One great way to improve the fertility of your soil, and dramatically improve the final aroma and flavor of your Cannabis flowers is to use bat guano. Provided for free by bats across the world, once mined and cleaned up, guano has many benefits when used in the garden so below we explain all about guano, how versatile it is and all the advantages associated.
By Stoney Tark
What Is Guano?
Simply put, guano is the name of bat poop. Typically found in abundance in the depths of bat caves in Mexico, Spain, Thailand, Indonesia, Jamaica, Peru, India, and Asia. Seabird guano is also highly sought after and is made up from birds that have a meat only diet. Indonesian bat guano for example is derived from a population of bats that feast on fruits.
The way that fresh guano is collected from bat caves is very old school in tradition and often comprises a team of masked workers, filling buckets all day long. Even locally bat guano is a highly demanded product that allows farmers who grow the best fruits and vegetables possible.
One of the best things about using bat guano is the nutritional value it contains. Depending on where the guano has been sourced at the time it was harvested and treated, will determine the N- P-K value.
Some brands will offer a powdered product that contains a value of 8-1-1 or 7-3-1, that are most suitable for the vegetative stage, and other brands will focus on a product that is more dominant in Phosphorus such as 0-10-0 and 0-12-0. These are better suited for the flowering phase and are often applied as cold water extracts or aerated compost teas.
The Benefits Associated With Using Guano
- Using bat guano as a feed during the flowering cycle, will allow the terpenes and final flavor to become bold, and long lasting. Many growers enjoy the refined, lip coating flavors that are well linked to using guano.
- Thanks to its high Phosphorus levels, bat guano is a wonderful booster to really induce heavy flowering, thicker branches to support the weight of the developing buds, and cause an abundance of thick white pistils to develop.
- Using bat guano from seedling and throughout the growing phase can be very beneficial. Products higher in Nitrogen will be used during the vegetative growth period.
- Due to the diversity of guano sourced from around the world, it is possible to use different N-P-K values in conjunction with the growing or blooming phase, as well as combine different guanos together to produce a unique formula.
- When added to an aerated organic compost tea, the long term effects will be most beneficial when improving bacteria and fungi populations, as well as improving the soil quality and fertility for future use.
Different Applications When Using Guano
One of the great things about using bat guano is how applicable it is and easy to use. There are two forms it can be made into and one is the basic powered guano, ideal for top dressing, adding directing into cold water or aerated compost extract, and easily mixing into your own super soil recipe. Top dressing is an excellent way to rejuvenate the growing medium with primary nutrients and trace elements, the plants will rely on.
The other form is to turn the powdered guano into a liquid tea that is then hand fed. Ready to use versions are available, as well as in powder form from most brands, however taking the time to produce your own extracts has major benefits.
Cold Water Extracts Explained
Seen as an old-school method of obtaining fresh cold water extracts, and working without any electricity or pumps. Making a cold water extract is very simple and requires a source of powdered bat guano, fresh water ideally with the chlorine removed or distilled water and a cloth screen, and a stick suspending the powdered guano into the water. As the guano sits in the water, it will slowly leach the nutrients and beneficial bacteria into the water, producing a ready to apply tonic that the plants will love.
Aerated Compost Tea Explained
The more popular method of producing a nutrient-rich tea, with the added benefit of improving the soil quality for long periods of time. In order to produce an aerated tea, you will need a bucket, air stone and air pump, water source, guano and typically unsulphured black strap molasses. By doing this method, you will increase the microbiology and fungi counts dramatically allowing for a quicker uptake and conversion of nutrients.
Things To Avoid When Using Guano
- Never breathe powdered bat guano in, and wear a face mask if mixing large amounts into your custom super soil. Breathing in untreated bat guano can be extremely damaging to your health.
- Be sure to use your cold water extracts and aerated compost teas within the same day. Do not let the extracts sit for long periods of time, as this will promote bad bacteria to form.
- Keep your bat guano powder or liquid extracts out of direct sunlight and off cold floors. Store your nutrients away properly inside a dark cupboard.
Bat guano is an incredible way to organically improve the appearance, vigor, and aroma of fruits, vegetables, and Cannabis plants. A very user-friendly additive that is naturally produced across the globe and the guano mining industry creates jobs and boosts local economies. Like any other nutrient, it should be provided accordingly and used in combination with other nutrients that will cover all the nutritional basis that the Cannabis plants will require during their life cycle.
Considering all the benefits associated with guano, especially when it comes to the tastiest flowers possible, it is well worth adding Mother Nature's flowering booster into your organic garden.