Dallas Morning News - January 2, 2020
Garrett Juice – How and Why It Works
Garrett Juice is a staple and one of the most important tools in the organic gardeners’ tool chest. The name “Garrett Juice” is more of concept or philosophy than a specific product.
It all got started back in the early 80s when I was learning about organic gardening and it was common to spray compost tea on foliage and some gardeners and farmers would add fish emulsion to get more fertilizer power.
Then, primarily because of the research at Clemson by Dr. T.L. Senn, liquid seaweed became popular as an organic spray. Next, research gardeners like Malcolm Beck found that adding molasses increased efficacy.
I learned from an arborist buddy working on oak wilt solutions that lowering the pH of sprays made the ingredients more available to plants. He used a commercial acid product – I thought of vinegar – tried it and it worked. The addition of this final ingredient is what created the official basic “Garrett Juice.”
Vinegar in the mix is the most important ingredient. It’s the synergist making all the other ingredients work better. That’s my observation anyway. Plus, many thousands of gardeners and farmers use the mix with great success. The most common and serious mistake is to omit the vinegar from any liquid organic mixes.
We don’t own or sell any products called Garrett Juice, but Dirt Doctor, Inc. does own the name. That’s important so the product can be protected from chemical fertilizer companies or others mixing a bunch of toxic stuff together and selling it as Garrett Juice. Certain commercial companies are allowed to make and market it so it is available for commercial growers and organic gardeners that aren’t into making home brews, but the formula is available for anyone to make it for their own use. The formula is in my books and on dirtdoctor.com.
Garrett juice is basically compost tea, liquid seaweed, molasses and apple cider vinegar.
Into a gallon of water, mix 1 cup of compost tea or liquid humate, 1 oz. liquid seaweed, 1 oz. molasses and 1 oz. apple cider vinegar. Add 1 oz. liquid fish to make “Garrett Juice Plus”. Add beneficial fungi and bacteria to make “Garrett Juice Pro”. Add 2 oz. of orange oil to make a mild but effective insect control. This mixture also works as a soil detox product if you are just starting your organic program. It is also an excellent soil drench and root stimulator.
Humic acid is used instead of compost tea in the commercial products due to more even consistency. Other ingredients that can be added to the Garrett Juice formula include – fine textured rock minerals such as lava sand and Azomite, various microbe products and soil stimulants such as Medina Soil Activator.