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First soil grow

berrydizzle

New Member
Hello everyone. I have wanted to do a grow journal for the longest time and now i finally have the balls to do it. I am finishing up my first soil grow, have done hydro for the past year in a bloombox but it wont fit in any of the rooms in my new house so, i had to convert to soil. This journal will cover the end of my current run (i am doing 7 blueberry and 1 bubblegum). They are on day 45 of flowering. Only two more weeks, i am so excited. Then I will start my next journal from start to finish so you guys can see my work. Here are some pics to catch you up to the present time.


These are the little guys vegging under a 1000W MH.


Here is my light setup. Air cooled 1000W MH/HPS switchable


The plants after about one week of flowering. Saved 1 BG and 1 BB for mothers for my next time.


Here they are at 44 days.

I topped all 8 plants while vegging, something I won't do the next time around. More pictures of my new project as soon as they get approved.
 

berrydizzle

New Member
Pics of new plants, and buds of present

So here are the babies that you will be following over the next three months.
And a few closeups of the buds that are growing as we speak.


These are the clones that have already rooted. 5 blueberry and 3 Bubblegum. The bubblegum in the back right isn't going to make it I know.


This is my veg setup in my bathtub when i am flowering in the closet. Holds mothers too. As you can see still waiting for the other 6 bubblegum's to root.

Now pictures of buds:)








Notice the buds aren't to fat. Didn't use co2 this time but have reaped its benefits before with a bloombox. Any way i can initiate co2 into my grow without spending a ton of cash?
 

Akornpatch

New Member
Actually CO2 works best with a regular dosing system, and they can cost a ton. You're probably better off just making sure to have a good supply of fresh air flowing thru. You can get your buds to fatten up with proper PH and feeding schedules. they do look tastey I have to say.
 

berrydizzle

New Member
Yeah blueberry is a tasty strain but I have found it is very fluffy. Is it going to hurt the plants if I have a fan blowing on them at all times or should it just be in the room pointed away from the plants but still keeping the air moving. The door to my closet is always open except when the light is off just for heat issues. Damn my next grow will be nasty.
 

berrydizzle

New Member
Yeah me too. Am going to do a couple of things differently this time. First I am not topping any of the plants (topped all this time). I am also going to wait till they are at least 2 and a half feet tall before I flower them. Hopefully they will end up around 5 feet tall. And I am changing nutrients and the schedule that I water. Any members have any good hints about how often to water with nutes and then plain water.
 

berrydizzle

New Member
OK so i just did some research on different nutrients. I will be using General Hydroponics Floro Grow, Micro and Bloom for my next grow. On the website it says to water with the nutrient solution once every three waterings so hopefully that will deal with my nutrient burn situation. I will still be using a few drops of superthrive per gallon of nute solution. Should I add anything to the plain water that I use in between the nutrient waterings. Probably pH balance it right? But what to?
 

Herban Legend

New Member
I find flushing every 30 days seems to help out alot with both lockout and nute burn ( build up of salts ). Lockout is mostly a ph factor. If the ph is not right, the membranes covering the roots close up and probelms accur real fast.
I gave topping a shot on quite a few grows and regetted it every single time.
Plants from seed seem to loose some of its hybrid vigor and you just seem to end up with smaller buds. Pruning works well but topping destroys they chance of developing serious size main colas.
Why would you want a five foot indoor plant? Guess you don't mind trimming popcorn buds cause you will have a lot of them.
I prefer flowering seeds around 14 inches or so and clones around 16 to 18 inches with a fan giving them a really good dance during veg to strenghen the main stalk and the laterals you prefer to keep.
 

Janjaweed

New Member
heya Herban welcome!
great tips i can tell your good at this, woot =)

hmm the best topped plants i saw also vegged for a hella long time, 3 months at least!!
not very efficient on time and energy but was very cool...

i like big plants they are like people 5 feet sounds good actually to me heh =)
 

berrydizzle

New Member
Thanks for the info Hurban. What do you mean popcorn sized buds on a five foot plant. My friend did 5 plants under a 400W HPS and they were about 5 feet tall, they had crazy big buds. I didn't keep track of how tall my plants were when i flowered them last time but they arent even three feet right now with two weeks to go. Bigger plants means more bud right. I have a 1000W HPS so productive lumens will go far down the plant, at least thats what I'm thinking. I will definately flush my plants at least once during flowering next time. I am dealing with all clones, no seeds. You said put a fan on them so they will be stronger from being blown around. Thanks guys.
 

berrydizzle

New Member
Im frustrated cause i tried to upload about 12 new pictures to post but I got up this morning and they weren't in the gallery. I'll get them on here eventually, i love looking at pics so im sure you other guys do too. OK so I flushed all 8 of my plants with plain water yesterday. The reasons were to fix the lockout problem and start removing the nutrients for harvesting which is happening in about a week and a half. I flushed the three gallon pots with three gallons of water and the five gallon pots with 5 gallons. Had never flushed before but it seemed like that was plenty of water for them. I took the plants outside two at a time so they could adequately drain before bringing them back inside. It wont hurt indoor plants to take them outside will it. They probably weren't outside for more then an hour each. Now i have some questions. After I flushed the soil, the soil line in the pots dropped about an inch each. What is the reason for this and should i put more soil in to the pots up to their old lines? Also I was told by a friend that if you put a layer of gravel at the bottom of the pot where the holes are and then pot your plant it will be more healthy because the roots will be able to recieve more air from the bottom of the pots and it will be easier for the soil to drain. I did this to two of my plants but with the lockout problem I cant really tell if it has helped. Anyone know if I am wasting my time with the gravel. And also one more thing. I just got my new nutrients but I am not sure if I should give them to my new babies who have had 2 waterings of the Advanced Nutrients. Should I flush their 4 inch pots before I change the nutrients or can I just switch and it be ok. Ill post the pics as soon as I get them approved.
 

fallen

New Member
actually, if you want to take them outside for a couple hours a day, it'd really fatten up the buds, due to the real sunlight, but be careful not to burn them.


not sure about the nutrients though :x
 

berrydizzle

New Member
Yeah, i cant really bring them outside for hours a day. If I had all 8 of them out there at the same time, the neighbors would be able to smell that shit if they walked outside, im sure. I do have a privacy fence but there are some cracks, just cant take that chance. i only had 2 outside at a time, right up against the house so no one could see them. So I am waiting for pictures to be approved. Its taking forever. My 6 Blueberry clones are doing great. You can already see the roots in the bottom of the 4 inch pot so they will be ready to go in the closet to veg under the 1000W MH as soon as I harvest next wed. So they can go in on thursday. The Bubblegum clones are a different story. the three that are already in the 4 inch pots have not shown any vertical growth since I planted them. The 6 that are left in the clone dome are not showing any roots out of the rockwool, but the tips of the leaves are turning yellow, a sign of rooting. I just hope it happens soon so they wont be to far behind the blueberry (although im afraid they might already be). I am traveling to Bonnaroo this weekend with my GF so if I dont see roots by then I will have to wait till monday night when I get back. If there are still no roots i am going to discontinue my use of the bubblegum that I have. Im thinking I might have kept a mother with bad genetics. Plus the Blueberry is better in my opinion. Will probably order some AK-47 seeds as soon as some come available. Or White Russian, that shit is crazy. Both from serious seeds.
I am glad to say that I think I am seeing some nice fattening of the buds since I flushed my plants on Sunday. Going to water today and then thursday before I leave since i wont be around for 5 days. Ill be sure to soak them. Well I gotta run to work. Will post pics ASAP. Bye for now.
 

Janjaweed

New Member
glad to hear your blueberry is perking up! i love that stuff :D
always helps to get ample flushings done in soil, or coco.

since your trying new things out you may want to pick up a bag of Botanicare Coco to test..
im bet with your background in Hydro you might like the results a lot better. and you get to go crazy on the nutes and waterings, for the most part very easy to flush and fix issues.

ps- "I am waiting for pictures to be approved. Its taking forever"

yeah me too, must be a huge backlog by now. hope everything is ok down in the pic dept! :D
 

berrydizzle

New Member
Botanicare Coco? Where might I go to read about that stuff. Is that stuff you mix with soil or is it a grow medium by itself. If its by itself, i have already got plenty of soil that I need to use for this grow, but I am definately down with getting more information and maybe doing it on my next grow.
 

Janjaweed

New Member
Coco is a soiless medium, made from coconuts lol.
you pretty much use it all alone.. or mix a good amount of perlite with it too.

its kinda like hyrdro because the roots get a constant supply of large amounts of air.
you can get bigger yields off using smaller container that way.

another nice thing is i dont break my back when picking up a plant in coco its super light lol, especially when dry =)

need to read up on it theres a few differences from soil. i can send you a good link in your message box.

there is also many brands.
Botanicare and Sunshine are both very good and popular. and Bcuzz..
all available in loose bag form instead of the compressed bricks which suck and are a pain.

i highly recommend trying it out! :D

here a bit from an article =)
In North America, a trend in indoor gardening has been a shift towards soilless growing practices versus hydroponics. One of the primary differences in this cultural practice is that plants are watered manually. This is usually accomplished with the aid of a submersible pump, length of hose, and a watering wand delivering the nutrient solution from a reservoir/cistern where the nutrients are prepared. While in hydroponics, the nutrients are mechanically circulated to individual planting sights typically via emitters, sprayers, flood/ drain fittings, etc. Also in hydroponics, there is typically much less growing media which is usually inert, and the nutrients are most often re-circulated.
Traditionally peat based soilless mixes have been the most widely used by growers. Bear in mind that you are much more likely to encounter a peat bog in North America than you are a coconut plantation. Since the supply is already in our backyard, it has been the natural choice.
Peat is typically stripped from bogs. The composition of different peat deposits varies widely, depending on the vegetation from which it originated, state of decomposition, mineral content and degree of acidity (Lucas et al. 1971; Patek 1965). The colour may range from dark black to a light tan depending on the source, moisture content, and other parent material present. Basically there are three types of peat: Moss Peat, Reed Sedge, and Peat Humus. The one most commonly found in commercial soilless blends is the Moss Peat variety, which is most often milled from Sphagnum moss. It is relatively inert, light in weight, holds up to 10 times its weight in water, is acidic, has some cation exchange capacity (CEC), and contains little if any beneficial nutrients. Bogs are a relatively “non-renewable” source of growing media when compared to coconut coir.
Coco coir is the fiber that results from the processing of coconuts (the removal of the “nut” from its fibrous encasing). The coir fiber is a by-product of an existing process and is quite renewable when compared to peat moss sources. The fiber is arguably more bio-active than peat fibers resulting from bog conditions. The coconut, as we know it from the grocer’s, is surrounded by tough fibers in a green casing where it is attached to the tops of coconut trees swaying in the breeze in tropical conditions. The coconut tree is a well adapted plant, in its ability to populate an area through the “seed”; the coconut. As the coconut matures on the tree, it breaks free and may fall a considerable distance. It may roll down an elevation before coming to rest, or it may become water borne and float for many months and wash up far from its origin. In any case, the coconut is able to germinate and root itself in sandy and often saline (salty) conditions miles away from its parent conditions. We are talking about a 6 to 8” high octane seed here! As a matter of fact, sterilized coconut milk is often added o the growing media as a source of hormones and nutrients in plant tissue culture.
The coconut is teaming with naturally occurring growth hormones and other bio-stimulants that are inherent to the survival of the species, which fortunately for growers may be found in the fibers surrounding the “seed” which may be processed for use as a growing medium. As with peat, there are factors affecting the quality of use of the coir as a growing medium. The origin and age of the parent material largely plays a role in the fiber qualities. Coconuts harvested when fully mature contain more lignins and cellulose. These fibers are tough and durable enough to manufacture rope from. Interestingly, coconut fiber is the only natural fiber resistant to breaking down in salt water. This helps make it ideal for indoor gardeners, as nutrient solutions, particularly popular inorganic varieties and the salts they contain, play a role in the erosion of growing medias over the course of the crop.
After coconuts are harvested, the fibrous husk is removed from the coconut “seed”. An interesting fact about coconut harvesting from the Royal Botanical Gardens, KEW website: “…in some coconut-growing areas in Indonesia and Thailand the pig-tailed macaque monkey (Pithecus memestrinus) has been trained to climb the trees to collect the nuts. The monkeys are well-treated and prized for their skill….”
After the coir fiber is separated from the nut, it is then soaked in slow moving pools or streams to moisten it, allowing for further separation and processing. If the coir fiber is intended for high value horticultural crops, care must be taken to remove salts. Often these streams are near or contain saltwater. Some sources of coir are high in sodium, as a result of poor conditioning. “Double washed” coir fibers tend to have significantly lower levels of impurities such as sodium.
To help determine the quality of your new and unfertilized coir fiber, flush 1.5 liters of distilled water through 1 liter of growing media, and measure the runoff with a dissolved solids tester. This is based on the Dutch RHP method of analytical procedure. Chart 1-A illustrates the final analysis of two coco coir samples that are well suited to growing applications based on their salt content. Note that the test does not provide information as to the structure of the coir, just specific ions as impurities. Both samples have significant levels of soluble Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium, suggesting that they have been pre-treated to satisfy the CEC requirements of the soil.
An overall value of 150 ppm or less characterizes a very pure material, while values up to 500 ppm have likely been treated to condition the media. Values greater than 500 ppm should be suspect in containing excessive sodium levels. Sodium levels should be kept as low as possible. Levels at over 100 ppm would be considered excessive and over 250 ppm are considered toxic.
I have spoken with several growers who had tried coconut coir as a growing media several years back when it was first being introduced to the indoor gardening marketplace. They did not continue to use the media, and switched back to peat based soilless mixes. After working with some of the older coconut coir available I can see why. Firstly, the earlier coco coirs available contained extremely high levels of sodium. In one batch tested, the leechate was over 1000 ppm! Keep in mind, that’s with just fresh water being run through the containers. Also the fiber quality was very poor. The coco was lighter in colour, suggesting immature fibers. The result was a powdery growing media that had poor structure for root growth and aeration. Coupled with high sodium levels, the crop was limited from the day it was planted. The coconut coir available to indoor gardeners in North America today is usually leaps and bounds ahead of the coir that was available just a few years ago.
Coconut coir that is optimal for plant growth also tends to be near neutral in pH (7.0). This helps ensure proper ionic balances in nutrient solutions, as fewer additions of pH adjusters are typically required to compensate for the pH of the growing media (i.e. rockwool has a very high pH).
Coconut coir as a growing media can be purchased in either loose or dried and compressed forms. The loose forms are already hydrated and are usually ready to be added to containers or raised beds for planting. The compressed forms require hydrating. Although the hydration process may be laborious, the dried and compressed blocks are much easier to transport to and inside of the growing location. The blocks are ideal for remote outdoor gardens. In compressed form, the blocks typically take up about 1/5th of the space as commercial peat mixes, and are much lighter in weight. For example a 5KG block of compressed coco coir measures about 10” X 10” X 4” and when expanded yields near 72 liters of high quality growing media. That’s enough to fill nine 2 gallon pots; one block per 1000W HID lamp.
Some coirs have been chemically treated, this is most often the case with loose pre-hydrated varieties versus compressed blocks. The treatment has been done to satisfy the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the growing media. As a refresher, “cations” are positively charged ions, such as Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, and Potassium. This means that the growing media will hold these ions in a matrix, releasing them as required by plants. There is one slight drawback to this. Until the cation exchange capacity of the growing media is filled, the growing media may hold positively charged nutrient ions, most notably calcium, in reserve, making them less available to plants. However, the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the coir media is quickly filled, and actually assists calcium absorption in the crop cycle. To ensure optimum availability of all nutrients, supply additional calcium during the first week of growth or during the hydrating process of the coconut coir. Calcium supplement products are ideal for this. Some nutrients specifically formulated for coco tend to have elevated levels of calcium and magnesium while having lower levels of nitrogen.
Coir is the ideal growing media for organic and hydro-organic applications. The air volume retained harbours greater populations of beneficial (oxygen loving) soil organisms than peat mixes. Increased population levels of soil micro-organisms play a strong role in high yielding organic gardens.
One of the most impressive attributes of coconut coir as a growing medium is the level of aeration and structure supplied to the rootzone. A coarse, good quality coir is difficult to over water. Basically, if you supply too much moisture it will just run out the bottom of the container, and will not become water logged (anaerobic) like peat based mixes may. The coconut fibers are much tougher and coarser than those of peat. This means more airspace is available for drainage and to supply the roots and soil life with higher levels of atmospheric oxygen (O2). Coir fiber will not compact over the course of the crop as with peat. With peat, we all remember filling the pot right to the top at the start of the crop, only to find that a third of the media is “gone” by harvest. What is happening is that the peat fibers are eroding from the force of watering, saline conditions, and the roots compacting the media. This robs the crop of valuable air space in the rootzone, and increases salt build-up as drainage is impeded. With coir fiber there is little if any compaction of the growing media over the cropping cycle due to the higher content of lignins and cellulose found in the physically coarser fibers. In container grown crops, little compaction is evident. Plants receive optimal water to air ratios over the course of the entire crop, not just the first few weeks.
Coconut coir is the ideal choice for raised bed production for several reasons. Firstly, many raised beds have been constructed without drainage. Moisture and nutrient management become much more temperamental in this type of growing situation. If you over water, there is much less of a chance of drowning roots. The coir fiber will retain airspace throughout the growing media, and the excess moisture will pool at the bottom, where it may wick up through the growing media, as coir tends to have excellent capillary movement for moisture and nutrients. To see just how resilient the air space is in coir, pick up a handful after thoroughly soaking and squeeze the material. When you open your hand, you may be surprised to find the media springing back like a sponge. Try this with peat, and you will not see any memory for macro pore space. Also, the coir fiber is resistant to breaking down under saline conditions, such as those found in non-draining raised beds, particularly those that are re-used over several crops. If the growing media is to be re-used the coir fiber will resist breaking down from mechanical handling (i.e removing old roots, mixing in growing amendments), while peat tends to become not much more than dust after several cropping cycles. In Holland, coir has been used to grow long term crops such as roses for periods longer than 10 years! The cation exchange capacity of the coir fiber also helps to reduce the incidence of salt burn, as it offers some buffering against positively charged ions such as sodium. When re-using any growing media, impurities such as sodium tend to accumulate over time. Organic based nutrients allow for a longer periods of use over multiple crops, as they tend to have less salts as impurities.
Unlike peat, coir may be used in re-circulating applications. In re-circulating drip systems it is recommended that the fiber be mixed 50/50 with either coarse perlite, pumice or grow rocks for faster drainage. Coir is also very suitable for flood and drain applications. There are coir products now available in the hydroponic marketplace that are excellent substitutes growing mediums. One such product is a small, plastic wrapped square of compressed coco coir. Once hydrated it expands into a 6” X 6” X 6” growing cube. Moisture management may differ from other media. Another benefit is that coco tends to have a near neutral pH value, so lesser quantities of pH adjusters are required in the nutrient solution. Excessive additions of pH adjusters may create an ionic imbalance in the nutrient solution, locking out or precipitating some nutrients.
One of the greatest benefits to using coco products is that disposal is easy and environmentally sound. The coir makes an excellent and natural looking top dressing to outdoor flower and vegetable gardens
 

fallen

New Member
Coco is a soiless medium, made from coconuts lol.
you pretty much use it all alone.. or mix a good amount of perlite with it too.

its kinda like hyrdro because the roots get a constant supply of large amounts of air.
you can get bigger yields off using smaller container that way.

another nice thing is i dont break my back when picking up a plant in coco its super light lol, especially when dry =)

need to read up on it theres a few differences from soil. i can send you a good link in your message box.

there is also many brands.
Botanicare and Sunshine are both very good and popular. and Bcuzz..
all available in loose bag form instead of the compressed bricks which suck and are a pain.

i highly recommend trying it out! :D

here a bit from an article =)
In North America, a trend in indoor gardening has been a shift towards soilless growing practices versus hydroponics. One of the primary differences in this cultural practice is that plants are watered manually. This is usually accomplished with the aid of a submersible pump, length of hose, and a watering wand delivering the nutrient solution from a reservoir/cistern where the nutrients are prepared. While in hydroponics, the nutrients are mechanically circulated to individual planting sights typically via emitters, sprayers, flood/ drain fittings, etc. Also in hydroponics, there is typically much less growing media which is usually inert, and the nutrients are most often re-circulated.
Traditionally peat based soilless mixes have been the most widely used by growers. Bear in mind that you are much more likely to encounter a peat bog in North America than you are a coconut plantation. Since the supply is already in our backyard, it has been the natural choice.
Peat is typically stripped from bogs. The composition of different peat deposits varies widely, depending on the vegetation from which it originated, state of decomposition, mineral content and degree of acidity (Lucas et al. 1971; Patek 1965). The colour may range from dark black to a light tan depending on the source, moisture content, and other parent material present. Basically there are three types of peat: Moss Peat, Reed Sedge, and Peat Humus. The one most commonly found in commercial soilless blends is the Moss Peat variety, which is most often milled from Sphagnum moss. It is relatively inert, light in weight, holds up to 10 times its weight in water, is acidic, has some cation exchange capacity (CEC), and contains little if any beneficial nutrients. Bogs are a relatively "non-renewable" source of growing media when compared to coconut coir.
Coco coir is the fiber that results from the processing of coconuts (the removal of the "nut" from its fibrous encasing). The coir fiber is a by-product of an existing process and is quite renewable when compared to peat moss sources. The fiber is arguably more bio-active than peat fibers resulting from bog conditions. The coconut, as we know it from the grocer's, is surrounded by tough fibers in a green casing where it is attached to the tops of coconut trees swaying in the breeze in tropical conditions. The coconut tree is a well adapted plant, in its ability to populate an area through the "seed"; the coconut. As the coconut matures on the tree, it breaks free and may fall a considerable distance. It may roll down an elevation before coming to rest, or it may become water borne and float for many months and wash up far from its origin. In any case, the coconut is able to germinate and root itself in sandy and often saline (salty) conditions miles away from its parent conditions. We are talking about a 6 to 8" high octane seed here! As a matter of fact, sterilized coconut milk is often added o the growing media as a source of hormones and nutrients in plant tissue culture.
The coconut is teaming with naturally occurring growth hormones and other bio-stimulants that are inherent to the survival of the species, which fortunately for growers may be found in the fibers surrounding the "seed" which may be processed for use as a growing medium. As with peat, there are factors affecting the quality of use of the coir as a growing medium. The origin and age of the parent material largely plays a role in the fiber qualities. Coconuts harvested when fully mature contain more lignins and cellulose. These fibers are tough and durable enough to manufacture rope from. Interestingly, coconut fiber is the only natural fiber resistant to breaking down in salt water. This helps make it ideal for indoor gardeners, as nutrient solutions, particularly popular inorganic varieties and the salts they contain, play a role in the erosion of growing medias over the course of the crop.
After coconuts are harvested, the fibrous husk is removed from the coconut "seed". An interesting fact about coconut harvesting from the Royal Botanical Gardens, KEW website: "...in some coconut-growing areas in Indonesia and Thailand the pig-tailed macaque monkey (Pithecus memestrinus) has been trained to climb the trees to collect the nuts. The monkeys are well-treated and prized for their skill...."
After the coir fiber is separated from the nut, it is then soaked in slow moving pools or streams to moisten it, allowing for further separation and processing. If the coir fiber is intended for high value horticultural crops, care must be taken to remove salts. Often these streams are near or contain saltwater. Some sources of coir are high in sodium, as a result of poor conditioning. "Double washed" coir fibers tend to have significantly lower levels of impurities such as sodium.
To help determine the quality of your new and unfertilized coir fiber, flush 1.5 liters of distilled water through 1 liter of growing media, and measure the runoff with a dissolved solids tester. This is based on the Dutch RHP method of analytical procedure. Chart 1-A illustrates the final analysis of two coco coir samples that are well suited to growing applications based on their salt content. Note that the test does not provide information as to the structure of the coir, just specific ions as impurities. Both samples have significant levels of soluble Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium, suggesting that they have been pre-treated to satisfy the CEC requirements of the soil.
An overall value of 150 ppm or less characterizes a very pure material, while values up to 500 ppm have likely been treated to condition the media. Values greater than 500 ppm should be suspect in containing excessive sodium levels. Sodium levels should be kept as low as possible. Levels at over 100 ppm would be considered excessive and over 250 ppm are considered toxic.
I have spoken with several growers who had tried coconut coir as a growing media several years back when it was first being introduced to the indoor gardening marketplace. They did not continue to use the media, and switched back to peat based soilless mixes. After working with some of the older coconut coir available I can see why. Firstly, the earlier coco coirs available contained extremely high levels of sodium. In one batch tested, the leechate was over 1000 ppm! Keep in mind, that's with just fresh water being run through the containers. Also the fiber quality was very poor. The coco was lighter in colour, suggesting immature fibers. The result was a powdery growing media that had poor structure for root growth and aeration. Coupled with high sodium levels, the crop was limited from the day it was planted. The coconut coir available to indoor gardeners in North America today is usually leaps and bounds ahead of the coir that was available just a few years ago.
Coconut coir that is optimal for plant growth also tends to be near neutral in pH (7.0). This helps ensure proper ionic balances in nutrient solutions, as fewer additions of pH adjusters are typically required to compensate for the pH of the growing media (i.e. rockwool has a very high pH).
Coconut coir as a growing media can be purchased in either loose or dried and compressed forms. The loose forms are already hydrated and are usually ready to be added to containers or raised beds for planting. The compressed forms require hydrating. Although the hydration process may be laborious, the dried and compressed blocks are much easier to transport to and inside of the growing location. The blocks are ideal for remote outdoor gardens. In compressed form, the blocks typically take up about 1/5th of the space as commercial peat mixes, and are much lighter in weight. For example a 5KG block of compressed coco coir measures about 10" X 10" X 4" and when expanded yields near 72 liters of high quality growing media. That's enough to fill nine 2 gallon pots; one block per 1000W HID lamp.
Some coirs have been chemically treated, this is most often the case with loose pre-hydrated varieties versus compressed blocks. The treatment has been done to satisfy the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the growing media. As a refresher, "cations" are positively charged ions, such as Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, and Potassium. This means that the growing media will hold these ions in a matrix, releasing them as required by plants. There is one slight drawback to this. Until the cation exchange capacity of the growing media is filled, the growing media may hold positively charged nutrient ions, most notably calcium, in reserve, making them less available to plants. However, the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the coir media is quickly filled, and actually assists calcium absorption in the crop cycle. To ensure optimum availability of all nutrients, supply additional calcium during the first week of growth or during the hydrating process of the coconut coir. Calcium supplement products are ideal for this. Some nutrients specifically formulated for coco tend to have elevated levels of calcium and magnesium while having lower levels of nitrogen.
Coir is the ideal growing media for organic and hydro-organic applications. The air volume retained harbours greater populations of beneficial (oxygen loving) soil organisms than peat mixes. Increased population levels of soil micro-organisms play a strong role in high yielding organic gardens.
One of the most impressive attributes of coconut coir as a growing medium is the level of aeration and structure supplied to the rootzone. A coarse, good quality coir is difficult to over water. Basically, if you supply too much moisture it will just run out the bottom of the container, and will not become water logged (anaerobic) like peat based mixes may. The coconut fibers are much tougher and coarser than those of peat. This means more airspace is available for drainage and to supply the roots and soil life with higher levels of atmospheric oxygen (O2). Coir fiber will not compact over the course of the crop as with peat. With peat, we all remember filling the pot right to the top at the start of the crop, only to find that a third of the media is "gone" by harvest. What is happening is that the peat fibers are eroding from the force of watering, saline conditions, and the roots compacting the media. This robs the crop of valuable air space in the rootzone, and increases salt build-up as drainage is impeded. With coir fiber there is little if any compaction of the growing media over the cropping cycle due to the higher content of lignins and cellulose found in the physically coarser fibers. In container grown crops, little compaction is evident. Plants receive optimal water to air ratios over the course of the entire crop, not just the first few weeks.
Coconut coir is the ideal choice for raised bed production for several reasons. Firstly, many raised beds have been constructed without drainage. Moisture and nutrient management become much more temperamental in this type of growing situation. If you over water, there is much less of a chance of drowning roots. The coir fiber will retain airspace throughout the growing media, and the excess moisture will pool at the bottom, where it may wick up through the growing media, as coir tends to have excellent capillary movement for moisture and nutrients. To see just how resilient the air space is in coir, pick up a handful after thoroughly soaking and squeeze the material. When you open your hand, you may be surprised to find the media springing back like a sponge. Try this with peat, and you will not see any memory for macro pore space. Also, the coir fiber is resistant to breaking down under saline conditions, such as those found in non-draining raised beds, particularly those that are re-used over several crops. If the growing media is to be re-used the coir fiber will resist breaking down from mechanical handling (i.e removing old roots, mixing in growing amendments), while peat tends to become not much more than dust after several cropping cycles. In Holland, coir has been used to grow long term crops such as roses for periods longer than 10 years! The cation exchange capacity of the coir fiber also helps to reduce the incidence of salt burn, as it offers some buffering against positively charged ions such as sodium. When re-using any growing media, impurities such as sodium tend to accumulate over time. Organic based nutrients allow for a longer periods of use over multiple crops, as they tend to have less salts as impurities.
Unlike peat, coir may be used in re-circulating applications. In re-circulating drip systems it is recommended that the fiber be mixed 50/50 with either coarse perlite, pumice or grow rocks for faster drainage. Coir is also very suitable for flood and drain applications. There are coir products now available in the hydroponic marketplace that are excellent substitutes growing mediums. One such product is a small, plastic wrapped square of compressed coco coir. Once hydrated it expands into a 6" X 6" X 6" growing cube. Moisture management may differ from other media. Another benefit is that coco tends to have a near neutral pH value, so lesser quantities of pH adjusters are required in the nutrient solution. Excessive additions of pH adjusters may create an ionic imbalance in the nutrient solution, locking out or precipitating some nutrients.
One of the greatest benefits to using coco products is that disposal is easy and environmentally sound. The coir makes an excellent and natural looking top dressing to outdoor flower and vegetable gardens
ah! can you send me those links too?

i'm currently in the process of building the growroom, and i want to do hydro, but i'm waiting until my next grow to get the hang of it, but this coco sounds great!
 

berrydizzle

New Member
Thanks guys, i appreciate the info. I will have to see if my local store has that product. So I went to the garden store earlier and got some things to put under my pots to catch the runoff water, i dont know what they are called but you know what im talking about. I have a big ass syringe that I got with the bloombox so I cam also suck all the runoff out of the bottom and check the pH. Before I never let water runoff because i just have a layer of cardboard between the pots and carpet.

So before I left for work I conducted a little experiment. I took the top off of the clone dome to see if the clones wilted or if they still stayed strong. I got home and they still looked strong, thank god. So I went ahead and potted them in the 4 inch pots and put them back under the 125W sunleaves floro. Hopefully they start some vertical growth soon cause the 6 blueberry's are blowing up. Maybe I will have to top them to keep them shorter. I have had experiences in the past where the strong plans just outgrew the short ones and they stopped getting light and stopped growing. But that was in the bloombox where I couldnt move the plants around.

So my general hydroponics nutrients have a feeding chart on the back of them. Their are 4 categories of plant growth:
!.General purpose, mild
2.Vegetative growth
3.Transition to bloom phase
4.Blooming and Ripening

So I am wondering how many weeks each category is. I am using the general purpose, mild solution while they are in the 4 inch pots. I will use the Veg solution once I transplant into the 3 gallon pots and put under the 1000W MH. Then I will flush, change the bulb to the HPS, change the hours, and start the transition to bloom solution for the first three weeks?? This is where I am contemplating how many weeks to use the Transition solution. Should I do 4 weeks and then flush and change to the blooming and ripening solution. I know i have a good bit of time until then to decide, but I would like to have an idea. And I am going to use the recomended full strengh that is says on the bottle so should I do nutes, water, water or should I just switch every other time as long as I am having runoff.

I know I am full of questions but I really want to do this grow well so I have some nice fat colas like I see other users getting. And I love learning how to keep care of my babies. Speaking of babies, the light is off and there are some nice buds that I want to take pictures of. Pics are so much better with the lights off. Thanks for all the help guys.
 
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