Molasses in the garden

Asked July 21, 2018, 11:39 PM EDT

Is there any scientific proof showing that molasses is good for plants? I've been advised by a friend to add 2 to 4 tablespoons of molasses to a gallon of water every two weeks per plant.

Multnomah County Oregon soil and fertility issues

1 Response

Thank you for your question. The only scientific research I can find directly applicable to your question is a 1957 article following: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.410.3255&rep=rep1&type=pdf As you can imagine, in the intervening 60+ years, far more is known about soil itself, micro-organisms that live there, and nutrients. Even Dr. Cleasby acknowledged (starting on page 99) that there might be insupportable links between and among the nutrient reactions, in correlation with molasses’ benefits. Molasses is refined from sugarcane or beets, and is mainly a carbohydrate (sugar). Blackstrap molasses contains vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese. The last four are nutrients needed by plants in small amounts (micronutrients). (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molasses) There has also been some research into the addition of molasses, as a nutrient, to compost tea that you can read about here: https://repository.arizona.edu/bitstream/handle/10150/625441/az1739-2017.pdf?sequence=1 There are other organic and chemical means to supply plants these nutrients, which both are researched and have measurements of their contents, an advantage your molasses container lacks (and which, of course, is greatly diluted by the addition of water recommended by your friend.) I hope this is helpful.