Indoor gardening without bottled nutrients

Discussion in 'Growing Marijuana Indoors' started by jerry111165, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Hello fellow gardeners. Some of you I very well may have met before - to those of you that haven't, well, I'm Jerry, and I'm pleased to meetcha.

    I've been gardening indoors and outdoors for a long time - probably around 25 +/- years. For probably 90 percent of this time I've used assorted bottled nutrients. I was always told, and I believed, that I couldn't grow high quality buds without those (very expensive) bottles of assorted chemical nutrients. Boy, was I wrong. I've probably used almost every brand and type out there, in the search for the perfect brand and type.

    A couple of years ago I was introduced to organics. Sure, I was skeptical - I've had it drilled into me, like everybody else has for SO long that if I didn't use the right veg nutrients for vegetative growth, the ricght flowering nutrients, check my pH, check my PPM, my TDS, pH my runoff - you guys know what I mean - that I couldn't grow high quality meds.

    Again, I was wrong wrong wrong.

    So, in the search for the perfect growroom setup and gardening methods, I decided to try organics. I had heard that organic buds tasted better than hydro buds so I figured Why the hell not?

    That was a couple of years ago. Since I went organic I haven't needed to buy any bottles of nutrients - can you just imagine the massive savings!!! I haven't had to check my pH, my PPM, or my TDS. I don't need to give my plants "nutrients" during veg or flower. I don't have to do much - once they're planted, they basically take care of themselves. I keep them moist. I make and give them occassional "botanical teas" - teas made from assorted plant materials. I make and give them "ACT" teas - (Aerated Compost Teas).

    Please bear with me and I'll tell you how this works.

    We make our own soil mixes, which can be as simple or as complex as you feel like getting into it. As a base, I use Pro-Mix - pretty simple. To this I add both good quality compost and good quality earthworm castings. These are "must haves". These 2 items contain life in the forms of assorted beneficial bacteria and fungus. They work with our plants, helping to carry nutrition to the plants roots, fight off disease and break down organic matter. They are definetly our "little helpers". On top of this I add assorted soil "ammendments" - kelp meal, alfalfa meal, fish meal, rock dust, minerals, bone meal and a few other items too. I'm not going to list them all right now.

    This is the trick, tho - all of the plants nutritional needs are met IN THE SOIL MIX. Sure, it takes a little bit to come up with the items and mix your soil properly, but once you're do, why, all the hard work is over!

    Guys and gals, I was skeptical at first, too, but now that I've been doing this for quite awhile now, this method of gardening has way exceeded any expectations that I ever had. I have literally tripled my harvest weight, my plants have NEVER been healthier, and the buds - oh my God, they are SO beautiful, so smelly, so sticky...

    All of the grow stores, the magazines, the media in general has drilled it into us that we NEED this bottle or that bottle - these VERY expensive bottles, in order to grow good medicine. This is SO untrue, and brought about by companies that want nothing more than to take your money. Stop giving it to them!!

    I'm not done yet - I have one more thing that has blown me away, and, I bet, will blow you away too - its called "No-Till" organic gardening.

    My soil mix is simply SO RICH that as soon as I harvest a big plant out of my 12-15 gallon sized containers, the very same day I dig out of the center of the pot the main root ball - around a gallon sized hole, and I immediately drop in a vegging plant that's in a 1 gallon sized container into this hole. I topdress it with some earthworm castings, tuck a little around it if needed, dampen it, and I'm done. That's it - finis. Right now I'm on my 5th batch of plants in the same soil as plant No. 1, with absolutely no sign of drain on quality whatsoever, in fact, they are friggin THRIVING.

    We don't need to spend a million on overpriced and overrated chemical nutrients. I don't need to check pH. I don't need to flush. My buds are totally superb.

    Get off of the Grow Store paycheck-stealing chemical based mentality. There is a much better way.


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  2. I'm a new grower and I'm trying to find my niche in the marijuana gardening world. Right now this is my first grow and I'm using Expert Gardener potting soil along with FoxFarms nutrients. I've yet to try organics.

    Your organic, low-maintenance, no nutrient measuring, tasty bud producing way has gotten me intrigued!

    Please, sir, do go on!
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  3. Good read. Jerry helped me switch to organics and I haven't looked back. For a year I thought that I would do best with what the grow store 'experts' told me, and in the end I got burned. They definitely led me in the wrong direction, but at least I stumbled upon the 'Organics Section' on GC.

    This type of growing is a lot less work and stress once you buy the materials. The start-up costs aren't too high, but you should buy the best organic stuff you can get. Quality is the key. Don't buy "Wiggle Worms" Ewc. They are shit.

    I am going to be trying this No-till program with 15 gallon pots. I'm pumped.

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  4. awesome info Jerry I've been reading stickies and threads in the organic section for the past couple of months and its definitely been an eye opener. Always love to read the info you and guys like LD and chunk post. Everyone could benefit from reading up on organics.
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  5. this is the only way i garden! i do no-till gardening in my veggie beds and the results are incredible.. and i do the same thing.. just leave the old soil and add some compost on top of the rows for the following year.. but do not till the compost in. it will disturb all of the life that goes on in our soil and we want to keep it thriving so by just leaving it be will give you the best results.

    i use pretty much the same idea for my "base soil" but just adding a few different amendments.. every gardener has their own little tweaks to best suit their liking, and sharing results is always appreciated!

    ive got to say though.. i was really never sold on any of the big nute companies and was fortunate enough to go with gut instinct and fall into the organic route when i first started to garden a few years ago.. the results were so incredible that there was no way i would try anything els except for just digging deeper into organic growing.

    jerry.. when you no till with your ganja plants how big is the original container that you continue to transplant in? does the soil keep adding up over time where eventually you would have to start a new cycle? ide imagine it would just all go into the compost pit once your through:)
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  6. Mashiro - first, its very nice to meet you.

    Let me help you with a very simple "starter" soil recipe which will serve you VERY well, and from there, if you decide that you like these methods I would be happy to delve deeper into the magic that is natural organic gardening - the way that Mother Nature intended gardening should be.

    Pro-Mix or Sunshine Mix - these are basically sphagnum peat from bogs up in Canada. This is used as a "base" medium. This will constitute approximately 60% to 2/3 of your mix.

    To this add the other third in (approximately) equal parts of earthworm castings and compost. These are very important to get the best quality that you can. Your best bet is to try farm and garden/nursuries - not "hydro stores". Please keep in mind that Hydro Stores have one thing in mind - to take your money...*lol* generally farm and garden, feed stores or nursuries have better quality products and at a much cheaper rate.

    Look for a well rounded all purpose organic fertilizer, such as "Epsoma organic Plant/Tomato or Garden Tone" fertilizer. These generally contain an array of standard organic fertilizers in a all-in-one product. This organic fertilizer is added to the peat/earthworm castings/compost mix at the rate of approximately 2-3 cups per cubic foot.

    Kelp meal adds a wide array of assorten nutrients, micronutrients and growth regulators to the mix. Add a half cup per CF to your mix, and also lightly topdress with this product.

    If you can find some Alfalfa Meal - farm and feed stores carry it - I buy a #50 pound sack for under $15.00 at the feed store *lol* (told you this was much cheaper!) Add another half cup of this per CF to your mix.

    We can go on, but this is a simple starter mix that will get you started and serve you Very well!

    SO -

    Pro-Mix or Sunshine mix - 2/3
    Earthworm Castings and Compost - the other 1/3

    To this add 2-3 cups gen purpose organic fertilizer, plus the kelp and alfalfa meals.

    Moisten thoroughly and let this mix sit for 3-4 weeks. This is for the microbes that are in the EWC's and Compost to come alive in your soil mix and "nutrient cycle" the food/fertilizer in your mix. This is an important step - you can burn your plants if you rush this - please be patient.

    After the mix has "cooked" for 3-4 weeks you are ready to plant. This will work well by just keeping your plants damp with straight water from start to finish but I use some Fish Hydrolysate, kelp and alfalfa meal teas, etc during the grow. You don't need to check pH or ppm, tds, you don't need to flush and your flowers will be oh so healthy and happy!

    Take a peeak at my garden if you get a chance in my signature. I'd be very happy to help you get started down the road to Organic Goodness. :)

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  7. Wow, thanks so much, Jerry! I couldn't have asked for a better more detailed answer. I think I'm going to enjoy being your student. :smoke:

    I'm not sure where I can get any compost, but my family owns horses and a huge Flemish Giant rabbit, they all produce a ton of poo and I was wondering if there's anyway I can put it to any sort of use?
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  8. I gotta say that I'm very happy to see a positive response to this thread. Thanks to all of you. Hi Kush!

    Landeye - its just an awesome thing. I grew for many years thinking that I was doing it right - then I tried organics. This is just So Simple once you get a solid soil mix made! Right now I've been working out of town 5 days a week. I soak my pots before I leave and I just don't have to worry about anything until I get home again, and my garden is happier than ever - it couldn't get any simpler or any healthier.

    70's! As always happy to see you friend! My pots are approximately 15 gallons - they are old "tree pots" from the nursery. When I dig my 1 gallon hole after harvest and drop a new 1 gallon sized plant in, I just topdress w/ a little ewc's or kelp meal or whatever I have handy. I'm on round 5 right now in the same soil as plant 1 was in. I'm thinking I can go a few more years in this same soil!

    Microbeman was telluing me of plants in No-Till setup that was 7 years old!

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  9. Finally - now we can begin. :)

    Mr. Haggard is in da house!

    Mashira, check your local nurseries and farm stores. If you can give us at least. *rough* idea as to where you are perhaps we can help you locate quality compost and/or earthworm castings.

    FYI horse manure and rabbit manure, added to leaves and yard waste makes excellent compost, however, it does take time, so in the meantime, a decent quality bagged compost would help you out. There are some fine bagged composts out there. Craigslist is also a great place to start.

    Back later -


    Ps - hi SH!
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  10. Do you think there's a way I could buy some sort of bagged compost online?
  11. No-till gardening with heavy layers of compost and mulch is the easiest, most green, and healthiest way of growing food. I use homemade compost now for the most part, but used to buy it. Alfalfa hay as mulch. 'Garbage' for compost (leaves, grass clippings, food scraps, wood/bark chips).

    You can buy bagged compost at home de.pot / loews for about $4-5 a bag. Buying compost online is easy, but the shipping costs get expensive. Just go to a local nursery/garden center and they will have bagged compost for sure.
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  12. Hey man!! :smoke: :wave:
    Awesome an intriguing post brother. I have only been using some low maintains stuff I had for gardening some tomatoes and am pretty new to this.
    For the past two harvest I just used miracle grow
    Organic water control soil with no nutes in it at all.
    Te soil itself had sufficient perlite for good drainage. Along with that I just had this organic nutes for tomatoes and some blossoming ones. Not chemicals but like little rock looking things.
    Not sure.... Haha :smoke:
    This post has really got me thinking about making it all myself just as you have! Could you possibly helm me out by posting a small list of what I would need for a good amount self made soil like you have done? I'd greatly appreciate the help. Thanks :D also any thoughts on what I'm using now, feel free to chat;)
  13. Not organic nutes I just took a closer look at what it's made from and I think they're just chemicals condensed into slow releasing rock things
  14. #15 N00B Slayer, Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2012
    Nice thread Jerry, out of curiosity what are these other ingredients? Let us in on your secrets bro! lol Other than these other ingredients my planned mix sounds about on par with your mix with.. So far I plan on using (per cubic foot) 1/2 spaghnum peat moss, 1/4 rice hulls, 1/4 Worm castings & compost, 2 cups azomite, amended with 1/2 cup neem meal, alfalfa meal, kelp meal, fish bone meal, fish meal, crushed oyster shells/garden lime.. I already like the organic method because I've tried it with pre bagged soil & pretty decent organic bottled nutrients. The outcome was good, but I'm hoping to improve it using the methods described above.
  15. Fellow gardeners, I will have some more time tomorrow and will posta list of soil ingredients and get into this a little more in depth.

    Again, Im really pleased to see the positive responses here.

    Theres a mess of fantastic gardeners in the Organic Growing forums that will be glad to help as well.

    I've has some incredible teachers here at GC and Im grateful for it too = this place works well when we all share our knowledge.

    Take a look at my garden in my signature and what can be done with this very simple way of gardening. I have 6 plants going perpetually and am harvesting a mature plant every 7 to 10? days. I am consistently getting anywhere from 6 to 9 ounces of totally superb flowers per plant.

    Im biased here folks - Im trying to get more folks growing organically...*lol*


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  16. [quote name='"jerry111165"']Finally - now we can begin. :)

    Mr. Haggard is in da house!

    Mashira, check your local nurseries and farm stores. If you can give us at least. *rough* idea as to where you are perhaps we can help you locate quality compost and/or earthworm castings.

    FYI horse manure and rabbit manure, added to leaves and yard waste makes excellent compost, however, it does take time, so in the meantime, a decent quality bagged compost would help you out. There are some fine bagged composts out there. Craigslist is also a great place to start.

    Back later -


    Ps - hi SH![/quote]

    Well I guess ill post my soil mix.

    This mix fills 1 18gal Smart Pot and 1 5gal bucket.

    1 cf Coast of Maine Lobster Compost
    1 cf Coast of Maine Salmon Compost
    .5 cf Coast of Maine Earthworm Castings
    .5 cf Perlite
    .25 cf Organic Composted Manire

    Amendments ;

    2 cups Organicare Kelp Meal
    2 cups Espona Gypsum
    1 cup Espona Plant Tone
    1 cup Alfalfa Pellets
    1 cup Chicken Manure
    1 cup Espona Soft Rock Phosphate

    Bi-Weekly Teas

    Kelp Meal, Alfalfa, BIMs (rice wash)

    My soil mixes get one tea, and one AACT while they cook

    hey, wtf happened to Wee??
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  17. Jerry,
    What up! Great thread here. There needs to be some type of an organic prescence in the indoor growing section. We grow indoors too! Consider this thread as an invitation. Come over to the organic section. Read our stickies. You'll be amazed your quality will improve and the effort you put in is easier.
  18. I can't wait to see your soil list of other ingredients. Im planning to go organic after my current vegging plants have flowered out. I have a growing book that goes into pretty good detail about organics. Like others I haven't figured out the best soil recipe to start out using. Thanks for re-affirming my interest in organics!
  19. Awesome stuff, people!

    Irie - you are absolutely right - we DO need a presence in the Indoor Growing section. We have our own area, but just to get the word out to people that simply don't realize what a major part of indoor (and outdoor!) Growing this is. I thank God that I found out about it a couple of years ago - it has completely changed my methods and shown me just how simple and effective growing super high quality meds can be.

    2 Bugs - its fantastic to hear of your interest. I'll be back shortly to post my own personal list of ingreients and continue further into this.

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