Use of the Soil Food Web

Succession Chart

What are we trying to grow? Vegetable? Shrub, Tree, Rye grass, corn, cotton, roses? Or…?

Study the chart and find what you want to grow and then note the ratio of fungi:bacteria required for that particular type of plant. That is the target we are aiming for when helping you take care of your land. How the soil foodweb is influenced to be the fungal:bacterial ratio you want depends on what kind of soil community is already there, your cultural practices, past cultural practices and, what grew there long ago (100-200 years ago).

Once we determine what kind of soil community we are trying to influence, we can begin to build our compost supply one way or the other to get it ready for our custom spray blends...

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Does Soil Biology Influence Soil Chemistry? Yes, It Does!

Johnson-Landview property

By Betsy Ross

Working with landowners in Texas, we’ve found that soil biology amendments can “shift” or alter nutrient values on a soil chemistry test. The following case study provides details on site conditions, the sequence of soil sampling and biology treatments, and soil test data.

Our company, Sustainable Growth Texas, LLC, uses bio-spray field treatments to help restore life in the soil.  Many of our clients are rural landowners in Texas with pasture lands.  Our motto is “better soil, better life”.

Project Site: The site had sandy loam soil and was located in Gonzales County, Texas.  The landowners had signed up for an EQUIP program from their local NRCS office.  They had just finished clearing heavy understory brush among Post Oak trees.

Here is the sequence of events:


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Seven Functions of a Healthy Soil Foodweb

  • Retain nutrients – nutrients are complexed via living biomass and clay-humus; nutrients do not leach and pollute groundwater, retention of fertilizer nutrients
  • Cycle nutrients – nutrients are made available to plants in the right form at the right time during the growing season; via plant-microbe feedback
  • Build soil structure – soil aggregates formed thru bacterial and fungal interaction with clay particles; creates porosity and habitat for roots and soil organisms, reduces compaction, improves water-holding capacity
  • Suppress diseases and pests – disease-causing organisms are suppressed thru bio-control mechanisms like competition; insect pests are suppressed during soil-dwelling phase via bio-control
  • Colonize plant surfaces – root (rhizosphere) and leaf (phyllosphere) surfaces are coloni...
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    SGTX’s Liquid Compost Extract (LCE)

    LCE Extractor

    Putting life back into the soil is paramount in developing natural growing systems.

    One of Sustainable Growth Texas’s basic tools in replenshing life and promoting natural growing systems is the blending of liquid compost extract, biological inoculants, microbial foods, and trace elements to make a complete bio-spray for custom application to farms and ranches. We use a patented machine called the Hronek Flow-Thru Compost Extractor to strip the biology from top quality compost, thus making liquid compost extract, or LCE.

    The process is analogous to a washing machine that strips beneficial micro-organisms (Life: bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes) out of compost and results in a dark liquid compost solution that can be sprayed on soils and crops...

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