Guano has a long history as a high-performance organic fertiliser. When you see the benefits of guano on cannabis plants, you will immediately comprehend why wars have been fought and fortunes have been made and lost because of guano.
Bats are very social creatures. These adorable little mammals form large colonies that share the same cave for generation after generation. Over the centuries, dunes of excrement build up on the floor of the roost cave, becoming compost. What results is guano, called “wanu” by the ancient South American Quechuans.
Guano is a plant superfood that is rich in the three essential plant nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen ensures vigorous and verdant growth during the vegetative cycle. Phosphorus supports healthy flowering and root growth. Potassium ensures sturdy trunks and branches. Guano also contains a complete range of micronutrients for overall healthy plant development.
With the increasing demand for completely organic cannabis flowers, indoors or outdoors guano is receiving accolades from growers because it:
– Helps improve soil texture. If the soil is too loose, guano will help bind it increasing water retention. If the soil is too dense, guano will loosen the texture to let water penetrate easier.
– Is a bioremediator. It can help flush out toxic elements from the soil while microbially protecting the roots and still feeding the affected plant.
– Encourages healthy decomposition of exhausted material. Adding guano to your compost helps speed the composting process and improves the overall texture.
– Is a slow release fertilizer which means it can provide nutrients for most of the life of your plant.
– Is a ph adjuster, buffering the roots from ph swings in your water.
– Controls nematodes and is a natural fungicide from chitin.
– Keeps soil friable as a soil conditioner and adds beneficial enzymes and microflora.
– Sprinkled around the base of your plants with other beneficial additives like worm castings and then watered in creates thriving root colonies of microbials.
– Applying a dilute spray to your plants can help provide fungal protection.
GUANO HAS A RICH HISTORY
Guano is particularly interesting historically as one of the most prized fertilizers in the world. Guano was a revered fertilizer by the Incas and older South American cultures well before the arrival of Columbus. It was so important that Incan rulers divided the guano bearing islands amongst the provinces and strictly regulated how much could be mined and when.
Between 1806 and 1841 guano was a horticultural curiosity in Europe and America causing astonishment at the results and fear that such huge and healthy plant growth might deplete the soil irreparably. Soon enough though it was in great demand all over the world. Britain imported nearly 2 million tonnes and the US Congress made it a matter of US agricultural necessity with the president of the time, Fillmore, saying “guano has become so desirable an article to agricultural interests in the US that it is the duty of the Government to employ all means properly in its power for the purpose of causing this article to be imported into the country at a reasonable price.”
Many a massive fortune has been made over the centuries from guano mines. Between 1840 and 1880 Peru exported 20 million tonnes of guano for a 2 billion dollar profit. It helped establish corporate giants like WR Grace & Co and caused a mania similar to the California gold rush. It was the best organic fertilizer available for centuries; other phosphate sources just did not compare. During this fervent period, there was such a desire for this amazing fertilizer that a war was fought between Spain and Peru with Chile to force guaranteed access to guano reserves.
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