Community Gardens


St. George Desert, Upper Mojave Desert, Drought, Poor Soil, Poor Water, High TDS/Alkalinity


Staheli Garden plot is watered by the St. George and Washington Canal Company diverted water from the Virgin River. It is the last property to take water from the canal and is the lowest point of the canal. Water at this time of year is heavily concentrated with TDS due to salts from Pah Tempe Hot Spring.These springs release roughly 109,000 tons of salt(6,813 semi-truckloads of salt) every year and is one of the top three pollutants of the Colorado River(Source: Washington County Water Conservancy District).High levels of TDS make it difficult for plants to extract water from the soil and can stunt growth in plants and reduce crop yield and quality. In the early part of the growth season, these salts are not as concentrated and are more diluted in spring run off. With the drought in full force, the canal is experiencing higher amounts of salt earlier in the season than usual. Salts are visible on the soil surface after each watering turn.

Dates: April 24th thru June 5th 2021

Application Process: 1 ounce of product was diluted in 5 gallons of water and applied every other week. The entire farm received 3 ounces of microbes over the course of the experiment. Microbes were applied to 50% of the corn, 50% of the peppers, and 50% of the tomatoes.


Plants matured faster with microbes and attracted more bees at the polination stage. Within the four 200-foot rows of corn, Microbes were applied to every other row at a spacing of 4 feet between rows. Bees avoided rows that did not have Microbes.

Initial Discoveries: Bees were observed to be 275% more attracted to microbes-treated corn than the untreated corn


Plants matured faster with Microbes and grew better in high TDS conditions. Tomato plant leaves were “curling” or their leaves were folding from the outside edges to the center of the leaf due to the absorption of the salts as they matured. Plants were observed to produce leaves based on the impact of TDS salts, causing leaves to curl. Numbers were based on the average of every 20 feet of tomato plants along four 200-foot rows of tomatoes. Observations were taken two hours after the first harvest and tomatoes were removed from the property before harvest counts and weights could be measured. Despite lack of measurement, it was observed that more tomatoes were harvested from the rows treated by Microbes.

Initial Discoveries: Microbe-treated plants grew 35% fewer leaves. Of those leaves, microbe-treated plants were observed to have 234% more open leaves than the untreated row. The treated plants also displayed 236% more flowering clusters. Plants appeared to mature faster with the Microbe treatments.

Open leaves = more energy!

Plants with our microbes had better photosynthesis! Plant leaves are like solar panals. Even though there were less leaves, more of those leaves were collecting energy for photosynthesis.


Plants matured faster with Microbes and produced more flowers and buds. Pepper plants were also observed to range more in size from plant to plant. Less pest damage was observed throughout the microbe-treated crop as well.

Initial Discoveries: Plants matured faster with microbes and produced 195% more fruiting bodies on average. Untreated plants displayed more pest damage to leaves, ranging from 225% more in spants smaller than 10 inches up to 900% more in plants taller than 10 inches.

More Stable Root Zone:

Temperatures in the root zone were more consistent

Crop Advancement:

Double yield in tomatoes, potential triple yield in peppers.


Summary Report

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