The Doc Bud High Brix Blend Kit takes organic, living soil to the next, next level.
Before getting into the review, I must disclose that I am reviewing my own product, for which I am a sponsor on this website. This is a break in protocol and fraught with self-interest, bias and potential misoverexaggeration (is that even a word?) of the facts! Despite that, I am going to be as objective as possible and definitely more critical about my own products than I have been when reviewing gear from other sponsors. Dear reader, please keep this in mind as you read further.
Let’s start with what is included in The Kit.
Root Drenches and Foliar Sprays:
Dry Soil Amendments:
Not included, but essential for using The Kit are:
Promix HP Myco – 3.8 cu ft compressed bale
Organic Earth Worm Castings with zero “K” in NPK
Directions on how to use this gear can be found here. I highly recommend reading as much material on the website and especially the many “High Brix” grow journals here on 420 Magazine, where a massive amount of support can be had for free. It is truly remarkable seeing first time growers harvest gorgeous produce on their first try, owing to the excellent support and community that has grown up around High Brix gardening.
So what makes this gear different?
It all comes down to microbial action in the soil. While all organic gardening emphasizes and relies on the soil-food web and the symbiotic relationship between microbes, soil and roots, High Brix gardening aims to maximize microbial action, not just include it.
These products are based on the research of Dr. Carey Reams and Dr. William Albrecht, two pioneers in agriculture who proved that mineralized soil produces the most nutrient dense, (another term for High Brix), crops. It turns out that mineralized soil has the most prolific microbial action when compared to other kinds of soils.
The short story is that the most fertile soils in the world are found on slopes of volcanos and areas that have relatively recent glacial run-off. It almost seems counter-intuitive, but soils with very high organic content don’t compete with soils with high mineral and very limited organic content. One pitfall that many DIY organic gardeners fall into is thinking that they can create these soils via guesswork, or adding many different forms of things to a “base” soil. There are 3 huge problems with this approach:
1. There is nearly always too much potassium in these home-built soils. This makes nutrient density impossible as fertile soils must have 18 times more calcium than potassium. This information cannot be learned without a soil test. There are other critical ratios of major and minor elements that also come into play and each of these have been covered in The Kit.
2. Home-built “super soils” have far too much organic matter, insuring that microbial action is not as great as a mineralized soil with limited organic content.
3. The type of microbes and fungus in the soil is also very important. Specific VAM that work well with cannabis are included in The Kit. Home-built soils may have very different types of microbes, many of which are not optimized for cannabis cultivation.
The Kit aims to re-create these primal, mineralized, low organic content soils. Extensive and tedious testing of soils and various combinations of amendments have produced what is included in The Kit. When a grower adds a bag of Doc Bud’s First Run Amendment to a bale of Promix HP Myco and 30lbs. of worm castings and cooks it for 30 days, the outcome is a re-creation of the most fertile soils in the world, right in your own basement, backyard or even bedroom.
Two foliar sprays that are properly designed for absorption into leaf tissue are also included in The Kit. Interestingly, the sprays included are not designed to feed the plant, but feed the soil. (There are sprays not included in The Kit that have other purposes which experienced growers find useful in limited circumstances.)
It works like this:
The highly mineralized soil is inoculated with microbes and humates (included in The Kit). The roots from the seeds or clones “hook up” with the microbes and the symbiosis begins. Foliar feeding the leaves produces sugars, which are sent to the roots as root exudates. These root exudates feed the microbes in the soil. Depending on the type of foliar spray used, the exudates signal the soil to include material for vegetative growth, (leaves and stems), or reproductive growth, (calyx and pistils).
The electrical energy to drive this process is created with soil drenches, which use positive, negative and balanced electrical potential, depending on the drench. (High Brix soil is highly electrical! Many users get a surprising static shock when pouring our products).
When everything works together as planned, the results are truly incredible. Experienced users report massively high terpene formation on lab tests and often higher potency across the board.
So what’s the catch?
Well, there are some challenges and issues with this gear. The main issue is availability of Promix HP Myco or Sunshine #4. Sunshine is second best but can be used if Promix isn’t available.
The next biggest issue is the availability of earthworm castings with low potassium. Adding high potassium earth worm castings will have a negative effect on nutrient density.
Also, many growers have a difficult time wrapping their heads around a “hands off” approach and can’t seem to stop wanting to add this or that to the soil, or tinker with things. With High Brix soil, less is more.
Finally, because we’re dealing with living soil, the growing environment is critical. Temps and relative humidity must remain in the optimal range for everything to work together properly. Many growers, for one reason or another, simply don’t have the ability to control their environments to allow them enjoy High Brix growing.
However, those that do take the time to create an optimal growing environment and who follow the directions closely are usually surprised by how easy and hands off the method is and by the unusually good quality of the produce. “The best I ever had,” is something we hear from our customers every single day.
“The Kit” costs $98.00 and is currently available on Amazon. It is not designed for extended veg times and artful LST, but will grow 5 or 6 large plants from seed to harvest, following directions. All products are also available in larger, individual sizes. It can also be bought via Bitcoin at DocBudsBrix.com