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Using Fish Sh!t and PK9-18

Posted on November 05 2021

We've been getting questions about the use of Fish Sh!t and PK boosters when growing in The Armoire, so I thought I'd knock out a quick blog article as a rundown.

First I'll start by saying that these are recommended products to use if you want to goose your grows and improve your results, but they're entirely optional.  These are NOT requirements for growing in The Armoire.   That said, let's jump in...



Soil Conditioner

Fish Sh!t is a soil conditioner, not food for the plant. That's important to understand, because it also affects how it's applied. Lots of folks think it a nutrient, and it's not. This isn't fed to the plant, it's added to the soil to create a better soil environment for the plant to thrive in.  Fish Sh!t contains beneficial microbes that help breakdown the nutrients already present in the soil to make them more bio-available to the plant. 

This isn't a particularly scientific explanation, but as an analogy for the lay person -- think of it as if the nutrients are in wads that are too large to digest. So even tho there is food in the soil, the plant can't consume it properly.  But the microbes come along and break down the chunks into smaller, more digestible chunks that the plant can consume. So, we're not adding more nutrients, we're just making it easier for the plant to consumer the nutrients that are already present in the soil.  As such, it's a "soil conditioner."

You want to use 1-2ml in your watering. You can do it daily, or every other day. I add Fish Sh!t to my water, and pour it into the soil.  I don’t use FS when adding to the saucer (to “water from the bottom”) because that’s just sucked up by the roots and not particularly helpful, because the point isn't to get the plant to drink the FS, but rather to apply FS to the soil as a conditioner.  

You want to add it to the top of the pot and let is percolate down into he soil. I usually 1 to 2 dropper fulls (1-2ml) into a 16oz bottle of water and pour it circularly around the top of the soil, then pour more “clean” water in to dilute and wash it in.  You can use Fish Sh!t right from day one, to condition the soil right from sprout.  It’s entirely optional, not required, but we love it and recommend it. You can use this stuff throughout the entire life cycle, right up to flushing.  Personally, I start weaning off it when I feel like I’m in the last week or so of flower, closing in on harvesting. I’m going to start flushing out nutrients soon anyway, so no need to try to keep goosing them, so I save the rest of another grow.  But it absolutely won’t hurt anything if you keep using it right up to harvest.



PK Booster

Buddha’s Tree PK9-18 is a so-called “PK Booster”.  It adds more phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) to your water.  So unlike Fish Sh!t, those ARE nutrients (aka “food”) and have nothing to do with the soil.  

I like to put a drop or two in my watering and add it to the saucer (i.e. “water from the bottom”) where the roots take it up directly and drink it all in.    This stuff is SUPER CONCENTRATED so like Brill Cream, just a little dab’ll do ya!  

Just a drop or two (literally a singular drop) in your watering is enough. And to be clear - I’m talking 1 or 2 drops, period (not per water bottle, just total. I put 2 drops in one bottle and the others are all “clean” water).

The PK Booster is used during full blown flowering once you clearly have buds forming. Usually just for the last 2 or 3 weeks of an autoflower's life.  I tend to use 2 drops on alternating days (i.e. every second watering).  Don't add it every day, just every second day.

If you see the tips of your leaves start curling (what I call “Elf Slippers”), that’s nutrient burn from too much PK9-18, so that’s a sign to back off.  If you see that happening it means you used too much and need to back off.  A little bit of curling is not a big deal - don’t freak out.  But certainly don’t keep making it worse.  They won’t ever uncurl, but it happens on the shade leaves first, and you’re trimming them off later anyway. It’s really not a big deal unless you ignore it and keep doing it and then it’ll get worse and start affecting the bud eventually.  So just use 1 or 2 drops and call it a day, and you shouldn’t see that at all.

PK9-18 seems like it's kind of expensive at first, but it's really not.  At just a drop or two every other day, for 2-3 weeks during flowering, that’s minuscule — one small bottle will last you practically forever.  So it’s not cheap at first glance, but you don’t go through it like you do with FishSh!t or water.   Just get the smallest bottle they have, and it’ll last you a year or two (or more).


Stoned Dust

Stoned Dust is the third optional additive we enjoy using.  While it's also a minor PK booster, it's mainly CalMag.  We recommend using 1 teaspoon added to the soil once you're 3 weeks into flowering.  Just sprinkle that single teaspoon over all of the surface area of the soil and then scratch it right into the soil so it's mixed up into the soil and not just sitting on top where it will calcify and get "caked up."

If you have a typical 60-75 days strain, that's it!   If you have a longer-running strain going 90 days or more, you can do this a second time about 3 weeks later. 

Note:  use ONLY Stoned Dust OR PK9-18, not both.  They both contain phosphorus and potassium, and you don't want to over-do it.

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