Yeast is a tiny single-celled fungus found in air in the form of invisible spores. Only 1,500 types of yeast are known, representing an estimated 1 per cent of existing species. Since 4000 B.C., yeast has been used as a leavening agent for raising breads and cakes and fermenting beers and wines. There are also many positive uses of yeast in the garden.
Earth-Friendly Garden Pest Control
Rid your yard of slugs, without using toxic chemicals, with the earth-friendly solution of yeast slug traps. By this method, even large numbers of slugs can be safely removed from your garden. The old-fashioned remedy of leaving out saucers of beer to attract slugs owed its success to the yeast in beer. Slugs are drawn to a fermenting mixture of dried yeast, salt, sugar and warm water poured into open mason jars. Set these jars into the soil at an angle so slugs can easily crawl into the open mouth and drown themselves in the mixture. Place jars at intervals of six to eight feet and empty them every two or three days.
Speed up the processing time of your home made compost with yeast. Making compost from your food scraps recycles valuable nutrients back into the soil. This form of trash provides gardeners with a cheap and green alternative to store-bought chemical fertilisers. The Japanese system known as bokashi relies on fermenting organic wastes to make compost. Scraps are placed in a plastic bucket with a lid, then yeast, lactic acid and water are added. Within seven days, colonies of yeast make a liquid used as fertiliser for plants and the remaining matter is buried under eight inches of soil to enrich the garden.
Green Fertilizer for Rose Bushes
Roses are much-prized flowering shrubs with fragrant flowers. Use a "Green" fertiliser to encourage your rose bushes to produce more buds. A mixture of brewer's yeast and water applied to rosebush roots encourages bud formation. To force buds to grow, mix 3 tbsp yeast with 10 litres of water. To maintain blooms throughout the season, use 2-4 tbsp yeast in 2 gallons of water and apply as soon as the bushes begin to bloom.
Good Bug Food
Beneficial insects like bees and ladybirds aid pollination and eat destructive bugs in gardens. Encourage these insects to feed in your garden using brewer's yeast, an inexpensive pollen substitute used by beekeepers. This yeast, a byproduct of fermentation, is sold as nutritional supplements for humans and livestock. A mixture of yeast, honey and water set about your garden in saucers provides insects with protein to aid them fight pests. A ladybug eats up to 5,000 aphids during its lifespan, but as soon as these pests are gone, flies off to other gardens in search of more food.