By Nicole Wise on Nov 26, 2013 11:41:00 AM
Why Is Holganix Refrigerated?
R.W. Neidermyer, Holganix, Director of Soil and Plant Research
Holganix LLC, the manufacturers of Holganix Blend 66L – Super Concentrate and Holganix 66GC – Super Concentrate, recommends that these products be refrigerated prior to use. Why does Holganix make this recommendation? Holganix products are complex. As you might expect, the answer to the “why” question is also complex.
The Holganix Blend products are derived from concentrated, compost tea that has been formulated with various organic components. The concentrated, compost tea is a blend of organic molecules and living microorganisms extracted from specially produced compost. The living microorganisms consist of beneficial bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes.
Microorganisms can be classified into three distinct categories. These categories are aerobes, anaerobes and facultative anaerobes. Aerobic bacteria (aerobes) are bacteria that need oxygen to survive. Their counterpart – anaerobes – can’t exist in oxygenated environments and instead thrive off of nutrients such as sulfate, nitrate or sulfur. The third type of microorganisms are facultative anaerobes, which function as anaerobes when oxygen is present but have the ability to also function as anaerobes when oxygen is depleted. One noticeable result of thriving anaerobes or facultative aerobes by humans is a foul smell.
Many of the microorganisms contained in Holganix are aerobic and therefore need oxygen to survive. When stored for long periods (over 72 hours) at room temperature and above, the Holganix microorganisms use the oxygen contained in a jug, quickly depleting the oxygen within the jug. The lack of oxygen kills the aerobic bacteria and facultative anaerobes in the product will switch from acting as aerobes to anaerobes. The results are dramatic. The jug may swell as the levels of oxygen are depleted and the levels of carbon dioxide rise. Furthermore, the product will begin to give off a foul odor.
Why are aerobes or bacteria that function as aerobes so important for plant health? It all comes down to which bacteria will happily thrive in the soil. Healthy soil is an oxygen rich environment which means it supports the functioning of aerobic bacteria (that are dependent upon oxygen) as opposed to bacteria that behave anaerobically.
Holganix LLC recommends refrigerating the product between 33 to 45° F for long-term storage. The product can be safely stored at room temperature prior to use for up to 72 hours. When refrigerated, respiration is greatly slowed down and the biology is dormant. The jug will not swell and bad-smelling off products will not be produced. The product remains in an aerobic shape and ready to be applied. In order to facilitate refrigerated storage, Holganix LLC provides refrigerated storage equipment (at no cost) to clients. (Click here to learn more about Holganix refrigeration options.)