What are soil microbes?

Microbes are single celled organisms found in the soil. They excel at metabolizing a variety of soil food sources by converting them into useable by-products for plant uptake and use.

Find more answers to common questions about these amazing microorganisms below.

Why are beneficial microbes important for plant health?

Root zone microorganisms are important because they are the ‘gatekeeper’ that facilitates nutrient entry into the plant rootzone.    If bacteria are not present then soil and plant health and fertility will suffer.

Beneficial rootzone bacteria are absolutely required for good soil and plant health.  They are essential in promoting and facilitating newly solubilized and available nutrients and minerals (through bacteria action) into the plant rootzone.  Without the right types of microorganisms at the rootzone, then the majority of nutrients will remain in the soil and will not be allowed to enter the plant, thus effecting plant growth, health and productivity.

Illustration of rootzone bacterial colonies facilitating newly released nutrients into the growing plant.

Are microbials sustainable and environmentally-friendly?

Yes, all microorganisms were isolated and produced in an eco-friendly way. All beneficial microbes are sustainable to the environment, naturally-derived, non-GMO and positively contribute to the improvement of soil and plant health.

Can beneficial bacteria improve air and water channeling in compacted soils?

Yes beneficial rootzone microorganisms work to improve soil tilth and texture in compacted and undesirable soils.  The beneficial bacteria produce by-products that form agglomerates that stick together to open new channels for air and water penetration.  Beneficial microbes are very good at improving soil health through increased colonization and agglomeration of the soil.

Illustration of beneficial microbes facilitated water and air channeling.  A loosening of soil compaction is a direct result of bacterial agglomeration activity in the soil.  New fingering channels can form after rootzone microbials colonize in high enough numbers.

What is the EcoBiome and how can the EcoBiome help me?

The EcoBiome is Sentinel Biologics’ revolutionary and patent pending environmental microbiology screening platform designed to isolate and characterize all microorganisms from environmental samples.


The EcoBiome can contribute to all profit and non-profit organizations in pursuit of science innovation and commercial discovery.  Our approach and mission is to discover and characterize all possible microorganisms from the environment in an elegant manner for production and commercialization.

Let Sentinel Biologics’ EcoBiome Innovation Center give your business the best chance for success!

What is the average turnaround time for results after my samples are submitted?

Average turnaround time after receiving the samples will be approximately 3-5 days after receipt.  However, we will try our best for the fastest possible turnaround.

What will be listed on the lab reports and recommendations?

Each lab report result will show the enumeration of the particular group requested from the order form.  Minimum threshold recommendations will also be provided that list the minimum CFU (colony forming units) that are recommended per gram of soil or sample.  This will allow the customer to develop a programmed and prescriptive approach to rebalancing and restoring their microbial environment.

What is Cultured Soil (COMING SOON)?

Cultured Soil is EcoBiome’s state-of-the art microbial dissolvable tablets that will consist of single species or multi species microorganisms.  These dissolvable tablets will be in a easy to use form that will provide instant microbial biodiversity to any liquid solution.  Cultured Soil will be custom designed for the customer to easily add back to the soil.  Cultured Soil tablets will build the soil microbiology back to a state of balance and health.

How do microbes change the soil to release nutrients?

Bacteria work to accelerate the breakdown of organic matter into inorganic material. This process is called nutrient recycling. Microorganisms are excellent recyclers of soil nutrients and minerals for improved plant uptake. A majority of nutrients are present in the soil in an insoluble form, unavailable for plant use. Microbes are the only organisms on earth that are able to convert them into plant useable forms for improved crop yield and soil health.

Illustration of beneficial microbes breaking ionic bonds and changing nutrients from an insoluble to a soluble form.  Plant roots can only take in nutrients when they are in a soluble and available form.


Can microbes damage the soil?

No, microbes do not damage the soil, even at very high doses. In agriculture, the ‘salt index’ of a product determines how much damage to crop fertility will be done if a product is overapplied. For example, Urea has a salt index of 74.4, DAP has a salt index of 29.2 whereas beneficial microbes have a salt index of 0. As a result, beneficial Ag microbes have no potential to damage soils or crops, even at higher than recommended dosages.

What are the benefits of microbes?

Beneficial microbes change the structure, water and air channeling in the soil that directly improve soil and plant health.

Due to the application of beneficial microbes, the mineral and nutrient content that has long been “locked” in the soil will be released and available to the plant. As a result, mineral, vitamin and nutrient content in crops, vegetables and fruits will be improved over time.

What are the functions of microorganisms in the soil?

Beneficial microorganisms are diverse in their physical characteristics and biochemistry.  They are all distinct in their requirements for energy, food, oxygen and climates.  The wide scope of organisms that work to complete the soil food web cycle in the soil is complex to optimize plant nutrient uptake and utilization. Beneficial microbes are superior at recycling nutrients in the soil all year long, providing timely nutrients to plants when they need it the most. Additionally, a set of microbes work in synergy to form a competitive exclusion layer surrounding the rootzone (rhizosphere) to protect the plant from disease and invaders.

Microbial colonization of the rootzone is the first step in promoting  a healthy soil and plant.  Colonization of bacteria throughout the rhizosphere allows for optimal nutrient release, plant uptake, soil health and a productive plant.

Are there any limitations to the types and varieties of plants and crops that can be treated with beneficial microbes?

There are no limits to the types of garden plants or crops available for treatment with microbials. All crops and soil types are accessible and can be improved through microbial action in the soil. The end result will be enhanced soil tilth and improved microbial biodiversity throughout the rootzone.

How does the climate and weather patterns affect the microbes or soil?

Climates and soil types have a varying effect on soil biodiversity. However, microbes are diverse and are able to work in concert with one another to fully cycle and complete reactions in a variety of climates.

How do beneficial microbes improve the soil?

Microorganisms improve soil tilth, lessens soil compaction and expands water channeling and aerification. Additionally, the microbes are superior nutrient recyclers and decomposers, resulting in an abundance of nutrients and minerals in the soil over the long-term. As a result, the concentrations of most, if not all, of the major and minor nutrients will increase in the soil horizon profile and will be available for new plant growth, as well as carryover into the next planting season.

Do I need to treat my soil every year?

It is recommended to continue an annual treatment program that works to fortify your soil with beneficial microbes. This continued annual application(s) will ensure strong colonization of the bacteria and yearlong mineralization.

How fast do the microbes become active once they are applied to the field?

Once the bacteria are blended into solution and applied to the field, the microbes will take approximately 2-3 days to “wake up” out of sporulation and begin to metabolize and mineralize the soil.

Can I mix with city water/tap water/treated water?

Yes, water can be used with city and well water. It is recommended to test the levels of iron and chloride beforehand and to filter these concentrations if they are exceedingly high.

How are Cultured Soil microbes packaged?

Our microbial products have been pressed into a tablet form that is highly concentrated and easily soluble in all liquid solutions.

Can you overapply microbials to mixing stand or field?

No, microbials cannot be over applied to a field.

Call us now at 1-281-283-5101 to find out how
Sentinel’s EcoBiome Technology can help your business!

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