The Four Foundations of High Brix Growing
What is Brix?
How much food is in your food? Brix is a refractometer reading indicating the level of dissolved solids contained in the juice being measured.
The higher the brix reading the higher the sugars, mineral levels, specific gravity and true protein levels are in the plant. This adds up to sweeter tasting, more minerally-nutritious produce with lower nitrate and lower water content, and improved storage characteristics.
One of the best parts? High-Brix plants naturally repel insects and diseases, have a lower freezing point, and are also found to be more drought tolerant.
Growers experienced in using Doc Bud's High-Brix Blend seldom report pest issues.
If you want to grow the best produce in the world, and get your plants to express their full genetic potential and enjoy the dankest, most terpene-laden harvest, there are four key things that simply must be present.
Everything below is based on the assumption that your plants will have a proper growing environment from seed to harvest.
If you are attempting to grow in a hostile environment, you simply will not get good results. On the other hand, given a proper environment, plants in High-Brix soil will do some cool tricks. So, let's get started.
These are not suggestions, or a "style" of growing. These Four Foundations are hard science, and they are an absolute "must" in order to achieve High Brix.
The Four Foundations
1. Mineralize the soil
By now, we all know about how corporate farming and sterile soils have ruined our food supply. We all know that organic, living soil is the way to go for healthy, delicious produce. With High-Brix growing, we not only want living soil with organic ingredients as opposed to chemicals, but we want the maximum amount of life from the soil we can possibly get.
Research has shown that a large amount of calcium in the soil, with the right ratio of calcium-to-magnesium and a relatively low amount of organic matter (less than 8%) will allow the microbial life in the soil to thrive.
Think of volcanic soil, full of minerals. Minerals are where it's at--this is what we're after in High-Brix. Our amendments are designed to bring every mineral into the right ratio in the soil, making the microbes hyperactive and happy. Calcium is king here. No other mineral is as important in the soil as calcium and we've yet to find a commercial potting soil with even close to the optimal amount of calcium in it.
Doc Bud’s High-Brix soil is unlike any other super soil, or potting soil out there. We have WAY MORE calcium than they do. First time kit users are often surprised most by how strong their stems are and how little support they need. Thank calcium for that!
Rock-based calciforous and phosphate minerals are great, but often not readily available to the plant's roots without mycorrhiza--the symbiotic, beneficial fungi and bacteria that live in the soil. Good products contain specific microbes that will make our herbaceous plants thrive. As in a state of nature, these microbes should be born and raised eating rocks....not molasses, like most other products lazily include! Sugar won't keep your soil heathy any better than a steady diet of sugar will keep your body healthy. Minerals, on the other hand are what the plants need, and they get them via microbial action, or at least they should.
Proper microbes will be happy to break down rocks and feed the byproducts to the plant, which is why any good fertilizer package should include finely ground rock powder. Under the right conditions, microbes act as an army of micro-cultivators that help make nutrients and minerals available to the plant that would otherwise go undigested. Unlocking these soil components is part of what sets High-Brix produce apart, and why High-Brix gardening is massively fixated on the microbial health of the soil.
3. Major & minor elements
We're concerned with balance. We need Nitrogetn (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) as well as Magnesium (Mg), Sulfur (S), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), and several other micronutrients, but to ensure the best produce we need them all in the right balance. For example, we always aim for 18 times more calcium than potassium and the same for phosphorus, and we also always want between 6 and 10 times more calcium than magnesium. Once we get all those down, we then want those trace elements present in the right (trace) amounts. This meticulous fine-tuning, which takes many months of lab testing is the secret behind the effectiveness of Doc Bud's products, and you simply won't find the same thing anywhere else!
It’s common to think that providing a plant with a buffet of everything will result in the plant never lacking in any one thing, but this type of approach only works well in salt based or sterile farming methods. In living soil, we want to maximize microbial action--and having too much salt in the soil decreases this microbial action. Having too much potassium or not enough phosphorus will suppress your microbes as well. So instead of over-abundance of everything, we've found balance is best. We're not worried about feeding the plant because we feed the soil, and let the microbes take care of the plants! They're far better at it than we are.
When everything is balanced and delivered in the right ratios, the plants get everything they could ever wish for and in the most efficient manner possible; via microbial action in the soil. This is how nature designed to plants to grow, and we believe it is unequivocally the best way to grow them.
4. Soil Energy
Sure, most of us are familiar with the idea that our bodies are electric. Would you believe it if we told you soil also carries an electric charge?
Not only can we measure voltage in soil, it turns out that this electric charge plays a crucial role in making plants grow. If the soil goes 'flat', with no measurable voltage, plants will not grow. If on the other hand, the soil is massively over-fertilized and carrying a super high voltage, plants will not grow, they’ll “burn.” However, with proper voltage the plants spring to life and grow like crazy.
Soil energy is increased through root drenching and foliar feeding
Root drenches directly increase the conductivity in the soil. Depending on the type of ionic charge in a drench, we can stimulate the vegetative or reproductive processes in the plant. An example of this can be seen in two of our drenches: Growth Ionic Drench and Cationic Drench.
Growth Ionic Drench is primarily supplying the Nitrate form of nitrogen, which has a negative ionic charge. When applied to the soil, this product stimulates growth of leaves and stems, bulking up fruits and flowers nicely. At the other end of the spectrum is Cat Drench, short for Cationic root drench. Cat Drench features "cations" or positively charged ions. This positive charge makes the plants grow, but instead of growing leaves and stems, they grow reproductive structures: calyxes, pistils, etc.
When we understand the natural cycle of plant growth we can time the application of these drenches to enhance nature, improve yield, and most of all, improve quality.
Using root drenches is just one way of increasing soil energy. The other way is via Foliar Feeding which is feeding the soil via feeding the leaves. We can look at soil as the engine that grows the plant. However, we must also realize that photosynthesis feeds the soil! In this way, it's good to look at foliar feeding like a turbo charger on that soil engine.
When the soil is dialed in and the microbes are happily chomping away at rocks and delivering them to the plant as food, the plant produces sugars and other compounds in the leaves and sends them down to the roots in the form of Root Exudates. The microbes crave these sweet exudates and will work day and night eating rocks for a sweet hit of that sugar! Even more, the plant customizes root exudates to actually communicate and signal the soil microbes to deliver certain types of nutrition.
By using a properly designed foliar spray (which is itself a dilute nutrient solution), we can increase the plant's ability to photosynthesize more energy from the sun or indoor lighting as the case may be. This increased photosynthesis results in increased root exudates, which increases microbial activity, which increases plant growth/vigor/vegetation/reproduction....which increases photosynthesis, and around and around.
Foliar feeding speeds up a plant’s metabolism, increasing nutrient density, brix readings, plant health, and terpene and essential oil production.
Just spraying some crap on the plant because your cousin knows a guy in Mendo, won't cut it!
These are the basics of High-Brix gardening. High-Brix soil idealizes natural, living soil that is meticulously designed for maximum microbial action and optimal soil energy. Doc Bud's products go a step further, and make those microbes into super-athletes, further increasing root exudates with carefully designed foliar sprays.
This is nature's way of producing healthy plants, and there is more we have yet to learn. We are humbled and inspired by the wisdom of Nature, and seek to help and assist the natural processes of soil, root, and stem by careful application of minerals and microbes....thus allowing them to do their magic.
If you’ve read and understand these four High-Brix foundations, you now have enough science to grow nutritious cannabis for all of your buds.
Questions? Just ask! We're happy to help.