Contrary to the name, Epsom Salt is not salt, but rather a mineral compound of magnesium, oxygen, and sulphate (MgSO4), which exists naturally in water and springs. Epsom Salt is a white, powdered crystal, and is similar to table to salt in its appearance.
Epsom Salt is different from commercial fertilizers in that it is not persistent, and therefore will not build-up in the soil, nor affect the PH levels of the soil.
Importance of Magnesium in Epsom Salt
Epsom Salt is a natural and healthy source of magnesium. The presence of magnesium (Mg) in plants is essential in aiding the process of photosynthesis, the process whereby plants convert sunlight into food.
Magnesium (Mg) is important for maintaining the strength of plant cell walls, and the uptake of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K) is facilitated by the presence of magnesium.
When your cannabis plant is suffering from a magnesium deficiency, the leaves tend to yellow, starting at the lower sections of the plant, and resulting in a slightly curled leaf. (NOTE: if the leaves and the vein of your plant start to yellow, then it is suffering from a nitrogen deficiency).
Here at Just Cannabis, we use Epsom Salt as a source of magnesium rather than other soil amendments (such as dolomitic lime, for example), because Epsom Salt is highly-soluble, making it easier to apply. The PH levels of Epsom Salt solutions are closer to neutral, in contrast with the high alkalinity of magnesium salts found in limestone.
Thus, to achieve higher yields and bigger buds, magnesium is a key ingredient, and Epsom Salt is the best source.
Blackstrap molasses is a by-product of the sugar cane’s refining process, and is a dark viscous liquid that emerges from the third boiling of sugar cane juice. Due to the multiple boiling process that is undertaken in the production of blackstrap molasses, it is a highly-concentrated product, and it contains many beneficial elements (such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium) on both a micro- and macro-level.
Sulphured and Un-sulphured Molasses
Sulphured Molasses refers to molasses that contain sulphur dioxide (SO2), whereas Un-sulphured Molasses refers to molasses that do not contain sulphur dioxide.
Oftentimes, sulphur dioxide is added to sugar cane as a preservative and as an antimicrobial, maintaining the freshness of raw sugar cane until it is processed. However, sulphured molasses tends to kill the beneficial microbes which are found in soil, which is why our Just Cannabis Blackstrap Molasses is un-sulphured.
How does Blackstrap Molasses promote the health of your cannabis plants?
The most important factor in maintaining the health and vitality of your cannabis plants is the quality of your soil. Good soil should contain (amongst many other compounds) important nutrients such as micro- and macro-elements, and vitamins that are essential for maintaining the health of your cannabis plants.
Furthermore, good soil also contains living microbes, or micro-organisms. Introducing un-sulphured blackstrap molasses into your soil ensures not only the maintenance of nutrients in your soil, but also ensures that these micro-organisms are being fed, facilitating the ideal environment for these microbes to flourish.
Maintenance of salt levels, and prevention of nutrient deficiencies
A common problem that arises in growing cannabis is the gradual build-up of salt in your growing medium. This problem is more persistent when utilizing inorganic and mineral-based synthetic fertilizers and supplements. When salt builds up in your soil, the increased PH levels and EC levels prevents the absorption of sufficient nutrients, a problem often referred to as Nutrient Lockout. By using natural, un-sulphured blackstrap molasses, the salt levels of the soil are maintained, thus allowing for adequate absorption of nutrients.