Botanicals

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by MI Wolverine, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. Let's address these guys for applications in organic growing.

    I have purchased powdered nettles, yarrow, spirulina, aloe vera, and yucca root, and not powdered but dried comfrey. (Bulk organic herbs, spices & essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs)

    So far i am bubbling them in a tea of sorts then applying as a drench. I have started a veg mix of fermented plant extract as well, made from alfalfa meal, nettles, yarrow, kelp meal, and comfrey. i put a 1/2 gallon of the dry mix in a 1 gallon glass jug and filled with water. But I'm interested in any other ways to apply these guys.

    Obviously buying botanicals is not a long term way to go when you can grow or forage them, and this way is too expensive for composting, as i would prefer. But i wasted to much time last summer looking for wild varieties and that little plan did not work out. I'll order what i need to grow some next spring.

    So lets hash this out.....MIW
     
  2. MI W

    On the last Comfrey harvest of about 30 lbs. I dried it carefully like you would with your medicine. It was hung upside down and allowed to dry slowly until it finished. I bought some large 2.5 gallon glass jars with lids and put the material inside.

    I ran my first batch of Comfrey tea on Monday using the dried Comfrey leaves that I crushed between my hands before adding to the water tank. I bubbled it our for a few hours and applied.

    Visually the effect was exactly that when using a tea made from fresh leaves.

    That's my limited experience anyway.

    LD
     
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  3. I'm pleasantly surprised we are using these at pretty much the same way. Weren't you also making a comfrey syrup? or was that someone else?

    For what it's worth i added the botanicals at a rate of around a 1/2 to 1 full cup for 5 gallons of water. I worked up from 1 tsp per gallon. Then bubbled that for several hours. i did add a little dried aloe vera, but bubbling it with aloe vera or yucca root made it too foamy for inside. I did add some just before applying the tea.

    I really don't have much to go from on the spirulina other than it is dried blue green algae, and it's loaded with amino acids and vitamins. My thinking was how well making teas from pond water worked, and maybe freshwater algae was part of the reason. All i can say so far, is that it did not hurt anything, but there seems to be precious little on it as a fertilizer, maybe due to the expense?....... MIW
     
  4. So these are fertilizer teas correct? Not microbial inoculants? Can you guys point me toward a link that would explain why each of these are beneficial. I've done some reading on comfrey (which I plan on growing), but most of these others that you mention I've got no idea. About the only 1 of these that I could find and identify in my area is the dandelion. I've seen it mentioned a few times. Not sure what it does though.
     
  5. Irie67

    That is correct - the botanical teas are not microbial inoculants.

    If you use the search text string of 'dynamic nutrient accumulators' you will get the usual plethora of links that explain things.

    Most of the ones usually discussed, i.e. Comfrey, Stinging Nettle, Dandelion, Yarrow, Valerian Root and a couple of others that I can't think of, all of these came into use primarily from Rudolf Steiner's Biodynamic Farming tenets. The specific plant materials are referenced by an alpha-numeric string - Yarrow is BD 502 (with the BD standing for 'bio dynamic')

    Comfrey is one of the best to work with because of its levels of Nitrogen & Phosphorus and in particular Potassium. Nitrogen and Phosphorus levels are equal to compost but Potassium is almost 4x which puts it at 2.5x that of kelp meal.

    Again, the search string I mention will give you plenty to read and think about.

    HTH

    LD
     
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  6. #6 MI Wolverine, Dec 2, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
    Irie67, after you find some info on dynamic accumulaters, then it becomes how to use the same. And that is where I'm at now, and this explains why I started this thread

    I've made fermented plant extracts from several things like dandelions, dandelion flowers. And now i'm making a FPE from alfalfa, kelp meal, and comfrey. I expect it to be a potent veg fert, so I'll tread slowly. One downside of FPEs is the smell, these guys get real ripe, so be warned lol.

    Next up, I am bubbling dried comfrey, yarrow, nettles, spirulina, aloe Vera, and yucca root in simple teas and using this as a drench. This is my first time, but this is working. And there is no bad smell. One thing I do is a simple soak of alfalfa meal and water, I leave it for a couple days, strain and use as a foliar spray. Same deal for lavender flowers used for bug spray. Very effective and simple to do, I suppose I could do the same with some of the others too. Buying all these is not a long term solution though for a big garden, but it does show you what is possible.

    Then there is always composting if you have enough. I composted mullein this spring, and when the county cuts weeds along rural roads I collect that and compost some of those too. The staple of my compost is oak leaves though.

    And then long the same lines of composting there is top dressing. I have not tried much of this, ( other than ganja leaves) so I have no opinion.....hth.....MIW
     
  7. #7 ForbinsAscent, Dec 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2011
    nice, have you used Em-1? my nettle FPE smells like a sewer but at least the plants seem to 'absorb' it, at least i guess so because it doesn't smell as bad (actually nice flowery fragrance) in the closet, and they look perfect. I'm not even diluting it- just adjust to room temp and apply. I bet the PH is somewhere around 5 in that bucket...

    I'm going to grow my own yarrow, alfalfa, and thinking about a few others like buckwheat and sweet pea to prep the soil. i'll have a lot of space- all lawn from fence to fence. I'm going to decrease the lawn space to create several 'habitat areas'.

    for example, I might bring a log in, and pile some rocks around it, maybe a small pond.

    let us know when you get the seeds - there are so many sources... might get my sunflowers from this guy, the pricing is around 10$/100 seeds, but I figure it's good bird food.
     
  8. Great thread. MIW when you do the simple alfalfa tea, at what rates do you mix alfalfa to water and then how much is it diluted. I was thinking 1-2 cups alfalfa 1tbs molasses in equal parts water then dilute up to 20 times. The recipe and my reasoning behind the molasses is comes from reading the Benificial Indigenous Microorganisms article provided in a thread somewhere here on GC, I thought the molasses is vital in the growth of the BIM's.

    I also find this to be very interesting. But before I type it ill let you know its just a copy from the BIM article.

    Plant Specific Microorganisms.

    An equal specific method is trapping microorganisms of specific plants you want to grow or growing. For example, if you want to trap and culture benificial microorganisms from rice, you should then select healthy, vigorous rice plant, cut them and put inverted cooked rice container over the cut rice plant. Again, benificial microorganisms specific to rice will be attached to the cooked rice. You can use this technique to any other plant of choice (mj?) and and the same procedure of culture will be used as previously described.
    The technique we use in trapping the microorganisms is the use of carbohydrate like cooked rice. Microorganisms will be attracted to food. So generally, what we do is to put the cooked rice in a flatter container with lid. For example you can use a plastic lunch box adding about an inch of cooked rice allowing air space in the container. What is important here is a larger area to trap those microorganisms. Gather your plant liter and cover the container. In 2-10 days (relative to temperature) you may uncover your container and will notice contamination of microorganisms like white and other color moods on the cooked rice. The cooked rice has been infected now with microorganisms of your plants. The next step is to add 1/3 amount of crude sugar or molasses to the infected cooked rice. After a week, the concoction will look like sticky liquidy rice. You may then add equal amounts of crude sugar or molasses to keep for storage, arresting microbial activities, in a cooler area. To use, you may dilute this serum with 20 parts water and foiler spray. This diluted form shall then serve you as your basic plant microorganisms. BTW I changed the word from forest to plant, but the same rules apply for harvesting the BIM's.

    So I guess this is saying that I can use my mj plants to harvest benificials specific to them??

    Thanks, BeZ...V
     
  9. Have you looked at any books on perma-culture or companion planting? This seems like a perfect opportunity to go that way. Don't forget your bockings 14 comfrey!
     
  10. [quote name='"MI Wolverine"']
    I've made fermented plant extracts from several things like dandelions, dandelion flowers. And now i'm making a FPE from alfalfa, kelp meal, and comfrey. I expect it to be a potent veg fert, so I'll tread slowly. One downside of FPEs is the smell, these guys get real ripe, so be warned [/quote]

    MIW, not all FPE stink. I've just mixed up my first FPE of avocado, papaya, bananna, and blue agave. It's on week 2 and it smells like sweet alcohol. Like I'd almost drink it. I'm going to strain and spray at 4 tblspoon per gallon. I used Gil Carandang's method. I couldn't get my hands on squash so I sub the avocado. We'll see...
     
  11. Great thread. MIW when you do the simple alfalfa tea, at what rates do you mix alfalfa to water and then how much is it diluted. I was thinking 1-2 cups alfalfa 1tbs molasses in equal parts water then dilute up to 20 times. The recipe and my reasoning behind the molasses is comes from reading the Benificial Indigenous Microorganisms article provided in a thread somewhere here on GC, I thought the molasses is vital in the growth of the BIM's.

    When i make a alfalfa spray, I just use alfalfa and water. I put roughly a cup of alfalfa meal in a quart jar and fill with water. Over the next couple of days i might shake the jar a little, then strain off the alfalfa and dilute this mix in a 1/2-1 gallon of water (or enough to spray all the plants) That's it. Simple eh? but this works. In veg i usually see new growth within one day after this spray. I used to use a product called spray and grow. And it worked well, but this spray works better and costs me next to nothing.

    What I'm trying to accomplish is to take advantage of the growth regulators in the alfalfa, and not make a bim, or make a typical fertilizer. Although you could, but that would be a differnet process.

    The bim's I'm aware of are made by culturing soil microbes from an area that gives you some reason to believe it could be beneficial. Bamboo comes to mind, and the reason is the particular beneficial microbes that bamboo has in it's soil......MIW
     
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  12. If it smells like alcohol it just might be alcohol. There are natural wild yeasts in the air and all around us. Give them water and a food source (sugars) and your making alcohol. I would leave the lid off for a day or three and try to dispute any alcohol. Wild yeast won't generate high alcohol, you need specialized yeast for that, but you can ferment up to 9-11 % alcohol and that is way too much for plants. So be careful.....MIW
     
  13. I've used EM1, but now I'm just using water. My water and my air already has microbes, and these microbes are local and could be different than yours. And how you tell for sure when your FPE is done is by the ph, your want it to get low. I've have seen mine go down to 2.7 Again remember when you have a good soil mix these low ph teas will not hurt your plants or soil. You have to dilute your FPE, and since this is not standardized, some experimentation is in order, so go slow and keep notes.

    For the fermentation you want to keep it anaerobic, so i use a full jar, and refill it if the levels go down. And yes they stink to high heaven. But the smell does not last long when using it. If your using a bucket somehow keep air out of it, but understand natural wild yeast will eat some of the plant material and then they pee alcohol and shit out CO2. That is the bubbles you will see during fermentation, and explains why these could explode given the right conditions.....MIW
     
  14. So I guess this is saying that I can use my mj plants to harvest benificials specific to them??

    Yes, and to take this further you can immediately reuse that pot & soil with a new plant to take advantage of any soil microbes, including those mysterious mycos. The old plant leftovers like stems and fan leaves make for a dandy mulch. And mulches also are very beneficial to our plants. Think of them as a natural forsest duff that happens under trees, or a think of a mini compost pile helping feed your soil......MIW
     
  15. [quote name='"MI Wolverine"']

    If it smells like alcohol it just might be alcohol. There are natural wild yeasts in the air and all around us. Give them water and a food source (sugars) and your making alcohol. I would leave the lid off for a day or three and try to dispute any alcohol. Wild yeast won't generate high alcohol, you need specialized yeast for that, but you can ferment up to 9-11 % alcohol and that is way too much for plants. So be careful.....MIW[/quote]

    Gil wrote it should "smell sweet, sour, and alcoholic". I'll try it on some sativas i'm going to cull first.
     
  16. In my experience the smell is pretty bad, some worse than others. Even my lavender FPE smells bad, not as bad as say dandelion, but still not something enjoyable at all......MIW
     
  17. [quote name='"MI Wolverine"']

    In my experience the smell is pretty bad, some worse than others. Even my lavender FPE smells bad, not as bad as say dandelion, but still not something enjoyable at all......MIW[/quote]

    Yeah, I'm getting jealous with all you guys running around with your yarrow, comphrey, dandelion, and nettle. I just dont have that around here. I have to use what I can get. I do have access to a lot of fish/ocean products. I was thinking about making my own fish hydrolysate using papaya enzyme. That should stink.
     
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  18. Sorry if this is a stupid question but, quart jar with or without the lid? I was thinking lid on with a couple holes punched in the tin. Or do you just burp it? Won't it explode if not? Just trying to get my ducks in a row I guess, it'll be a first experience for me, the FPE.

    BeZ...V
     
  19. [quote name='"BeZtoken"']Sorry if this is a stupid question but, quart jar with or without the lid? I was thinking lid on with a couple holes punched in the tin. Or do you just burp it? Won't it explode if not? Just trying to get my ducks in a row I guess, it'll be a first experience for me, the FPE.

    BeZ...V[/quote]

    I just used a plastic ziplock stackables container with lid. The container breathes and I open it, but this is my first FPE as well.
     


  20. I have some large plastic jugs maybe two gallons that I use! and a handfull of one gallon large mouth jugs. On all these, I leave the lid loose to release gass, and fill to the rim with water.

    This stuff is real fertilizer in the same vain as store bought fermented fertilizers that we are familier with, but without instructions, so go slow untill you figure them out. I've been using dandelion the most, and the plants love it at 1 tsp to 1/4 cup per gallon. And since a lot of these guys are accumulaters, they are pulling nutrients from deep underground. So when using dandelion I pull and use roots and tops. Just chop them up a little.

    I'm glad you'all are open minded enough to give this a try. The sky is the limit on stuff we can try. I believe everything we could need for growing small crops, is within a short walk from our abodes. Our only payments would be sweat.....MIW
     

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