Cannabis, like every other plant, requires the presence of sufficient nutrients, either macro or micro, to grow optimally and healthily. Apart from the natural nutrients contained in the soil, external sources of nutrient supply have been proven helpful in plant sustenance and health.
Hence, it becomes imperative for a farmer to purchase extra nutrients or supplements that facilitate plant processes and boost harvests. One of the primary nutrient sources is fertilizers. Their usage isn’t restricted to the cultivation of cannabis; they are used to cultivate all kinds of crops. We shall explore a particular type of fertilizer.
Why is the bat guano fertilizer so good for cannabis?
Bat guanos are the harvested and treated excrements of bats used as fertilizers in cultivating plants and, by extension, cannabis plants. The fame associated with using bat guanos in the cannabis industry stems from their richness in Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.
Perhaps you might wonder why there is so much hype surrounding these three compounds. These compounds are nutrients that are pivotal to the healthy development of cannabis plants.
The connection between Bat guanos and cannabis plant growth phases
Their suitability and relevance in maximizing the two major phases of cannabis plants have fueled the rave about them. Bat guanos can be used in the vegetative and budding stages of a cannabis plant’s life cycle, depending on the type purchased. This implies that some brands offer bat guanos that are vegetative phase friendly while some offer flowering phase compatible ones.
For the former, the NPK ratio is usually between 8-1-1 and 7-3-1. The latter boasts of only a 10-12% phosphorus dominance. According to Herbies, guanos like this are produced by fruit-eating bats. It is important to note that phosphorus is indispensable in the flowering stage because it triggers the emergence of bigger buds and healthy flowers.
Major forms in which they appear
Usually, Bat guano comes packaged in the form of pellets or powder. Then it is up to the grower to choose their preferred method of application. Often growers who purchase powdery guanos dissolve them in chlorine-free water before it is infused into the soil, either before planting or during growth.
Growers have admitted that they prefer this method because it allows the plant roots to seep the nutrients deeply. Another way they use powdery guanos is to incorporate them into aerated compost extracts before application to the soil.
Benefits of Bat guanos in cannabis cultivation
The fact that several wars were fought to claim territories with a high abundance of this organic substance indicates its numerous benefits, which shall be examined in this section. The following are the perks of using the long-lasting bat guano for cannabis cultivation
1. Provision of essential nutrients
Bat guano is noted for possessing macro elements that a plant cannot do without. The three major constituents of this organic fertilizer are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen is the chemical compound that makes plants greener and healthier by facilitating vital plant processes like photosynthesis.
Thus a fair deal of this compound is needed during the vegetative phase of cannabis plants since they grow their leaves in this period. Also, nitrogen is responsible for maintaining the genetic integrity of a plant since it constitutes a significant part of nucleic acids.
On the other hand, phosphorus is beneficial in producing robust and healthy buds, which is the delight of every grower. They are also famous for improving plants’ terpene profile, which is a factor that most users consider before purchasing cannabis.
According to Herbies, plants with a sufficient amount of potassium have a higher resistance to pests and diseases, which may reduce the quality of your yields. Potassium also aids the seamless flow of liquid materials throughout the plant.
2. Improvement of soil texture and pH adjustment
Who could ever believe that the poop of bats could solve the deficiencies associated with your soil texture? Yes, you heard right. Bat dung has been proven effective in loosening dense soil. And the potency of this activity is usually manifested by soil that water easily permeates since its pores are not clogged by water. Also, this process enables the smooth diffusion of oxygen, which is essential to a plant’s life as a lack of it triggers withering or plant death at worst.
Furthermore, bat guano is effective in creating an optimal soil pH that increases the rate of nutrient absorption. Hence plants are not nutritionally deficient as a result of starvation.
3. Presence of helpful microbes
Another advantage of using bat guano is its multiple microbial benefits. And these benefits may manifest themselves in several forms. One major perk of the presence of microorganisms in bat dung is that it rids the soil of pollutants and contaminants which may infiltrate the plant. And this becomes very toxic to the human body when ingested.
Also, it increases the rate of saprophytic activities in plants. Therefore, plants have more nutrients broken down by fungi to feed on.
Although using bat guano in the cultivation of cannabis plants has several benefits, growers are advised to use them moderately. This is because using more than is necessary can cause nutrient burn, which alters the appearance of cannabis plants and affect the quality of their yields.
Also, in handling bat droppings, growers are advised to take precautionary measures like using masks and gloves. Refusing to use protection may cause histoplasmosis, a severe condition affecting the respiratory tract when an individual inhales fungal spores found in bat droppings.