Thanks Chunk for the thread! I wanted to make a couple of notes.
1. Marwest Compost (aka GroundUp) is an incredible product. I was given the opportunity to visit their organic farm down the valley a few miles at the foothills of the Cascades - very beautiful farm and surroundings.
This is 100% 'organic terrorist' compost. Every item used in their thermal piles is carefully considered. This is not a commercial operation at all but yet their compost is available from the organic farm stores in Portland for about $5.33 per cubic foot.
2. SmartPots is a product line that I highly recommend. Especially if you have heat-related issues as the porosity of the material allows the roots aeration and cooling to keep the plant healthy.
At HomeDepot, garden centers, etc. they sell a product whose actual name I can't remember but it's basically 'Velcro Tape' for plants. You can effect a very good LST using this Velcro-type product because it sticks to the SmartPot material.
Loop the tape around the branch that you want to control and make sure that it's secure. Take the other end of the piece of Velcro and attach it to the sides of the SmartPots. You can see how easily the tape can be moved, adjusted, etc. to the changes as you move through the cycles.
3. Fermented Fertilizers - I was very grateful when Chunk said he was interested in trying out a crazy idea that I've been working on for a couple of years.
For the sake of this discussion, I used the EM-1 method of making bokashi bran but with some crazy changes. I used 25% of the seed meal that I made up and use (alfalfa, soybean meal, canola meal, flaxseed meal, fish meal, fish bone meal, crustacean meal, neem meal, kelp meal) along with a mix that included rice hulls and rice bran that made up the other 75% of the overall mix. Those percentages were by volume and not weight. There was also some sea salt and rock dusts added to the mixture.
Normally when you make bokashi bran you're wanting to hit the lowest PH that you can with 3.2 being the goal. I'm not sure why but it was pretty easy for me to hit PH2.8
In making AEM or bokashi, it's my understanding that lower PH levels indicate higher microbial activity in that specific environment. Perhaps because of the diversity in the seed meal mix this accounts for the numbers that I was able to hit. Regardless, I wanted to hit this extreme to shore-up a belief/understanding on the role of PH in organic soils. This test is not the end all to be all but it is an important step to test out for the next concept I'm working on using fermented soil amendments.
The mix was covered with massive amounts of mold structure. When I gave Chunk a Ziplock bag of it and he looked at it I could tell that he thought I was probably completely out of my friggin' mind! It looked like a lab experiment - LOL
I had left the fungi undisturbed to the extent that I could when I was bagging it up so that he could see how alive the mix was/is.
The other thing to consider as you follow this journal and that is that no massive liming program is used to counter the extremely low PH of the fermented mix. I can only speak for myself but in the soil mix that I make up and use, there's less than 2 oz. of limestone (Calcium Carbonate) in 1 cubic foot of mixed soil.
According to the cannabis growing experts this level of acidity in the primary feeding addition, Chunk should be seeing all kinds of problems like the (in)famous cal-mag lockout, nute burn, nutrient lockout, the heartbreak of psoriasis, yellow waxy build-up and other serious problems.
I'm betting that the growth rate, plant health and vigor, will exceed the conventional method. I do take PayPal if anyone's interested.
I'll post the photos tonight of my 3 plants using this same fermented fertilizer mix which are about 9 days into the 12/12 cycle when the lights come on in the flower room.
You'll see what a mess it becomes when you throw caution to the wind and disregard the PH meme and fail to chase the magical PH numbers advised by cannabis experts. It's quite distressing. Anyone got a hankie?
Maybe Chunk can run a PH on the 'run-off' - a testing process/procedure that has given me more than a few opportunities to stop and chuckle and chortle.
One final caution Chunk - don't forget to flush!
Edited by LumperDawgz, 31 July 2010 - 02:49 PM.