Organic Foliar Feeding

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by hop420, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Hey Guys, I've always tried to do the organic way and I've messed up a few times through the years while learning. I was wondering if anyone had experience and opinions on the best foliar ferts. Are compost teas effective as a spray, are there organic, water-soluble, mixes that are worth looking at? I know how to mix a tea, but is anything more effective?
  2. Hey,

    It might help to give you a broad picture of the type of growers here. Hopefully someone will speak up if I am missing anything.

    Basically there are two types. Because I am lazy right now, I'll just call them feed and no feed growers.

    No feed growers try to build a complete, microbe rich soil. Feeding is not done in the conventional sense (NPK), but botanical teas and Fermented Plant Extracts (fpe's) are used to supply 2ndry metabolites and such. These can be applied as a drench or a foliar spray. These also help with pest and molds as well as strengthening the plant (silicon sprays). This way of growing seems to be best suited for no till sorts of grows where the soil is used for more than one cycle.

    Other growers here are a more conventional plant feed sort (this seems to be where you are) and apply compost teas and other food sources in a drench manner. This seems typical for one cycle grows. I'm pretty certain folks don't feed with foliar sprays, but this may be a dangerous assumption considering how many ways of growing stoners come up with. ;)

  3. Knowledge taken. I think rather than being one or the other I'm more of a confused gray area type.:rolleyes: I was born with an artist spirit (how i make my living) and always feel like one more brush stroke or let's try this new glaze recipe, or what if I rust this or that. Sometimes I try to improve things and go too far. I think it's time for my med's now.. really, never hesitate to question or rebuke anything I say on here. But yea, I think I'm straddling the fence on this one.
  4. No problems. It's all a question of balance, of not only what is good for the plant, but where you are as well.
  5. compost teas have been shown to kill upwards of 60% of molds that are leaf-born on plants. you can use any finished vegan compost, or vermicompost, by doing so you will err on the side of caution AFA unwanted micro's in the tea.
  6. I would probably would rather go for an ACT foliar spray than a compost tea foliar spray. Especially for inoculating leaf surfaces. However if one does not have a vortex style ACT machine, a compost tea (one stick revolution) is a good substitute.

    Any citations there hope2toke? I believe you, mostly, but citations are nice references.

  7. I use both aerated compost teas and botanical teas made with accumulator plant materials to foliar "feed" my garden. Both seem to work very well. I personally wouldnt go out and buy bottles of anything and spray it on my plants, just because we can make our own very effective sprays at home for next to nothing.

    I would probably would rather go for an ACT foliar spray than a compost tea foliar spray. Especially for inoculating leaf surfaces. However if one does not have a vortex style ACT machine, a compost tea (one stick revolution) is a good substitute.

    Wee, I gotta say that I get confused with this. As far as i've always been concerned an ACT or AACT IS Compost Tea and Compost Tea IS an ACT.

    I'm just really not sure what you're referring to here. When I make compost tea I put EWC's and a teaspoon of molasses in my brewer or a pail and bubble it.


  8. the terminology for everything is kinda lacking.

    i call AACTs or ACTs the mix with a carbohydrate source and EWCs (what i do to increase my micobial population) and what i call a compost tea is just water, alfalfa and/or kelp (the list of botanicals goes on) that i stir with a stick. my FPEs are in jugs that i make quite a long time before use.

    thats my two cents anyways.

  9. #9 WeeDroid, Mar 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2012

    ACT is specifIcally for microbial inoculation and involves a high energy aeration and or water mixing. Not used for nutrient feeding.

    Compost teas, traditionally made with compost and/or manures are more of a feed with a lot of microbial activity. These either sit or are agitated gently (one stick reveloution).

    An ACT should have much more microbial activity. At least that is my understanding of it.
  10. There needs to be a glossary for the terminology we use. This is a rough stab. It would be nice to nail this down especially for organic beginners. It gets so confusing.

    AACT or ACT - (actively) airated compost tea. Microbe rich compost with a sugar source and water. Microbial innoculation

    Compost teas - non airated. Microbe rich compost with a sugar source and water. Stir occasionally. Microbial innoculation

    Botanical tea - plant material mixed with water. Can be aireated or not. Elements and compounds are both available for uptake. Can be applied foliar or soil drench.

    FPE - fermented plant extract - plant material mixed with a sugar source and lacto cultures. Elements are readily available for uptake. Usually dilute with water and apply foliar or soil drench.

  11. Wow, this makes it a whole lot easier to can one of u explain when to use each(which stage of growth) and why?

    Thanx a bunch...been confused on this one for a while...
  12. Well, I guess I don't make compost tea then going by you guys definitions *lol*

    Wait a minute, I DO make aerated Compost Tea...

    Why not drop the airstone into the same exact ingredients if I'm gonna let it sit a day and a half anyhow if I can multiply the existing life by 100,000 times just by doing so. I'm not gaining anything at all and I'm losing out on billions of microbes that I could have had if I had turned on the pump.

    Same exact ingredients. Its like mixing up a cake but not baking it.

  13. Your loss Jerry. Billions and

  14. ACT is used for adding microbes. Teas with nutrients are for feeding microbes. Most growers do not have to add a lot of microbe teas duing a grow, 2-4 should do it depending on your soil. Adding more will not hurt anything what so ever though.

    I like to add a handfull of alfalfa meal to water and bubble that for a day or two for a nutrient tea. I use this tea in sprays or drenches more in veg, and in flower I add more kelp/neem meal teas.

    To make it even more confusing I also add comfrey, nettles, yarrow, dandelion, borage, spirulina in any combination and fresh,dried, or in FPE forms, at most any times during a grow. I no longer tie myself to veg or flower formulas, and just try to make my plants look healthy. If they look almost too good, then it's just water until they look hungry, hows that for techincal growing? You may want to read the botanical thread to get an insight to this thinking, but basically I am trying to forget the whole NPK dogma. Briefly, a lot of the nutrients I'm using have much more to them than NPK elements, secondary metalbilites or compounds are missing in many prepared commercial mixes, but these botanicals are chucked full of them. So the old NPK thinking is not really any concern to me. I hope this makes sense.

    I feed fairly heavy from late veg to 4-6 weeks in flower depending on the expected harvest date. Then it's just water until the finish. I personally prefer an ugly finish, if you like green plants at harvest you might want to alter that schedule......hope this helps......MIW
  15. "now can one of u explain when to use each(which stage of growth) and why?"

    Kdiesel - I use them all (except for un-aerated anaerobic compost tea *lol*) all of the time in all stages of growth - because with organics you don't neccessarily need to differentiate between vegging or flowering plants. Between the microbes and the plants doing your thinking for you, you're covered. Thank God cuz then I don't have to figure out what they need or when they need it. They know and they decide.

    If I make up a batch of aerated Compost Tea, everything from the lowliest just rooted clone to the big fat flowering girls get it - if I make up (any) botanical tea, whether it be kelp, dandelion or yarrow, every flowering girl down to the 8" high vegging plants get it. Everybody gets everything, whenever.

    Just my .02c.

    Works for me.


  16. I really have no idea what my loss is though.
  17. ^ I think he just read what you wrote wrong. More like his loss. ;)

    Great thread btw. :D
  18. Thnx a where would u get all these ingredients?...comfrey doesn't sound like something u can find at a big box store..
  19. #19 MI Wolverine, Mar 13, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012

    I got most of my botanicals from rose mountain herbs, ( excellent drinking teas too BTW) but it would be much better to grow your own. Look to horizon herbs for growing your own help. You can also forage most of these. Dandelions being the easiest, and I love the dandelion FPE's i've made. One is whole plants including roots and I made one of just flowers. Both work very well.

    And don't forget farm stores for alfalfa meal, kelp meal, and mineral supplements....MIW
  20. Ahhhhhh....

    That magical all in one organics one-stop shop store. :)

    Where do you live man? That would help a lot as far as sourcing the magic goodies.


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