HELLO ONCE AGAIN SKUNKERS. We’re going to take a deep dive today into some dynamics that will help you leverage the wonderous powers of Mother Nature when growing cannabis in containers. Micro-dosing is a thing I have been using now for over a year, first on a few test plants and these days I always use it on all my plants; I’ll share that with you. I don’t really use living teas these days, per say, but unconventionally I apply those same principles. Consistency is really self-explanatory, don’t be trying new shit on your plants every week. Just good water, and your soil life will reward you mightily. Today I’ll show you how to customize your water so it allows micro-dosing of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg). Which, by the way is how nature has chosen to do it for millions of years.
A Few Words Regarding Consistency
Plants operate in a literal alternate dimension when it comes to time. It takes them time to adapt to environmental conditions. In order for them to do this the best they can do it, they need some time exposed to that (consistent) environment. Rule of thumb speaking, it takes a plant about 10-15 days to get used to something new. So, keep your fundamentals consistent, like as far as water goes (PPM value and content). There is truly never any need to liquid fertilize your plants in any kind of “normal” dose—and in fact, this is counterproductive to your soil life’s equilibrium. It should always come in slow and steady, just how the plants love it and use it best; not to mention the quality of the final product is out of this world elegant, deadly, and awesome. All-righty then, let’s dive deep TLO Druids…
Micro-Dosing – AKA: Nature’s Way
Micro-Dosing: This is how things work for plants symbiotically functioning with the other soil life, and it always has been. Slow and steady. Pouring on any liquid fertilizer ever is fairly alien to me at this point, I don’t even use actual living teas in the conventional way these days. Just good, consistent water, like druid designer water LoL. This is going to get kind of deep, and I must point out here that your sources for your soil additions should also play a part in any additional amending, like top dressing, or living teas. The equilibrium of your whole microlife universe in your containers can easily process things they are already familiar (adapted) with, you savvy? E.g. kelp meal in your soil mix, kelp meal in your teas and topdressings.
Think tiny, like micro-tiny. First of all, two elements cannabis loves a lot of, Ca and Mg, is easily added to your water PPM by simply bubbling some dolomite lime like you would make a tea. Like 1/8th of a teaspoon of lime per 2 gallons of water for 24 hours will end up about 60 PPM higher with totally dissolved amounts of the Ca and Mg; always do this, don’t ever stop. Consistent tiny influx of Ca and Mg will make your plants very happy and very green and they will learn to count on it, adapting to that source, then even more good shit happens. In nature, groundwater would be their source here for Ca and Mg totally dissolved, in containers, it’s designer druid water—wink. On the flip-side, if you are using carbon filtered tap or well water then you most likely have that Ca and Mg micro-dosing already covered.
When I first started experimenting with micro-dosing I used liquid fish fertilizer (5-1-1 Alaska brand) and some soluble kelp/seaweed. I used it on a few vegging plants with excellent results. What I did was use about 3 drops of fish fertilizer and about 4 or 5 granules of soluble kelp, every watering, per gallon of water. They loved it and their growth rates surpassed my other vegging plants. I then switched it up a bit and used 1/8th teaspoon of dried fish along with the granules of soluble kelp, and even better results. My dried fish is awesome because when I mix a little with water it stays suspended really well and doesn’t sink or float once mixed/stirred.
Going into this in concept may seem complex but trust me man, once you get your micro-dosing dialed in it becomes too easy and hassle free.
Then I took it to another level, since I have a worm farm at home, a small stackable type, and these worm farms drain out a super nutrient rich “juice” called “Worm Leachate” that is uber high in PPM with massive minerals and food for your plants; way-way too strong to use at anywhere near full strength, holy hell no! But in super small micro-doses it works insanely well. I add 1 mini-cube of frozen worm juice to every gallon of water my plants get, always—except about 8-10 days before harvest when I just give them 20 PPM water to finish them out.
You don’t have to have a worm farm to use this awesome methodology. You could make a really strong steer manure tea for example, and then freeze it into little cubes for micro-dosing. I also micro-dose with about 1 oz of (right out of the tank) freshwater-aquarium water, per gallon of water I use on my plants always. So, what I am trying to say here in the broader sense is that there are a million ways to do this, and all you have to do is watch your PPM on the water you give to your plants, and be consistent. More powerful soils do well down around 30-60 PPM with weaker soils like commercial bagged soils, up higher around 60-90 PPM.
Keep things small, way smaller than you think, and your happy gardens can go south fast by using too much of anything. Dial in your additions of whatever you use in micro-dosing, start out at the low end, if you decide a little more will work even better, make sure you up anything in TINY steps. The results are nothing short of amazing. As an example, below I will lay out the constituents of my designer druid water…
REV’S DESIGNER DRUID WATER
These ratios are per gallon of reverse osmosis (R/O) filtered water that is about 5 PPM, and I add back enough of the R/O filter’s “wastewater” to bring it up to about 20 PPM. I filter tap/city water and my R/O filter has two activated carbon filters as well, so even the “wastewater” has the chlorine/chloramine removed. I bubble some dolomite lime for 24 hours then add enough of this “mineral water” to bring my PPM up to about 30 PPM. This is my base water, and to every gallon of this water I add:
- 1 tiny cube of worm juice (adds about 8-10 PPM)
- 1 oz of fish tank water (adds about 10 PPM)
I mix this all together about an hour before using it to allow the water to begin to colonize with microlife and within 30 minutes of watering my plants always look very happy about it.
Afterword with Rev
I have mentioned above how I don’t use teas conventionally, and the way I apply the whole tea-dynamic is by using the plant container’s catch trays. I always add a little steer manure and a little kelp meal directly to the catch trays, like for a 3-gallon pot, start out with about 1 teaspoon of kelp meal (not soluble kelp) and one teaspoon of steer manure. This way when the plants are watered and some runoff goes into the tray, it will slowly (as the plant sucks back up the runoff) keep making those additions available for weeks, like a super slow tea stretched out over weeks—it works bomber! It doesn’t have to be steer manure, again, use what you can get, chicken guano and alfalfa, or earthworm castings, or whatever.
What I really wanted to do here with this article is kick your melons into a new gear, a new way of approaching “feeding” your plants and it really doesn’t get more all natural than this for containers. Even when top dressing, use the same mindset, use smaller amounts over a longer time; rather than a tablespoon of something, use a teaspoon per week for 3 weeks. Plants LOVE this kind of thinking and once you start messing around thinking along these lines a whole new awesome world of growing will emerge. Okay then, that’s it for today and I’ll catch ya all back here in a couple weeks for the next article. Cheers.