Chitin : best source and benefits

BH

Tha Dank Hoarder
I am a Firm believer in chitin being a neglected thing people should do for speciality plants since it has so much benefits . Key is to have chitin intakers just like N and p or misc so you get better results + IPM and better defense For using these products , even bud rot+ plant growth promoting (PGP)


my debate and questions is: what’s the border of applying too much? when you apply insect frass it’s faster intake and has a plant growth promoting (PGP). Shrimp and crab meal have that pho’s and high calcium help. being a coco grower , if I applied my insect frass at even 50% suggested per cubic foot than did crab/shrimp the same. good effects Or too much? when I tried to re-read old threads and google such, nothing .

using insect frass (almost used 160 lb’s of it lol) in the past 6 rounds and 1 round outdoors has def made me a firm believer in it . looking at price locally I can get a 40lb of crab or shrimp for 50% cheaper and no shipping cost. def sounded interesting even if it’s a add on and when I asked build a soil on ph-me what they would do, they said shimp/crab mix instead of insect cause of calcium and p and higher chitin %, just doesn’t release as quick



if it’s you, what would you guys do and any information is suggested!
 

Jewels

Tilts at Tables
doesn’t release as quick
That is the thing, eh?
I can throw a rusty nail into a flower pot, but how long will it take a plant to eat it ?

There is so much I do not understand in the chelation arena.
Must a grower recycle his soil to see an actual benefit from the crustacean shell?

I certainly agree on the benefit. Some of the most precious soil I have was harvested from old aquariums.
 

BH

Tha Dank Hoarder
around 2-4 weeks (crab)vs a week-2 weeks of insect and shrimp

and you reapply every 2-4 weeks and normally stop applying 1st week-4th week of bloom

so would be since both say they aren’t hot, but since I’m same family of what doing. I didn’t want to overdo + I wanted to see what’s views if coco medium grower, which one would you do? Build a soil said crab/shrimp since coco is such a whore anyways and that’s a great benefit .
 

MO_Grow

In Bloom

jaguarlax

Tactical Gardener
Staff member
Moderator
Earlier this year, I had been doing some experimenting with a mix of chitosan oligosaccharide and salicylic acid. I moved away from it because there was no way to say if it was helping or not, due to it being an ingredient in the nutrients i use...(megacrop)

Is there a distinction between this and Chitin? or is it the same concept?

The way I understand it, is we are trying to trick the plant with hormones into thinking its infested with insects, therefore boosting its immune responses, resulting in more trichrome and resin production.

Am I on the right track here?
 

BH

Tha Dank Hoarder
Key is how much are they applying ( they may say it’s enough for your plants, I wanna see the %) , look at so many nutes they say they have a lot of speciality like bud factor x and they will even say contains vitamins Or myko’s . If they just apply small % or it’s not even workable intake. Those number don’t mean shit and all I see from megacrop and compares from organics Or even jacks/mendo producers . those brand doit actually works and your plants won’t be goofy and look how my won’t even dissolve but jacks or mendo producers works great even in cold water and I can get 100% every time. I’m good on that megacrop when all they do is change their formula and sell out every 6 months ‘ I’ll stick to cemented company’s and organics where they have been using it and with success .

not a beta tester and my grow means a lot to me, not a tent grower

+ chitosan oligosaccharide is all China and their standards on even food or a lot of that stuff is way off so why would I risk myself and plants with their contaminates ? Just use pure of the shells and they do the same and I’m not crying if you apply from the start to beg of flower it Intakes so fast And like Most stuff over applying or high;y concentrated doesn’t mean good things and can counteract , why play scitist and gamble? Why need more lol, I’m good on buying crap off eBay and letting dudes lie to me or give me china made chemical or extracts ‘ they can say w/e and sell you that)
dont see big ag using “mega crop” but they sure as hell use crab shell and jacks ;) I’m willing to buy chitosan oligosaccharides when I see proven sellers and proven that’s what it is and compares

when I a[ply insect frass at even 50% rate I’ll see pGP and a fluff of population in 24-48 hours. works Great

 
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BH

Tha Dank Hoarder
This was closest to the extracts open to public purchase that I know the wholesaler most def is backing good stuff vs god knows if it’s a bad concentration/contamination not gurateed.

pricey but at 1ml per 5 gal and applied every 2-4 weeks that rate would work ( just like regular non extract at rate per season & that’s why I kept using insect poop and now crab/shrimp)



cool product but price and gruateed % vs the whole shells/Skelton pure you can guratee yourself they aren’t “watering “ the formula or Nader shelf life. maybe someday and it def look interesting ;)
 

Kind024

In Bloom
I love this discussion...cheers!

I don't have time at the moment to digest all wonderful information you all are sharing here yet.

I raise mealworms/darkling beetles. A friend does BSF larvae and flys.

In regards to the chelation rate of minerals in the soil/medium. Its all relative. The rate of decomposition is driven by the microbes who are driven be the exudates from the plant. It's hard to put a definite time on when something we add to the soil will be available to the plant. If we are growing in a relatively inert medium those times will be much longer.

Are the correct microbes present to process these things? How many enzymes are active that are geared to break down the specific mineral we are adding?

...it's all relative.

Be back to this thread soon. Thanks for starting this conversation brother @Burned Haze. Thank you to everyone for sharing.
 

Kind024

In Bloom
The way I understand it, is we are trying to trick the plant with hormones into thinking its infested with insects, therefore boosting its immune responses, resulting in more trichrome and resin production.

Am I on the right track here?
Yes you are brother. The chitin fragments and the protozoa (more specifically the flagella of protists) in frass stimulates the systemic acquired resistance in plants. Tricking them into ramping up the production of secondary metabolites...alkaloids, anthocyanins, cannabinoids, flavonoids, quinones, lignans, steroids, terpenoids. I may have missed some.

Mealworms also eat their exoskeleton seedlings. So chitin in the frass itself too.

Secondly metabolites are produced to attract pollinators and/or as a defense mechanism in plants and trees.

I hope I'm not out of line here. I make mealworm frass, well the mealworms make it, I just collect it. Made by the farmer for the farmer. If anyone is interested in some sent a PM. I have buckets of it. Its not on the agricultural shelves yet but that's the next step.

What's comes out is relative to what goes in. I do my best to give them diverse, mineral rich foods.
 
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Skunky Dunk Farms

Cannabinoid Receptor
Yes you are brother. The chitin fragments and the protozoa (more specifically the flagella of protists) in frass stimulates the systemic acquired resistance in plants. Tricking them into ramping up the production of secondary metabolites...alkaloids, anthocyanins, cannabinoids, flavonoids, quinones, lignans, steroids, terpenoids. I may have missed some.

Mealworms also eat their exoskeleton seedlings. So chitin in the frass itself too.

Secondly metabolites are produced to attract pollinators and/or as a defense mechanism in plants and trees.

I hope I'm not out of line here. I make mealworm frass, well the mealworms make it, I just collect it. Made by the farmer for the farmer. If anyone is interested in some sent a PM. I have buckets of it. Its not on the agricultural shelves yet but that's the next step.

What's comes out is relative to what goes in. I do my best to give them diverse, mineral rich foods.
I am interested in the "grow your own" frass thing.
Could you elaborate on the process?
 
I started trying to add insect frass into my mix this round. I think I mixed a 1 or 2 tbs per gallon in my mix. I also made I suspension in water and did a root drench. @Kind024 how do you typically use frass?
 

Kind024

In Bloom
I am interested in the "grow your own" frass thing.
Could you elaborate on the process?
Hi brother @Skunky Dunk Farms.
There are lots of things you pick up along the way with any project and everyone does things a little differently. I'll do my best to explain how I go about things.

I guess I'll start with the beetles. They are nocturnal for the most part and prefer some sort of cover. Considering the beetles need to be sifted out every 7-10 days... (they can be left in the bin for longer but the eggs will start to hatch and these guys are carnivorous and may start to cannibalize the baby worms. Especially if they are not getting enough moisture.) I like to use wheat bran as a bedding. The beetles are easily sifted out of it and the worms love to eat it. I also give them bread. It has a good amount of moisture to start with and will absorb moisture well from a spray bottle. Depending on the humidity in the house I spray each piece of bread once a day. It's also a nice cover for them. Most of the beetles are under the bread at the moment in this photo. You can see the variation in the color. The lighter colored ones are younger.
20201218_143400.jpg
After the beetles are sifted out they go back into a bin of fresh bran to continue the process. Then the egg rich bran is put into another container. (Dependingon the how many beetles are in each bin I usually put up to 8 bins of the egg rich bran into one bin. They may need to be divided into another bin once they get bigger to relieve pressure.) As the worms grow they will eat the bran. Before you know it, about 3 - 6 months later depending on the food, moisture and climate the bran will be gone and you will have a bin full of frass and growing worms. They dont like to run out of food. So its important to keep feeding them as they grow. Oats is a favorite. But it doesn't shift out well. So you want to make sure it's gone before sifting. They also eat just about any kitchen scraps you might have. I grow comfrey, aloe and kale for them, well I eat the kale leaf and give them the stems. They tear that stuff up quick.

You want to be mindful about the dry/moisture ratio throughout their lifecycle. Too much moisture and they pupate too fast and you can end up with small beetles. Not enough moisture and they take forever to grow and pupate. They also like to shed their exoskeleton after feedings. They will eventually eat those too.
20201218_143513.jpg
This is where it can get tricky. Because they didn't all pupate at the same time you will have mixture of mature worms and pupae. The pupae need to be sifted out regularly or the worms will eat them and they never make it to the beetle stage. Then the beetle population can drop along with your egg production.

This is a pupae and a young beetle. The beetles are light in color and soft at first. They slowly get darker (eventually turning black) and their exoskeletons harden over a week or so. Be gentle with the young beetles, they can damage easily.
20201218_143333.jpg

That's the brass tracks of my process. If you have any more detailed questions I'm happy to respond.
 
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Kind024

In Bloom
I started trying to add insect frass into my mix this round. I think I mixed a 1 or 2 tbs per gallon in my mix. I also made I suspension in water and did a root drench. @Kind024 how do you typically use frass?
Greetings brother @chiefer888. Brother @Burned Haze put up a nice piece of information that covers that question well. Thank you for sharing that sir.

I personally add about 1/2 cup of frass per cubic foot of my finishing soil mix. About 1/4 cup or less for seedings and cuttings. I've noticed if there is too much frass in the starter mix the plants are slower to grow. I think the young plants sense too much insect pressure and may be less excited to dig their feet in. I dont know that for sure, it's just an observation.

Another thing I've been doing is dusting the fresh/dry frass over the leaves of the plants. Considering the SAR response from the chitin and flagella it made sense to me. I spray the leaves with an aloe solution for some enzymes, vitamins and as a surfactant. Than I dust the frass over the top of the plants like a light snow fall. You could use an old salt shaker, washed throughly of salt residue of course. I like to put a little pile in the palm of hand and blow across the top of my palm using the lungs, fans help too. I haven't had any PM since using this method in the last 5 years. I like to dust them a couple times in veg and right as they go into flower, well before bud set. It eventually falls off over the next 2 weeks from the fans and moving the plants around each day. Most falls to the surface of the soil and makes a light top dress. Some will fall to the floor which is easily swept up.

For top dressing in the flowering pot. I use about a teaspoon or two every week to 10 days before watering in it in to the 5 gallon bags.

Ive seen very positive results doing it like this. The flowers finish with a strong scent and a rich flavor. There are many other things that can contribute to the end/cured result. Handling is a major part of it too. Poor handling of the finished flower can take much of the desired experience away. Again, everything is relative to getting a quality cured product.

That's just me...to each their own.

I wish you the best of fortune in finding the methods that work well for you.
 

Skunky Dunk Farms

Cannabinoid Receptor
Hi brother @Skunky Dunk Farms.
There are lots of things you pick up along the way with any project and everyone does things a little differently. I'll do my best to explain how I go about things.

I guess I'll start with the beetles. They are nocturnal for the most part and prefer some sort of cover. Considering the beetles need to be sifted out every 7-10 days... (they can be left in the bin for longer but the eggs will start to hatch and these guys are carnivorous and may start to cannibalize the baby worms. Especially if they are not getting them enough moisture.) I like to use wheat bran as a bedding. The beetles are easily sifted out of it and the worms love to eat it. I also give them bread. It has a good amount of moisture to start with and will absorb moisture well from a spray bottle. Depending on the humidity in the house I spray each piece of bread once a day. It's also a nice cover for them. Most of the beetles are under the bread at the moment in this photo. You can see the variation in the color. The lighter colored ones are younger.
View attachment 43608
After the beetles are sifted out they go back into a bin of fresh bran to continue the process. Then the egg rich bran is put into another container. (Dependingon the how many beetles are in each bin I usually put up to 8 bins of the egg rich bran into one bin. They may need to be divided into another bin once they get bigger to relieve pressure.) As the worms grow they will eat the bran. Before you know it, about 3 - 6 months later depending on the food, moisture and climate the bran will be gone and you will have a bin full of frass and growing worms. They dont like to run out of food. So its important to keep feeding them as they grow. Oats is a favorite. But it doesn't shift out well. So you want to make sure it's gone before sifting. They also eat just about any kitchen scraps you might have. I grow comfrey, aloe and kale for them, well I eat the kale leaf and give them the stems. They tear that stuff up quick.

You want to be mindful about the dry/moisture ratio throughout their lifecycle. Too much moisture and they pupate too fast and you can end up with small beetles. Not enough moisture and they take forever to grow and pupate. They also like to shed their exoskeleton after feedings. They will eventually eat those too.
View attachment 43609
This is where it can get tricky. Because they didn't all pupate at the same time you will have mixture of mature worms and pupae. The pupae need to be sifted out regularly or the worms will eat them and they never make it to the beetle stage. Then the beetle population can drop along with your egg production.

This is a pupae and a young beetle. The beetles are light in color and soft at first. They slowly get darker (eventually turning black) and their exoskeletons harden over a week or so. Be gentle with the young beetles, they can damage easily.
View attachment 43606

That's the brass tracks of my process. If you have any more detailed questions I'm happy to respond.
Damn straight!
Thats about as simple an explination as i could hope for, and i even understand it. Bam!
Thank ya @Kind024 for the enlightenment.
Really does sound doable, the bran is probably the most expensive part.
What is your options for the beetles? Where are they obtained?
 

Kind024

In Bloom
Damn straight!
Thats about as simple an explination as i could hope for, and i even understand it. Bam!
Thank ya @Kind024 for the enlightenment.
Really does sound doable, the bran is probably the most expensive part.
What is your options for the beetles? Where are they obtained?
Thanks brother, glad it made sense.

Wheat bran can usually be sourced from a local feed store. I get a 40lb sack for about $36.

As for the Darkling beetles (mealworm beetles), they can be ordered from Northwest Redworms. If he doesn't have them in stock I could help you out depending on how many you need. His worm castings are the best on the market too...imho. Nobody does composting and castings like that guy!

Another thing about the mealworms. Specifically the pupae...keep the pupae in their own bin. (I like to use an upside down bin lid. Also, the bins I use are 28qt translucent storage bins. They can be sourced a Wally World for $5-6.) The beetle's will eat the pupae too. I put a thin layer of bran on the lid with the pupae on top. The pupae are stimulated by moisture. So I lightly mist chlorine free watering over the top of them once or twice a day depending on the humidity in the house. I get about 30-50 new beetles every day out of each lid. They are put directly into a beetle bin to start breeding and laying eggs.
 
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