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Organics for flowering?

SunWolf

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I decided to give organics a try and have a question. I've got the beginnings down, I think. I'm using a base of MG seed starter soil (not pre-nuted), with perlite, vermiculite, dolomite lime, Bio-Tone Starter, and a bit of composted mixed bunny / chicken poo. Plants are looking super nice, green and bushy.

Now for the question. Primarily, everything I have so far is directed at veg growth. What do I add now that I'm into flowering to help things along?? Preferably not some big name bottle of stuff I have to order off the interwebs, if possible. Any suggestions?

Obligatory picture...1 week into flowering, you can see a little SC-ing and a little LST-ing that's been going on. Pretty green girls. :hubba:

I love you guys and gals here at MarPa!! All thanks go to your great teaching.

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Hamster Lewis

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See if you can find Nouvellechef's organic mix listed.....I am sure he has that covered. Wet Dog comes to mind as well. I don't grow organic (yet) with the exception of adding dolomite lime to my MG seed starter mix now.
 

Rosebud

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My big name bottle has: Bat guano, Worm Casings, Kelp, and Molasses. You need something that has less N and more P and K. I use roots organics Buddha Bloom in flower. Hope that helps, and your plants look very green.
 

Mutt

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When i grow I hit it with veg and flower. most of the flower end ferts take longer then the veg to break down.
I try to make available all nutrients...used and unused at that time. everything will continue to break down and become available for your plants.
It may be more prudent to use flower aimed organic teas then trying to go for a top dress in flower with a dry mix (unless you already have some broken down)
 

Wetdog

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Mutt has a very valid point about the teas, especially at this point.

I'm real big on Kelp. K is hard to get in organics and IMO kelp is the best source because it brings so much else to the table. See the kelp sticky above.

BUT !! Kelp meal, which I love is slow release and might be a bit of a waste used as a top dressing. Liquid kelp or a seaweed might be better for right now.

In fact, what Rosebud is using might be about perfect since you are already in flowering. I use everything in there but the guano. The shipping is too much and I can find local sources of P much cheaper.

Mutt is totally right about the flowering nutes taking longer to break down. I add the kelp meal, bone meal and rock phosphate when I make my mix and it's available around the end of veg.

You really have to think ahead in organics. A 'fast' source like blood meal still takes a couple of weeks from a top dress to kick in. Something slower like bone meal or kelp meal, closer to a couple of months (from a top dress).

Wet
 

SunWolf

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Wow, the nice folks of MarPa strike again.

Ozzy, thank you for the link, more reading is always good!!

HL, I had forgotten about NC's thread, will look that one up again as well.

Rosebud, since it looks like I need something a little quicker, I'll take a look at the Buddah Bloom and see if I can find it locally, or somewhere with a reasonable shipping rate, since that is usually the most costly part.

Mutt and Wet, I will be sure to add some Kelp, blood and bone meals to my soil next time. Could I get some kelp and make a tea from that perhaps?? Being as I'm already in flower, maybe the tea will be a little more quick acting.

Once again, thank you all so much!

GREEN MOJO to all.

And here, pass this! :bong1:
 

Wetdog

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I add kelp meal to tea all the time. Actually, it's a alfalfa meal, EWC and kelp meal tea.

I do the 'handful' type measuring also, but it would work out to ~1cup alfalfa, 1cup EWC, 1/4cup kelp meal.

Wet
 

Mutt

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writer for Skunk Magazine. and a prolific educator of TLO "True Living Organics"
Well, as most of you prolly know, Rolanterroy has been a little busy with all his superstardom and magazine articles and I think even book writing to visit anymore.


Heard he had some wicked new stuff in a magazine but money's been too tight lately to get a copy.

So, for those of you in the same boat, or those that just can't find the mag locally, thanks to a poster named 'Jnugg' I am able to share REv's 'Tea Party' article with ya.


Please buy the mag if ya can, tons of other good stuff in there.


Enjoy:

Welcome brothers & sisters.In this installation of Living Organics,we're going to learn about the glory of organic compost teas.But I'm not talking about the Celestial Seasonings sitting on your grocer's shelf.If you're growing in soil and want to learn how to come closer to maximizing the potential of your genetics,read on.You'll learn how to create,administer,and benefit from a largely underutilized technique that has produced some stellar results for me over the years.


You may recall from some of my past articles the nutritional benefits of soil microlife for cannabis plants in fully organic environments.To get a better idea of the advantages of teas,note that a teaspoon of compost contains about one billion beneficial microscopic organisms.However,a teaspoon of organic tea is populated by about four billion microbeasties.Another advantage is that pot plants benefit immediately from teas.Think of teas as organic steroids for your plants.


Not Just For Roots

Teas are not only beneficial for your plant roots,but also for leaves.I like to spray a bit on the leaves in a topical application.The benefit comes from the "coating" of microbes that you create on the leaf when you spray it.This basically muscles out any bad microbes.Be sure to cover atleast 70% of the leaf surface with the tea-spray,ensuring that you get both the tops and bottoms.


Fungus vs. Bacteria

Most teas are bacteria-dominant.However,in flowering,fungus is a tremendous benefit to your plants.I wouldn't stress this if I hadn't seen for myself what a difference the fungi make.Organic plants are all about fungi when flowering.If the fungi aren't present,there's just no way to push your plants to the limits of yield and quality.In fact,fungi-dominant teas are so good that they're the trick to achieving yields that border on those produced in finely tuned hydroponic environments.

Fungus takes longer to grow than bacteria.In the population race,bacteria always outgrows fungi by a large margin.Thus,when making a fungi-dominant tea,you have to give the fungi a head start.

Fungus plays a special role during flowering,delivering things such as phosphorous to the plants roots.They also breakdown secondary mineral nutrients and ammonium nitrogen available to the roots.Bacteria then convert the ammonium nitrogen to nitric nitrogen.Both varieties of nitrogen,ammonium and nitric,can be used by a cannabis plant and help it grow vigorously.

Nitric Nitrogen: Makes the plants grow shorter & wider,with closer node spacing.

Ammonium Nitrogen: Causes some stretch in the plant.




Nutrient Flexible

Teas can provide your plants with more than good bacteria.If your plant are lacking food or you encounter a problem that you need to correct,teas are an excellent vehicle for infusing your soil with nutrients.

Personally,I utilize teas mostly to provide my plants with fungi.How many nutrients you should add to you tea depends on what you already have in your particular soil (and needs of your plants).I pack my soil with tons of long-term nitrogen,phosphorous,and potassium,so I don't have to worry about the tea playing the role of nutrient provider.



Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Bacteria

The only real gotcha with organic teas is aeration.You must continually aerate your organic teas.Why?There are two types of bacteria that can develop in you tea : Aerobic and Anaerobic.Anaerobic doesn't need oxygen and is nasty stuff.If you ever smell your tea and it stinks of sewer,don't use it!It means that there's anaerobic activity.A good tea that's rich in aerobic activity will smell like very rich soil (the kind that's teaming with earthworms).Anaerobic teas are bad for more reasons than the fact that they literally smell like ****.They can also manifest E. Coli and introduce things like alcohols,which can kill your plants fast.Good aeration isn't just to supply oxygen to your plant roots.It's also a catalyst that teases the microbes and protozoa out of the compost-or earthworm castings,in the case of vermicompost-without killing them.After the continuous bubbling pushes them out,they consume the nutrients and simple sugars in your tea and multiply in a big way (creating the microlife boom that will,in turn,produce a bust,wherein large numbers of microbes will die their carcasses will nourish your plants' roots).


Thou Shalt Not

There are certain varieties of compost and brewing conditions that should be avoided when brewing a batch of organic tea.

Chlorine: I've said it before and I'll say it again:Never use chlorinated water on organic soil!This obviously includes teas.But if your only source of water is chlorinated,don't freak out.Simply drop an airstone in an uncovered container of the water for 24 hours.Your chlorine problems will be gone.

Compost Leachates: This is just compost squeezed and pressed.It's not very nutrient rich.But it'slack of nutrients isn't the problem (remember,using teas as a vehicle for transporting nutrients to your plants is a supplemental benefit).The problem is anaerobic activity,which can spell death for your plants.

Compost Extracts: While these provide more nutrient value than compost leachates,they still contain anaerobic activity (the big "I'm a *******" move in the world of organic teas).

Violent Aeration: Aeration is your friend and the key to a potent tea that's teaming with good bacteria.But too much aeration on the scale that provides an excessive amount of agitation and turbulence to the tea-is a bad thing becuase it will actually beat the microbeasties to death!Be gentle with the teas;remember that they're teaming with microbes!

Ultraviolet/HID/Sunlight: Avoid any high intensity lights or sunlight.Instead,use "normal" house lighting,such as florescent or tungsten.However,avoid any light source near your tea brewer.Regular room lighting is fine,but-as a rule of thumb-dimmer is better.




Mother Mary's Tea Recipes

* The measurments below are for a one gallon tea bubbler.When making teas in smaller containers,simply adjust the recipe or dilute the final tea with water.

* In these recipes,brew the tea with an airstone in a one gallon container for 24 to 48 hours.When you're done brewing,strain it through a nylon stocking (for topical/sprayer applications) or a standard strainer (for normal watering applications) and cut it 50/50 using dechlorinated water.

* Fungi-dominant tea compost should be mixed together and kept very wet for three to seven days prior to brewing.Store it high in a room,near the ceiling and in the dark.The microlife and fungi populations will really bloom if you place a heating pad-set to low-below the container (shoot for 68-75 degrees fahrenheit;20-24 degrees celsius).After three days,it will be visibly booming with fungus (what I call "Santa's Beard").Put this in your tea brewer and bubble it (in place of regular compost).

* Prepare for the container to foam up and bubble over.You should place a tray under your tea bubbler and avoid any electrical or other items that may be damaged or unsafe around the bubbling water.
 

Mutt

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Part 2.
Vegetative Stage Recipe

* One Gallon Water *: R/O water,rain water,distilled etc. etc.

* One Teaspoon Black Strap Molasses (unsulfured)1-0-5)*:
Be sure to use only the unsulfured variety.This is because sulfur kills microlife,especially fungus (unless it's elemental sulfur in small ratios).

* One Teaspoon liquid Alaskan Fish Fertilizer (5-1-1)*:
Fungus and bacteria both love fish ferts and go nuts reproducing when it's included.

* One Cup Earthworm Castings (vermicompost) or good outdoor compost*:
Vermicompost provides humates,enzymes,protozoa,nematodes,bacteria,fungus ,trace elements,secondary and primary nutrients.

* One Teaspoon Fox Farms Peace Of Mind All Purpose (5-5-5) *:
Food for the microlife that balances the pH of the tea (to about 6.5-7.2).






Flowering Stage Recipes

* One Teaspoon Black Strap Molasses (unsulfured) (1-0-5) *:
An excellent source of potassium during flowering;bacteria prefer these simple sugars,whereas the fungus prefer more complex sugars derived from various organic matter.

* One Teaspoon Fox Farms Peace Of Mind All Purpose (5-5-5) *:
Food for the microlife that balances the pH of the tea (to about 6.5-7.2).

* One Teaspoon High Phosphorous Bat Guano (0-4-0) *:
Fungi love this nutrient and will deliver it to the plant roots.

* One cup Earthworm Castings (vermicompost) or regular compost *:
Good balance of nutrient (trace and secondary).Also a source for microbes and beneficial elements.

* One teaspoon Maxicrop liquid or 1/2 teaspoon water soluble Maxicrop or kelp/seaweed extract (dry) *:
A fungal favorite,this is a key tea ingredient that produces a good ratio of happy fungus.It's also booming with trace elements,some nitrogen,and some potassium.

* 1/4 teaspoon Micronized (soft) Rock Phosphate *:
Fungus attach to the rock phosphate and grow on it.Also a prime source for phosphorous,magnesium & sulfur.




Fungus Dominant (halfway through flowering) Recipes

* 1/2 cup Earthworm Castings *:
See above.

* 1/2 cup Mushroom Compost *:
This is fungus waiting to happen.A rich source of fungal spores and dense organic matter that fungi like to eat.

* Two tablespoons Powdered,100% Natural rolled oats *:
Fungi love this nutrient and will deliver it to the plant roots.

* Two teaspoons Kelp Meal *:
I use kelp meal for several reasons.It's organic matter that fungi like to attach themselves to.Fungi love kelp extracts as a primary food source and the rich trace elements and potassium it introduces.

* 1/4 teaspoon Micronized (soft) Rock Phosphate *:
Fungus attach to the rock phosphate and grow on it.Also a prime source of phosphorous,magnesium and sulfur.


The earthworm castings,mushroom compost,oatmeal,and kelp meal are first mixed together and made very wet.After fungus has grown on this blend,place it in your tea bubbler for 24 hours with some additional liquid (or water soluble) kelp/seaweed extract and Micronized (soft) rock phosphate.
 

SunWolf

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Awesome, thank you again. Time to go shopping!
 

Rosebud

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Thank you Mutt, I am going to get that mag. I hung on his every word. I love organics.
 

BBFan

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Great read Mutt. Thank you.

The only thing I might add is a bit of discussion regarding PH. While organic growing usually helps manage PH, there are still some adjustments that can be made to help move things along, particularly in Sun Wolf's situation or those in a similar situation where you need a relatively quick fix but still want to remain organic.

My experience is nothing happens quickly with organics. You need to do the right things up front and let nature take it's course. That being said, there are numerous studies that show that fungi prefer a more acidic environment while bacteria thrive in a more alkaline environment.

Bacteria also grow much faster than fungi. Brewing a tea that starts with water at 6.0 or less (down to as low as 4.5) will promote fungal growth much quicker and more profusely than an alkaline water based tea will. It will still take a good week or more of brewing (with a fungi innoculated tea), but it will speed things up a bit.

Adding a chelated phosphorous source will also speed delivery to the plants (as opposed to bone meal or similar). Fungi attaches to phosphorus and a more readily available source will get the nutrients delivered to the plant a little faster.

Good luck Sun Wolf. Organics take patience. Done right and you will be well rewarded. Happy Growing! :cool:
 

SunWolf

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Thank you BBFan, that makes it much clearer how things work and how to apply it. I'm really liking this organic thing, and am gathering the things needed for my next run to be done right. I'll limp along on this run as best I can, and do it right from the git go on the next one.
 

Mutt

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FYI:
later on -Rev discovered an inherent problem with most city water sources. They put in not only chlorine but chloramine as well which does not evap off with a bubble stone.
All water must be well, spring, r/o, or distilled. Any municipal supply source should be avoided for best results ;) If in doubt ask for a free water test report of your municipal water company. They are required to supply it for free if you purchase your water from the city.


you are so right BBfan about PH...it really means nothing but if you get the window right they will jam right along. I still don't think that run off in organics should ever be tested as it will swing to the point of no sense. only "in" is what matters.
 

Rosebud

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i started my compost tea yesterday, I need to get my air stone back today from a friend and I will add something from Progress earth.com that has billiions of good things in it. This is so fun. I have a whole house filter so no chlorine here or minimal. I have never had to ph.
Thanks again Mutt.
 

Rosebud

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I started my tea. This is my first tea other then alfalfa. I took some two year old compost, about two cups filled the two gallon bucket. Then I realized it was too strong, so I put it in 5 gallon bucket added my small pump and added the dry started from the grow shop. Any comments.

You should have seen my company's face when i told her it was tea. She thought it was for them. Anyway, is there anything else I should be doing? It smells clean, not really any smell.

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Mutt

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Did you put the compost in a sock/burlap and tie it off? a poo tea bag so to speak :p
Seems to be on the "dark" side. might want to dilute a little bit more ;)
if it doesn't stink then you are doing something right :)
 

Rosebud

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Mutt, I was hoping you would tell me your thoughts. No, I didn't put it in a bag, i had thoughts of straining it when through. Does a sock work? I was thinking too that I could dilute one cup per gallon or half gallon too. Not use straight. What do you think? I can try it out on my gardens outside before I hit my ladies with it.
 

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