Molasses is one of those time-honored, farmer-tested wonder products. What is the difference between the horticultural molasses and ‘eating’ molasses? The sulfur has been removed in the ‘eating’ variety and the sulfur is a great addition to the soil. Grandma use to serve up molasses mixed in warm water to treat for anemia. It would provide B vitamins and iron. The molasses provides the same benefits for the soil, it is a great pick-me-up. The B Vitamins will help relieve stress, iron is great for the plant, sugar will provide carbon and feed the microbes, which will make nutrients more available to the plant and improve the crumb structure of the soil. The Organic Cotton Growers in West Texas spray the cotton with molasses to stimulate life in the soil along with a nitrogen-fixing organism to feed the plants.
One question that comes up is will the molasses attract ants? The answer is no, it actually seems to chase them away. This is probably due to the increase in microbial activity that may upset the ants. Molasses is a very inexpensive product (1 tbsp in a gallon of water will cover 200 square feet, applied several times a year) to safely improve you lawn and garden.
This information comes courtesy of Natural Gardener Austin
I've only read a little about molasses on this and other forums I thought it might be helpful to pop it up on GP and maybe start a fact collection here for easy access. Molasses is supposed to be good for microbial health as well as added carbs for plants that will use that sugar to help bloom to max potential.
Just found this from Weekend Gardener
USE MOLASSES TO BOOST FERTILIZER
Added to any liquid fertilizer, molasses makes it more effective
Molasses, as we all know, is the thick, syrupy juice created by the processing of either sugar beets, or sugar cane plants.
But what many people don't know, is that molasses is a good, quick source of energy for the various forms of microbes and soil life in a compost pile or the soil.
In fact molasses has long been a part of the common products used by organic gardeners to bring greater health to their soils and plants, because it's a great source of carbohydrates that stimulates the growth of beneficial microorganisms.
Types Of Molasses
Now there are many grades and types of molasses, depending upon the maturity of the sugar cane or sugar beet, and the method of extraction that they undergo. The different types are: first molasses, second molasses, unsulphured molasses, sulphured molasses, and blackstrap molasses.
You might also hear about dry molasses which is something different altogether, which we're not talking about in this article. But just so you know, dry molasses is molasses that has been sprayed onto grain residue which acts as a "carrier."
The Best Type For Boosting Fertilizer
For gardeners, blackstrap molasses (unsulphered) is the best choice because it is the most nutritionally valuable of the various types of molasses since it contains the greatest concentration of sulfur, potash, iron, and micronutrients from the original cane material. So it's not just the sugar content that makes molasses useful, but its trace minerals.
Molasses is also an excellent chelating agent, which means that it can help convert some chemical nutrients into a form that's easily available for organisms and plants to use.
The blackstrap molasses (unsulphered) is a liquid molasses that can be used alone, or as a component in both sprays and soil drenches, and can be an important addition to your organic fertilization program.
How To Use
Molasses is excellent when applied to soil in conjunction with organic fertilizers, or sprayed directly on plants.
- 1 to 3 tablespoons (15 to 45 ml) blackstrap molasses (unsulphered)
- Added to 1 gallon (3.8 liter) of liquid fertilizer mix (this can be any liquid fertilizer, compost tea, kelp, or alfalfa meal tea)
Molasses and Alfalfa Tea Mixture:
4 gallons (15.2 liter) of water
1 cup (225 ml) of fine ground alfalfa meal
1 tablespoon (15 ml) blackstrap or sugar beet molasses
Allow this to brew for 24 hours, then it is ready for application as a soil drench, or as a foliar feed.
Overall molasses is a unique material, and when used properly to help boost other liquid fertilizers, you can see definite benefits.
Edited by Montresor, 19 July 2011 - 02:46 PM.