1 teaspoon molasses
5 or 6 large cloves garlic
1 teaspoon fish emulsion
1 gallon water
*Liquefy garlic in blender; strain out solids – should yield about one teaspoon juice
*Add molasses, garlic juice, fish emulsion to gallon of water
*Mix well and spray plants as needed; do not store solution for later use
Some growers use molasses on their just-water days, or only during flushing periods, as combining new additives to scheduled, measured commercial nutes may cause unexpected pH fluctuations or other problems. Many veteran Cannabis growers insist that flushing should be done with water only – even if your flushing products are ‘organic’ – to preserve the inherent flavor of each strain and ensure that it dries, cures and smokes properly. However, molasses is a safe additive for the flushing phase and may actually assist the soil in this capacity.
Animal-grade molasses can be used on large farms [Credit: © Tractorboy60]
This solution is most commonly fed to Cannabis plants in the final stages of flowering, although many gardeners employ a blackstrap solution from early in the vegetation stage, all the way through to harvesting. Before the plants enter the ground, watering the helpful carbs and micro-nutrients into your chosen plot is a good way to condition the soil and prepare it for nurturing your babies. When growing outdoors, note that molasses is an old hunter’s stand-by that is used to attract – not repel – deer. Rodents, bear, moose or wild hogs may also be enticed, depending upon the wild animal population in your area.
Diluting your solution to half-strength or less is a good way to approach foliar spraying; this allows some supplement through to the plants, while maintaining caution and helping to prevent overdosing. One teaspoon of molasses dissolved into a gallon of water, sprayed onto the underside of the leaves will gently nourish the plants, while protecting against pathogens and other pests. (Only spray cooled-off plants and let them dry before turning the lights back on.) You can experiment with dosages, as certain strains are less sensitive than others; however, it is not a good idea to spray heavily-flowering plants, as this can lead to mold, mildew and other issues.
Some gardeners prefer to make compost, while others mix their own fertilizers or brew ‘tea’ that contains nutritious, organic products such as seaweed, worm castings or kelp; molasses provides the perfect carb boost to the blend. This allows the gardener more control over nutrient ratios and an ability to limit preservatives and other unwanted substances.
Molasses is not applied to Cannabis gardens as a nutrient, but rather as a supplement that provides vital micro-nutrients, enabling microbial life in your soil to flourish and thrive. Either on its own, or applied in conjunction with other supplements and nutrient solutions, molasses is one of the most prevalent gardening additives – whether destined for small pot gardens or major commercial crops. Advantages of using molasses over high-fructose corn syrup or other forms of sugar include the presence of trace minerals, as well as its chelating and pest-controlling properties.
Foliar feeding – finely misting the leaves of plants – has several advantages. Firstly, feeding and pest control can be handled simultaneously. Also, dosage is usually lower, extending longevity and cost-efficiency of supplements. Finally, plants grown in high-humidity or poorly-draining areas can still be nourished and protected without unnecessarily saturating the soil.
How To Supplement A Marijuana Garden with Molasses, Dosages and Methods: Watering in as Soil Amendment, Foliar Sprays, Compost Teas
Your final flush should occur before harvest. This will force the plant to use the nutrients stored within itself in the final week or so. If its nutrient reserves are not used by the plant or broken down, they will affect the quality of your harvest’s smoke and flavor.
Different growing mediums require different flushing time frames before harvest:
Once again, flushing cannabis simply involves running pure water though the soil or medium. When trying to stop a nutrient lockout or when switching nutrients, perform a flush by excessively watering your plants with water that has a pH level between 5.5-6.5 (for hydroponics) or 6.0-6.8 (for soil). Fully saturate your pots, and repeat 15 minutes later. The flush should clear any blockage and make room for your new feeding schedule.
To be certain a flush was successful, you can use a TDS (total dissolved solids) reader to determine how pure the water runoff is. You want the TDS reading of the water draining out of the pot to be close to the TDS reading of the pure water you are flushing with. This reading will ensure that the nutrients have been washed out of the soil.
By paying attention to the trichomes on your plants, you’ll be able to tell when your plants are ready for a flush. If flushing two weeks prior to harvest, you should begin when you start seeing the first trichomes turn milky.
The only time flushing is not encouraged is when you are growing in amended organic soil. This is because your soil already holds all the nutrients the plants need to thrive. By flooding the soil, you can wash away and damage the complex ecosystem that you’ve worked so hard to develop in the soil itself. Furthermore, these plants almost always receive pure water during waterings. The nutrient uptake by plants in this environment is natural, diverse, and easy for the plant to process.
Trevor is a freelance writer and photographer. He has spent years in California working in the cannabis industry.
- Soil: 2 weeks
- Rockwool and coco: 1 week
- Hydroponics: 1 week or less
Overfeeding cannabis, improper pH levels, and other stresses on your plants can result in a nutrient lockout. Whether it’s salt buildup from nutrients or pH levels that prevent absorption, a nutrient lockout results in a buildup of nutrients in the soil while the plant cannot access them.
Flushing is when you stop feeding your cannabis plants nutrients and give them water. The process is generally as easy at it sounds, but it's crucial to know precisely when and how often to flush.