HOWDY GOOD PEEPS OF EARTH! I’m The Rev here, bringing you some more handy wisdom to use in your gardens; specifically, your all-natural gardens. Composting (decomposing via microbes and other small life forms) can include using Earthworms, or not, as they are both ways of composting raw organic matter; just different styles. I use both, composting, and I have a home worm farm. My awesome woman and I are able to recycle enough “roughage” to basically keep a personal home (2 rooms and a shed) cannabis garden cranking. Keep in mind that in your own particular environment you have access to variable organic sources, adapt to this by understanding a little bit about what natural elements are “packing” as far as nutrient elements. You will eat much better if you do, so that’s a bonus; because, you will be wanting to generate organic matter for composting with from the foods you eat—no Hot Pockets.
If you drink a lot of coffee or tea, that’s another bonus; I mean, my worms in my home worm farm eat a ton of used coffee grounds and filters. I swear it gets them wired! Also, all your extra cannabis matter, leaves, stems (chopped up); and roots. If you want to take it up a big notch here, you can also recycle your soil like I do using True Living Organics methodology, and my new book is available on Amazon.com at: http://a.co/hd4x8ob – but for today, I would love to help you get into the swing of composting, especially if you have been thinking about pulling the trigger on doing it for a while now. I’m basically going to show you how I do it, and it works awesome for me and my plants. Let’s check it out…
1st Kitchen ScrapsMy large plastic kitchen collection bowl
I prefer a 2-stage system for collecting kitchen scraps. Don’t worry I’ll show you how I compost them in a minute, but first let’s look at some awesome compostable examples here. My first stage collection is just a big ol’ plastic bowl. Do not ever seal up your compostable collections, this encourages microbial anaerobic activity—simple problem is that this makes it really stinky! Anaerobic composting is all good, but not indoors usually, and you never want a lot of anaerobic activity around living roots either. The word ‘anaerobic’ means simply that these particular microbes (fungi mostly) don’t need air to breath, unlike the microbes you want working for you indoors in your open bowl that are not smelly at all. Obviously, rotten things start out smelly and get worse, and some things like expired broccoli can be really stinky, but by all means recycle these things, you just have to start them out in the second stage of my system, the outdoor tote, which I will talk a bit about in a minute.
In the “things that are awesome that cannabis loves” list, keep in mind here, you are not just supplying food for your plants, but also for massive populations of microbial and other soil life; but most of it eventually all ends up plant food down the road. This list is partial for sure but should give you some idea of a few really awesome additions and why I add them. What you don’t want in your compost are things like meat, grease/butter, fat, hot peppers, onions, citrus fruits in any real amounts, heavily salted foods, and essentially no heavily processes foods. Okay, the list:
The Partial Good List for Collecting Cannabis Aimed Compostable Matter
- Used coffee grounds. These are just a little bit acidic but not bigtime. These grounds bring in a nice combo of the big three: N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively.) Also, coffee grounds bring in copper and magnesium. The N-P-K value is about 0-0.3-0.3 but the organic matter is highly probiotic, and as I mentioned I swear my worms get wired from eating it, but it also works fantastic just making compost without worms. I use a lot of these because I make a pot a day.
- Cantaloupe rinds/skin. This is some great stuff here to compost. All you need do is chop it up into pieces around 2×3 inch sized chunks for faster assimilation. Many cantaloupes have skin/rind that packs an impressive N-P-K rating of around 0-10-12; beautiful amounts of phosphorus and potassium and also highly probiotic. Also present are high levels of calcium and magnesium. We eat about 1 or 3 or 4 cantaloupes per month when in season.
- Potato skins. There are a lot of these in my kitchen scraps and me and my girl eat at least 4 potatoes per month, or more. The skins run somewhere around 0-5-25 with regards to N-P-K values. Calcium, magnesium, and iron are also all there in good amounts. Copper and manganese are two more that rate well in the skins.
The list of good additions is endless, so go crazy and greater diversity is fantastic! I also add plenty of other things like, avocado seeds (chopped up), pumpkin seeds and rinds, broccoli stems, asparagus ends, carrot tops, banana peels, egg shells, tomato pieces, any melon skin, rice cooked or not, kelp/seaweed rinsed off, zucchini ends; not to mention all the leaves and stems from cannabis harvests that are unused. And the leftover plant stems and leaves from veggie gardens outside like tomatoes, melons, and squash, like pumpkin plants. The greener things are, the more iron and nitrogen they likely possess, and things like lawn clippings are all good right along with tree leaves that have fallen.
If anything goes bad like potatoes or asparagus or whatever, by all means compost it; it isn’t “bad” it just has a head start composting! Nitrogen is easy to add anytime, but other elements like potassium, phosphorous, calcium, iron, sulfur, magnesium, copper, and zinc etc. all need to become available slowly and constantly to make really super happy plants.My outdoor compost collector
The 2nd stage is an outdoor smaller tote that I dump my kitchen scraps in weekly from my big bowl that is indoors. Again, let me stress, don’t put a lid on any compost collecting container, leave it open to the air and it won’t get all stinky and my indoor bowl stays fine for a whole week before I dump it outdoors. This system is wide open to adaptation by you, but by showing you my examples here it can spark ideas for your own dynamic here. Once I fill up my outdoor collection tote I then put it into my compost tumbler and give it a few spins. I stay way ahead of my game here so I always have a lot of compost ready to use—you gotta think ahead, you savvy? Always make sure your compost in the tumbler is moist, not soaking wet but good and moist.
MAKING YOUR COMPOST:
PIC: My Favorite 7 Cubic Foot Compost Tumbler
The compost tumbler in the photo is mine and some of the best money I have ever spent. About $100.00 USD to my door from Amazon, and here’s the link to mine: http://a.co/boikXbM and this really does the best job, and with one of these you can simply keep adding compostable stuff and turning it over a couple times a week and that’s it. If you were to fill it up (I run mine at about half full) it would take about 30 days for it to compost everything utterly; and putting these in direct sunlight just cranks up the power of this tumbler. Just make sure everything inside the tumbler stays moist. If just adding to it slowly over time with organic matter, just make sure you wait at least two weeks after your last contribution before harvesting the compost.
You can also just do piles of compost materials on tarps or even on the ground. Just keep turning it over often, like every other day for a few weeks or a month and it will be done. Adding some blood meal, or fish meal to your compost material really speeds up the processes too and if you have the means, I highly recommend you get some Gro-Kashi (bokashi) to include in the composting process and this really kicks things up a big notch.
Using Your Compost
Here’s how I do it: I mix my soil 50/50 with compost and I also use it as a top dressing all the time, especially for vegging plants that are pretty big for their containers. Your compost will also work excellent for making organic teas with and you can use this in place of worm castings. Here’s one of my favorite high-power mixes using good bagged soil and compost:
- 2 parts good quality bagged soil mix like G&B brand or Ocean Forest
- 2 parts homemade compost
- 1 parts perlite
That’s it and it’s ready to use. Composting will teach you some very valuable skills and give you some serious knowledge that will be the future of all cannabis growing I would imagine. Hydroponics growers are becoming dinosaurs these days because of the night and day differences in quality. Seriously amigos, night and day different. Until next time folx, REvski out—wink.
I'm The Rev, and I have been with SKUNK for about a decade now. I hail from Southern California, spent mucho time in Northern California, and now reside in Southern Oregon; always coastal. I am an all natural style cannabis grower and I have written a couple books on the subject - check out True Living Organics 2nd Edition on Amazon - I have been growing for over 45 years, and I have been breeding cannabis for over 30 years. Check out kingdomorganicseeds.com to see some exotic selections. Growing connoisseur cannabis is what I teach mostly, growing it in living soil without using liquid organic nutrients to feed the plant. I am also a highly skilled synthetics grower, hydroponics, aeroponics, DWC/SWC/NFT, Ebb and Flow, and soilless, but I cringe when smoking synthetic grown herbs, so for the last 15 years or so I preach the artisan style of all natural growing, specializing in container growing. Cheers and welcome aboard.