Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by jerry111165, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. Molasses.

    I like to think I do ok growing. My friends tell me that I do a good job, my plants are usually very healthy, I produce some decent finished weight on a fairly consistent basis, I read quite a biy(here, mostly), but I am not a botanist or very "technical" - like some of the informative minds are here - :)

    Anyhow, I have what I think is a fairly reasonable question about molasses.

    I use it. I have for quite awhile now. I usually use - oh, anywhere from a teaspoon to sometimes even a tablespoon per gallon - not everytime I water, but quite often, I guess. I believe that I am using the molasses for the "living mycorrhizal microbes" - the little guys - the "life" that is in a good, solid organic mix.As food for them, I mean.

    My question is this. Is the molasses giving the plant any nutritional value from the molasses - like, I guess, carbs, or sugars, etc., or am I doing this strictly to feed the soil life?

    I hate to sound stupid, but this has always made me wonder. Is it food for the Mycorrhizea, strictly, or is the plant benefiting from it as well?

    Thanks in advance - and TGIF.

  2. I am not botanist but here is my intuitive take on molasses.... molasses is the byproduct of sugar refining. Basically its is everything except the fructose that they strip out to make white sugar. Plants produce all of these "byproducts" along with the fructose as reserve energy for, in escence they make their own plant food. I would venture a guess that molasses is full of trace minerals which are available then made available to your plant. I use molasses and I swear by it. My buds seem to have a much better fragerance and taste because of it. But then I could very well be totaly full of shit on this too. Who knows
  3. if the mycorrhizea benefit the plants benefit, the way it works is the mycorrhizal supply the plant with water and the plant supplies the mycorrhizal with photosynthesis product in a symbiotic relationship, therefore if you feed the mycorrhizal they will probably take less food from the plant while supplying the plant with more water.
  4. I think molasses's main benefit is feeding soil life rather than directly benefitting the plant. I know that molasses feeds both bacteria and fungus, as you know mycos are fungus. So it makes sense that molasses would feed mycos. My question would be, would it disrupt the natural cycle? Mycos have relationships with the plants roots, just where molasses would fit in that relationship I don't know. MIW

  5. Wolverine, I agree with your first sentence, and thats kind of what I was taught. I was just listenting to someone the other day talking about using molasses to " get thier plant some carbs and sugars", and I felt that this was wrong, but didnt want to say anything just in case they had some kind of basis for thier thinking and I look like an idiot *lol*

    But. at the same time, like abrooks71 here says theres probably trace minerals etc in there...

    I guess the bottom line here is that we use molasses basically to feed the mycos, and not really to feed the plant.

  6. Organic Blue Agave Nectar, Aloe Vera and Yucca Extract will blow molasses out of the water on every level - minerals, enzymes, phytohormones, root accelerators, PGRs, SARs and on and on and on. And cost less if you buy correctly, i.e. avoid Duh Dude at the Growed Store.

    All of these are minimally processed. You would be hard-pressed to find a product that has been more processed than blackstrap molasses. And then there's the real crap - livestock molasses, i.e. nothing more than sugar beet reside.

    And that's a very kind assessment.


  7. So LD, talk to me then... should we be using the agave, aloe, or yucca, etc., vs. molasses, for the added "minerals, enzymes, phytohormones, root accelerators, PGRs, SARs and on and on and on"?

    Am I wrong in using basic unsulphured molases to feed the macrobial life then? Obviosly from what you are saying, I can be doing ?noticably? better then by using these other items vs. molasses?

    I was kinda hoping you would chime in here on this. Does the plant gain any benefits from adding molasses, or is this basically/simply added for the benefit of the soil life?

    This is kind of bugging me, this question. Of course, it sounds like there is much more to this than I have been thinking.

    Thanks in advance,

  8. LD,

    would you please provide us a link to the products you mentioned or particular brands you suggest?
  9. #9 LumperDawgz2, Aug 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2011

    Carbohydrates are used in an AACT and by the time that the process has been completed the actual sugars have been broken down and digested by bacteria and fungi. It was thought until about a year ago that fungi did not benefit from carbohydrates directly but that is now being seriously discussed by a number of AACT professionals. I have no opinion one way or the other.

    Using blackstrap molasses, agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, palm sugar, fruit juices, et al. in a compost tea at specific levels to insure that they're consumed prior to applying to the soil is how AACT formulas are configured - at least by people who know that they're doing.

    Other than that goofy article by some group or individual "Three Little Birds" (which is almost pure comedy on any and all levels), you will be hard-pressed to find any serious soil biologist that would suggest using any of these sugars to increase much of anything - particularly THC levels.

    It is true that fungi respond to sugars that are exuded by the plant's roots. That's what plants do - use light (photosynthesis) to create 'green' and 'sugars' and some of those sugars remain in the plant for cell building along with the 'stuff' from the humus and the breakdown of organic material by the microbe colonies.

    The plant exudes can be any number of compounds and elements (particularly Hydrogen (H) for the CeC paradigm) and as hard as it is for the Three Little Birds and the rest of the molasses choir to wrap their brains around the concept/fact is that plants have done a really spectacular job of growing, breeding and reproducing for several millions of years without having industrial food waste with a nice name dumped on them in order to not only survive but to thrive.

    What I have against the molasses choir members is that they can't read a label to save their lives. Look at the claims about molasses as far as Calcium or Magnesium levels. The numbers really make my leg twitch - if it were true.

    Those high percentages that are always quoted are not for the level in the molasses per se - they're the percentages against the USDA's RDA numbers (Recommended Dietary Allowances).

    IOW 10% of a quart of molasses is a sh*t load. 10% of the RDA is the amount that would fit on a gnat's ass with room to spare.

    Stankie has a thread (journal really) on the Grow Forums under the Organic section and his thread is a 'sticky' - on the last 2 pages is a post that I made about the compounds found in Aloe Vera alone. I listed all of the ones that have been identified and are extracted for medical and industrial applications.

    See how molasses stacks up against just Aloe Vera - and then dig into the compounds found in organic blue agave nectar. Then consider that per ounce, these plant-derived products cost far less than blackstrap molasses and both are subjected to far less mechanical and manufacturing processes to get it into a bottle than molasses.


  10. I've never put that much thought into it. I'd just always used molasses as a "kicker" for my organic teas. When I was home growing I'd go elaborate and use chicken manure,bone meal, homeade aloe juice, and molasses all in one tea. One thing I did notice about molasses is it makes a tea ferment faster than manure alone. I was accustomed to letting my tea "cook off" for 3 days just using the manure and bone meal, but with molasses in about 36 hours the tea container would be ripe and overflowing with a thick layer of foam on top. So I'd have to agree it does seem to supercharge those microbes.
  11. Poppybgood, once that manure hit your tea, it was most probably a nutrient tea in the vane of a bottled nutrient rather than a microbe tea, as in compost tea. It has been shown recently that high powered nutes, guano in particular, had a negative impact on microbe numbers in a tea. And foam is no indication of the worthiness of a tea, one way or another. So if your tea worked, great, but once everything is mixed, you may as well just pour it on and call it good. Keep in mind I'm not critical of your teas at all, I'm sure they worked well. But when you add hot stuff, the little critters just can't take the heat.....MIW

  12. Thanks for the input Wolverine!! I only use very aged materials for the teas, such as already composted and aged chicken manure- I never use fresh. I was under the impression that the foam is an indicator of lots of goodies growing in the concoction. Maybe just yeast, IDK? But the molasses sure does seem to spped the process, and it stinks to high hell. I've never had any negative effects other than occasionally critters trying to dig in my holes aftr I used it.

    sorry to de-rail. I'm old school, and back in the day when I used to read up on organics all the time molasses was the new wonder!!
  13. Other than that goofy article by some group or individual "Three Little Birds" (which is almost pure comedy on any and all levels), you will be hard-pressed to find any serious soil biologist that would suggest using any of these sugars to increase much of anything - particularly THC levels.

    Boy talk about popping balloons! I loved the birds back in the day, their homespun catchy style of writing was way cool, they were right up there with cord wood houses and converting your micro bus to run on corn, in motha earth magazine. I really dug that shit man. Sometimes science sucks......MIW
  14. Now, don't be dissin the 3LB.:mad: They might not be 100%, but on the whole, much better stuff than most these 'new school' *gurus*.

    They used what was available at that time and it worked well. Still does.

    Up until fairly recently, the only agave nectar I knew of had a worm at the bottom. :D:D:D and aloe was for burns. Who knew??

  15. I like that agave nectar, esp the one that has the numbers 1800 on the front of the bottle!!! I've found it decreases my microbial activity the next day. As for aloe juice, if it does nothing else for plants it's still a good wetting agent.
  16. I bet that aloe juice could sooth a stomach abuse by alcohol, maybe put out a fire in the gut, i never tried it for hangovers, but I do like to drink it......MIW

  17. LD -

    Thanks much for the response. I'm at work right now and cant study your response as much as I would like, but when I get home later I'm going to.

    Now to find out where I can buy (inexpensively/comparably) the Aloe and Agave...

    Seems I have some homework to do on all ends. Thanks again - is of course much appreciated.

    And thanks to all for all other input and comments. I'll be back later when I have the neccessary time.

  18. Wholesome Foods has an organic blue agave nectar and here's the product:


    The consumer pack (vs the food service pack) comes in 23.5 oz. bottles. Costco sells 2 of these bottles strapped together for $7.80 - almost 1.5 quarts for less than $8.00

    If you buy this product at Whole Foods or similar type of store you will get screwed. Big time. A single bottle sells for as much as $6.00 at the foo-foo 'health food' stores.

    Next up is Aloe Vera. Without going into the various preservatives that have to be used on the liquid products, the best ones to consider use either Citric Acid or Ascorbic Acid.

    The biggest producer of consumer Aloe Vera products is a company called 'Lily of The Desert' and they recently released a non-preservative version of Aloe Vera.

    Thanks to the poster TheWaterBoy here's a direct link to the product so you can see what the label looks like because most of their products contain the big problem preservative - Sodium Benzoate which is a fungicide. That's not helpful for growing out fungi colonies.

    Preservative Free Whole Leaf Aloe Vera Juice (Item Detail View) « Lily Of The Desert, Certified Organic Grower Aloe Vera Juice, Drink, Gel, Lotion and Skin Care Products

    This product retails for around $26.00 for 1 gallon and that's even at the foo-foo stores and it's still less money than molasses for the same volume.

    In Jeff L.'s book, Teaming With Microbes, in the chapter on AACT there is the information that the 2 best fungi foods for this application are Aloe Vera juice and Yucca Extract.

    On the Yucca Extract the way you want to go is to buy the powdered version - far cheaper than the liquid non-preservative products (T & J Enterprises in Spokane, Washington).

    You can source this powder for around $13.00 per lb. at Mountain Rose Herbs out of Eugene, Oregon. Liberty Naturals in Oregon City, Oregon also carries this and other botanical extracts - oils, leaf products, powders like Stinging Nettle, Comfrey, Yarrow, Lavender (both medicinal as well as culinary extracts), etc.


  19. Very exciting information LD. I just went to the "Lily of the Desert" website and there are 3 different stores that sell the Aloe Vera product within 25 miles of me (thats pretty damn good for Maine!) - and the cost is really not much if any more than straight up unsulphured molasses, so theres no reason, anymore, that I should not be using this product vs. molasses when making my AACT teas.

    Thank you for the very valuable (invaluable?) information!

  20. jerry

    If I lived in Maine I would center my garden around the Coast of Maine potting soils. Through an odd meeting with a horticulturist on the Oregon Coast a couple of years ago I was able to try out a couple of bags of this company's potting soil. I don't remember which specific one that it was.

    It was one of the best potting soils I've ever used. These folks are definitely turning out a top-notch product.

    Given your location then kelp meal from Acadian Seaplants, Ltd. in Nova Scotia should be really cheap. It's only $50.00 for 50 lbs. in Northwest Oregon so I would imagine that it's less than $40.00 on the East Coast.

    Coast of Maine - definitely worth checking out.

    Also you have Worm Power in Western New York state. The largest vermicompost operation in the Western Hemisphere and they are doing things 100% correctly. There a number of videos at YouTube from news reports by MSNBC, CNN, local stations, etc. about their operation - something like 60 million worms in their set-up.

    They offer both worm castings as well as vermicompost products if I remember correctly.



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