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Nitrogen & Phosphorus Deficiency + Slightly High PH - Tea/topdress remedy/proportions

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by Foyle, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. #1 Foyle, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2012
    Hi there,

    3 plants, 3 weeks old, slow growth (one doing okay). All in half gallon pots.

    Mix is organic potting mix, green sand, dolomite lime, kelp meal, EWC, alfalfa, composted chicken manure, perlite, vermiculite. "Cooked" for about two weeks before plants were repotted into it from smaller pots a couple weeks ago.

    "Older" (lower) leaf drama - suspecting Nitrogen & Phosphorus deficiencies. I'm sure you know what that looks like.

    PH hovering right at 7.0 - dealing with that with adjusted water. Runoff at 6.8. PH high side probably due to too much dolomite lime in mix (1 cup / 1 cubic foot).

    Yeah, it's my first nooby mix.

    Temps in upper 70's

    Humidity on low side - 50-60% (closer to 50% most of the time and probably fluctuating up and down for the next month or so.)

    Planning on adding bone meal, blood meal, or organic fertilizer or Alaska Fish ferts (nitrogen).

    Either top dress or a tea - fish fert addition will be tea, of course, if I do that.

    Can anyone offer recommendations on ingredients and proportions per gallon if I make a tea or how much and with what to top dress with?

    If I go with some 20-20-20 organic fert I can read directions for top dressing but any suggestions would be helpful.

    I know this is way noob - I have one grow before this and it went fine.

  2. At what ratios did you add amendments to your mix?

    I'm thinking that you do NOT have any deficiencies. Your pH is just fine - this isnt hydroponics. I'm thinking that your soil is probably just too hot and used too quickly - ie: insufficient nutrient cycling time.

    Can you list what type of potting soil and how this was mixed? Another culprit could potentially be a wet soil - does this drain ok?

  3. Think about this for a moment - do "composted chicken manure" and "nitrogen deficiency" go well in the same paragraph/post?


  4. If they're still in half gallon pots, it sounds like its transplant time to me.

  5. Put some ewc as a top dress and bubble 1/2 cup kelp meal in a gallon of water for 24hrs. Start thinking about transplant and the soil mix. Also if it was me I'd toss that Alaska fish and what ever that 20-20-20. I know Alaska is chemically processed crap and I'd be suspicious of how "organic" that other stuff is. And one more thing, toss out your ph type of thinking it'll get you nowhere in organics.
  6. Older lower leaves yellowing on those young plants is not a problem. As long as new growth is green and healthy your good...
    The compost nd the quality of will keep the ph in line and 7.0 is not bad...Don't waste your time checking and adjusting ph. If they look good their ok and nothing else need be done except watering....
    The best thing you can do for your plants is top dress with a slurry of ewc or, an act....

    I use pure coco to start seeds and use Alaska Fish Fertilizer, as soon as they sprout. After 4-5 leaf sets transplant to base of peat/coir/ewc and continue with the AFF. Almost impossible to burn with that stuff and dose a good job till final transplant in amended soil..
    AFF is a natural fertilizer but, lost it's enzymes, etc during processing. A better alternative would be a cold processed fish fertilizer.
  7. Thanks for the comments - I appreciate it.

    Soil Mix is:

    1 cubic foot Easy Grow Professional Potting Soil
    1 cup Dolomite Lime
    1/2 gallon perlite
    1/2 gallon vermiculite
    1/4 cup kelp meal
    1 qt EWC
    1/4 cup chicken manure
    1 cup greensand
    1 cup alfalfa

    Also a layer of EWC top dress.

    The mix, btw, "cooked" for a couple weeks before the seedlings which were in peat pots (not the pellets) with the potting mix (nothing else) were set into them.

    Watering after the "finger test"/pots light - every four - five days. Water drains fine.

    "Feeding" every 3rd watering with "tea" of 1 tblspoon unsulphered molasses, 1 tblspoon dark chocolate cocoa / gallon water.

    Plants only sprouted first week of December so this hasn't been going on too long - only one "feeding" with that tea.

    Water is city water PH 7.5, left for a few days for chlorine evap.

    Last two waterings I apple cider vinegared the water down to 6.5 since runoff was at 7. Runoff now at 6.8 with adjusted water.

    I've read PH isn't something to bother with - I like having that frame of reference.

    I cant imagine pot size at this point is issue. Half gallon pots.

    Plant #1 is barely two inches tall, it's lost it's first two "real" leaves - yellowed, cracked, came off, cotyledons dried and used up of course. The new growth at the top is there, but small - seems stalled.

    Plant #2 is barely three inches tall, slightly more new growth at top, otherwise same situation as #1.

    Plant #3 is doing the best - about four inches - significantly more new growth, but like the others it lost it's first "real" leaves and the next set above is doing the yellowing dessication thing which prompted me here.

    I will put another layer of EWC top dress and do the kelp meal tea for the next watering.

    If no positive change I will repot - thank you all big time for the comments and suggestions!

    Since my noob soil might be lacking I guess I am looking for suggestions on how to amend the soil the plants are in at this point, as well as amending the bulk of the mix I have left still "cooking" for when they do ultimately get repotted into larger pots.

    Based on the soil info and plant descriptions, is there any other insight or suggestions?

    Thanks again - this forum is an outstanding resource. My one grow before this kicked butt only because I was able to reference such good info here!
  8. Foyle...Your quantities are really low for a good soil mix. Especially the compost. The humus from the compost is what makes or breaks a good grow and keeps a proper ph for the microbes to consume foods...

    Standard for a mix are 1/3 ea portions of peat or, potting soil/compost, ewc/perlite...This is the base mix and used for starting seedlings. To this you would add 1 cup ea of amendments to a cf of your mix and let cook, then transplant your seedling into this mix for your water only grow when the time comes...

    I think your best bet to use this soil is to add more ewc and a blended fertilizer with beneficial microbes etc, such as epsoma...Your still going to have to cook and very possible the mix your using has not had enough time to break down.
    The ewc top dressing is good to do but, would go easy on the kelp meal, as this can raise your ph.
    You can make a ewc slurry by using 1 cup ewc and just enough water to cover the ewc and let steep/stir for a day or two then apply and water in...

    Chicken compost or, manure?....
    Chicken compost is the product of manure when it has had time to break down...When it is ready it is dry and loose and have a slight sweet smell and be nice and dark.
  9. Thanks - good info.

    Re: Fixing My Mix -

    Compost - I have an outdoors compost pile going for outdoor gardening but since this is an indoor grow I am hesitant to use it for fear of bugs or other parasites.

    Since I need to amend what I presently have cooking, 6 gallons, more or less, is there anything else for hummus needs you recommend to throw in with the EWC and how much of it to throw in, as well as how EWC would you amend into my 6 gallons of mix?

    This remainder of my mix (the bulk of it since I have used only a gallon or so thus far) will be used for when I repot into larger containers. Also plan to reuse it if I can get it worked into a workable (good) mix.

    The mix itself has been stirred and watered a couple times since I first put it together and is in a couple of five gallon buckets (in a barn) with thin towels over the tops to keep out bugs but still allow it to "breathe."

    The chicken manure says it's "composted chicken manure." It's pellets which I ground up about 50% before I threw them into the mix.

    It's been cooking now for about a month.

    Re: My Three Plants -

    The seedlings were started in simple potting soil in peat pots. No drama there.

    After a week they were transferred with their peat pots into their present half gallon pots with the soil mix - one plant took off immediately while the other two seemed to stall for the most part.

    Epsoma blended fertilizer - the "Organic Tomato Tone?" Follow directions? Half strength?

    Kelp - I have a half cup of kelp meal in a gallon of water doing it's thing for it's next watering in 3-4 days, guessing, but I don't want to jack my PH any more than I have to. Adjust it? I will add a cup of EWC to it as well, unless just a EWC top dress can do the same job? Is there a preference?

    Broken record here - thanks for helping!
  10. fish emulsion + indonesian bat guano + diatomaceous earth = your welcome

    just dont overdo the fish and topdress a healthy amount of de b4 u watr
  11. Thanks!

    Okay - DE I can get at big box store I think - top dress, easy.

    Indonesian BG - problematic. Will work on it

    Alaska Fish ferts = fish emulsion? Have some of that laying round. What is not overdo?

    For instance: 50% DE, 50% IBG, Teaspoon FE sound right?

  12. I never heard of anyone using dark chocolate coco as a nutrient....Maybe a source for carbs.....

    If you want a nutrient tea use ewc as your main source(no molasses)and add kelp, alfalfa etc and let set/stir for a couple days before feeding. If you want to build microbial activity add molasses and aerate for best results. A small air pump will work fine for brewing a gallon at a time and takes 24-36 hours to brew.

    Not knowing nothing about the potting soil you started the seedling in, it should have enough nutrients, if peat based, to get you by for a couple weeks with water only before needing any fertilizer....If roots are not getting established, which I suspect, all the tea in china won't get them growing proper.
    What's happening is the plant is using stored nutrients from the leaves to maintain itself and is why the yellowing is occurring, especially the cotyledons....

    Your plants sound like their hungry and may need more perlite for good aeration to the roots.
    The Alaska fish fertilizer is probably your best source of nitrogen at 1/4-1/2 strength at this point. As they start showing new growth you can up the dose.

    BioAg concentrated humus is great but, will need to order it up and a little goes a long way but, will probably be ok with just the ewc.
    To the 6 gallons I would add at least 2 gallons + of ewc, or a 50/50 mix of ewc and chicken compost to equal 2 gallons plus. Add about the same amount for perlite or, enough for a good soil texture....

    Your soil will cook faster if kept in a warm place. If you add more amendments(meals)you will basically be starting the cooking process all over, so keep that in mind...Once transplanted into final pots you can brew a microbial tea and give a good inoculation and top dress with the espoma, ewc etc if needed.

    On this link you'll find all the msds sheets for everything made by lily miller. Hate to burst your bubble but that bottle of fish fertilizer has sulfuric acid in it. Just cuz it says omri doesn't mean its what you want to be using. Sulfuric acid is a byproduct of the methods they use to process their product. As well as a byproduct of fish hydro. decomposition. Too much of even the dry stuff will create to high of levels of h2so4 and destroy everything very quickly.
  14. Based on the soil info and plant descriptions, is there any other insight or suggestions?

    At this point and how small the plants are, you don't want to do a whole lot. I personally wouldn't do much until they get a little bigger. Do you have good lighting on them? I'm thinking patience might be key for a week or two.

    Around here we have a saying ~ LITFA. {Leave it the fuck alone} It certainly is necessary sometimes...

    I know personally that its hard to do

  15. Hey Jerry! Thanks for stopping in - I've read a lot of what you have had to say in here. Good stuff! Also - I was lucky enough to see the Dead five different times whenever they came through town or near - some great shows! I am Gratefully Deadicated!

    I'll focus more on the EWC and less on the Alaska Fish Ferts - I have the fish stuff for outside gardening anyway - never used it for indoor stuff.

    My perlite / vermiculite is about 15-20% of the total mix - I'll throw in another half gallon of each which ought to bump it into the 35% range.

    Lighting is good - 8 26 watt cfls (daylight - 6100K) arranged within a horizontal 1' X 2' array - sides of bulbs shining down. Reflector close above. Lights about 4-5 inches from tops of plants. Used it last grow, worked fine.

    The chocolate cocoa seems to act more as an anti-oxidant. I used it in the 1 tbl spoon / gallon water with molasses in MG Organic dirt on my first grow every other or third watering after seedling phase and had success. There's some threads on it if anyone is curious.

    Question about EWC - when I top dress, is that something to be done every time, every other time, 3rd time? I don't want to waste the stuff or cause problems. The present top dress is two weeks old (3 waterings) from when they were transplanted into their half gallon pots.

    Composted Chicken Manure - already a quarter cup in the mix - this is the mix still cooking in their buckets. Add more? 6 gallons of mix - how much more of the composted chicken manure to add recommended? This time I will pulverize and slurry them before I throw it in.

    Not doing anything with the plants other some more EWC top dress and watering when dry but I'll still keep adjusting the water down since my municipal water at 7.5 runs off at 7.0. and I want it lower.

    Since my mix is a little on the high side with its cup of Dolomite lime, I never added any blood meal when I made it so any thoughts on adding some to "balance" the mix for happier plants? Recommended amendment per gallon? (Example: 1 tbl spoon / gallon = add 6 tbl spoons) ?

    Good info, you all. Thanks and keep it coming!
  16. hey foyle lemme post my soil recipe incase you ever get tired of miracle gro all measurements are for 1 gal of soil
    1 gal 3b mix, or promix, just a good soilless mix with no added nutrients
    1/2 cup plant tone
    1/2 cup bio-tone
    1 bunch of dried and chopped banana peels
    2 cups diatomaceous unpacked(light and airy not compacted into weighing vessel)
    This is what you feed 2-3 weeks into flowering
    mix 3 tbls spoons indo bat guano per gal of water, can be found online
    1 tbls spoon of sugary substance of your choice(molasses, honey, maple, agave) just make sure it can be found in nature. and thats it!

    good luck on your growing journeys! btw this mix is organic
  17. #17 headstasher, Jan 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2013
    Plant tone yes bio tone yes, bannana peels will decompose very slowly and that process will use up available nitrogen in the soil so put em in your compost where they belong. Bat guano wont even be broken down and soluable to the plant throughout flowering. It takes even longer than the bannana peels to break down. Again something for your compost pile. Also its one of those "black heart" products that most of the gardeners here don't use anymore because of the social and environmental impacts caused by its demand. Besides that there's much better forms of nutrients available that are sustainable.

    Edit: and half a cup per gallon? That's waaaay too much. I use a cup per cubic foot. With 3 cups of ammemdmemts and a handful of bannana peels into a gallon of soil you'll have one problem after another.
  18. Thanks for the info! I used the MG Organic only on my first grow - successful. This time around I'm using a different Organic dirt cooked with various amendments. Since this is indoors I'm hesitant to use stuff from the compost pile because I don't want to battle random bug outbreaks. In fact, I have a minor gnat problem I'm fighting (beating) which either came from the dirt base I used or from the time the mix spent outside in the open when I mixed it and had to leave it for a couple hours. There were a couple dozen gnats buzzing over the mix when I got back to it - probably attracted to the chicken manure. I still have two going real slow so I re-potted them into far less compacted dirt - it was pretty compacted. The third has been steadily putting out new growth but still a little on the slow side, but no more lower leaf drama for the present. About another month I think of veg and I'll turn the lights. Thanks again!
  19. #19 Gweneth22, Jan 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2013
    this isnt something i made up overnight, duh you let it compost... a bunch of dried bp's are bout half a handful
    bp's are composted after 1 month -.- (A.especially with the help of the bio-tone starter plus(B.they are chopped))
    When was the last time this kid made compost smells fishy to me

    I see you contradicting yourself in your previous statement and me having to explain this to you is furthering the errors of your assumption, i was just trying to help this guy grow(Dear foyle, learn what N-P-K values are and K.I.S.S)

    problem after another lol...

    the more i keep reading this kids post the more problems i keep finding with his advice, im just gonna stop here

    :) thank you
  20. I'm all about K.I.S.S. - that's what I did on my first grow with the MG Organic - one plant, 2 oz.s of excellent (and tasty) medicine dried. : )

    If I just wanted to repeat the same successful process I could do that. Boring.

    This time around I thought I would expand my knowledge base and try a new technique.

    And the next maybe, as well.

    Yes, I know the significance of npk values - it's not arcane material.

    My first indoor grow of anything was poppy somniferums. Also successful, and near as I can tell a LOT more tricky and problematical than tuning an organic mix.

    I appreciate the help and the info and the time, I really do, but frankly, I can do without the condescension. Happy growing!

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