How Organic Is Organic Enough?

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by Navarone, May 24, 2013.

  1. #1 Navarone, May 24, 2013
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
    I want to swap from regular nutes to organic nutes in my NFT hydro grow. I think it would help with nute burn and ph stability, and I also think they'd taste better and be more desirable.

    My questions are;

    How organic does it have to be for me to confidently say it's organic? I'm 4 weeks veg from clone, just started flower, and I bought the clones from the dispensary, so I don't know how organic they started out.

    If I were to donate them to patients that only like other types of organic products (I know some cancer survivors with mmj cards) would they turn them down if they weren't organic enough?

    Would bottled nutes be considered organic at all? I see some with different organic certifications and labeled organic, but how realistic is it?

    Will they taste better, and would it help with nute burns?

    I'm looking at fox farms liquid hydro nutes, GH has some and I think dynagrow and botanicare do too. What about additives like cal mag, Epsom, GH ph down, great white mycos etc?

  2. I don't believe that there is any such thing as actual certified organic cannabis. There are no certifying organizations or agencies such as the NOP (National Organic Program) or OTA (Organic Trade Association) or Oregon Tilth that actually certify organic food farms for cannabis - not a single one, so anything that you see in a dispensary that is labeled organic means absolutely nothing.

    At all.

    Generally organic cannabis is grown using organic soil. Just how organic these bottles that you are referring to are is questionable at best. The GH pH up or down certainly isn't, although I do believe that one of those companies (Earth Juice) does produce an organic alternative to pH +\\-.

    I personally believe (note I said personally) that you will be far, far better off following the methods of 99% of the organic cannabis growers here in the forum - simply constructing your own true organic soil which utilizes soil life to perform the heavy lifting and provided through the use of quality vermicompost and thermal compost. There is a reason we do this the way that we do - because we have proven results and by "going organic" we have been able to avoid spending our paychecks at the Hydro Store on just a different kind of bottle.

    Proven results.

    I do still use a couple of bottled items - BioAg Fulvic Acid, Ahimsa Organic Neem Oil and DynaGro ProTekt (liquid silica), but none whatsoever for nutrition or pH adjustment or a CalMag product - I just don't need them anymore. This "might" work for you, I've never tried the method that you're referring to so can't comment. One thing I will tell you is to aerate the living hell out of your reservoir and clean everything constantly or you will end up with an anaerobic stinking, smelly unhealthy mess. Once any of those bottles are mixed they will go stagnant and just plain old "bad" without the presence of oxygen so it's just something to think about.

    With the method that we use here, creating a living soil (it truly is alive, being an environment for all kinds of microscopic life), we can avoid all this, avoid the grow store, avoid having to check and adjust pH or PPM's. All nutrition is added directly to the soil mix itself, negating the need to add more at every watering - just keep it moist; it's that simple.

    I'm sure that many here would be very happy to help if you were interested - good luck in whatever method you choose.

  3. Thanks a bunch for all that info, I saw another post of yours somewhere else too and it was full of cool tips.

    I have a big air pump for tdo and I'm using great white mycos for root health, but the damn nute problem is causing me grief. A couple times ive over ph downd them, into the mid 4s, could that have killed the mycos, or cause any root problems? i quickly top off the res with plain water and bring it back to 5.2 or so. when i first stsrted it took a few days in a 15 gal res with 6 plants at 3 weeks and about 600ppm for the ph to rise on its own from 5.2 to 6.2 any ideas? I don't think I have any algae or anything, it's probably just a ph problem and nute problem that I'm trying to dial in on my first grow. I did just trim a bunch over a week ago and that's when the problems became apparent, so I think I might have a clump of dead roots in my 4" PVC, but that's impossible to check without ripping all the plants out.

    I really want to go organic soil for the ease of growing, but on my first grow I need a big turnover to help any upgrades or even a complete system change. I'm already planning to switch from the nft in 4" PVC to rdwc bubble buckets and better nutes. I'll start reading a bunch in to cooking my own soil, that might just be the way to go, but doesnt that take a few moths to ripen? Are the bagged soils good enough until i get a good stock of home made? The lights go on at 9pm so ill get to check them. All six had some mag problems, and one wilted over night. I checked them this morning before the lights went out and they all looked about %85 happy, but that one was wilted. Hopefully it perked back up!

    Thanks again!
  4. #4 Navarone, May 25, 2013
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
    I think I found the problem, the roots were caked with sediment from the fox farm. I washed it off and we'll see what happens. Here's a before and after, there's still rockwool in there.

    Attached Files:

  5. " I really want to go organic soil for the ease of growing but I need a big turnover to help any upgrades or even a complete system change"

    Does it really seem that you'll get a "big turnover" by doing what you're doing vs. a real organic soil?

    If you actually want to "go organic soil" then why on earth would you plan on a complete system change?

    Just wondering.

    "Are the bagged soils good enough until i get a good stock of home made?"

    It is definetly possible to adjust and slightly reamend bagged soils but if this is an option then I would suggest doing some homework on good brands - and I'm not talking Fox Farms or Roots Organic. Try here.

  6. #6 Navarone, May 25, 2013
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
    I hadn't researched soil very much because hydro is all the buzz so I went with that first thinking it would be a bigger yield. I also didn't want to be moving and spilling dirt everywhere.
    The system change is from all the stupid hydro tubes and hoses and pumps and res' and meters and up this and down that and leaks and annoying crap, to set it and forget it organic soil. My lights, fans, scrog etc would stay the same.
    Thanks for the link!
  7. #7 esrplaya, May 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2013

    Attached Files:

  8. "Set it and forget it" is exactly what organic soil is all about my friend - exactly.

    "all the stupid hydro tubes and hoses and pumps and res' and meters and up this and down that and leaks and annoying crap"

    See what I mean? You just told us your utter frustration in a nutshell.

    We make very high quality organic soil around here - very cool living environments that have everything necessary in the mix already that plants thrive in, will take your plants from start to finish with only the most minimal care, with the simple task of keeping your soil moist with water.


    No going to that hydro store anymore, buying this bottle and that bottle, this meter or that meter, attempting to raise or lower pH, checking runoff, PPM, TDS, whatever. Gardening doesn't need to be hard buddy - it takes all the simple joy out of it.

    I will tell you that it would take some homework, but at the end of the day this is just ridiculously simple and the way that gardening was meant to be. There are many good folk here in the organics forum that would be more than happy to help you as you go. I will tell you this - you will not be disappointed. This works -and works very well.

    Good luck man.

  9. #9 Navarone, May 26, 2013
    Last edited: May 26, 2013
    Looks like algae to me, so I can't go blaming FF. What a bummer!

    I pulled all my plants and found lots of rot. I rinsed all the roots and the bucket pic is what came out!

    Attached Files:

  10. Hello nav :smoking:  im in the same boat as you m8 (i think) started with ebb nd flow spent a load of cash on my groom nd man i can hit my targets nd sometimes blow them away :hello: I find though with hydro im fighting with my system to often for my liking . If i can get soil to give me even a smaller yield but the same quality as hydro i would be happy . these guys r smashing it with a system that has to be better for the plants nd yourself  but with less hassle got 2 be a winner imo, How much of your hydro set up do you think ya can reuse ? question has been in my head for over a week m8 , KP
  11. "How much of your hydro set up do you think ya can reuse ?"

    Once I made the commitment to organic soil and saw for myself just what it was capable of I gave a friend of mine all of my equipment, top of the line meters, and all of my quite expensive Canna bottles and supplements - I bet there was a thousand bucks in bottles alone; I was glad to finally be rid of it all. The monkey on my back was finally gone.

    "But the same quality as hydro"

    There is no doubt in my mind that the quality of cannabis that comes from organic soil blows away any hydro grown buds - just ask around here on the forum and see what others have to say about this. Think fresh homegrown garden tomato, exploding with flavor vs a supermarket greenhouse tomato; hard and tasteless.

    I will also tell you that once you get an organic soil dialed in, it can out produce a hydro setup. Plants are just ridiculously healthy, and healthy plants produce. There is no need to take a loss in either quantity or quality.


  12. Thanks jerry nd sorry 2 hack ya thread nav have reposted this in the lounge
  13. I can only reuse a reservoir and an air pump to let my water sit and bubble overnight to gas out chlorine and chloramine. Literally that's it.

    On the other hand to start dirt all I need is dirt, smart pots and trays for drain water. I can regift all the nutes and pens and ph junk and what have you to someone else. I'm gonna trash my nft setup because the holes were cut wrong and it just didn't work well for various reasons. It's not a bad setup, but I shoulda made it HP aero instead and cut the right size holes and etc etc etc.

    Jerry, my filtered tap water is usually around 200ppm and 7.5+ ph is that fine for organic soil or should I get an RO filter? And smart pots, good or bad?

    Thanks again!
    Thats perfectly fine to use as long as it is dechlorinated! My tap here is like 8.5-9+ and is filled with a multitude of crap, and my plants have been doing just fine for a year
  15. Tap water is fine, as Esrplaya said, as long as its dechlorinated. Smart pots are fine. I don't personally use them, as I run larger sized pots and they get heavy to carry upstairs from the veg area and I need the stability of a heavy duty nursery pot.

    It is extremely important that you construct your soil properly for the results you are looking for. Quality ingredients, especially vermicompost/castings and compost, but also organic neem meal, crab meal, kelp meal et al - do yourself a huge favor and read through this thread -

    Organic living soil can be a magical, wonderful thing that has the ability to grow jaw dropping plants - get it right the first time. Too much effort is made sourcing and buying materials, mixing them in the correct ratios, allowing the soil to sit and nutrient cycle before planting to just start mixing this and that willy nilly - do the homework! Ask questions.

    Did I mention that you can reuse your soil over and over and over again? Talk about simplicity and cost savings! I haven't had to spend a nickel in I don't know how long...

    Read the thread - do the homework, take notes, ask questions. It's very simple, provided you follow the basic instruction.

    Don't buy your goods at the Hydro Store - you don't need them anymore, besides maybe a light

    Did I mention quality compost/vermicompost?

  16. Haha, ok soil, not dirt.
    Awesome jerry, thanks again! I'll be set up and dialed in this time.

  17. I used to be like you mate, about 10yrs ago. Jerry really knows what's up and tbh you will see huge improvements in your personal life as a result of the reduced stress from growing organically. I can literally check my plants only to water and I pretty much do. Once you have a soil created you can watch the magic happen. It is fun to make your own brewed teas to feed the plants and they show much bigger results quicker then I ever had when using a hydro setup. The different teas I've learned on this site alone is amazing. The best part is after your first harvest which already is about 1/2 what I was spending per OZ on hydro is literally reduced to the cost per OZ with all factors added is in the cents. I've used the same sea soil custom mix for a few years and it works incredibly well. I have not had to buy anything since I've made the switch, as the bags go a long way. I don't have my own worm farm but I get my compost directly from a local fellow who supplies me with it for my business so adding a few extra bags for myself is never an issue. You will not regret changing over. Cheers.
  18. Yeah, I'm excited! I was gearing up for a big harvest with hydro, everything growing big in veg, but it went south and I couldn't save it. Soil sounds awesome.
  19. Will rootone-f save rotting roots in a dwc if combined with H202?
    If yes, how safe are the ingredients? I don't want anything that will hurt me if used to grow consumables. (All those scary plant growth regulators etc)

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