Dank Oh-zee's Starter Mix and Guide to Early Growth

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by dankohzee, May 18, 2011.

  1. #1 dankohzee, May 18, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2011
    (this thread will hopefully replace my sticky, so that's why the duplicate)


    Over the years--and especially in the four years I've been hanging around the city--I've come to realize one very important fact: most grow ops go awry within the first month or so. Another important realization: most guides completely skip over the period between germination and the grow hole. This thread will help dispel some of the mystery of the first month of growth--the most critical month in the life of a cannabis plant.

    First lets talk about soil mixes. In my outdoor grows I use two separate soil mixes: a starter mix and a hole mix. The ingredients in each can be very similar, but as we will soon see they serve two very different functions. For those who may be unfamiliar with the main ingredients of most soil mixes, I have added a (stolen) description of what each is and does, as well as a brief description of what worm castings are and why we like them..

    Vermiculite – is a natural volcanic rock, finer than perlite, consisting of small porous crumbs which act like small sponges which absorb water and release it slowly into the soil. Fine-grade vermiculite is preferred for seed starting, and coarse vermiculite is used to improve water retention in light, sandy soils.

    Perlite - is a natural volcanic rock that’s heated until it expands into rigid granules filled with tiny holes. The granules absorb up to 4 times their weight in water and then release it slowly which is ideal for young plants. This slow release of water helps maximizes nutrient intake. Its rigid crush-resistant structure also helps improve heavy soils by reducing compaction while increasing aeration and drainage.

    Peat Moss – is an organic material consisting of shredded, partially decayed sphagnum moss. The peat moss that is commercially sold in the US, as a soil amendment, is typically the decomposed product of Canadian sphagnum moss which has been growing for thousands of years in wetland areas called peat bogs. Relatively small quantities are needed for seed starting mixes.

    Worm Castings:the heterogeneous mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and pure vermicast produced during the course of normal vermiculture operations. Vermicast, similarly known as worm castings, worm humus or worm manure, is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by some species of earthworm. Vermicast improves soil structure, enriches soil with microorganisms, enhances germination, plant growth, and crop yield, and Improves root growth and structure.

    Now that we have an understanding of some of the main ingredients in soilless mixes, I'l explain the difference between a starter mix and a mix used to amend grow holes and fill large pots. As we all know, cannabis seedlings can be very sensitive to nutes. Often regular potting mixes are inappropriate for starting seeds as they will burn. Most starter mixes have little if any nutes in them. They are sterile (many potting soils--believe it or not--aren't), and are made with a much finer, lighter grade of peat. Material used for aeration (usually vermiculite but sometimes perlite) is of a much finer grade than what is used in regular soilless mixes, allowing weak sprouts to travel through the medium without encountering large, maybe impassable chunks of material. In short, they are much more suitable than regular soil for starting seeds, but not really suited to the demands of organic cannabis growers--at least not this one. A suitable seed starter for cannabis, IMO, would be one with a very gentle nutrient content that wouldn't burn. In my experience, using worm castings is the ticket. Incorporating them into a starter mix allows a gentle feed without having to worry about burning, which will fuck up your early start. It gives your seedlings a portable nute pack that cradles and nourishes the plant even after transplanting. This mix is sufficient to nourish your girls until they go in the ground. What does this mean? It means nubes can stop fertilizing your half inch sprouts!! It's not necessary so stop!! Do you want a harvest or not?

    Oh. Sorry about that. All these pics of fried sprouts is affecting my head...

    The results I have had so far have completely blown me away so I thought I would post it up. The roots on my seedlings, which are only a couple of weeks old, are as well formed as they usually are at a month. I've experimented with quite a number of seed starting mixes and have edited this thread many times to reflect the things I have learned. Here's how I mix it now:

    3 Parts Jiffy Mix (available at Walmart)
    3 Parts Earthworm Castings (check your local Agway first)
    2 Parts Vermiculite

    Here are some pics I took a couple of weeks ago after my seedlings had been growing for around two weeks in this mix. As you can see they are all perfectly healthy and green. If you're wondering how I did that, it's because I use the LITFA technique: Leave It The Fuck Alone!



    Here's what you do:

    Mix up some of my seed-starting mix
    Use the paper towel method or directly sow seeds.

    Note: There are many different ways to germinate seeds, and I've tried them all. Surprisingly I failed to notice any difference in germ rates with one technique over the other. Directly sowing my seeds as I did this year, was as effective as any of the other methods. The venerable Cantharis is one that will usually discourage the paper towel method in favor of direct sowing. He believed that the paper towel method is an unnecessary trauma to the tender taproot. Nevertheless, I'm going to give you all a good description of several different methods of germination. It really doesn't matter which one you use.

    Paper-towel Method: Get a small plate and place 10 or so layers of thick paper towel on it. Spray with mister until thoroughly damp, making sure it is not so wet that water is collecting on the plate. Place seeds between layers five and six. Put plate and towels inside a ziplock bag, marking the strain on the outside to avoid confusion. Use separate bags for separate strains. Seal the bag and put it in a warm place like the top of the fridge or on a propagation mat. As soon as sprouts emerge they can be planted.

    Direct Sowing: This is self explanatory. Poke a hole in your soil about a quarter inch deep and drop the seed in. Cover seed with soil and mist. Keep soil very damp but not wet. Remember the soil will dry very quickly in a small pot, so be vigilant!!

    The Cup Method: Take a cup--any cup--and put about an inch of water in it. A drop of kelp extract can also be added--supposedly it helps. Put seeds in cup overnight, then place in soil. The seeds will probably not have sprouted overnight, this just softens them and gets them ready. If you leave them in the cup too long, however, they will sprout and will need to be planted very soon.

    Use a propagation mat. For those who are not sure what this is, it's just a heating pad designed to keep the roots and medium warm while tender seedlings germinate and begin to grow. They cut germ time in half and will increase your germ and sprout rates considerably. Cannabis seeds are expensive and I hate it when they don't germinate. A prop mat will keep that from happening so often. This is one of the wisest purchases you can ever make. The mats come in different sizes and are waterproof. If you like to start your sedlings on the back porch, you can use a propagation mat to keep them warm at night. In the old days they called this a hot-bed.

    Water with a mister to avoid disturbing the seed--or later--the roots. The last thing you want is to displace your seed and roots every time you water as this will slow growth or worse.

    When your sprouts emerge put them under a CFL grow light, a T5, a floro warm tube, or out in the sun during the day. Make sure to harden them off in partial shade for a couple of days. If you put them under a light, make absolutely sure you have the light as close to your plants as possible and have a gentle fan blowing on them. This will stiffen the stalks and make any sort of support unnecessary. I can't stress the importance of a fan and CFL enough. Mother nature cannot be depended upon to provide a nurturing environment for a tender sprout. In fact, early spring is a terrible environment. It can be cloudy, rainy, too windy, snowing, sleeting, or drop below freezing and you can't do shit about it because you're at work. Don't take chances on pricey seeds. Setting up a little germ/sprout area in your home is easy. You won't have to do anything fancy like indoor growers do with all those digital thingys and wires and hanging stuff and those hoses (what are those hoses anyway) and all those fancy chemicals they use with all the neat pics on them. You don't need any of that. My grow room is simple. I put my little Hydrofarm CFL on a table with a prop mat on top. I set up an oscillating fan five or six feet away so the breeze just bounces them a bit, and I keep the light very, very low, like this:


    If you'll keep them indoor for more than a week or two, remember, fresh air is essential!!! Not air from your attic or living room, but fresh air!! After the first week in my living room, I use an old out-building that has cracks in the walls and busted out windows, but a dry roof and a power source. Another method is to put them in a garage or spare room with the window open. Do not underestimate the importance of fresh air--fresh air! Not just new air. Many breeders and growers agree that next to genetics, fresh air is the most important thing plants need.

    Practice the lift technique for watering. Let the pots dry almost all the way out before re-watering and then drench them. A mister is essential because drenching when really small will detach roots from their purchase if just poured on top of them in a stream. Then you'll have droopy, leaning, or falling over plants.

    When it's time for your plants to be transplanted, realize that there will be a growth spurt afterwards. Will it still be practical to have them under lights then? Is the weather okay to put them outside or is it raining cats and dogs for the next week? If so, hold off on transplanting.

    Top or fimm your plants after the fourth set of serrated leaves, keeping your grow light as close to the tops as possible. This discourages stretch, encourages thickening of the stalk, and will help you raise up some bushes. Some people will tell you that cetain strains shouldn't be topped. Bullshit. We don't take all this risk to get a shitload of popcorn. Give your plants a chance by evening your canopy as much as possible.

    Do not be tempted to add additional ferts. You may think they need it but they don't. If they did they would tell you. Take a look at these pics and you'll see my plants are telling me they're happy--not hungry. This is the LITFA technique in it's purest form (Leave It The Fuck Alone, remember?). Just practice self restraint. Don't view your nutes as steroids because they're not that. They're just food and we all now what happens to people who over-eat. They lose their health eventually. Plants aren't any different.

    The Old "In and Out" technique (no, not that in and out): One of the major challenges a grower faces is getting their plants sturdy enough to face the elements as soon as they possibly can. This means utilizing every tool you have at your disposal to nurture seedlings that have strong stalks and a healthy root system so the first stiff wind and driving rain doesn't blow the bitches flat. Spring can be nasty and and cold and some days aren't suitable for seedlings to be outdoor. Most nights are still frosty and plants will die if left out. The way I handle cold nights and too many rainy days is with the old in-and out, a very popular technique in the UK and other places with crazy weather.Once my plants have at least three sets of leaves I start putting them outside on nice days. First I put them under a tree where they only get a little bit of direct light, but by the third time outdoor I put them in the full sun. Almost everyone has a spot large enough to hide a flat of seedlings in their yard. At the end of the day I bring them inside and put them under lights overnight then back outside in the morning, weather permitting (be sure to check the weather report or pay the price).

    Here is some pictorial evidence of the superior root development afforded by this mix:

    A word on pot choice and "potting-up": (almost)Invariably Grass City Growers use Solo cups to start their plants. They work just fine, I hear, but I don't use them and I'll tell you why. When a plant's roots touch the sides of the pot their above-ground growth slows. The roots, however, continue to grow into the medium. This is one of the reasons why starter cubes in flats are so small: it keeps the plant from growing itself bigger than it is yet able to support--follow me? How many of you have planted a seed in a cup, put iit in the window, and then watched it grow and grow and grow until finally it collapsed under it's own weight? That's right, probably all of you have experienced this. One of the reasons this happens is because the plant is growing too quickly with nothing to keep it in check while it beefs up enough to support its own weight. There are two very popular ways to reduce your plant's growth upward and instead encourage it to grow out, or get bushy and thick in the stem: an oscillating fan and "potting-up." The fan agitates the stem from the moment the sprout emerges. It's as though they were pumping iron from infancy, so a one inch sprout generally has the thickness of a six inch sprout grown without one. the question I get more than any other question is "How do you get your stems so thick at such a young age?'. Well...the answer is a fan and at least one more transplant than many growers use. I start my sprouts in tiny starter cubes and let them grow a couple of inches, then I transplant into 3 inch pots and grow them until they are ready to top for the first time (sometime after the third set of true leaves appears), then I transplant them into one gallon grow bags and let them grow until they are about a foot tall. After that I put them in their final spots. At each stage the roots are growing into the space they have available, getting nice and strong.

    So the time eventually comes when you decide to put-out. I can give you a basic format for a hole mix, but the variations are infinite.

    First off you want your soil to be able to breathe and drain well. I can't stress this enough. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the great majority of issues with various unsuccessful grows stem from poorly aerated soil. A general rule of thumb is 30% perlite or some other material that will act as an aerating component, such as sand, pumice, vermiculite, or screened gravel, etc.

    So it would go something like this:

    1 bale (3.8 cu.ft) peat.
    1.25 to 1.5 cu.ft. aeration
    3 rounded cups pulverized (not pelletized) garden lime

    That's the basic mix, but it is entirely without nutes--completely barren. Some people like it that way because they can dial in their nutes exactly how they want them, but I can tell you from experience that unless you are working with a strain that you know well, you're going to fight with over and undernourishment all season and may not ever get it dialed in. So what you want to do is add some good stuff. I add some humus to help retain moisture and nutes, and some composted manure for a slow release N source. I add 3 cups or so of blood meal and 4 or five cups of bone meal per bale of peat. This year I added a large bag of greensand to my whole batch for trace elements, and a few buckets of dried muck from my pond just because I like my pond a lot. I also threw in five pounds of peruvian seabird guano. Remember though that I mixed 1000 gallons of soil. Don't add this much to a bale or you'll probably burn your girls to death. Also keep in mind that as you add the good stuff: manures, guanos, humus, castings--you have to adjust the ratio of aeration so that you stay in the 30 to 40% range. So you might end up with a mix like this:

    1 bale (3.8 cu.ft) peat.
    2.5 cu.ft. aeration (perlite works for me)
    3 cups blood meal
    4 cups bone meal
    2 cu. ft. composted manure
    1 cu. ft. humus
    3 rounded cups pulverized (not pelletized) garden lime

    You can substitute worm castings for some of the manure if you want. You can add some kelp meal, cottonseed meal, or feather meal. You can add bird guano or bat guano, but go easy and remember to wet your mix and let it rest for several weeks or more before using.

    Originally Posted by TheChosenOne
    Dankohzee, how much should i water the seedlings?

    That's an excellent question and not so easily answered. Here's some info from Canna on watering:

    Let’s begin our look at watering by accepting a small fact: successfully bringing a plant crop to maturity depends on successfully keeping to the Growth Tetrahedron (see Figure 1-1). The sides of the Tetrahedron feature the four primary components for achieving growth. Each side is equally important and must be optimised to fit in with the other sides. As you can see, the base of the pyramid is water (as a solution or pure) because it is in all the sides as well. Plant Selection will determine the root environment, and consequently the system or medium to be used, as well as the top environment that you will need (sides 2, 3 and 4). Remember, it takes all four sides to make the Tetrahedron and each face has an influence on the others.

    Fig 1-1 Growth Tetrahedron

    The plant or crop is the first side and the first thing you decide. What you want to grow determines how to grow it; the root environment and top environment to use depend on the chosen plant. In addition, choices are made based on the grower’s knowledge of the system, the crop, strengths and weaknesses, and the remaining two sides. It makes no sense to try tomatoes if there’s not enough light. It makes equally little sense to grow orchids when the water solution is scarce. While lettuce may be grown successfully in peat or coco, it can also be grown in an NFT system which will reduce the time, costs, and area it needs to grow. The fact that you can grow leaf lettuce in your grow area does not mean you can grow head lettuce successfully unless you can lower the temperature in the area to cooler levels. Choose your plant carefully, both type and variety, as all are different and will respond differently.

    Root environment

    The second side is the root environment which determines the system to employ in growing. What will best fit with the other sides? The system determines the root environment or medium to use. This is how we prepare for the plant and store water, food and air for it, and it also protects and shelters half the plant. Roots work differently than the top - but always in conjunction with, and influenced by, the top part of the plant. The medium serves to provide both physical and material support for the plant. The type of medium is pretty much determined by the needs of the crop and grower. While soil or soilless mix media will provide long term storage of food and water, and will physically support the plant (so making the life of the grower easier and lowering the headache factor), for the grower it makes little economic sense to grow lettuce in peat-filled containers. Roots also require the correct proportion of air to water in the medium based on the type of plant. And don’t forget that all roots require oxygen to function too. Plants don’t have lungs, neither do they have a true circulatory system to transports oxygen from the leaves to the roots. Oxygen has to diffuse through the plant’s tissues. While most carnivorous plants require little air, cacti and succulents require lots of air. Most plants fall in the middle. Steady temperature and correct humidity are key components in root development and function; these are influenced by the type of medium used. (Fig 1-2)


    Top environment

    The Top Environment is everything you can see of the plant above the crown or soil line. This top environment must have the correct temperature for a particular plant grow. Light intensity (including composition, duration and penetration), air (its component gases, their movement, and their ratio), and relative humidity are all integral components of this environment (which, to a lesser extent, includes pathogens and external stresses as well). If these aspects are not in balance, the plant will not flourish. Plants assimilate carbon atoms, the basic building block for life as we know it, only from this side as a constituent of the air, CO2. It is not so much the effect of one component that makes the difference. It is more about the way all these components combine, including driving the final side, water.


    Water, the universal solvent, is the final side of our Tetrahedron, the base. Look at it in a broad sense from the individual atom to the complex slurry that moves nutrients to the root surface in a mass flow, and subsequently up the stem to the rest of the plant. Water sees action in all sides, as humidity in the top environment, moving nutrients and supporting other media activities in the medium, directly controlling all activity in the plant, as well as supplying the necessary nutrients to the final use sites in the plant cells by transporting them there. Water must be right for every side if every side is to be correct. It is required in the initial stages of converting light to energy and in the final stage of respiration. It must match the needs of the plant. Plants that prefer dry feet should not be in an Aquaculture system; aquatic plants should not be held with dry feet. The water’s chemical composition is critical for its performance and must be matched and balanced to work correctly. While a plant will usually adapt to limitations in the other sides of our Growth Tetrahedron (ok, it won’t be as pretty or as productive, but it can survive and multiply – the only true goal of any plant), it will not tolerate water depletion. Limit the water and a plant’s functions will decrease or cease, forcing it into dormancy or killing it outright. Getting the water right is the hardest thing to teach and the easiest to mess up.

    So what should you take out from all of this? Remove one side from the Growth Tetrahedron and nothing works. Cheat one side and, even if the other sides are right on, you will short-change the crop. Make a change on any side in terms of quantity, quality, composition or availability, and you will have to make changes to at least one other side to compensate. Information on all the needs of a plant for each side is pretty much known and achievable with current technologies. The question that remains: ‘Can the grower get all the information required for a super crop given his or her time, knowledge, budget, workload or temper?’


    "Hand watering is the easiest and least expensive of all systems."
    Hand watering is the easiest and least expensive of all the systems. This includes everything from holding the hose in your hand to manually tripping a valve that applies water through an irrigation system of drippers, spray stakes or other individual emitters including sprinklers and soaker hoses. This gives the grower the most control as long as he or she is paying attention and getting the correct amount of water into each container or plant. If a grower is using 14 litre containers with soil, applying 2 litre of water will not suffice. Always water until you get at least 20% drainage; this will ensure total saturation and wash away accumulated salts.

    Automated systems

    But for precise volume applications, you have to use a system that applies a known volume of water to each point, and to accomplish this, you will need an automated system. Design the system around the water need. Start with how much water needs to go into a container in the time allotted to ensure the roots are not submerged for more than the recommended time. Then, since drippers have depth profiles, pick a type of dripper and the number required to go into a container to satisfy this need. Then, count the total drippers required for your proposed system and design the pipes and pump to deliver this total amount of volume at the pressure required for the dripper to work correctly.
    Next choose a size of tank that ensures this amount is available at each watering, and that’s sufficient to cover the number of applications needed between tank changes. Remember that volume has to be equal at each dripper, so ensure that the pressure needed in the entire system and volume supplied are available at each dripper, and allow some margin for error! Remember that as pressure goes up, volume out decreases. If you need to supply a minimum of 3 bar in a system and 500 litres a minute, you will have to use a pump that can cope with this.
    For extreme systems like deep-water culture, you will need to flush out the root zone to keep the water solution clean and for air saturation to be maintained using aeration technologies such as air pumps. Aeroponic systems have to meet the same needs but are only switched off for short times and have to be run in the dark. The same holds true for Hydroton or pebble systems, but the off-time is longer since the aggregates will hold water on the surface allowing for a longer period of high humidity at the roots.

    That’s it! All the systems on the market today fall into two categories, manual and automatic. The clock and the labour needed to water are the important considerations. Everything else is about the plumbing. In simplest terms, the goal is to deliver water to the root zone on time and on target. Everything else is an issue of convenience or accuracy. So there are two categories and many systems. The simplest are the best.
    "In simplest terms, the goal is to deliver water to the root zone on time and on target."
    Overhead watering by hand is the best, especially for leaching salts, and can be accomplished with spray stakes, as long as all containers can be watered. The “flood and drain” method is not this author’s favourite way to apply a water solution, But, to an extent it works, but should always include a regular leach session to reduce the salts that do not drain from the container but move upward. Drip emitters are great in media that are not too airy, but they depend on lateral movement to saturate the root zone and do little to rinse out the medium. Sprinklers are great but only if the crop (and building) can handle it. And if there are tight restrictions on their mode of operation. Remember, disease and missed containers are often the result of this type of system, which also wastes loads of water, to the air and as run off. Spray stakes are really the most flexible for most media, with the exception of air, where the emitter should be a mist nozzle. They can be used to disburse water across a medium, ensuring equal watering and good leaching.
    It’s hard to condense 30 years of experience into one ‘short’ article. But if these guidelines are followed, you’ll get results in plant performance, money saved, and your general success as a grower. The key element in this entire discussion is you, the grower. It’s the grower that affects the entire system and success or failure are entirely in the grower’s hands.

    Now, let’s get down to it by understanding and accepting a couple of key points and rules of thumb. 1. START

    To begin, herbaceous root systems require near 100% humidity, ideally, at all times, otherwise the root tips die back. The root tip is the very small end of the root that is divided into three zones. The length is variable and depends on many considerations such as plant variety, temperature, past water levels and much more. The root tip is responsible for absorbing the vast majority of minerals and water. Root hairs facilitate this uptake and occur in the last or third zone. After the third zone the root tissue begins to lignify and becomes more impervious to water and nutrients. Kill the tips and the root has to regenerate one before going forward.


    Roots grow in response to depletion zones. These are the areas where the root has absorbed all the minerals and water located there. When the material is not replaced, the root extends to find more. Roots have to grow. When nutrients and water are abundant, the root system does not develop in balance with the shoots and a carbohydrate limited condition presents itself, so weakening the plant. Allow the plants time to dry and thus use up the minerals present. Conversely, if you keep them too dry, a condition known as chronic underwater or underfeed can manifest itself. The root tips will also die back limiting further plant development. (Fig 1-3)


    Figure 1-4 Irrigation depth profile
    and soil type
    Over watering is keeping the roots submerged in water without allowing them access to oxygen. This is more a function of time and drainage and less of volume. With the possible exception of deep-water culture, a neat thing to see but pretty useless for all but the most experienced growers. Never let roots stay submerged for more than 20 minutes as even then you will get some die-back. Remember, roots require oxygen to do their job, which comes through diffusion at the root surface. A well-drained medium can have water applied for a longer period (ON time) because the excess drains away quickly from the medium when the application ceases. Poorly drained media need a much shorter application time (but the application rate has to be slower for absorption) because it will take longer to drain the excess water away from the root surface. Very poorly drained media are impossible because the rate of application has to be slow to absorb and with the drainage time, can never be watered throughout. (Fig 1-4)
    4. 4-6L P/D P/M2

    The general rule of thumb for determining the root health and irrigation needs of a system is that 1 square meter of bench top, covered with leaves, will use 4-6 litres of water a day. New plants, or where the square meter is not totally covered with leaves, will use an average of about 3 litres a day. This is true whether there are 2 or 20 plants per square metre. Build the system to be able to supply this amount across each watering and for however long you want to go without mixing more. Use this figure to decide how well the plants are working. If it is using less, maybe the roots are having a tough time, or the humidity is too high, or the temp is too low, and so on.

    When figuring out the water cycle for a crop of more than one plant, base your times on an average of all the plants. For instance, we want to water most media (except aeroponics) when about 50% of the total volume of the water is used or gone. Set your automatic systems to turn on when 50% of the crop is ready. To accomplish this, keep everything the same; medium, plant age and size, light exposure, air currents, and so on. Above all else, keep the crops developing equally.

    Figure 1-5 Just watered weight
    With an organic or inert medium, water when 50% of the water you applied last time is gone. In some instances, the grower can weigh the container bone dry, water until drainage starts and weigh again. The difference is how much water the container will hold. Water when the scale reaches half this amount lost. After planting, the same will hold true through the early stages. By then, the grower should also be able to see that the plant is gaining weight as well, so if you keep weighing, don’t forget to take the increased weight of your plants into account! (Fig 1-5, 1-6)

    An aeroponic system requires you to be good at judging when the root surface has just lost the free moisture on it while not falling much below 100% humidity (air). You will have to monitor this constantly, especially where the roots are exposed to free air.


    Roots like to be in the dark and really try to grow away from light. Keep them as free of light as possible in systems such as thin walled PVC or an air chamber.

    Remember, in a container with medium and drainage holes, you can’t put in too much water. For example: you have a 9 litre pot, it doesn’t matter whether you apply 5 litre or 40 litre in the space of 5 minutes (if the medium does not flush away) there will always be the same amount left in the container ten minutes later. This is the only important point.

    Watering cycles have to be adjusted during the “night time” period, because plants don’t use as much water as they do during the “day time”. Don’t forget that dark cycle is critical to plant development. This holds true for cloudy days or high humidity periods. Media that hold a lot of water, such as peat or rock wool, hardly ever need watering during the night. But do be sure to adjust the irrigation cycle to water in the last or first half hour of light. Aeroponics or clay pebbles will need infrequent watering during the night.

    This thread was recently made a sticky and is still under construction. Thanks for your patience...
  2. Solid. Consider this "stickied"
  3. Thanks man. Glad to have it revised and fit for duty ;)
  4. great post! Tons of good info for a beginner like me. +rep!
  5. So glad I found this +rep!
  6. You don't know how much this guide has helped me. I started with bagseed and germ'd about 6 plants and basically got all excited and jumped the gun.I did not have proper ventilation, soil, grow area, and lights. Long story short I did not use near enough Airation and all my babies died but one. I will be ordering some good seeds now that I have researched everything from Light,nutes,growing medium,ventilation for the past month and im sure they will do 100% better because of what you have taught! So glad I ruined bagseed the first time and learned by trial and error then spending 100$ on seeds and ruining them. Now that I got the proper set up I am good to go now! It is people like you who change lives! Literally! Now all I am currently learning is the LIFTA Technique which is the hardest of all to learn haha!
  7. Also Which containers do you suggest? I am currently looking at some smart pots but I have just read today where someone said they are worthless compared to air pots. To be honest the smart pots seem more deemable to me and I can also purchase the fabric and sew up my own customized container. Anywho have a great day Dankohzee!
  8. I have considerable experience with all the major manufacturer, air-pruning pots, and can honestly say I see little difference in performance between them. Personally I don't like the airpots because...well...they're made of plastic and look funny. I've used them before and am using some this year as I ran out of root pots. If you're growing stealth outdoor, I would suggest camopots for obvious reasons, but all are good. The most economical is the root pot, by the manufacturers of roots organics soil and the buddha nute line. Size? Outdoor I wouldn't go smaller than 8 gallons, which is what i'm using this year. If you want to pull huge yields, you'll have to go 15 gal or higher, but very nice yields can be had in the 8 and ten gals and the plants stay small and easy to care for.
  9. I am mainly growing organic indoors but have recently just found a seed that sprouted outdoors and is actually 2 times bigger then any seedling I have indoors! I plan on finding it a place to transplant because I live in City limits.The local Hydro store has the root organic pots because I was just browsing online today at their containers. I have to agree with you thought those airpots do look pretty damn funky haha.
  10. Very helpful info here! Thank you!!!!
  11. Your (stolen) Vermiculite description is wrong. Vermiculite Is
    actually Mica(fools gold) that has been cooked at 350 or 450 degrees so that it will puff up then it is grinded or broken into the individual pelets you see :)

  12. Hahaha! Good eye man. I think that description would more accurately describe pumice. D'oh!
  13. great guide, exactly what i was looking for.
  14. Thanks a ton, helped me out a lot.
  15. Thank you very much for that write up. As a first time grower, I think I will use this mix.
  16. ya for real man good guide, simplifys things alot
  17. #18 jerry111165, Oct 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2011

    Your Fools Gold desription is wrong. *lol*

    Fools gold is a nickname for Iron Pyrite. It is an Iron Sulfide with a resemblance to real gold - hence the name "Fools Gold".

    Sorry - Just had to. :) Have a great day.


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  18. this is a must read for any new grower very nice Dank!
  19. what made u change to jiffy from miricle grow organic?

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