GREETINGS on a cold morning here along Oregon’s south coast, in the USA. I’m The Rev here today to babble about a fairly simple style, and you can use it with no-till, TLO, or just using bagged soil-mixes. The only things required you do are, get a little worm farm that also collects the “worm juice” at the bottom, have a freshwater fish tank, or pond, full of healthy fish, and start eating more real food—if you don’t already. You will need a TDS meter as well, and these are inexpensive. I keep my worm farm in my shed, the farms can’t take a hard freeze or direct sunshine; in high temps they just need more food, and moisture levels need monitored. The “worm juice” is actually the big magic here, and it is a complete food for your plants; it just needs dilution consistency. I call this the Bohemian Style, and it is totally self-sustaining using TLO (True Living Organics) dynamics, and likely all the way from commercial bagged soil, to no-till style as well.
Your personal ratios with my Bohemian All-Natural style elements will vary depending upon the strength of your soil mix, size of your plants, container size/type, and growing environment. I will show you my ratios and run down my environment. My temps go 60 degrees f. at night to 86 degrees f. daytime under 400-watt bulbs, indoors in grow tents, they finish about 2.5 – 3 feet in height in 2-gallon self-watering containers. My soil mix is very powerful, but this also works great with commercial bagged soil in larger containers (in this example 4-gallon containers would be my recommendation) you just have to up the ratios of things (worm juice and fish tank water); while resisting taking those ratios too high … ya follow? It’s an art, have no doubt. The quality of my final product is as good as it gets, pure elegant cannabis in all her glory.
Worm Farm Personal Size
I bet there are a lot of ways one of these could work for you if you just did a little critical thinking about it. The combination of the castings you can make, and the worm juice you can harvest, are just incredible (and diverse) food sources of high power—you must use caution, overdosing will kill plants slow and ugly—and I have my worm farm in a shed; but you could use a tent. Hard freezes and direct sunshine are the big no-no moves here, as both result in dead worms. I run a little personal garden myself, two 10’ x 10’ rooms, and one of these worm farms is plenty to supply me. It’s just me and my honeybunny; and we eat way better since we got the worm farm, so, a huge perk, right? I’m going to tell you what I add/blend with my worm food before filling any single tray; aeration when using living soil is a huge thing, so I recommend the perlite heavily.
RECIPE À LA REV PER TRAY OF WORM FOOD:
- 4 cups perlite
- 1 tablespoon granular rock phosphate
- 1 – 2 tablespoon greensand
- 1 tablespoon Azomite granular
- ¼ cup oyster shell ground
- ¼ cup dried kelp or kelp meal
- 2 – 3 tablespoons corn meal (optional)
You don’t NEED to add any of those things to your worm food, but if I only were going to add only one thing it would be the oyster shell; it’s good for bacteria and good for worms. Collect your food scraps indoors easily in large bowl; keep it exposed to air so it doesn’t get stinky. I always have extra clones I have to kill so I recycle all those through the worm farm as well. I have an outdoor larger tote for when the collection bowl gets filled, and about 3 bowls worth is a full worm food tray for sure. Sometimes I have a ton of cannabis matter (trimmed plants, culled clones, etc.) so just one bowl will work with all the recycling plant matter I have on hand added. In that highly active microbial environment many of the mineral addition in the list will become much more plant available; it’s a fantastic move, adding these additions to your worm food; the corn meal is just because the worms LOVE it and it makes them fat and happy.
By adding perlite, you are able to bend Mother Nature’s rules in your favor by having literally supernaturally high levels of microbes in your living castings and soil; much like adding air to an air/fuel mixture, the more air the more power. Perlite is an awesome tool.
I grow everything from 7.5-week varieties all the way up to 18-week varieties, like my beloved Thai shown in the photo. I use about 30-40% earthworm castings in my soil mix. Once I have the castings and the soil ratios put together I add about 25-30% perlite, in other words my final mix is approximately:
- 4 parts soil or soil mix
- 3 parts castings
- 2 parts (small nugget size) perlite
Worm Juice (Leachate)
I use a dilution of this leachate juice throughout all my plants’ lives. I don’t really do “teas” anymore because I just don’t need them and they are overkill. The bottom spout of a stacked worm farm like mine will drain out quite a bit of this worm juice when it’s warmer (ALWAYS LEAVE THIS SPOUT IN THE OPEN POSITION FOR AIRFLOW THROUGH THE FARM). This is HIGHLY CONCENTRATED stuff here dudes and dudettes, use extreme caution when feeding this to your plants’ soil. This stuff is off the charts as far as PPM (parts per million) values go.
I collect and freeze this magical elixir in 2-ounce cubes. I use one 2-ounce frozen cube per gallon of bubbling water, I add a little dolomite lime (1 teaspoon, granular, fast acting) and whenever I water my plants I use 4 ounces of this bubbling brew per gallon of water. My bubbling worm juice solution ends up between 275 – 300 PPM and this makes my plant water about 30 – 50 PPM. Whenever I put plants into flowering I always make one of these bubbling worm juice brews until it’s gone using it every time I water them. Also, super helpful when keeping larger (vegging) mother clones in smaller containers longer between transplants. You would use it more often, even slightly higher doses if you were using no-till style containers due to the ‘Law of Return’, or bagged soil.
I use this in very small amounts (always) throughout vegetation and I think of it way more like a bio-catalyst than actual food. Make no mistake, fish tank or pond water with fish living in it is full of food, especially nitrogen, so keep that in mind if you want to tinker later down the line. My fish tank water is about 250 PPM. I add about 2 ounces per gallon to all my water I always use on my plants up until 3 weeks into flowering. At that point, the highly available nitrogen in the fish tank water will be detrimental to the flowering process. This brings my plant water to about 20 PPM, and if I am also using the worm juice my ratios add another 20 PPM so my plant water runs about 40 PPM.
Let’s Review with Rev
I have a 55-gallon tank with no medicines or chemicals added. I just have it full of guppies, they are easy to care for, they reproduce like rabbits, and the water from their tank is awesome stuff, full of life and nutrients ready to rock and roll. You could have a much smaller tank because the ratios are so low, but if you used it at higher ratios or on larger gardens you would want more fish water, up to using pond water as long as it’s healthy and full of fish, it’s all good.
Let me caution you the most here against overdosing with these things, plants will look great right when you start them on too much, but soon they will suffer from build ups of salts/minerals around the rootzones (rhizosphere); causing problems with nutrient absorption due to pH effects of those collected minerals/salts. I can’t give you the exact recipe here for you, due to all the variables in growing dynamics, however, I can tell you that using these basic raw additions you can design your own formulas to rock some serious healthy, happy, large and stinky, potent growth! The possibilities are many, and growing plants using these kinds of food sources will reveal to you the true art of cannabis growing. Cheers, my esteemed homeskillets!