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Nutrients Required for the "Just add Water" Super Soil ?

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  • AGH
    commented on 's reply
    Definitely on the same path and some interesting new insights for me!

    I'm fortunate that I have a friend who is also a grower who can look after my plants when I'm away. And I leave extremely detailed instructions so it's pretty much impossible to mess up.

    I've never used the Blumats - would it be possible to put the molasses mixture in the water for the blumats? Or would that gunk it up?

  • OlderNOTwiser
    replied
    AGH

    I posted this in April on another thread...we seem to be running along the same road.

    04-02-2022, 01:27 PM


    Been a long time since I posted anything but I think I may be of service here. I'm also using Earth Dust and I admit it was a little confusing at first. I'd have to look at my diaries to be sure but I'd guess this is my twelfth grow with earth dust.

    You have to keep in mind that the whole "nothing but water" is a bit of a misnomer in that you actually may need to add things as you go. Why? Not everyone uses the same starter soil. Or the same compost source or amount. Not all water sources are the same...some loaded with minerals and others stripped of them. Different plants need different nutrients or more or less of them than another plant. If they aren't there (in the water) then you will need to add calcium and/or magnesium and some trace minerals, etc... But before messing with that it is absolutely critical to get your pH dialed in. I know the literature all says that there are buffers in there and you should be good to go. HOWEVER, after weeks of pouring acidic water into the soil the buffers can't adjust enough to properly present the nutrients in the soil to the root system. (Calcium needs to be above 6.2) You'll need to help out there. My tap water is currently at 5.8pH. In summer it runs in the higher end of 6.8 or more. I use plain old baking soda to raise the pH to about 6.4 - 6.8 pH and plain lemon juice to lower it. With the color in your pics I'd run a week or so with pH drifting from 6.4 - 6.8 for at least a few weeks. Don't feed exactly the same pH every day, let it drift within the appropriate range. Different minerals need different pH to be absorbed. The damaged leaves will not improve. Watch newer growth to see if you're on the right path.

    The other really big thing is watering. You don't want to water to runoff as you will leach out everything the plant needs. Also, don't let the pot dry out as the microbial life will die off, leaving you with nearly sterile soil. And, since you're not watering with liquid nutrients the plant now has nothing to use! Also, you want to keep the microbials in the soil alive and happy. They need to be kept damp. NOT wet. It's a dance for a few weeks for sure. A tiny plant in a 5 gallon bucket is tough to water properly. You need to keep the soil damp/moist but all of that soil getting wet now wicks to the roots of the tiny plant and it struggles to get oxygen. The old instructions of watering a ring around the seedling is still good. But, be sure to dampen the rest of the pot outside of your ring to keep everything else working (don't over water). Then come back to the ring...did it absorb from outside? If not enough then give a few drops or so around the plant and leave it to find the rest of the water.

    I wouldn't add much of anything to the water for at least a week until you can "read" the new leaves and determine if you're heading in the right direction. Having said that, I used Epsom salts this morning. My plants (three of them) are 90 days from seed today and 36 days from flip to 12/12. I used 1/2 tsp per gallon of filtered water and pH adjusted to 6.6 for today. Yesterday I watered plain, filtered, water at ~ 6.2 pH. You need to have a pH drift so the minerals can be absorbed at their desired range.

    I guess I'm babbling so let me focus in here:
    1) The first pic shows a very dry medium. Can't let that happen.
    2) The color of leaves and the splotchy appearance is indicative of too low pH for calcium absorption AND over-watering. If you're watering to runoff (or nearly so) and letting the pot dry for a day or two or three and then watering to excess again you are indeed over watering. Even though the total given may not be much over the course of a week the instantaneous effect is too much at a given time.
    3) If you think the medium dried out and the microbes may be at risk (or gone entirely) try a tea with Earth Dust. Dan from Green Sunshine has lots of good video instructions to help.
    4) I don't know the age of your plants but if you're near the time to flip to 12/12 lighting be sure to get the Boost applied and watered in. If you're still some time away consider an instant tea with Base. I use 2 tablespoons/plant/gallon. I let it work for about 15 minutes while I tend to tent chores. Split between the pots. When the pots are properly watered then stop. Don't be concerned if there is some left over.

    I have eventually started to use worm castings ( a half cup or more) every few weeks. I use an Epsom tea (11/2 tsp Epsom, 1 tablespoon molasses, and 1/3 cup of castings per gallon) also every few weeks. The Earth Dust Base tea above. (I use the Base tea if I'm vegging longer or if I had the base cooking for more than a few weeks prior to planting) And of course a Boost tea same as the Base tea in proportions. Molasses added in mid to late flower (1 tablespoon per gallon, sometimes 2 but not every day)

    Hope I didn't miss anything or add too much confusion. Good Luck


    ‚ÄčOK...why did I repost that? Because I have a question that wasn't present in April. We'd like to do some traveling in the coming year and have started using Blumats to water. Definitely takes some tinkering to get them dialed in right. When it was time for the BOOST top dressing I pulled my dripper supports up a little and did my best to scratch it all in under them and re-positioned. Now I'm approaching the time for molasses/water for fattening up those buds. The question is whether to just mix and pour and be as careful as possible with amounts. My worry is overwatering the medium when I have the drippers doing it (finally) where I'd say it is just right. I guess I'll wing it this time (carefully) and see what I come up with.

    Leave a comment:


  • AGH
    replied
    Glad to see you're going to organic route!

    A few pointers that I can second that have already been mentioned:
    - Be super careful not to overwater. Organic/supersoil really can hold on to a lot of water and that can prevent the roots from getting the oxygen they need.
    - The chemicals in pH up and down kill your beneficial microbes that you're trying to keep happy. Afterall, when growing organic, all you do is take care of the microbes in the soil and they make the nutrients in that soil available for the plant. As mentioned, vinegar/lemon juice and baking soda if you need to pH your water. However, pH matters significantly less in organic grows because the microbes that you're keeping healthy balance all of that out for you.

    Some things that haven't yet been mentioned:
    - when growing organic, it is even more important to manager your environment: temp/humidity, ventilation, circulation, watering regime, and light intensity/distance
    - managing your environment makes sure that the plants can take up all those wonderful nutrients you have cooking in your soil
    - managing your environment also makes it to where pest (including fungus gnats, thrips, aphids, powdery mildew, bud rot, etc) can't survive. Creating a good environment for your soil biome and the plants naturally creates an environment unfriendly to pests and disease.
    - I do a tea once every 7-10 days or so when in flower. (When in veg, there's usually plenty of nutrients in the soil, but listen to your plants.) I use Earth Dust Base and Boost both for top dressing and for a quick tea as appropriate. There are lots of options, but I've found Earth Dust to be great and very simple to use while still all organic.
    - When growing organic, it's even more important to listen to your plants and they often speak in whispers. However it's even more important to not 'chase' solutions to what might look like a deficiency/toxicity by adding all sorts of things to your soil. If you've done your supersoil right and you add well balanced teas to your soil every now and then, everything your plant needs is right in the soil. Organic growing focuses on caring for the soil whereas growing with synthetic nutrients, it's up to the grower to provide the nutrients in the right strength at the right time. Nothing wrong with either way, just different methods with different things to consider.


    So, yes, just add water but not any synthetic nutrients (adding those will cause all kinds of trouble in an organic grow) but that doesn't mean 'no amendments'. Amendments are things that you already know like distiller's yeast, guano, insect frass, etc. Be aware that coco coir doesn't provide any nutrients. I don't know what percentage of Coco Loco is coco coir but that may affect how often you may need to add a tea. That's why organic growers don't grow in coco coir.

    And I've never pH'd my water and have never had any issues because like has been mentioned, the microbes take care of all that for you. (Although I will say, leave your water in a pitcher for about 24 hours before you water with it so that any chlorine can evaporate. Not critical as most municipal water doesn't have enough chlorine to be harmful, but it's a simple step to help your soil biome stay as healthy and strong as possible.)

    Again, cannot emphasize this enough....CAREFUL WITH WATERING! I've found that the sweet spot for my 7 gallon cloth pots is about 8 cups of water every 3 days. But again, listen to your plant, feel the soil, lift the pot if you need to, and/or use a moisture meter that you can get for less than $10. I've messed up a couple grows by overwatering (even though there was no runoff) because that often shows up as nutrient deficiencies...then you add stuff but don't get any results so you add more, and so on. All the while, all you needed to do was water less or adjust something in the environment.

    And most of all, my suggestion is to look at your plants once a day. Look at them, get to know them, and listen to them and you'll know what's normal. If you see something that looks out of whack, take a breath, relax, go through all of the environmental factors that you can control to make sure they're in check, then go from there. Remember, nothing good happens quickly when growing cannabis. There's a certain Zen to organic growing and it's shockingly relaxing!

    Good luck to you and congrats on giving the organic route a chance! Keep us posted with how it's going and if you have any questions!

    Leave a comment:


  • dilvish
    replied
    Supersoil can be all you need for the entire grow. Relying solely on it is why many growers opt for coir or hydro. Having said this if you just want to add water try amending it with a form of liquid sea kelp. It can really boost the soil without adding NPK because of all the micronutrients in it. Of course make sure your water is properly PH'd regardless as the soil won't mean spit if you don't.

    Leave a comment:


  • Blowdout2269
    replied
    Then water away!
    Remember that supersoils stay alive with a small amount of moisture in the growing media. But you should be careful not to overwater, and do not drown to the point of run off. This can cause some of the living things to be washed out. But don't sweat it if you do. I've had a small amount of runoff in my living soil grows before, and I just let it get sucked back up. No harm done, right? Lol

    Leave a comment:


  • Jkp
    commented on 's reply
    Thank you, very much appreciate the info... The top 2/3 is Coco Loco as well and my tap water (and the mountain spring H2O - unfiltered bottled) are both @7 pH....again very cool..thanks

  • Blowdout2269
    replied
    If you follow the instructions from the soil and use at the bottom third of the pot and the top a good potting mix, you should be fine. Though the plant might need some form of a compost tea later in life.
    Also, using a chemical pH up/down product in your water can kill off some of the beneficial microbes in the soil. I would suggest using things like vinegar/lemon juice and baking soda to adjust the pH. Aswell as ground gypsum and epsom salt for calcium and magnesium if needed.
    Though if the water you are using has a pH between six and nine you should be fine. If your concerns continue in the future, you can always add 1/2-1 cup of dolomite lime to the mixture of soil and it will help buffer the pH naturally.
    Good luck to ya and the grow!

    Leave a comment:


  • Nutrients Required for the "Just add Water" Super Soil ?

    Hi All,
    Question:
    I am growing in the GWE's "Just Add Water - Super Soil" [FoxFarm Coco Loco with Natures Living mix - Following ALL recommendations on mixture ratios] ...

    I read it says, "just add water" ... but is that true?? I'm adjusting the Ph as required ...

    Other articles are saying use nutrients (at the recommended strengths to match the lifecycle of the plant).

    Sooooo, yes nutrients or "just add water" ??

    Thanks in advance,
    JKP

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