Question for any Microbiologist/gardener types

John Scott Meschke jmeschke at sph.unc.edu
Thu Mar 18 10:23:26 EST 1999

I was at a hardware store the other day and noticed a product, which was
advertised as a bio-activator for composting.  Apparantly  the product
contains spores of Bacillus subtilus, Aspergillus, etc. at titers of
about 10^5 per gram.  This titer did not seem particularly high.  My
question is as follows:  Is there any point in using such a
"bioactivator" (aren't the bugs generally there anyway, and might not
the ecology of the compost be upset).  Would it be more effective to
conduct some sort of enrichment of the native microflora (perhaps adding
a simple nutrient broth or taking a sample of the soil and enriching it
in the laboratory to titers above 10^5 then reapplying it to the


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