Guano: A Superfood For Cannabis
Believe it or not there is a direct link between bats and big buds. Those adorable big-eared nocturnal mammals with creepy veiny membranous wings and a face like a screwed up piece of paper are responsible for producing one of the best organic cannabis superfoods known to the contemporary grower.
WHAT IS GUANO
Bats are extremely social animals and form large colonies that share the same cave for generation after generation. Over the centuries hillocks of excrement build up on the floor of the cave and composts. The resulting material is guano, called by the ancient Sth American Quechuans "Wanu", a plant superfood that is high in nitrogen, Phosphorus and Pottasium. Nitrogen provides rapid green growth. Phosphorus promotes healthy root growth and supports flowering. Potassium encourages strong stalks and branching. It is also buff with micronutrients that help the plant grow healthily. Depending on the diet of the species of bat the resulting guano will have a slightly different nutrient profile. Bats with an insect diet have a higher nitrogen content. Bats with a fruit diet have a higher phosphorus content. Mixed in with your growing medium at the beginning or sprinkled around your plants as they grow or watered in as a tea, you will be very pleased at the results when using Guano on your cannabis plants. Not only does it provide for lush and sturdy growth it has the effect of sweetening or "mangoing" both the bouquet of your bud and the flavour when dried.
WHY IS GUANO GOOD FOR CANNABIS?
With the increasing demand for completely organic cannabis flowers, indoors or outdoors guano is receiving accolades from growers because it:
- Helps improve soil texture. If the soil is too loose, guano will help bind it increasing water retention. If the soil is too dense, guano will loosen the texture to let water penetrate easier.
- Is a bioremediator. It can help flush out toxic elements from the soil while microbially protecting the roots and still feeding the affected plant.
- Encourages healthy decomposition of exhausted material. Adding guano to your compost helps speed the composting process and improves the overall texture.
- Is a slow release fertilizer which means it can provide nutrients for most of the life of your plant.
- Is a ph adjuster, buffering the roots from ph swings in your water.
- Controls nematodes and is a natural fungicide from chitin.
- Keeps soil friable as a soil conditioner and adds beneficial enzymes and microflora.
- Sprinkled around the base of your plants with other beneficial additives like worm castings and then watered in creates thriving root colonies of microbials.
- Applying a dilute spray to your plants can help provide fungal protection.
GUANO HAS A RICH HISTORY
Guano is particularly interesting historically as one of the most prized fertilizers in the world. Guano was a revered fertilizer by the Incas and older South American cultures well before the arrival of Columbus. It was so important that Incan rulers divided the guano bearing islands amongst the provinces and strictly regulated how much could be mined and when.
Between 1806 and 1841 guano was a horticultural curiosity in Europe and America causing astonishment at the results and fear that such huge and healthy plant growth might deplete the soil irreparably. Soon enough though it was in great demand all over the world. Britain imported nearly 2 million tonnes and the US Congress made it a matter of US agricultural necessity with the president of the time, Fillmore, saying "guano has become so desirable an article to agricultural interests in the US that it is the duty of the Government to employ all means properly in its power for the purpose of causing this article to be imported into the country at a reasonable price."
Many a massive fortune has been made over the centuries from guano mines. Between 1840 and 1880 Peru exported 20 million tonnes of guano for a 2 billion dollar profit. It helped establish corporate giants like WR Grace & Co and caused a mania similar to the California gold rush. It was the best organic fertilizer available for centuries; other phosphate sources just did not compare. During this fervent period, there was such a desire for this amazing fertilizer that a war was fought between Spain and Peru with Chile to force guaranteed access to guano reserves.
Written by: Guest Writer
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