12/5/10

More on Molasses - Molasses II

In my last post about molasses  (Be sure to read the comments too) I recommended you can add molasses a table spoon per gallon at any stage of the growth cycle so long as you don't get harmful bacterial or fungus.  There are a few products that contain sugar or molasses (see p.s. below) but if you want to buy straight up molasses’ look at the label before you use it and compare the nutritional information and nutrition facts – Here is the information on some molasses I have: Serving Size: 1Tbsp. (21g). Servings per Container: About 24. You can make 24 gallons with this one jar. Sodium - 65mg. The lower the sodium the better this is not good for plants so compare before you buy! All of the following are beneficial to plants and more is better when comparing brands of molasses -- Potassium - 800 mg. Total Carbohydrates - 13g, Sugars - 12g, Protein - 1g, Calcium - 2%; Iron 10%; Magnesium 15%; This brand does not have sulfur, but I recommend you do use molasses with sulfur (see comments about sulfur in previous post) A good grower will see this in not a bad fertilizer, which is not surprising being made of plants it has the molecular pieces that plant cells need for their metabolic reactions. Molasses like compost  supplies mineral nutrients essential for beneficial microorganisms to survive and thrive and molasses has lots more sugars which are an energy source for beneficials. A secret to successful organic gardening is feeding plant materials to microorganism populations in the soil/medium. There is a real benefit to soil microorganisms from organic amendments like molasses, kelp, or other plant based products since they are quickly and easily available as food to soil microorganism and/or plants. If molasses does improve growth or flowering and many say it does, then it may prove the old adage true - “Feed the soil not the plant.”

By the way, if you do see improvement with molasses you may want to grow with increased organic matter, it would be best to mix things, like coir and/or compost with soil, to create a heterogeneous environment with lots of food for the microbes. Also, pH is a crucial factor, Coir has a lower pH than soil so mixing it could improve or harm growth depending on what plant and environment you grow in. If you are going to try to grow or improve growth with organic gardening, a pH meter is a good investment.

I will have future posts about beneficial bacteria, please E-mail any comments or questions about this or other topics to me at askthedoctor@htgsupply.com anytime.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers

P.S. Perry at HTGSupply.com reminded me that some of their products contain sugars like, Sweet Leaf, Sugar Daddy and Carbo Load. In fact, Sweet Leaf and Sugar Daddy have molasses in them.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on Molasses in hydro setups? I use DWC and I was wondering if I would be more prone to harmful microorganisms while using molasses?

Dr. E.R. Myers said...

I am about to post an experiment where we used soil and molasses and we got a lot of mold. I think if you use molasses with well developed plants (big) you should not have a problem... We used molasses with seedlings. However, adding sugar (food source) will benefit any and all microbes so keep an eye on your set up the first few times you use molasses.