Inoculants are of great importance in sustainable and/or organic agriculture. In the present study, plant growth of barley (Hordeum vulgare) has been studied in sterile soil inoculated with four plant growth-promoting bacteria and mineral fertilizers at three different soil bulk densities and in three harvests of plants. Three bacterial species were isolated from the rhizosphere of barley and wheat. These bacteria fixed N-2, dissolved P and significantly increased growth of barley seedlings. Available phosphate in soil was significantly increased by seed inoculation of Bacillus M-13 and Bacillus RC01. Total culturable bacteria, fungi and P-solubilizing bacteria count increased with time. Data suggest that seed inoculation of barley with Bacillus RC01, Bacillus RC02, Bacillus RC03 and Bacillus M-13 increased root weight by 16.7, 12.5, 8.9 and 12.5% as compared to the control (without bacteria inoculation and mineral fertilizers) and shoot weight by 34.7, 34.7, 28.6 and 32.7%, respectively. Bacterial inoculation gave increases of 20.3-25.7% over the control as compared with 18.9 and 35.1% total biomass weight increases by P and NP application. The concentration of N and P in soil was decreased by increasing soil compaction. In contrast to macronutrients, the concentration of Fe, Cu and Mn was lower in plants grown in the loosest soil. Soil compaction induced a limitation in root and shoot growth that was reflected by a decrease in the microbial population and activity. Our results show that bacterial population was stimulated by the decrease in soil bulk density. The results suggest that the N-2-fixing and P-solubilizing bacterial strains tested have a potential on plant growth activity of barley.