Hey Ganja Enthusiasts,
Are you growing your cannabis in potted soil, Indoors? Do you wish you could get the results that some growers achieve by utilizing hydroponic growth methods? Or by growing outdoors? We all have certain circumstances that we are forced to grow within; due to local laws or other types of restrictions, but you don’t have to let those circumstances dictate the quality of your smoke! I grow my ladies indoors in a grow cabinet that is soil based; and by conditioning my soil with beneficial microbes, I have been able to acheive, LARGER more robust buds, colas and nugs from my ladies. I’ll explain to you how this all works, and how you too can use these fun little organisms! Hold on tight because things are about to get real scientific up in here! :-)
The first thing you need to know about these marvelous little helpers is that; in nature they are everywhere! This isn’t some new discovery or invention, but an innovation or re-adaptation. Growers and scientists are finding which microbes specifically benefit plants and their rhizospheres (root zone). What they have found an abundance of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, actinomycetes, and rotifers that seem to work together in a microscopic community that surrounds the root area, and all of which seem to have a symbiotic relationship with each other and the roots they surround. In this symbiotic community everyone has their own specific job, and their own place in the grand scheme of this circle. The bacteria, break down organic material (i.e. soil, dead plant material, dead animals, other dead microbes, excrement etc) this broken down organic matter becomes much more useable for nutrient hungry cannabis plants and fungi. The fungus ( predominantly mycorrhizae and trichoderma)have a more direct symbiotic relationship with plants and their roots then most of the other microbes in the rhizosphere. They actively colonize and coat the cannabis plant’s roots, they consume the sugars and protiens secreted by most plant root systems, and in exchange they help protect the marijuana plants from pests, pathogenic microbes (bad fungi and bacteria) and extreme conditions. They also help keep your cannabis plants well fed and watered, even in drought conditions. Actinomycetes are able to break organic material that is more solid and harder for other organisms to break down such as pulp and wood, which often breaks down into material that is very rich in potassium. Protozoa is kind of the bad guy, but in reality it keeps things in a good balance and doesn’t harm your ladies or their roots. Protozoa and Rotifers eat bacteria and fungus in abundance (rotifer also eats protozoa), and it does not discriminate between good or bad microbes. In some ways this is helpful as it does kill some of the more pathogenic bacteria, molds and mildews, and also keeps the beneficial bacteria from gaining too big of a presence, which can throw the balance out of whack. Too much good bacteria can kill off other beneficials in the rhizosphere. So think of it as both Yin and Yang, balance and harmony. It’s hard to imagine that this life cycle, this symbiotic relationship is in anyway reflective of our own life cycles, but oddly enough it does. It’s interesting to think that we also have a symbiotic relationship with plants, they can feed us, provide material to make clothing and shelter, and in turn we cultivate and aggregate these seeds all over the world. We nurture them and ensure the continuance of their lineage, and they do the same for us.
Now I’m sure at this point your internal voice is asking, “T.B. when are you going to finish up with all of this boring mumbo-jumbo, and tell me how this can help me grow good bud?!” How can this help you grow good bud? The answer to that my friend, is simple: more than likely if you are growing indoors, your growing media does not contain any or at least a helpful portion of these beneficial organisms. Sure bacteria and fungi are all around us, but outside of the beneficial ecosystem of natural rhizospheres, it can be hard to find these beneficial microbes. Indoors and in many cheap soil mixes, you’re more likely to find more aggressive and destructive microbes that are more likely to devour your plant than do it any kind of favor. So how do you enrich your indoor garden with the friendly microbes? There are many ways, from making or using compost, compost teas or using soil conditioners. Some of these options can require allot of planning, and manipulation to ensure that you are getting a colony of beneficial microbes instead of a pathogenic colony, and let’s face it, no one really likes to do more leg work than they have to. So what would I recommend? Whatever floats your boat! That’s what! As much as I like the convenience of pre formulated conditioners, which give you the convenience of KNOWING exactly what’s in your rhizospheres, I can’t deny that making your own compost teas and microbes can actually save you money and benefit the environment, as that method is greener and more environmentally friendly. However keep in mind that the homemade method lacks one aspect that I find to be incredibly important to any garden, and that is control. Control, is knowing what is in your soil, knowing that beneficials are present and that you aren’t adding something that could possibly harm your garden, it has less risk, and that is why I use premixed, individual soil conditioners. The line of conditioners is made by a Colorado based company called Supreme Growers. Their products are also able to be used in hydroponic systems! Check out their website for samples at www.SupremeGrowers.com .
I have one more question to answer, and I’m sure you’ve been waiting for me to get to it. Why should you add beneficial microbes to your garden? What’s the sell point? I’m sure most of you who have had good quality outdoor grown bud can hardly deny the fact that it tastes better, smokes better, and ultimately is a superior product than that produced in a hydroponic, or indoor soil grow. Not to mention it more natural, more closely related to ’The source’. The reason why is because of the abundance of these beneficial microbes. These microbes bring other benefits to the table as well, they help protect your plant from would-be pests, viruses, and molds that could rot your plant. These are things that are the enemy of any cannabis garden, and every experienced gardener knows it. In the end these beneficial additives are going to strengthen your plants, help manufacture a more superior end product, and give you bud that is more organic and close to nature. It’s not hard to get a good colony going in your garden, give it a try, I’ll bet you aren’t able to refute the results I have described. Go on, smoke a better bud! Keep Growing!
- T.B. Green