Frequently asked questions
Can Biocast be used on all plants?
We haven’t met a plant yet that has not responded favourably to Biocast! So far Biocast has been used successfully in situations from bowling greens to bamboo, clovers to cabbages, vineyards, green walls, hyrdoponics and beyond.
Is Biocast OK to apply to native plants?
Yes! In fact we have several commercial native flower nurseries using the product with fantastic results in the health of their plants and the quality of their cut flowers. This is because Biocast is a biostimulant, not a fertiliser.
Can I really apply Biocast to all leaves, even tomatoes?
Yes! The caution against watering tomato leaves is to avoid powdery mildew. While this is good advice for plain water, the active microbes in Biocast provide competition for diseases such as mildew, keeping them in check. If you are concerned, or if you are running a commercial crop, we recommend doing a small trial first.
When is the best time to apply Biocast?
As a rule of thumb it is best applied in the evening or early morning, when there is moisture around. This could be after you water, recent rain, or when the dew is on. We want to give the microbes the best chance to stay alive! We also recommend it as most beneficial when the plant is actively growing.
Is Biocast certified organic?
Biocast is an allowable input to certified organic systems, but we are not certified ourselves – as a startup we’ve had other priorities for our funds. We are operating ‘as if’ and hope to gain the certification in the future (let us know – would the official organic stamp make a difference to whether you buy Biocast or not?). Part A is all made from scratch on site. Part B is mixed on site from certified organic ingredients.
Are there any synthetic ingredients in Biocast?
No, not one.
Is Biocast safe to apply near waterways?
In theory, yes. We have not done any testing on the impact of Biocast in natural streams or wetlands, so please use with caution when near these environments. However; Biocast is made of entirely natural materials and does not contain levels of nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen in any quantity which would impact water quality, damage native plants, or favour weed growth. In fact, it is our belief that adding soil biology (which is essentially what Biocast is doing) will help to improve water quality by allowing the soil to hold and filter water more effectively, and return damaged soils to a more natural condition.
Is Biocast safe to use around children and animals?
In theory, yes: Biocast is made from all natural ingredients, and contains the microbes you find in plants and soil. We precompost all raw materials in part to kill any pathogens (disease-causing organisms). However; we cannot guarantee the absence of pathogenic microbes, or that contamination wouldn’t take place once the bottle is opened. We recommend that Biocast not be ingested or inhaled. We also recommend standard hygiene practices of washing your veggies before you eat them and washing your hands when you come in from the garden. There is no withholding period for grazing animals.
Is Biocast any different from other biostimulants, like seaweed extracts?
Yes. Currently Biocast is the one of the few products on the market in Australia with the abundance and diversity of beneficial microbes that we have. Other products focus on other things, like nutrients, or plant hormones, but we focus on the microbes!
Is there any difference in using Biocast to other plant probiotics, like compost teas?
Yes, and partially in convenience! Biocast is an extract of worm castings, so it contains the plant hormones, enzymes and fulvic acid of the cast, as well as the microbes. The microbes in Biocast are plant-relevant species associated with compost worms and compost. Through our process they have been fully stabilised with a shelf life of at least twelve months – compared with a few hours for something like a compost tea. We support increasing microbial diversity through whatever means best suits you, and Biocast is here for anyone without the time or inclination to do it yourself.
I have a worm farm at home. Is Biocast any different to what I get out of that?
It depends how well you run your worm farm! If you collect liquid running from the bottom of your home worm farm that is a leachate, whereas we extract from the finished cast. Leachate will be a combination of the water you add to the top running through, and liquid running from decomposing veggies. These may or may not have had much contact with finished cast, and the microbe composition will be unstable.
Can I mix Biocast with my liquid fertiliser?
Maybe. We have reviewed quite a few products with Biocast and found the majority to be detrimental when combined directly. For best results we’d rather you didn’t mix them together, simply because the pH of many products is not compatible with the living microbes in Biocast Part A. In other words, you risk killing the microbes and making the product less effective. If you’re willing to take this risk the fulvic acid in Biocast will aid foliar applications of fertilisers by helping plant uptake of minerals through the cell wall. In general though, the addition of microbes like those in Biocast will allow your plants to use fertilisers much more effectively, so you might even find you can cut back on them!
Why is there a part A and a part B?
When we first invented Biocast it was only part A, and it worked just fine. We thought we could do better though so we added part B. We liken it to giving the microbes in part A a shot of coffee to wake them out of dormancy and get them to work more quickly.
Can I just tip the bottle of part B into part A so I don't have to worry about ratios later?
No! Not unless you are using the whole lot straight away. The microbes in part A arrive to you in a stable, dormant state. Part B is their food to get them going. If you add part B to part A then leave it, the microbes will wake up, eat all the food and use all the oxygen then die, so essentially the product will go off and get really smelly! It is best to add part B to part A with the water as per mixing instructions when you are applying it.
Will part A work without part B?
Yes, but when you add part B you essentially get more bang for your buck!
I didn't read the mixing instructions and applied it straight. Does it matter?
No, unlike a fertiliser you won’t damage the plant with an undiluted application. You won’t get your money’s worth though!
Does Biocast have a shelf life?
Yes. The diversity and abundance of microbes in Biocast is good for twelve months, if you store it in a sheltered place. After this there will still be life in the bottle but it won’t be as much. Applying it after twelve months should still benefit your plants to some extent. We recommend a smell test before applying – if it smells bad, it is bad!