Sweets for you Ladiesin Organics Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:17 am
by ozzydiodude • The Weird One | 2.467 Posts | 11510 Points
Unless your lady happens to be a Cannabis gardener - in which case a nice container of mycorrhizal inoculants, a jar of molasses and a bag of rock phosphate tied with a bow may be an ideal gift - the 'sweets' in this article are a treat for your lady Cannabis plants.
Mycorrhizal fungi are beneficial and assist in nutrient collection and uptake. Adding carbohydrates to a nutrient solution is an old Cannabis gardening trick for boosting garden performance, dating back to at least the 1960s.
Mycorrhizae (fungus-roots) are found naturally occurring in healthy, 'live' soil. They are caused by mycorrhiza fungi infecting a plant root, and the two together are what is known as 'mycorrhizae'.
Cannabis with well-established mycorrhizae tend to perform better than those that do not. The relationship between mycorrhizae and Cannabis is a symbiotic one; both organisms benefit from their association with the other. The Cannabis plant provides a carbohydrate source for the fungus, and in return, the fungus assists the plants in nutrient uptake, drought resistance, and blocking their environmental niche from pathogenic fungi. Mycorrhizae collect and process nitrogen, phosphorus and a variety of micronutrients, and pass them to the plant. Of particular use is their ability to increase phosphorus uptake, which dramatically increases in non-infected plants.
Most mycorrhiza fall in one of two camps: ecto-mycorrhizal and endo-mycorrhizal. Ectomycorrhizae forms on tree roots. For most other plants, including vegetables and Cannabis, endomycorrhizae is the fungus of choice.
Although commonly already present in healthy soil, mycorrhizae fungus levels can be increased by adding powdered spores (inoculants), available at garden and hydroponic shops. Sterile media and poor soils can be brought from a complete absence of mycorrhizae to abundance with the use of inoculants.
If using mycorrhizal inoculants, apply at the beginning of the season to establish the colonies early. Once established, the infected roots should serve as a host to allow the fungus to spread throughout the root system. Plant improvements from inoculant use are particularly pronounced when used in poor or sterile mediums.
Mycorrhizae thrive on carbohydrates, which is part of what they receive in payment from the plant in exchange for their services helping the plant thrive. One way to boost beneficial microorganisms, including mycorrhizae, is to feed them with a carbohydrate additive.
Carbohydrates (saccharides) are molecules with specific combinations of carbon and water. A subset of carbohydrates are the sugars ending in '-ose'. For example, table sugar is sucrose (C12H22O11), milk sugar is lactose (also C12H22O11 , but the atoms are arranged differently), blood sugar is glucose (C6H12O6), and so on.
Carbohydrates store energy that many life forms can use, people included. The 'sugar rush' from eating a lot of sweets is an effect from over-indulging in sugars. Keep in mind that unwelcome visitors, such as ants, may be enticed to visit if a carbohydrate banquet available, so make sure to clean up any spills promptly. The benefits to adding carbohydrates is mostly indirect; they don't help the plants directly, they feed the beneficial microorganisms that help the plants. These microorganisms use the ready energy available in carbohydrates to thrive and reproduce.
Cane syrup, maple syrup, fruit juice, and molasses can all be used as carbohydrate sources. Dilute to two teaspoons (10mL) per gallon (3.8L) of water. Cleanliness is a must, as these may attract insects and leave a sticky residue. Ants may be attracted to the residue, and if hydrated (mixed with water) and allowed to go anaerobic (stale) these may encourage the wrong sort of fungal growth. Molasses (also known as 'treacle') is a byproduct of sugar refining, and contains not only plenty of carbohydrates to add to your garden, but potassium, nitrogen and iron as well. Many micronutrients are locked in their chelated form and require a chelating agent to unlock them. Molasses acts as a chelating agent (like Humic Acid): it makes micronutrients more readily available for nutrient uptake by the plants.
Be careful when purchasing molasses, as prices vary widely. Although all three are useable for gardening purposes, molasses marketed as a plant additive tends to be very expensive; molasses intended for human consumption is moderately priced, and molasses sold as a cattle feed supplement tends to be pretty cheap. Molasses sold for cattle feed is often mixed with a grain to add structure. The addition of grain not only makes the molasses easier to work with, but adds organic material as an additional benefit. Personally, I tend to purchase molasses made for human consumption, as I don't have a large garden; I like it on my pancakes, and in Shoo Fly Pie. Apply at two teaspoons (about 10mL) per gallon of water, or the same amount as per pancake.
To complete the trio, add a good dollop of powdered rock phosphate to the mix. Not only will this provide the mycorrhiza with a supply of phosphorous to supply to the plant, but it can also provide a suitable environment for other beneficial organisms to take up residence.
Rock phosphate is available in two forms, 'soft rock', and 'hard rock'. Soft rock phosphate contains a higher amount of immediately available phosphorous, and is usually the choice for container soil enhancement. Hard rock phosphate is better suited to improve a field where plants are to be grown for several years.
Mycorrhiza help bring phosphorous and other benefits to Cannabis plants, and carbohydrates help mycorrhiza. Spring is a good time to add inoculants, with a packed carbohydrate lunch and rock phosphorous dessert, to your growing media. Regularly feeding your fungus carbohydrates throughout flowering can have the end result of giving your plants a phosphorous boost. Embrace the fungus among us: feed them, and give them phosphorous to carry.
Peace, love and puka shells,
Let's help each other, by spreading our knowledge of the plants we love
RE: Sweets for you Ladiesin Organics Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:56 am
by ozzydiodude • The Weird One | 2.467 Posts | 11510 Points
Hashish at Breedbay posted
honestly that article isn't all that good
doesn't explain the difference between hard rock phosphate and soft nor does it explains the dangers of certain SRP source containing dangerous levels of radioactive material..
also gave no insight on how to properly use and inoculate with Mycorrhizae, nor gives any real information on mineralization..
kinda does the opposite in telling you to feed with P or other "sweets" and use myco inoculants witch many studies and respected growers have suggested otherwise.
Rock Dusts: insights on remineralization and paramagnetism
Rizosphere and Symbiosis
some people may want to reframe from factory farm "fertz" like bone, blood and feather meal to grow medicine with & reach more towards slightly less contaminated sea products like fish bone, crab/shrimp/lobster meal, kelp or mineral rich rock dust and rich loam top soil
“Rock phosphate” generally refers to phosphate-bearing rocks that were deposited in oceanic sediments millions of years ago. Most of the rock phosphate production in the U.S. is from Florida (about 85% of U.S. production) and Idaho (about 15% of U.S. production). Minor amounts of rock phosphate are mined in North Carolina and Louisiana. Raw rock phosphate is not used much in agriculture because in its raw form, little of the phosphorous is available to plants for uptake, it releases its nutrients very slowly, and it is generally ineffective on crops.
However, when rock phosphate is leached with a strong acid, the phosphate that remains in the acid is concentrated in a form that is much more available to plants. The phosphoric acid that is created by this process is then treated to form products such as superphosphate, triple superphosphate, MAP, DAP, and others. This form of phosphate is commonly referred to as Water Soluble Phosphate (WSP). The vast majority of all phosphate fertilizers sold in the U.S. contain WSP. However, these products are synthetic and therefore not allowed for use in organic farming.
When a petition was made to add one of the superphosphate products commonly known as triple superphsophate to the National List of Allowed Synthetics so that it could be used in organic farming, it was recommended that the petition be denied. Some specific cited concerns with the superphosphate included:
- Heavy metals and radionuclides are present in the superphosphate and these pose potential risks to human health (citing EPA).
-Fluoride is released when the superphosphate breaks down.
-Production of the superphosphate causes major pollution.
These concerns are addressed in more detail below.
Uranium and Radioactive Nuclides
Rock phosphate typically contains a variety of potentially toxic elements. The concentrations of these elements vary from deposit to deposit.
Some rock phosphate deposits contain high concentrations of uranium, thorium and their radioactive daughters. When such rock phosphate is treated to form phosphoric acid, most of the radium-226 is collected in the waste. However, most of the uranium and thorium remain in the final fertilizer product. These elements are not currently removed from the fertilizer because it is too expensive.
Although radium-226 goes preferentially to the waste, the EPA reports that the radium-226 content of phosphate fertilizer averages 5.7 pCi/g (by statute, a radium-226 concentration greater than 5 pCi/g is the health-based-determined lower-limit threshold for toxic waste).
Reportedly, uranium, which preferentially stays in the final fertilizer, is another potential chemical and radioactive toxin commonly found in rock phosphate and WSP. One study found that the uranium contents of superphosphate fertilizers ranged from 97-196 ppm. The uranium contents of the rock phosphate fertilizers ranged from 10-189 ppm (background uranium levels in soil are reportedly 4-5 ppm). Because of these high uranium concentrations in rock phosphate-based fertilizers, one study estimated that between 1910 and 1998, about 260,000 metric tons of uranium had been applied to soils across the U.S. through the use of phosphate fertilizer products.
It is not clear what the final fate of this uranium is. Some studies suggest that it builds up in the soil. Others suggest that there is no buildup in the soil, even after many years of fertilization. Some suggest that the uranium ends up in groundwater. This is a concern because uranium is potentially harmful not only as a radioactive material, but also as a chemical compound. One study provides that it is comparable to arsenic in chemical toxicity.
Advocates of rock phosphate-derived fertilizers generally contend that there is no danger posed by the radioactivity of these fertilizers. There is growing evidence though that in at least one heavily-studied health-related area, this may not be true. Many studies now report that many, if not most, smoking-related cancers are caused by the high radioactivity of tobacco. The element of greatest concern is polonium-210 (the poison used to kill the ex-KGB agent in England in November, 2006). This element is reported to be present in rock phosphate-based fertilizer that is commonly used on tobacco. Reportedly, after the element is introduced by fertilization, tobacco takes this element out of the soil and concentrates it in the leaves. The leaves are then smoked, and the smoker is exposed to the radioactivity. Ultimately, it is reported that about 90% smoking-related cancers may be caused by such radiation.
If you decide to delve further into this issue, be aware that most regulations concerning naturally-occurring radionuclides appear to only be concerned with radium-226. Our understanding is that this radionuclide is of greatest importance because it is the only one that emits radiation that can penetrate skin. All of the others apparently are alpha emitters, and they cannot penetrate skin. However, if ingested, alpha emitters reportedly can do harm to internal organs.
Another potentially harmful material that is strongly associated with rock phosphate and fertilizers derived from rock phosphate is fluoride. Fluoride contents of fertilizer are not regulated and they are therefore not usually reported. One study reported fluoride concentrations in raw rock phosphate to range between 0.19-4.2%. Reported values from other studies generally fall within this range, with the most commonly reported value being about 3-3.5%. Fluoride contents of phosphoric-acid-based fertilizers reportedly are generally less, and may be as low as 0.1%. Reportedly, the fluoride that is captured during the production of phosphoric acid from rock phosphate cannot be released into the atmosphere or waterways because it is hazardous waste. However, the untreated raw byproduct fluoride is reportedly sold directly to municipalities to add to drinking water.
The concentration of fluorides in typical soils is reportedly between 200 and 300 ppm. Repeated application of phosphate fertilizer reportedly results in buildup of fluoride in the soil. Fluoride does not break down in the environment, and once it is in the soil, plants can uptake the fluoride and it may end up in the human food chain. Many foods reportedly contain abundant fluoride.
So what’s the problem? Fluoride is harmless, isn’t it? Well, probably not. There is great debate though over just how harmful it is. Most of this debate concerns health problems related to long-term exposure at low doses. Some suggest that this contributes to various cancers, reproductive system problems, low IQ, Alzheimer’s, increased incidence of hip fractures in the elderly, and various other maladies. Others claim there are essentially no serious long-term effects. The answer is likely somewhere in the middle.
There is little debate though as to the acute toxic effects of exposure to a high dose of fluoride - sudden death. Essentially all sources agree that death from fluoride poisoning has occurred at a dose as low as 5 mg/kg body weight and that 32 mg/kg of body weight is the certain lethal dose. Death usually occurs within hours of exposure (one study found that where a 3-year-old boy ingested a single dose of 16 mg fluoride/kg body weight, death occurred 7 hours after ingestion).
Thus, because of the reportedly high fluoride content of raw rock phosphate, some have questioned the safety of this product in homes that have small children. For instance, the Organic Consumer’s Association reported that with a rock phosphate containing 5% fluoride, ingestion of one ounce of rock phosphate, the amount recommended to fertilize a single tomato plant, could kill a small child. This is a serious statement, so we did our own literature search to see if the literature supports the statement. With a slight qualification, because 5% is, based on other sources, too high for raw rock phosphate, it appears that the statement may be substantiated by the literature. (All of the members of ABG are scientists or engineers but none of us are medical doctors. The information here, or anywhere in the website, is not a medical opinion whatsoever, it is just a review of the literature that we were able to find on the subject. You should consult a medical doctor for an opinion.)
Our analysis of the literature follows. Five percent of one ounce is 1,417 mg. Thus, with a 5 weight % fluoride concentration, an ounce of rock phosphate would contain 1,417 mg of fluoride. Further, a widely cited study reported that when rock phosphate is ingested by farm animals, 26-28% of the fluoride is retained in the body (see Fluorine in Animal Nutrition, C. Kick et al., 1935, Bulletin 588, Ohio Agriculture Experiment Station. Kick et al., 1935). And twenty six percent of 1,417 mg is 368 mg. Further, the reported certain lethal dose of fluoride is 32 mg/kg of body weight, and 368 mg / 32 mg/kg is 11.5 kg. If Kick’s results can be used for people, and we have interpreted his results correctly, then this is the body weight that would receive a certain lethal dose of 32 mg/kg fluoride from ingestion of rock phosphate containing 5% fluoride (11.5 kg is about 25 pounds). Further, most victims of fluoride poisoning are between 2-3 years of age (see www.fluoride-journal.com/97-30-2/302-89.htm). And at 2 years, about 26% of healthy girls weigh 25 pounds or less. Of course though, if 3-4% fluoride were used as a more likely concentration for rock phosphate, the potential toxicity would obviously be lowered by 20-40%. However, because death has reportedly occurred at concentrations as low as 5 mg/kg body weight (many sources consider 5 mg/kg to be the lethal dose), which is 6 times lower than the certain lethal dose used above, this difference appears to be mitigated. Thus, in our non-medical opinion, the literature appears to support that the statement by the Organic Consumer’s Association may be within the realm of possibility.
Heavy metal concentrations in rock phosphate and fertilizers derived from rock phosphate are another potential concern. Unlike fluoride, uranium, and other radioactive nuclides, some heavy metals commonly found in fertilizers have recently become regulated by a few states. Washington is the leader in this endeavor. As a public service, Washington provides a regularly-updated comprehensive report on metal concentrations found in fertilizer sampled by WSDA at http://agr.wa.gov/PestFert/Fertilize...ctDatabase.htm or http://agr.wa.gov/PestFert/Fertilize...tFertHMWeb.pdf.
Of the three states that comprehensively regulate heavy metals in fertilizer, California regulates arsenic, cadmium and lead; Oregon regulates arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and nickel; and Washington regulates arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, nickel, cobalt, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc. Washington is unique in that it does not regulate the metal content of fertilizer per se. Instead, it regulates the amount of metal that would be added to the soil by application of a fertilizer. Thus, a fertilizer that does not meet the standards may lower its suggested application rate without otherwise altering the product, and thus be within the limits. The other states regulate the metal contents in the fertilizer product itself.
It appears that cadmium is the heavy metal of greatest concern in fertilizer. In a Washington State Department of Agriculture study that considered the plant uptake of arsenic, lead, and cadmium (coincidently, the only three metals that California regulates), cadmium was found to be of the greatest concern because cadmium builds up in the soil and plants can take it up. Some plants, such as lettuce, were found to contain more cadmium in the plant when more was available in the soil. In one study area, there was a clear linear relationship between cadmium in soil and cadmium in plants. Arsenic and lead were not taken up by plants in the same way as cadmium.
Part of the problem with cadmium is that although the human body has no use for it (U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources reports that “there are no known good effects from taking in cadmium.”), it is readily taken into the body because it closely mimics calcium. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also reports that “cadmium stays in the body a very long time and can build up from many years of exposure to low levels.” Ultimately, cadmium exposure may damage the lungs, can cause kidney disease, and may irritate the digestive tract.
Limiting cadmium in your diet could probably help. Reportedly, the general population is exposed to cadmium from breathing cigarette smoke or eating cadmium contaminated foods. It is further reported that phosphate fertilizer alone is responsible for 41% of the human exposure to cadmium, and that application of phosphate fertilizer is one of the principle sources of cadmium releases to soil. Reportedly, cadmium concentrations of phosphate fertilizers range from 0.05 to 170 ppm. One study found that continuous fertilization with a high rate of triple superphosphate fertilizer for a period of 23 years resulted in a 14-fold increase in cadmium content of surface soils. Ultimately, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources reports that people “who ingest grains or vegetables grown in soils treated with municipal sludge or phosphate fertilizer all may have increased (cadmium) exposure.”
Environmental Concerns at Rock Phosphate Mines and Fertilizer Plants
The waste that is left behind at rock phosphate processing plants poses yet another environmental problem. The EPA reported that, if 5pCi/g is used as the criteria for defining potentially hazardous waste, of the 755 million metric tons of potentially hazardous waste produced annually from asbestos, copper, gold, lead, silver, uranium, and zinc mining combined, the U.S. phosphate mining sector contributes 352 million metric tons. This is 46% of the total. Also, as of 1985, all U.S. mine waste (potentially hazardous and non hazardous combined) that existed on site at the various operations within all of these mining sectors, totaled 39,584 million metric tons. U.S. phosphate mining operations alone contained 16,599 million metric tons of waste, or almost 42% of all the existing mine waste from these mining sectors.
It is reported that of the 23 phosphate mines in Idaho, all but one is a Superfund site. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality reported that groundwater beneath phosphate processing sites in the Soda Springs area "is contaminated with cadmium, selenium, vanadium, fluoride, molybdenum, tributyl phosphate, and manganese." Furthermore, "ground water studies conducted down-gradient of the phosphorous plants northwest of Pocatello have shown that levels of arsenic, lead, and cadmium in the ground water exceed the federal Drinking Water Standards. Off-site soil contaminants include radium-226, zinc, cadmium, fluoride, and total phosphorous. On-site soil contamination includes cadmium, chromium, copper, vanadium, radium-226, lead, and nickel." However, it appears that the element of greatest concern in Idaho is Selenium. It is reported that since 1996, 547 sheep have died from selenium poisoning in the vicinity of the phosphate mines. Selenium poisoning in that area may also have led to the deaths of horses and salamanders. Water foul and fish are also reportedly affected.
In Florida, the greatest environmental concern appears to be the storage of radioactive waste in areas where the radioactive elements may inadvertently migrate to the groundwater or the ocean. Radium-226 is reported to be one of the most potentially hazardous radionuclides present in rock phosphate waste. The EPA reports that “mining and current methods for processing phosphate ore for fertilizer generate large piles or “stacks” of phosphogypsum, in which naturally occurring radium is concentrated.” U.S. Fish and Wildlife reports that “radium-226 in sediments from phosphate settling basins in central Florida averaged 23.8 pCi/g.” They further add that 5 pCi/g radium-226 is the concentration which is the criterion for identifying toxic waste. It is reported that the piles of radioactive waste left behind at one phosphate fertilizer plant alone is “one of the biggest environmental threats in Florida history.”
However, some suggest there is no problem here. The Florida Institute of Phosphate Research, an affiliate of the University of South Florida, reports that “it is not known at what levels radiation becomes harmful to human health. In fact, there are some experts who believe that radiation at low levels could be beneficial. Radiation at high levels, like that emitted in Japan after atom bombs exploded, is harmful to human health. It is uncertain how much radiation becomes dangerous.” Thus, because exposure to radioactivity from rock phosphate products is possibly beneficial, and at worst, it is less harmful than atomic bombs, you should assess the risk of using them. The paper suggests that comparative risks include eating 100 charcoal broiled steaks, spending 2 days in New York City, driving 40 miles in a car, flying 2,500 miles, or canoeing for 6 minutes. Also, the article warns to be aware of reports of “toxic” materials in phosphate fertilizers because the word is used loosely and you might mistake harmless materials with dangerous sounding names as materials that are actually dangerous. The report provides that “dihydrogen monoxide, for instance, could sound dangerous if you did not know it was a chemical name for water.”
Let's help each other, by spreading our knowledge of the plants we love