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#1 bongcloud

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 02:15 PM

I've read about the use of molasses in compost piles, compost teas and as a foliar feed. I vaguely remember reading that it should be unsulfured, as the sulfur-dioxide used as a preservative will kill the beneficial bacteria that molasses is supposed to feed. Is this so? Cheers.



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#2 solid7

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 02:32 PM

Sulfur dioxide is the same element that kills people in volcanic eruptions.  It most certainly will be detrimental, if not outright fatal, to most of the aerobic bacterial strains in your tea/compost.  It's an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, in the molasses.  Neither property is what you want in the vicinity of your plants.

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There are actually much better things to use as amendments.  We often use molasses as a way to feed armies of microbes in teas - but ultimately, you want to grow them, and get them eating what they're SUPPOSED to be eating, as quickly as possible - and that's your future compost.  I question the notion of adding molasses to a compost pile.  Do you want the microbes to eat the pile, or do you want them to eat the molasses?  And if they're already in the pile, are they not eating it?  Why not just do AACT, and supplement the microbes, without sending the existing population on a junkfood binge?

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As a foliar feed, you need to be careful.  Molasses is a sticky-sweet substance that will attract both good and bad insects.  But sprayed on a plant, you risk an ant infestation. And with ants, come aphids.  Maybe other stuff, too.  Just no.  LOL


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#3 juanitos

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 02:54 PM

yes

juanitospeppers.com - seeds, plants, fresh peppers


#4 ShowMeDaSauce

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 03:48 PM

Yes unsulfured is important.

 

I look at it like

 

Good microbes eat molasses and multiply

Good nematodes eat the good microbes, fungi and bad nematodes, then they crap out nutrients the plants can use.

 

So if you want to give them a "candy bar" occasionally its not going to hurt a thing. Using it in moderation seems wise though.


Edited by ShowMeDaSauce, 13 June 2018 - 03:51 PM.


#5 solid7

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 04:38 PM

I have to differ with you on this point, for a few reasons...

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If there's organic matter present for the microbes to work on, then all you need, is to get a long, slow, process started.  You don't need to try to artificially manipulate it, by creating a "boom" in the population, in a given area.  If something is good, more of it isn't necessarily better.  That's what your compost pile is for.  It's microbe food.  We normally just inoculate it once, and we're off the races.  Maybe we hit it a couple more times, as we get fresh, thick top layers.  But the first point stands.

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There is almost always sufficient calcium and other nutrients present in compost, such that molasses isn't really needed for a supplement.  And, naturally established microbe colonies don't really need us to add to their numbers. (other than by natural reproduction)  Not only that, if we just add a food source, we're multiplying just whatever is there.  At least with an AACT, we have a chance to increase the diversity of the microbe fauna - since some are shorter lived than others, and apparently, some cannibalize others when their numbers are out of balance. (microbe nerds, back me up on that one)  Plus, with AACT, we get the benefits of instant availability of the microbe by-products, which is the biggest upshot to the whole deal.

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It should also be said, that once you've established microbe colonies, the numbers will do a very good job of regulating themselves.  It's definitely true that you can create a population explosion with a carbohydrate source.  But every boom comes with a bust.  Meaning that with every microbe population increase of an unnatural order, comes the die-off, when the temporary food source is exhausted, and the established populations revert back to the previous, naturally sustainable levels.

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I guess what I'm saying is, that pouring molasses into a compost pile is kind of a waste of time and money.


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#6 Hawaiianero

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 04:59 PM

 So basically if you got the time/money/space to make your own tea do that.

Otherwise mix a little un-sulphured molasses in warm water and go to town.



#7 solid7

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 05:18 PM

 So basically if you got the time/money/space to make your own tea do that.

Otherwise mix a little un-sulphured molasses in warm water and go to town.

 

That's not exactly right, but if it's a tactful way of saying, "do whatever you want", then I'll go along with it. :D

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Hey, man...  I was just in Kona 2 weeks before Kilauea started popping off. (I spent a lot of time exploring every part of the big Island, in a very non-touristic way)  Beautiful place you live in.  If I had known there was a forum member there, I would have tried to meet up. I have SO many questions about growing in Hawaii.  I have honestly never been to any place that looked more incredible to live and grow, than BIG ISLAND.  Perfection...  or so it seems!


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#8 Chorizo857_62J

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 07:12 PM

What ratio of molasses to water is recomended?



#9 Spicy Mushroom

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 12:11 AM

The idea of using it in a foliar feed is about on par with the scariest horror films i've seen in terms of fright factor. Who would win in a faceoff? Aphidocalypse or Freddy Krueger?



#10 Spicy Mushroom

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 12:16 AM

 I have honestly never been to any place that looked more incredible to live and grow, than BIG ISLAND.  Perfection...

 

It's my dream to move to the Big Island. Largely for the growing conditions! I'm a bit more keen on the Hilo/Puna side of the island, but Kona has some fantastic beaches. Waimea would be an awesome place to live a farmers life. I bet Pubescens would thrive in Waimea. I have been very curious about pepper growing on the Big Island as well. I'm especially interested in the perennial growing of chilis there.



#11 solid7

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 08:01 AM

 

It's my dream to move to the Big Island. Largely for the growing conditions! I'm a bit more keen on the Hilo/Puna side of the island, but Kona has some fantastic beaches. Waimea would be an awesome place to live a farmers life. I bet Pubescens would thrive in Waimea. I have been very curious about pepper growing on the Big Island as well. I'm especially interested in the perennial growing of chilis there.

 

I'm totally interested for the growing! :D

 

Honestly, I could live anywhere on that island.  When we go, we travel in a circle around the island, and spend time in every part of it.  It gets a little barren for me in Waimea, but I'd definitely live in either the highlands near Kapaau, or any of the coastal lowlands near the rift zone. (but not in the lava fields)  Hilo was beautiful.  I spent a lot of time over near Pahoa, too.  (we like to stay in a place that has buildings with no windows - asleep to the sound of frogs, awake to the sound of birds)

 

Oddly enough, rocotos were in my mind the whole time we went last time.  I just couldn't stop thinking about growing them...  :D


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#12 Hawaiianero

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 05:22 PM

 

I'm totally interested for the growing! :D

 

Honestly, I could live anywhere on that island.  When we go, we travel in a circle around the island, and spend time in every part of it.  It gets a little barren for me in Waimea, but I'd definitely live in either the highlands near Kapaau, or any of the coastal lowlands near the rift zone. (but not in the lava fields)  Hilo was beautiful.  I spent a lot of time over near Pahoa, too.  (we like to stay in a place that has buildings with no windows - asleep to the sound of frogs, awake to the sound of birds)

 

Oddly enough, rocotos were in my mind the whole time we went last time.  I just couldn't stop thinking about growing them...  :D

 

Sounds like you know the island pretty well. Kapaau on the northern side of the island would definitely be a prime spot to live. Pahoa on the other hand, right now is getting beat up pretty bad. The volcano isn't showing any signs of slowing down so the people there can't really plan their next move unless it's out of the area.

For Kona our biggest problem is the air quality. Lots of sulphur dioxide in the air and when it rains we get acid rain.None of the plants or trees are very happy lately except for what I can keep under plastic canopies. :mope: :tear: :mope:

 

But hey, very few aphids and whiteflys lately :party: :doh:

 

By the way, I saw a 6 foot tall Roccoto tree in Waimea that had as much fruit as it did leaves.



#13 solid7

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Posted 23 June 2018 - 10:51 PM

 

Sounds like you know the island pretty well. Kapaau on the northern side of the island would definitely be a prime spot to live. Pahoa on the other hand, right now is getting beat up pretty bad. The volcano isn't showing any signs of slowing down so the people there can't really plan their next move unless it's out of the area.

For Kona our biggest problem is the air quality. Lots of sulphur dioxide in the air and when it rains we get acid rain.None of the plants or trees are very happy lately except for what I can keep under plastic canopies. :mope: :tear: :mope:

 

But hey, very few aphids and whiteflys lately :party: :doh:

 

By the way, I saw a 6 foot tall Roccoto tree in Waimea that had as much fruit as it did leaves.

 

Oh, I kinda forgot about the acid rain...  And of course... it rains alot there. :(

 

Talk about bad luck.  Lava flow one direction, all the fallout blowing the other direction.  

 

I stayed once at the Jacaranda Inn in Waimea.  There's a huge hill behind it that I would love to own a piece of. Oh, and any piece of land on one of those big hills with the winding roads, going out to Hawi.  That's impressive scenery.

 

Hope all the wonderful growers that I know over there aren't getting hit hard.  I have always had a place in my heart for Kona coffee.  Everyone else can have that Jamaican Blue Mountain stuff.  Kona is the best in the world for me.  I know a few growers out that way.  When I want good coffee or mac nuts, I get them shipped Hawaii direct.  Not only do I get them fresh, but it's less expensive, and way better than what usually ends up here.  I just can't even think about that getting hurt...

 

As for the big plants, I just knew the Big Island was rocoto country!  It seems like once you get to about 1200 feet, they'd just be incredible...


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