Using SCOBY’s to Balance Garden pH

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Using SCOBY's to Balance Garden pH | Real Food RN

Anyone who makes a fair amount of kombucha will know what it is like to have a SCOBY surplus! My SCOBY hotel has no vacancy and I can’t give them away fast enough. Maybe I should sell them! Well, I decided to explore my options. I can’t throw them away because I grew them, they are like my little SCOBY babies.

One day while reading about how to balance garden pH in my garden I thought, maybe my SCOBY’s could help with that! Now, my tomatoes are happy….and I didn’t have to waste any of my precious kombucha spawn.

Here is a chart that shows plants affinity for acid or alkaline.

Using SCOBY's to Balance Garden pH | Real Food RN

SCOBY’s are acidic so I decided to put them around my tomato plants. Also, those were the biggest plants in my garden at the time of my little experiment.

Balance Garden pH with SCOBY’s

Here’s how I did it:

Cut your SCOBY into smallish pieces using a kitchen shear or a large knife

Using SCOBY's to Balance Garden pH | Real Food RN

Place the SCOBY pieces around the base of the plant

Using SCOBY's to Balance Garden pH | Real Food RN

Cover with dirt

Using SCOBY's to Balance Garden pH | Real Food RN

Watch them grow!!!

Using SCOBY's to Balance Garden pH | Real Food RN

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38 Replies to “Using SCOBY’s to Balance Garden pH”

  1. I would love to read a follow up on this. Did it seem to help or hinder the tomato plant any? Our extras go the chickens. They go crazy for the scobys.

  2. It looks like you simply set them around the base of the plant. Then, we see nothing around the base of the plant in the next pic. Or, at least I don’t.

    Did you dig them into the dirt a bit or what?

  3. I also am doing an experiment. After cleaning my garden this fall, I blended some SCOBYs with water, then diluted about 4C water to 1 C blended mix) (original mix was about 4:1 also) Then I watered all the parts of the garden that were empty. Hopefully that will help the soil to balance over winter. Then, In the spring, I will make the same mixture and water with it around the base of my perennials. I did use a similar mix in the garden this summer on already growing plants. I had the best garden ever! Ex. I usually get about 1 1/2 peppers per plant. This year I got at least 6. Yippee! I often have extra SCOBYs also. I just keep a closed bottle in the frig with a bit a boucha liquid. It keeps a long time. I've kept them about 3 months and they're fine.

  4. I tried this on my hydrangeas this year and they are dark purple with tons of blooms. I added the SCOBY at the end of April. How often would you add them to your garden? Just once per season?

  5. I’m a little late to join this conversation…but…I find cutting SCOBYs into small pieces is difficult. I put mine in the blender with some booch. It is a terrible looking smoothie! but plants love it and being pureed it’s quicker for it to compost into the soil.

  6. At the end of last summer I tossed a gallon of scobys like frisbees under the three camellia bushes in my backyard. They started blooming in November and has had hundreds of huge flowers the size of my hand. It is actually still blooming. I’ve had these bushes for over 10 years and they have never bloomed like this.

  7. I just ground up a bunch of scobies from my hotels to use in my garden. My question is: can I use the tea from the hotels in my garden or is it too much vinegar?

  8. I know this is late but I wanted to tell you that I used some of the extra kombucha that got too vinegary and added it to my watering can with water ( about 1:4 ratio) and watered a cucumber plant that wasn’t thriving. It has started to grow and is trailing up the trellis. Now mind you, I did also give it some seaweed fertilizer two weeks ago, so I can’t say for sure but I think the komucha helped it out a bit. I also put some scoby around my bird of paradise plant. Waiting to see what happens. Thank you for the tips.

    1. Very cool! Thanks for sharing Lisa. I am definitely going to try using kombucha when watering. I LOVE to do science experiments like this 🙂

  9. Is the reason that the plants are doing so well more about adding life to the soil or about the pH levels?

  10. Fascinating. My kombucha hotel is fully booked so reading this article is perfect timing

    A couple of questions:

    I have 3 azaleas and a camellia plant. My garden PH was the best for those acid loving plants and I had to treat the soil for them to be happier
    – Any particular season when you should do this?
    – Can you overdue it and decrease the PH levels too much, even for acidic plants?


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