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What is Frass and How to Use it in Our Gardens?

You may be forgiven if you have not heard of Frass before. After all, a product sounding like that feels perfect for hipsters and eco-gardeners – similar to how artisanal coffee is for Coffee Connoisseurs. However, we are glad to tell you that Frass is an absolute game-changer for anyone, anywhere in their gardening journey.

What is Frass?

Black soldier fly organic frass fertiliser
Insect Frass

Insect Frass is the scientific term for insect poop. They can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the species of insects and especially dictated by what they eat. Some produce a liquid form of Frass while others create small, dry droppings that are easy to scoop up. They tend to blend right with your plants and soil, quietly giving your garden a chock-full of nutrients they require.

The Frass we produce for our products comes exclusively from our mighty Black Soldier Fly Larvae, where every bit of it it has trace amounts of macro and micro-nutrients that are essential for our plants. Our larvae obtain essential nutrients and minerals by consuming clean food waste all across Singapore. This includes fruits and vegetable peelings, beer grains, and a special ingredient, okara. Okara is the remains after pureed soybeans are filtered in the production of soymilk and tofu. This special ingredient is high in fiber and rich in proteins, with significant potential for prebiotic function, making the Frass produced by our larvae highly nutritious.

Not all Frass products are derived from Black Soldier Flies, other Frass products you may commonly see strolling through the aisles of our gardening centers can include Mealworm Frass and Cricket Frass.

Benefits of Frass

The important question we have for today is: why should we use Frass in our gardens? And is it better compared to other types of fertilisers?

Frass can be considered a complete fertiliser. It is an all-natural, organic soil supplement with a diverse amino acid and macronutrient profile that contains the essential and necessary nutrients for all our house plants and outdoor plants including nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Among the market benchmark for insect Frass N-P-K values of 3-2-3, our Frass has a N-P-K ratio of 3-3-5 which works perfectly to begin your vegetable garden and for your flowering plants.

Compared to other plant fertilisers and other types of Frass products, Frass from the Black Soldier Fly Larvae exclusively contains the only form of plant-digestible chitin, which can be converted to chitosan. Chitin is a naturally occurring molecule that is found in the shells of crustaceans like crabs and lobsters, as well as the exoskeletons of insects. Chitosan benefits our plants greatly when used in fertiliser. It can trigger the immune systems of plants by producing antimicrobial peptides that make mineral nutrients inaccessible to pathogens to defend against predators like root-feeding nematodes and pathogenic mycotoxins that cause the detested root rot. The presence of chitin triggers plants to think that insects are eating them, which causes them to build up their cell walls and release natural insect toxins as a defence. Although chitin does not act as a pesticide, its presence increases your plants' resilience and allows them to fight if necessary.

Frass and our Planet

You will be happy to hear that producing our Frass can also do our bit for mother earth in 2 amazing ways. Firstly, it has carbon sequestering properties. Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide, a way of reducing global climate change. How this works is that Frass from our Black Soldier Fly Larvae contains nitrifying and nitrogen-fixing bacteria. This gives your plants a boost when it comes to nitrogen uptake but also helps to reduce atmospheric nitrogen loss and groundwater contamination. This, in turn, encourages the storage of more carbon and nitrogen in the soil.

Another benefit of using our Frass is found in the heart of our production process. Did you know Singapore generated around 744 million kg of food waste in 2019? That is around the weight of 51,000 double-decker buses. By collecting clean food waste around Singapore, every kilogram of Frass produced can offset more than 7kg of C02e emissions by diverting a large amount of clean food waste away from our limited landfill.

How to use Insect Frass when Gardening at Home?

Insect Frass can be used on both your indoor and outdoor plants. Before applying Insect Frass to your garden, it is best to pre-mix it into your soil or compost, and a little goes a long way. This first method can be used for newly potted plants or plants you plan to propagate.

However, if your plants are already growing, you can top-dress the pot with one handful of fertiliser. Another method to prevent over fertilising is to mix some Insect Frass in water and let it steep for several hours. Proceed to use it to drench the roots of your plants.

Fertilising Raised Beds

For fertilising your raised beds, you can add a pound (0.4kg) of Insect Frass to 20 square feet of garden space. Next, gently dig the top half-foot of soil up, watering it thoroughly before mixing in the Frass. For consistent benefits, you can top dress the bed with more Frass every few weeks throughout the growing season.

Mix for Potted Plants

Add one cup of Insect Frass per cubic foot of potting soil. Subsequently, sprinkle the Frass on top of the soil every few weeks for added benefits.

Insect Frass Tea Extract

Add a ½ cup of Insect Frass into a gallon of dechlorinated water and use it to drench the roots of your plants within two hours of mixing it. If you have a surplus, you can store the tea in the fridge for up to a week. Do not store it at room temperature as it causes to go bad quickly.

Additional Tips

Like many other fertilisers, using Frass is really simple. Here are some additional tips and tricks for getting the most out of this fertiliser.

1. Frass is not a pesticide or a fungicide. It gradually builds up your plants’ immune system and increases their resilience. The great side to this is that you do not have to worry about Frass killing beneficial insects or nematodes.

2. Our product is a mixture of both Frass and insect exoskeletons that can look like gold and black shiny flakes. These are where the amazing chitosan benefits come from and there is no cause for concern.

3. Insect Frass can be used in hydroponics systems so long as you drain out the Frass pieces before running the Frass tea through the water pipes. Otherwise, the indissoluble pieces of Frass might get stuck in your pipes and bring down the system.

Where Can You Buy Frass In Singapore?

Looking to explore Frass as the solution for your plants’ nutritional needs? Try our Black Soldier Fly Organic Fertiliser (Frass). It is a natural solution for your plants if you are looking for a sustainable and organic solution without any additives.

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