“Darkling beetle” is the common name for the Tenebrionidae family of beetles, which comprises over 20,000 species living all over the world. The name signifies “seekers of dark places” and most of these beetles do avoid the light. Their “frass” (a polite word for insect poop) is a respectable source of N-P-K, but more importantly it is a rich source of plant-available chitin. Frass nourishes chitin-feeding bacteria and fungi, which in turn devour gnat eggs and root-feeding nematodes. Chitin also fortifies plants’ cell walls, stimulates their immune systems, and fosters healthy blooms (think more and bigger and stickier buds!) Not just for cannabis growers, either: frass is a useful addition to potting soils and an excellent sidedressing for any producer. MOFGA
Frass can be used in several ways:
- For soil mixes: Incorporate ½-1 cup frass per cubic foot of media.
- For fertigation: Add ½ cup per gallon of water, shake well, and apply every 3-4 weeks.
- For sidedressing: 2 Tablespoons per plant before watering every 2-3 weeks.
- For foliar feeding: 1-2 Tablespoons per gallon of water; steep 30 min, screen solids, and spray onto leaves.
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