Howdy one and all; I’m The Rev and I been around the cannabis growing and smoking genre for just shy of a half century now—yikes—and so I have seen and done a lot of things in those years. In my “Letters” to Rev series, I like to tackle some of the more interesting questions I get emailed and texted, and then answer them. I have heard from many of you how much you dig this series, thanks for sharing with me, my very green amigos 😊
Seems to me from a lot of the things I am hearing from many of you lately, much of it revolves around the usage and understanding of dry nutrients—specifically all-natural dry nutrients. These days I tend to go with organic nutrients that are made by nature and not combined by man (nutrient companies). In today’s article let’s babble about some options and applications; and away we go…
ALL PURPOSE DRY GRANULAR FERTILIZERS
FROM: M. Smith, AZ, USA
“Rev please help! They no longer make that granular all-purpose dry fertilizer you use and recommend in your book, Organicare brand I believe. I have tried to find another granular all-purpose fertilizer to replace it with, and so far I have messed up twice and bought stuff I found out had synthetics in them. Shit! I know some of the things to look for like EDTA and whatnot, but can you help me out here, they don’t make it easy. Isn’t there some kind of basic way to do this, like should I only get OMRI stuff, or what? Thanks Rev.”
Fear not my friend, I get it, bigtime. OMRI is a good thing and can be reliably used here, but many dry nutrients that are still totally organic/all-natural don’t fly the OMRI flag. Things like coco coir can be OMRI rated and still have way too much salt(s) present to work well as a soil amendment. Still, it’s a good guideline to use the OMRI label. When I read your email, one of the first things that came to mind was the old ‘Marine Cuisine’ dry all-purpose fertilizer by Fox Farm—it LOOKS and SOUNDS like it would be all-natural/organic, but it is not. A lot of that kind of thing out there.
What you are looking for here is the 100% part of the label. It needs to say 100% organic or all-natural. Things that say like: “Made with organic nutrients.” Or, “organic nutrients added.” These are not acceptable and likely these will include synthetic nutrients. These days I go with nature sources for my all-natural dry fertilizer, and I use dehydrated and granulated chicken guano—by Espoma brand—and this stuff is pretty smelly, like most really good all-natural nutrients are. Another great option here that is less smelly is the granular bat guano by Down to Earth brand. I think it’s 9-6-2 NPK wise, so adding a little kelp meal along with it will round out the NPK more evenly.
LIQUID FISH vs. DRY FISH
FROM: Paige Lundeen, Oceanside, CA, USA
“Love the TLO Rev, I have never smoked better bud, thank you. I read in one of your articles awhile ago where you said you mostly use dried fish now rather than liquid fish fertilizer. Do you use fish meal or what exactly? You never use your old favorite 5-1-1 liquid fish fertilizer by Alaska brand anymore? Thanks in advance, I have had some problems using other liquid fish products and want to switch over to dry fish.”
Hi Paige. In the photo you can see my favorite dry fish fertilizer. The ingredients are fish, just fish, dried and pulverized, and nothing else. Great in teas, for top dressing, and spikes. Fish meal works great too; in fact, my favorite type of bone meal is even fishbone meal. Anyone who has used fish (actual fish or fish pieces) in the ground in a garden knows how well fish works.
I do still have some of the Alaska brand 5-1-1 liquid fish, but truth be told I rarely (if ever) use it these days. I’m pretty much totally off of any liquid nutrients when growing all-naturally. The problem with many liquid fish fertilizers is that the phosphorous (P) number is high in the NPK numbers, and this is almost always due to the levels of phosphoric acid, as a preservative and it also works as a chelation agent. This level of available phosphorous is not natural at all, it will dive the pH and piss off (and kill) a fair amount of your bacterial populations; causing chaos.
KELP MEAL and KELP EXTRACT
FROM: Blarthy, Florence, OR, USA
“Rev, I was making a batch of soil to ‘cook’ like in your book, and I had a friend helping who didn’t know much about organic growing. He screwed up and used kelp extract in place of kelp meal in your soil building recipe. Am I totally boned? What should I do?
Yikes! The short answer is yes, you are boned, I’m sorry to say. There’s no using that soil now amigo, there will be toxic salt levels (like potassium) present from using that very concentrated form of kelp/seaweed. I would just use that soil and spread it out lightly around some trees or in your veggie garden as a topsoil with a kick. Kelp extract is insanely concentrated and has huge PPM value when dissolved in water.
You can easily find the dehydrated chicken guano by Espoma, and the dried fish by Seagate, on Amazon.com. The kelp/seaweed extract I use can be found at Humes.com
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.