Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is TerraBella and how does it work?
TerraBella is a proprietary blend of beneficial plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR, with rhizo = root zone). We hand craft each batch of TerraBella, and run several quality control analyses prior to packaging.
2. In addition to soil, what other grow media does TerraBella work with?
TerraBella works equally well with hydroponic and soilless growing mediums. TerraBella’s plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) only require active plant roots to help plants grow. TerraBella has worked with all soil types tested, except very high pH soil (pH>8).
3. How do I apply TerraBella to my plants?
TerraBella can be used in almost every system available. TerraBella can be directly injected into drip irrigation systems, sprinklers, sprayers or any other system you may use. TerraBella can also be applied using a tank or reservoir system.
4. Will TerraBella work if applied as a foliar spray?
TerraBella can be applied as a foliar spray to help with branch and leaf disease management. To maximize nutrient availability for your plants, we recommend applying TerraBella as close to the plant roots as possible – by using drip irrigation and/or applying to the base of the plant.
5. Can I use TerraBella with fertililzer?
TerraBella is not only safe to use with fertilizers, it makes the nutrients in fertilizer available for uptake to plants.
6. Can I use TerraBella with compost tea?
For compost tea, we generally recommend activating TerraBella separately, then adding to your compost tea mixture just before application.
7. How does TerraBella affect mycorrhizal growth?
TerraBella can greatly improve mycorrhizal root activity. Mycorrhizae need nutrients in order to colonize and extend the root system just as your plants do. TerraBella microbes will ensure sufficient nutrients are available so mycorrhizae can do this.
8. When do I incorporate TerraBella into my growing schedule?
For best results, we recommend applying TerraBella as early as possible during your plant’s growth cycle – when you begin fertilization.
9. It is part of the way through the growing season. Will TerraBella still help my plants?
Yes. So long as your plants are still taking up nutrients TerraBella will provide benefits by making these nutrients available from soil and fertilizer. If the growing season has already started, we recommend you apply TerraBella as soon as possible.
10. What types of crops/plants can TerraBella be used with?
TerraBella has been used successfully with a wide variety of plant types including trees – such as fruit and nut trees, vines – such as grapevines and tomatoes, shrubs – such as rose, herbaceous – such as lettuce and peppers, and many others.
For annual plants, we recommend applying TerraBella when planting occurs or when fertilization begins. For perennial plants, we recommend applying TerraBella when fertilization begins after the plant comes out of dormancy, and also applying TerraBella post-harvest if still fertilizing.
11. How long does it take to activate TerraBella?
Activation is the process where the microbes in TerraBella are “woken up” from their dormant state by diluting the concentrated TerraBella product in non-chlorinated water. Activation of TerraBella should be for at least 24 hours, and no longer than 72 hours. If you activate for longer than 72 hours, make sure to stir activated TerraBella before application as a lot of the microbes will have settled to the bottom of the container. Do not activate TerraBella for longer than 5 days.
12. What sort of container should I use to activate TerraBella? Why can’t I use a metal container?
Activation should be in a clean non-metal container – a plastic bucket or tub is ideal. TerraBella microbes will “stick” to a metal container upon activation such that most of them will be lost before application.
13. Why can’t I use chlorinated water to activate TerraBella? How can I tell if my water has chlorine in it?
Chlorinated water will kill TerraBella’s microbes. If you are on a municipal water system, or you treat your well water, then your water is chlorinated. To dechlorinate your water, we suggest adding 1 teaspoon unsulfured molasses to every 5 gallons of water, and leaving it overnight. TerraBella can then be safely activated without microbe loss.
14. Can I use chlorinated water to water my plants?
Yes, chlorinated water can be used to water your plants after TerraBella has been applied.
15. What temperature range can I activate TerraBella?
TerraBella should be kept out of direct sunlight during activation at temperatures between 50 – 90˚ F and should be kept out of direct sunlight.
16. At what temperature range does TerraBella work?
TerraBella works at any surface temperature that crops will grow. This is because subsurface soil temperatures (where plant roots are located) have a much more moderate temperature range.
17. At what temperature range can I store TerraBella?
TerraBella should be stored out of direct sunlight between 35 – 80˚F.
18. What is the best way to apply TerraBella as part my crop watering routine?
For best results, TerraBella’s microbes need to (1) reach the plant’s roots; and (2) colonize the plant roots so they will “digest” nutrients from soil or fertilizer, making them available for uptake. To make sure the TerraBella microbes get to the plant roots, and don’t stick to the surface soil, water plants for 30 minutes to 1 hour before application. Once TerraBella has been applied, continue to water your plants as normal. For example, if you normally water for three hours, apply TerraBella after watering for one hour, then continue watering for two more hours. While a subsurface irrigation system is ideal, TerraBella can be applied above-ground or as a foliar spray with equally successful results so long as enough water is applied for TerraBella microbes to reach the root system.
19. Does TerraBella® work with herbicides and pesticides?
TerraBella cannot be directly mixed with most herbicides or pesticides during activation. However, TerraBella works fine with most herbicides and pesticides if TerraBella is applied to plants 2 weeks before or after herbicide/pesticide application.
20. Can TerraBella help prevent root burn?
Yes, TerraBella can help prevent root burn. Root burn commonly occurs because common nitrogen fertilizers are sold in a “salt” form to keep them in a neutral pH range when hydrated to prevent root damage from pH extremes. Unfortunately, this salt form can also damage roots by causing “root burn”. TerraBella’s microbes will break down the nitrogen salt into a form the plant can use (usually nitrate or ammonia) by separating the nitrogen from the salt residue, preventing root burn.
21. Can TerraBella help prevent transplant shock?
TerraBella can help prevent transplant shock by applying TerraBella to the soil plants will be transplanted into (or ideally, to the new soil and to the plant prior to transplantation). This is because the environment the plant roots “see” is in the soil immediately surrounding them, called the Rhizosphere (root zone). The microbes that inhabit the root zone colonize the plant roots and take nutrients from this environment, making them available to the plant. When a plant is transferred to new soil, this rhizosphere has to re-form, a process which will delay growth and cause transplant shock. By having TerraBella microbes in the new soil ready to colonize and make nutrients available, the plant can form a new rhizosphere much more rapidly.
22. Is it safe to use TerraBella on plants that are damaged – for example by disease or pests?
Not only is TerraBella safe to apply to damaged plants, in many cases TerraBella helps to bring plants back to a healthy state. TerraBella microbes can also prevent damage from occurring by boosting the immune system and increase stress resistance.