Hey GCO! A lot of my knowledge of organic gardening comes from this very forum and the awesome folks who frequent the Organic subforum. Thanks goes out to all of whom that I've gotten advice from. Blades from the past and the present. Surely I will learn from new people as this homegrown living soil movement gains momentum. I started this journal on another forum, and for the sake of sharing some learning and what-not, I've decided to set up a new spot over here. Luckily for you guys, you get to skip the whole first month of growth and get right to the exciting part! Feel free to share stories, pictures, videos, music, ask questions,give advice, criticize, whatever--mi casa es su casa. I'm hoping that I can turn some other newbies onto this style of growing. This is my very first attempt at growing the herb, or any plant for that matter. I spent a good year and a half reading books and lurking on this forum before I got an account and started asking questions. Enough with the boring life story... let's get to the good shit. I sowed 8 seeds on January 1. Strains: (All from www.mandalaseeds.com) Ganesh x1 8 Miles High x1 Satori x1 Krystalica x1 Hashberry x1 Chill-OM x1 Safari Mix x2 Lighting/Ventilation/Environment: 400 watt mh/hps with a dimmable, digital ballast by iPower. The cheap-o one on amazon. Started with the metal halide bulb. 4" Ecoplus 170 cfm exhaust fan with a 4" Rhino scrubber. 16" oscillating wall fan stuck up in the corner of the tent. Secret Jardin DR 120 (4'x4') grow tent Soil Mix: Base Mix 15 gallons Sunshine Mix #4 5 gallons perlite 5 gallons worm castings from www.rockymountainwormcompany.com 4 gallons Coast of Maine Quoddy Blend Lobster Compost 1 gallon KIS Fungal Compost 20 cups rock dust I removed about 7.5 gallons from this as a starter mix. I tried to aim for something around 1/3 aeration, 1/3 peat, and 1/3 [vermi]compost. I used Sunshine Mix #4 with added mycorrhizae. The ingredient label reads: "60-70% peat, 30-40% perlite, dolomite lime, yucca wetting agent". IIRC.. So I took that to mean about 1/3 perlite and 2/3 peat. Here is a list of the Endomycorrhizal fungi strains in the sunshine #4 and they all come at the same concentration: Glomus intraradices Glomus clarum Glomus deserticola Glomus monosporus Glomus etunicatum Glomus mosseae Gigaspora margarita 0.009 spores/cc Amendments: (used at a rate of ~3 cups/cf) 2 parts kelp 1 part neem seed meal 1 part alfalfa meal 1 part Espoma Tomato Tone 1 part oyster shell flour 1 part crab/shrimp meal Extras: 1/2 cup per cf bokashi bran 1/2 cup per cf greensand I made it nice and homogenous and mixed it several times for the first week or so. I then moved the soil to final pots, not to be disturbed so fungi can colonize. This soil mix is based off of the famous ITG soil mix which can be seen here: http://forum.grasscity.com/organic-growing/1116550-easy-organic-soil-mix-beginners.html I sow my seeds directly into the soil in 3" pots as per the breeder's recommendations. seed starting mix: 3 parts Sunshine #4 1 part worm castings I wet that down with a coconut water/aloe vera juice drench. 1/4 cup coconut water 1/4 cup aloe vera juice 1 gallon RO water I transplanted into 1 gallons (pictured) full of the starter mix right when I saw cotyledons. Then I transplanted into 5 gallon "smart pot SIPs" (pictured) with the amended mix. starter mix This was the same as the amended soil except the only additions to the base mix were kelp meal and bokashi bran. By Jan 1, the amended soil had been cycling for two weeks. So I had two weeks of growth in totally unamended soil, then I transplanted to the amended soil which cycled for four full weeks. Pictures of the progress will be in the next posts.