420 Magazine Background

Noob with possible pH issues, soil

You really need to get a handle on this watering thing and let them dry down to the bottom of the containers in veg. Since sticking your finger in the top 3 or 4 inches of a 20g pot isnt going to tell you much, you need a better tool. Thank goodness for old school gardening tricks!

Get you a nice soft wood dowel stick and use it as a dipstick to see where your water table is in those containers. A dipstick can help you to easily track the fall of the water table into the last inch of the container, and then you will know when it is time to water. Going by a set time schedule of watering every so many days is NOT the way to do this thing... you need to adjust to what the plants need instead. Watch your wet/dry cycle and track it on a chart, and you will then know which plants are thriving by needing water every 2 or 3 days vs one that is struggling that takes a week to drain the container. Also, never let a plant in a huge container go more than 3 days without giving the top spreader roots a mini watering... just enough to soak into the first 3 or 4 inches... you know... where your finger was checking things out. As it turns out, your finger method does have a purpose, but it is specific to the top roots that you are fingering, and not indicating a need for a complete, or as I say, a proper watering.
Hi Emilya,

Would a 1/4" - 1/2" dia wooden dowel do the job? Should I put one in each plant and keep them in the plant at all time ( only remove to check water level )? I just want to make sure I understand you correctly.

Thank-you in advance?
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019
The smaller dowel will work just fine, 1/2 inch is overkill and would unnecessarily kill roots. You would not want your dipstick to stay in the container all the time, it would be a short time before a good active soil would start to decompose the wood. You only need one, and you use it by keeping it dry and only poking it into the soil all the way to the bottom when you want to do a water level test. Stick it all the way in to the bottom and let it sit there for a minute or so and then pull it out. It should be obvious where the stick had been wet and where it was dry. Hold this up next to the container, and you will then know exactly where the wet/dry line is in the container.
 
The smaller dowel will work just fine, 1/2 inch is overkill and would unnecessarily kill roots. You would not want your dipstick to stay in the container all the time, it would be a short time before a good active soil would start to decompose the wood. You only need one, and you use it by keeping it dry and only poking it into the soil all the way to the bottom when you want to do a water level test. Stick it all the way in to the bottom and let it sit there for a minute or so and then pull it out. It should be obvious where the stick had been wet and where it was dry. Hold this up next to the container, and you will then know exactly where the wet/dry line is in the container.
Hi Emilya,

Just to make sure I understand you, do you think the yellowing of my lower leaves is attributed to over watering? One of my plants has allot of yellow leaves. I'd guess 20% of them are yellow ( mostly lower - some mid ). Most of the rest are 5% or so.

Also, do I let the containers get dry in all stages? I ask b/c you mentioned veg state in your original post. They are currently pre-flowering and will hopefully be flowering very soon.

I'm also using fabric pots and they seem to dry out faster. They can also be a pain in the butt to water when the soil gets extremely dry ( water wants to go out the sides ). This makes it hard to water the outer rim as your article on water suggests ( which I try to mimic btw ). Usually I put about a quart of water towards the center-ish of the plant and let it sit for a bit. Then I do the same again. Next I start watering around the outside of the plants ( repeat this until done ). I'd guess that I add ~1 quart of water per round. Since I have 12 plants I just move to the next plant after the quart of water has been added. By the time I make a full rotation they are ready for the next round of watering ( i.e. water has been absorbed ).

Thank-you so much for sharing your knowledge!
 

Kanda

Well-Known Member
I’m not sure if your grow bags are directly on the ground or not but I started that way with mine then read an article about bottom airflow that noted it was good to get off the ground as the bottom can dry properly. I am in 15 gallon grow bags mostly and found that lifting off ground on rack helped my girls immensely.
Your greenhouse looks great! Much nicer than the jungle I have on my hands.
Nice grow
 
I’m not sure if your grow bags are directly on the ground or not but I started that way with mine then read an article about bottom airflow that noted it was good to get off the ground as the bottom can dry properly. I am in 15 gallon grow bags mostly and found that lifting off ground on rack helped my girls immensely.
Your greenhouse looks great! Much nicer than the jungle I have on my hands.
Nice grow
Hi Kanda,

My fabric pots sit on a crushed limestone foundation covered with heavy duty landscape fabric. They are not lifted off the foundation. Water just runs down and I don't see anything, unfortunately. I'm not aware of any saucers big enough to fit under them.

Here's a photo of my greenhouse from the outside. It's nothing overly special, but does what I need it to do. My only regret is the overall height. I wish it was 2-4' taller. Some of my plants are at the 6' mark. The top of the gable is only 8', so I have some looming problems to solve.
 

Attachments

Nunyabiz

Well-Known Member
Kanda made a great point that I glazed right over.
Fabric pots should be on pot elevators to get airflow around the whole pot.

And IMO I would never let a large pot especially fabric dry out, double especially in a outdoor greenhouse that gets up to 90 degrees.
I would keep them moist, avoid dry spots that become hydrophobic.
With plants this large when they start to flower they will transpire a lot of water.
I would add either Yucca or Aloe Vera to your water or both as wetting agents.
They will help the soil to not become hydrophobic, help with nutrient uptake, and feed microbes.
A nice Sprouted Seed Tea of Alfalfa would be good also.
It contains Triacontanol which in an Auxin, a plant growth hormone.
It will help stimulate growth, increase photosynthesis.

!
 
Kanda made a great point that I glazed right over.
Fabric pots should be on pot elevators to get airflow around the whole pot.

And IMO I would never let a large pot especially fabric dry out, double especially in a outdoor greenhouse that gets up to 90 degrees.
I would keep them moist, avoid dry spots that become hydrophobic.
With plants this large when they start to flower they will transpire a lot of water.
I would add either Yucca or Aloe Vera to your water or both as wetting agents.
They will help the soil to not become hydrophobic, help with nutrient uptake, and feed microbes.
A nice Sprouted Seed Tea of Alfalfa would be good also.
It contains Triacontanol which in an Auxin, a plant growth hormone.
It will help stimulate growth, increase photosynthesis.

!
Thank you for your input!
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019
Hi Emilya,

Just to make sure I understand you, do you think the yellowing of my lower leaves is attributed to over watering? One of my plants has allot of yellow leaves. I'd guess 20% of them are yellow ( mostly lower - some mid ). Most of the rest are 5% or so.

Also, do I let the containers get dry in all stages? I ask b/c you mentioned veg state in your original post. They are currently pre-flowering and will hopefully be flowering very soon.

I'm also using fabric pots and they seem to dry out faster. They can also be a pain in the butt to water when the soil gets extremely dry ( water wants to go out the sides ). This makes it hard to water the outer rim as your article on water suggests ( which I try to mimic btw ). Usually I put about a quart of water towards the center-ish of the plant and let it sit for a bit. Then I do the same again. Next I start watering around the outside of the plants ( repeat this until done ). I'd guess that I add ~1 quart of water per round. Since I have 12 plants I just move to the next plant after the quart of water has been added. By the time I make a full rotation they are ready for the next round of watering ( i.e. water has been absorbed ).

Thank-you so much for sharing your knowledge!
Yes indeed, that damage we see on the lower fans means one of two things to me, rootbound or lower roots shut down due to overwatering. Since you are in smart pots, rootbound is at the bottom of that list, so yes... it is clear that you are watering too often while in veg, by not letting them dry out all the way to the bottom. The lift method is easy while in veg... and you should not be able to humanly discern ANY water weight at all when lifting, when it is dry enough to water.
When you are in flower and the roots have stopped reaching out so fervently after stretch is over, the watering needs change. Then the game becomes trying to see how much water you can get the plants to take up each day, so your watering method needs to change. This can not happen without healthy roots in the first place, and going to flower with this situation not resolved is going to drastically affect the yield that you could have gotten with this plant. You really need to dry the container out before you get into flower and try to establish some sort of cycle.
Yes, fabric pots dry out faster. In a closed container, evaporation accounts for only 2% of the water usage per day, and I bet a fabric pot brings that up to around 7% with all the extra surface area. But the rest of the water usage, 93% is what the plant is drawing up. Plants in fabric pots tend to use more water simply because their roots systems are so much better.
Yes, for the impatient, fabric pots are much harder to water correctly. It sounds like you are doing what has to be done however, using small amounts and time inbetween to allow the water to go down, and not drip out of the sides of the bag. That rotation, pausing to enjoy the zen, and then continuing around is exactly how I do it, with my little 3 cup watering can. In the beginning, I even use less than you do, to soak the surface and get the process moving... I start out with 1 cup.
 
Just ordered 12 pot elevators.

I bought them on GrowGreenMI btw. The other company wanted to charge me $261 for shipping. Something is amiss with their shipping calculator I guess :) GrowGreenMI was $18 for shipping which is a tad bit more reasonable. Plus the price was cheaper per pot.

Anywho, ty for recommendation!
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019
I use river rocks... I have 4 of them in each drip tray, just because they are so cheap.
DSCF7173 zoom.jpg
 
Yes indeed, that damage we see on the lower fans means one of two things to me, rootbound or lower roots shut down due to overwatering. Since you are in smart pots, rootbound is at the bottom of that list, so yes... it is clear that you are watering too often while in veg, by not letting them dry out all the way to the bottom. The lift method is easy while in veg... and you should not be able to humanly discern ANY water weight at all when lifting, when it is dry enough to water.
When you are in flower and the roots have stopped reaching out so fervently after stretch is over, the watering needs change. Then the game becomes trying to see how much water you can get the plants to take up each day, so your watering method needs to change. This can not happen without healthy roots in the first place, and going to flower with this situation not resolved is going to drastically affect the yield that you could have gotten with this plant. You really need to dry the container out before you get into flower and try to establish some sort of cycle.
Yes, fabric pots dry out faster. In a closed container, evaporation accounts for only 2% of the water usage per day, and I bet a fabric pot brings that up to around 7% with all the extra surface area. But the rest of the water usage, 93% is what the plant is drawing up. Plants in fabric pots tend to use more water simply because their roots systems are so much better.
Yes, for the impatient, fabric pots are much harder to water correctly. It sounds like you are doing what has to be done however, using small amounts and time inbetween to allow the water to go down, and not drip out of the sides of the bag. That rotation, pausing to enjoy the zen, and then continuing around is exactly how I do it, with my little 3 cup watering can. In the beginning, I even use less than you do, to soak the surface and get the process moving... I start out with 1 cup.
Thanks so much Emilya! You are a wealth of cannabis knowledge.
 
I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who contributed to this post. The fact that you took time out of your day to help a stranger speaks volumes about your character. I'm truly grateful. Thank-you so much!
 

Pbass

Well-Known Member
I don't doubt there are benefits to organic, its all relative though right? I got about 14 ounces off 11 plants from hermie bag seed, served my girls fox farms like a fast food restaurant, didn't flush and still get good and stoned off my super tasty non organic weed. So many factors involved, I don't think one can be definitive in the proclamation that organic means better.
 
Last edited:

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019
I don't doubt there are benefits to organic! Its all relative though right? I got about 14 ounces off 11 plants from hermie bag seed, served my girls fox farms like a fast food restaurant, didn't flush and still get good and stoned off my super tasty non organic weed. So many factors involved, I don't think one can be definitive in the proclamation that organic means better.
No offence meant @Pbass but how do you know what you could have had if you had done something different, like flushing a couple of times? My point is that you dont know, because you have not tried the alternative. I have. For years I experimented and tweeked my FF grow to produce the very best pot I could grow, and I was quite satisfied with my results, just as you are now.
Then I tried growing organically. This doesnt just mean using organic and natural things, it means turning the grow over to the microbes to run, and I took my hands off of the wheel. The results convinced me. Letting the plants make all the decisions results in superior weed, flat out, no comparison. I CAN be definitive in my proclamation, because I have done it and have the ability to directly compare. Until you have tried this same experiment yourself, you can not be definitive, but please don't disrespect those who have done the work and feel they do have the right to proclaim such a thing...
Also, lets put this out there... is there anyone reading this who honestly tried organic using minerally charged soil and microbes, that ever went back to any other method to grow their top quality pot? I have never heard of anyone to go backwards like this, unless of course it was to run production in a massive synthetic operation.
 

Nunyabiz

Well-Known Member
No offence meant @Pbass but how do you know what you could have had if you had done something different, like flushing a couple of times? My point is that you dont know, because you have not tried the alternative. I have. For years I experimented and tweeked my FF grow to produce the very best pot I could grow, and I was quite satisfied with my results, just as you are now.
Then I tried growing organically. This doesnt just mean using organic and natural things, it means turning the grow over to the microbes to run, and I took my hands off of the wheel. The results convinced me. Letting the plants make all the decisions results in superior weed, flat out, no comparison. I CAN be definitive in my proclamation, because I have done it and have the ability to directly compare. Until you have tried this same experiment yourself, you can not be definitive, but please don't disrespect those who have done the work and feel they do have the right to proclaim such a thing...
Also, lets put this out there... is there anyone reading this who honestly tried organic using minerally charged soil and microbes, that ever went back to any other method to grow their top quality pot? I have never heard of anyone to go backwards like this, unless of course it was to run production in a massive synthetic operation.
Likewise, I have done the same as far as soil grows, never tried hydro.
Once I started Living Organic Soil No-till that was it, sold.
I would honestly feel like an idiot if I grew any other way now.
 

Lowrider72

Well-Known Member
Thanks again for your input! Next year I will go fully organic as you recommended. I was thinking about using coco next year with smaller pots ( 5-10g ), but I don't think I'm ready for that.
Mate, these guys will see you right in organics and soil.
But if you ever want to go coco, dont be afraid. Problems can be easily corrected by flushing and you can use trichaderma and Mycos as well.
Hit me up if you ever want to try it.
 

Pbass

Well-Known Member
You guys are right kinda, I guess? But, I'm happy, don't work very hard, and really don't care about the outcome. It grows quick, cheap and fine my way, regardless of how much research and expertise didn't go into it! And I suspect there's more to genetics than there is feed on a 9oz. plant. This was about cal/mag and watering not "you should have went organic" anyway.
 
No offence meant @Pbass but how do you know what you could have had if you had done something different, like flushing a couple of times? My point is that you dont know, because you have not tried the alternative. I have. For years I experimented and tweeked my FF grow to produce the very best pot I could grow, and I was quite satisfied with my results, just as you are now.
Then I tried growing organically. This doesnt just mean using organic and natural things, it means turning the grow over to the microbes to run, and I took my hands off of the wheel. The results convinced me. Letting the plants make all the decisions results in superior weed, flat out, no comparison. I CAN be definitive in my proclamation, because I have done it and have the ability to directly compare. Until you have tried this same experiment yourself, you can not be definitive, but please don't disrespect those who have done the work and feel they do have the right to proclaim such a thing...
Also, lets put this out there... is there anyone reading this who honestly tried organic using minerally charged soil and microbes, that ever went back to any other method to grow their top quality pot? I have never heard of anyone to go backwards like this, unless of course it was to run production in a massive synthetic operation.
I'm pretty much sold on the idea of going organically my next grow. The end product seems superior. But candidly, the most appealing aspect seems to be the hands free nature of the grow ( aside from watering on occasion and other misc tasks ). Messing with soil PH, nutrients, and flushing is not desirable - for me, anyway.

I started looking around for super soil recipes. They vary greatly. Is there a good soil recipe / info that you could point me to?

Thanks in advance!
 

Pbass

Well-Known Member
I'm glad you are thinking of expanding your horizons and I'm sure you'll grow great weed. I'm not sure where all this "soil is hard work" idea came from though.

I figured out my pH with a pool tester and haven't checked again it through 4 grows. I'm not sure what it takes to brew a tea or mess with top dressings, but it's not "hands free." I anticipate you will find your hands just as busy if not more. Cheers mate gl to your grow!
 
I'm glad you are thinking of expanding your horizons and I'm sure you'll grow great weed. I'm not sure where all this "soil is hard work" idea came from though.

I figured out my pH with a pool tester and haven't checked again it through 4 grows. I'm not sure what it takes to brew a tea or mess with top dressings, but it's not "hands free." I anticipate you will find your hands just as busy if not more. Cheers mate gl to your grow!
Never claimed soil to be hard work. Growing organically just sounds like less work. That's just my interpretation & opinion.

My main issue non-organic growing is the inability to flush properly due to the remote location of my grow. So organic growing is more appealing to me. I'm sure it will still be allot of work, and I welcome it.
 
Top Bottom