Mike Serant and MicroLife Fertilizers

Back in the 1980s, Mike Serant was selling chemical fertilizers, and something just didn’t feel right.

Mike noticed that, as more and more chemical fertilizers were being used, plants were having greater problems with diseases and pests. And, as a result, they needed treatment with an inordinate amount of pesticides and fungicides.

Mike also believed that ‘80s-era synthetic fertilizers contained only about seven minerals and were loaded with salts. One thing he knew for sure was that plants needed at least 52 minerals to achieve maximum health. Mike knew something had to change, so he decided to start working with Mother Nature’s natural law, instead of against her.

Mike strongly believed that healthy soils, healthy plants, and healthy people are all connected. And he truly felt that the only way to really maximize health was through organics. So, in 1988, Mike and his mother, Joyce, began development of MicroLife Organic Biological Fertilizers.

I like to think that MicroLife’s very first customer was Wabash Feed, then on Washington Avenue near Wescott Street and today on Shepard Street near 45th. Betty Heaker, owner and operator of Wabash Feed, recalls how Mike came to her in the late ‘80s, pimping his new “organic” fertilizer. Betty took maybe five bags, but with lots of skepticism. Today, Wabash Feed carries only organic fertilizers, and MicroLife sells by the truckload. I guess you could say that was Mike’s first bona fide endorsement.

Mike and the staff at MicroLife have always focused on “mission over profits.” His initial focus on healing the world and providing a brighter future for the environment - and everyone in it - is still the MicroLife mission to this day. It’s obvious anytime you talk with him.

Remember Mike’s belief that plants need at least 52 minerals for maximum health? Present-day MicroLife organic fertilizers are packed with 70 minerals, all aimed at promoting healthier soils with consistent use. And guess what?They don’t smell bad, either, because they’re not based on animal poo!

MicroLife offers a full line of professional-grade organic fertilizers, both granular and liquid. And it’s fascinating to see how the popularity of the product has spread. There was a time when MicroLife could be found only at a handful of feed stores and garden centers that specialized in organics. Take a look at today’s dealer map, and you’ll see it’s now available at more hardware and specialty stores, nurseries, garden centers and feed stores than almost any other organic product line.

It’s also used at many public facilities throughout the state, including the Houston Zoo, the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, Bayou Bend Gardens, and Shangri La Gardens.

Finally, if you ever have a chance to sit in on a class, seminar or exhibit with “Mr. MicroLife” or his right-hand man, Greg Cooper, do it. You’ll get a real education on the benefits of using organic fertilizers in Houston.

GardenLine Profiles

GardenLine Profiles

Welcome to the GardenLine Friday Profiles. Each week, we focus on a nursery, garden center, feed store or hardware store, and we occasionally spotlight individuals who are important in the GardenLine world. Plus, we periodically focus on specific... Read more

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