HAPPY DAY SKUNKERS! Bringing you all some tidbits from the world of all natural growing indoors. The one huge thing I have to say here man, is that if you are using a powerful living soil mix, don’t use liquid nutrients… Period! Seriously, this is highly counterproductive. A top dressing of something like alfalfa meal is how you feed her if you must. A mellow living tea can be used as well, but again, with the right soil mix you don’t need anything but good water and some dry all-natural nutrients.
I use the chicken manure in the photo for ALL my additions that used to call for all-purpose dry nutrients in my mixes. It runs 3-2-3 for NPK with 2% calcium. I use it to top dress and for layering my containers, it is also the only thing I use in all my spikes; no more blending things, just use the chicken poop, heh heh. Let’s get on with the show…
Let’s Begin with the Three Druids, Long Ago…
As many of you know I have been growing for about a half century, and I am now just south of 60 years old, what a long strange trip it’s been, but I digress … anyways, while I was growing and breeding in Northern California (mid-later 70’s) there were these three growers, called ‘The Three Druids’ and their outdoor product was legendary. The reason I mention them is because they are perfect examples of an all-natural mindset. These guys grew on the border of the Pygmy Forest, in Northern California. The pine trees were small due to high levels of lime in that area that raised the pH of the soil above levels good for pine trees, and cannabis too for that matter. Check out what they did, it’s awesome…
They dug big holes, and when they filled them back in they use about half of the original soil that came out of the hole, and the other half was compost; compost they made in large piles. They added a ton of pine needles to their compost, this effected the pH, tending to take it down, due to the high levels of citric acid (vitamin C and plenty of nitrogen as well) present in the needles. I have seen their plants with my own eyes and smoked plenty of their product too, and they were by pretty far, the best of the best, world class cannabis, especially for those times.
All of the other outdoor growers including us back then, used some form of synthetic nutrients at some point during their grow, even if they were mostly all naturally grown otherwise. Even a little bit of synth nutrients makes a GIANT difference in the smoking quality of the final product. What the druids did was identify the problem, and with their knowledge of what all-natural things are made of, meaning their constituent elements, like citric acid for example in the pine needles, and use natural countermeasures uber effectively. Seek to increase your knowledge regarding natural elements available to you, understand what banana peels, or melon rinds, will bring into your compost. This is the heart and soul of a druid grower—wink.
Top Mistakes I Have Seen Lately
- Watering sources and watering habits are always showing up at grows I troubleshoot. Dial in your water; aerate your water; run your water between 30-60 PPM using powerful built soil mixes, and around 60-90 PPM if using commercial good quality bagged soil. Avoid soils with high peat moss ratios!
- Overdosing with potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg); this is very common actually, and what a K overdose usually shows up as is a nitrogen deficiency first—trying to “fix” this by adding N is NOT a good idea—so, back way way the hell off of the use of soluble kelp, and never use K-Mag in your soil mix. Magnesium is usually due to those of you that use a lot of teas with molasses in them, and when there is dolomite lime in your soil mix especially, back way off the molasses use. Mg overdosing often causes your topsoil to be hard and crusty, plants look sad and droopy.
- Using un-rinsed coconut coir in your soil mix; don’t do this, it brings in toxic levels of salts, like potassium for example. You don’t need to use coir in your soil mix, unless you are using pure reverse osmosis filtered water, then you need coir, oyster shell, and half your dolomite lime must be ‘Fast-Acting’ and these additions work to buffer the soil mix when using the low PPM water. By the way, I recommend higher PPM water – FYI – wink.
- Air movement and air circulation; I know this sounds obvious to some of you, but for those of you that don’t know, both of these are CRITICAL when it comes to happy ass plants; period. So, dial these in well.
- Don’t add ANY liquid nutrients to your plants if you are using a powerful living soil mix; it doesn’t work that way. Literally, just good water if using an all-natural style of growing with a powerful living soil, like my TLO (True Living Organics) style. I used to be a bottle-guy, and it was hard to change … but SO worth it and I would never go back. Just sayin’ heh heh.
Tip from Rev
If you use filtered water, here’s a great trick to bring up the PPM using awesome levels of calcium and magnesium, which cannabis loves a lot of, and the plants will learn to “count on” consistent levels of these nutrients available in their water and it will do great things for them, and so, for you. You can of course up the ratios to whatever amounts of water you use and my friend near me uses 5-gallon bottles with air-stones using 5 teaspoons of fast acting dolomite lime to make 10 gallons of water for his plants. Below I will give you the smaller version, the 2 gallons version.
Using a gallon pitcher full of rain, distilled, or reverse osmosis filtered water, add 1 teaspoon of fast acting dolomite lime and add an air-stone so it bubbles for 24 hours. You will end up with your water being about 60 PPM. Make two gallons of 30 PPM water by mixing in an additional gallon of pure water and boom! You have an AWESOME little water manufacturing system to emulate fantastic ground water the plants would normally have some access to. Do not underestimate this move my green druids, it’s a biggie; also, make sure there is no chlorine/chloramine in your water—duh—heh heh; cheers everyone and I’ll see ya on the flip-flop.