When to start feeding organic nutes/compost teas?

Discussion in 'Organic Soil' started by OCKushCollector, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. OCKushCollector

    OCKushCollector Active Farmer

    Hi, I'm doing my first indoor grow and I am going all organic. I started some seedlings in Roots Organic soil like a rookie and killed/stunted most of them from nute burn. So I went and bought some clones to learn with, and transferred them to Roots soil yesterday in 3 gallon smart pots.

    The clones are 5-7"tall right now. I am running Jupiter OG and Pure Kush. When is it safe to start feeding them compost teas and nutrients? Also, I forgot to add the Mykos WP to the root ball and hole when I transplanted, so can I do a root drench with it yet? I have them under a Blackstar 240W LED for now and am using the following nutrients (props to Alien for sharing his formula).

    Roots Organic Soil
    Botanicare Pure Blend Pro Organic Grow (SOIL Formula)
    Botanicare Pure Blend Pro Organic Bloom (SOIL Formula)
    Age Old Organics Liquid Kelp
    EM-1 (Microbial Inoculant)
    Mykos WP
    Primordial Solutions Sea Green
    Earth Juice Micronutrients
    Down To Earth Liquid Bone Meal (0-12-0)
    Earth Juice High-Brix Molasses
    Primal Harvest Fossilized Seabird Guano (0-11-1) (powdered)
  2. nangonug

    nangonug Premium Farmer

    If you look where you got Aliens formula there is a feeding chart that will give you an idea of when and how much to feed. I would start on the light side of this as I believe alien feeds heavy. Always best to start light then work up to full strength. Your set up is different then aliens so what works for him might not for you. There is usually enough avaliable food in roots for a couple of waterings. I would then start with the grow formula at half to 3/4 strength and see how they respond. Start light and work up from there. Its always easyer to add then to subtract when it comes to feeding and most strains will preform ok with a light fert program. Take it easy and get a few grows under your belt as you learn what your plants want. It will be far better to finish with sucess and build upon that then to try and push them to hard and fail, but we all make mistakes along the way. Peace
    OCKushCollector and Abek666 like this.
  3. ShutUpDonny

    ShutUpDonny Farmer

    Dunno if it matters to you, but PBP is not organic. It is an "organic blend," which is a flowery way for them to admit that they mix some mineral salts into their organic base. I frankly don't think it's a big deal, but just an FYI... I only know because I did the exact same thing.

    As far as your actual question, I think starting light is always better until you get comfortable. That said, I started feeding my two current girls full strength tea as soon as I transplanted them, and they love it. I didn't use your soil recipe, but started with FFOF and added a bunch of meals, guano, etc to it so it's pretty potent shit. That said, I did mix in a healthy portion of lime so I have a buffer, at least pH-wise. Also, check out Texas Kid's thread on Subcool's soil mix. TK says he basically doesn't even fertilize plants he grows in it outside of a light foliar, just lets them feed off the (similarly) very rich soil. So I'd say start low and slow just because there's no reason not to, and recognize that however you proceed you'll probably be fine.

    And also, as another straight up pointer and NOT a critique, just another thing I learned. You have a lot of really nice name brand product that you're working with, which I know from experience costs several limbs at the local hydro shop. If you ever get to the point of not wanting to spring for top shelf materials, go to your local nursery or even (GASP!) HD and see what they have in the way of organic fertilizers. I've found kelp meal, bone and bloodmeal, alfalfa, greensand, EWC, blahblahblah available at well below hydro shop pricing. Often it's local and fresh, and you don't feel like you might be getting scoped by the cops just for being in their parking lot. And these ingredients are for all intents and purposes the same shit that Age Old, Earth Juice, etc are using, just without the spendy ad campaigns and liquid fillers. You may have to let them aerate a bit longer, but that's never a bad thing anyway.

    Anyway, much respect for going about things the right way, and for sharing with us. Good luck out there!
  4. Abek666

    Abek666 Active Farmer

    i would have sayed the same things the 2 peps over me have done, thumbs up for going this way and keep it green
    singingcrow and OCKushCollector like this.
  5. OCKushCollector

    OCKushCollector Active Farmer

    Many thanks for the helpful advice and tips. I wanted to keep things as natural as I could and Alien's mix is a great starting point with proven results. I can tweak things as I need to, and from what I understand led grows require less nutes. I basically wanted to see when I should start feedin them, as Alien's chart only addresses the flowering phase and my babies are still very young.

    As far as the name brand stuff, as I mentioned his list was a great and helpful starting point for me, someone with no indoor experience and only a few months of research. As I get some grows under my belt and learn what's what, I can then go my own route and see what works for me while keeping costs to a minimum.

    I bought a bubble/tea bucket kit made by xtreme gardening and it came 2 packaged compost tea brews. Maybe I will brew one of those up and do my next watering with it?
  6. ShutUpDonny

    ShutUpDonny Farmer

    A good friend of mine got one of those Xtreme kits last year and swears by it. He even continues to buy their tea mix to use when he doesn't feel like making his own. Makes all the sense in the world to me.

    I go all DIY since (as you can probably already tell) I'm a cheap bastard. I also have a ton of outdoor space to play with, so setting up a few compost bins was a no-brainer. I pickle my compost bokashi style to make it break down faster, and I use the liquid left behind as a way of kickstarting my tea. I combine it with all the wonderful things people in this forum have recommended I use, put it in a couple milk jugs, and pop an aquarium airstone into it for around a week. Your kit is going to work a LOT better than that, because it will aerate the tea and agitate it to degrees far greater than my hooptie system is capable of. It'll get your microherd hyperactive in no time. Looks like it'll also be a hell of a lot less messy.

    Oh, about your Myco question. Yes, it's best to put it in the original hole because it needs contact with roots to be effective. They say you can water it in, but what I did during my first grow when I also forgot to apply it to the roots was dig down outside the rootball, mix Myco in with the removed soil, and then replace it all. If you think you can do that without disturbing the roots it'll work better. If not, just water it in and have faith. Also, next time you transplant - or mix your own soil for that matter - mix a bunch of Mike in with everything else. That stuff is amazing.

    I dunno if you have the capacity or inclination, but some pics of your setup would be great. It's always more fun to look at pictures than read, and in the past it's allowed experienced farmers to help me catch problems before they get too bad. That said, I can always appreciate not wanting strangers to know too much. Anyway, just an idea.
    OCKushCollector likes this.
  7. Medijuana

    Medijuana Active Farmer

    Compost tea can be used from the start, as long as you haven't added any nutes to the compost that hasn't had a chance to rest. I've never used this trick on MMJ beans, but I always use a half compost tea, half distilled water solution to germinate veggie seeds for my garden. I get close to a 100% germination rate when i do this. Compost tea is magic stuff.

    If you find that you aren't enjoying yourself dealing with all those nutes, you should consider SubCool's supersoil mix next time around. It does take some planning, as the mix has to rest for at least a month, but not having to stress about nutes for your entire grow does reduce the stress factor, especially for a newbie.
  8. Scorpion

    Scorpion Active Farmer

    A simple but effective way to start seeds is to use pure worm casting as a starter plug. just form a small compost ball and stick a seed in it,
    germination and accelerated growth should be expected in any viable seed.
    100% green and organic
    vierundzwanzig likes this.
  9. OCKushCollector

    OCKushCollector Active Farmer

    I don't mind at all. I'm a CA patient within my legal guidelines. I've attached a couple pics. The little guys in the cups are a month old already. They are the ones I stunted in the hot soil. I transplanted them into FF Light Warrior mixed with Roots but they never really came back. I left them in there just to see what happens, and they are still green but are not growing whatsoever. Those are Alien's Seven Ghosts :(

    1f486222.jpg 2b3e7bb6.jpg 4af199f5.jpg f469c9a2.jpg

    Exactly what I was wondering, thanks for clarifying that. I don't mind dealing with the nutes, it's actually fun to me and gives me the opportunity to learn.

    Since burning my first seedlings in the Roots soil, I picked up some Root Riot starter plugs, as well and a tray, humidity dome and warming pad, and had much better success.


    .
  10. ShutUpDonny

    ShutUpDonny Farmer

    Nice one! Looks like a nice clean and straightforward setup. Wish I'd done that the first time around. Oh well - experience is a great teacher.

    The stunting you're seeing may also be tied to your RH. I see in that pic that it's at 45%, which is where mine was at during my first grow. I had a similar issue with the seedlings stalling out, until local hero(-ine?) Seamaiden happened by and filled me in on what is called Vapor Pressure Deficiency. Basically it's the idea that plants have to be 'exhaling' from their leaves in order to effectively be drawing water and nutrients in through their roots. When RH gets below a certain point the plants close their stomata (the leaf pores through which they transpire, among other things) so as not to lose water to evaporation. Side effect being that they drastically reduce their rate of water and nutrient uptake as a result. Seamaiden recommended having an RH around 60, which I reached by putting a crappy $20 ultrasonic humidifier from Wally World in my tent. Sure as shit, the little buggers recovered very quickly, and lived happily ever after. I also transplanted them at about the same time, so root binding might also have been an issue... But long story short, I now maintain a 60-65% RH in my tent at all times and haven't seen any stunting since. Some people will no doubt say that my RH is too high, but I haven't seen a trace of mold or mildew so I'm sticking with it. I would guess that even if you just brought your RH up to 55% and took the little girls out of cups and into those smart pots you would see positive results.

    I don't know if you have one, but if not you might consider an oscillating fan inside the tent, pointing directly on your plants. Airflow inside the tent is almost as important as straight ventilation.

    Thank you again for sharing, and sorry if my speechifying is all stuff you already know. I just figure that redundant info is better than no info, which is a direct cause of my handle being what it is. Anyway, I look forward to hearing more, and following along as your grow progresses. You picked a terrific setup to begin with, and I think you will be very pleased with your results. Keep up the great work!
  11. Abek666

    Abek666 Active Farmer

    Nice i also really like your setup, i would suggest you bring the stuned ones a good amount more near to that led bulb of yours and go 10% up on rh that should do the trick^^ hope you have fun and a good green thumb to see this grow of yours to a real happy ending :)
    good luck i will stick around when you do a report i'm very interrested in thouse led thingies would be nice to see how bio plants react to that light of yours good luck anyway^^
  12. OCKushCollector

    OCKushCollector Active Farmer

    No this is not stuff I already know and it makes perfect sense about the humidity issue and the plants 'exhaling'. Also I do not have a fan in there, I figured it was getting adequate ventilation from the inline fan with the tent flap open in addition to the 3 small fans on my Blackstar LED. I have been wondering why my soil doesn't dry out and I'm thinking that it is a combination of the two - the plants are not drinking and exhaling as they should be and the fan would help along with providing fresh CO2 and oxygen. Great valuable info to a newb like myself and I thank you once again. I am going to pick up a fan after work today and then feed them this tea I've been brewing in the xtreme gardening bucket along with a little EM-1 and Mykos WP. I look forward to seeing the results. I'm going to see if I can get by with a bucket of water in front of the fan for the humidity, as the RH hangs around 50% when I leave the bottom flap open.

    6c3a4823.jpg

    I think I will put the little ones in larger pots today before adding the tea, which will bring them closer to the LED. I will do a report a little later if I have success as I don't want to jump the gun quite yet. I am thinking about going with another LED before flowering, as this 240W model was rated for a 3x2 space and my tent is 4x2.
    caregiverken likes this.
  13. ShutUpDonny

    ShutUpDonny Farmer

    Haha! Look at that roostertail the brewer is kicking up! You may have just convinced me to hang up my handyman hat and get out my credit card. Now I see why my buddy fell in love with it.

    Yeah, it's a funny thing about LEDs (which I use, as you can see in my signature link) that there's no way to measure just how effective they are. I personally love mine for the fringe benefits: efficient, cool operating temp, no replacing of bulbs, no heat signature, small size. That said, I started with a 200w lamp, then added two more 100w lamps 3 months later, and just ordered yet another 200w a few days ago. It's not that my plants have been suffering as far as I can tell, but I also can't get around the idea that there is further room to bulk them up. Plus, I like being able to position lights along the walls or even angle them up from below the canopy (just an idea - haven't actually tried it). Anyway, I'm sure there's a point of diminishing returns, but I also figure that if most people are doing a 3x3 scrog under a 600w HPS then my girls won't be getting cooked under 600w of LEDs. That said, LEDs are expensive so slowly increasing one's wattage is a great way to go about it. Higher output is also more important during flower, so you've got a little time to think about it even within the context of this grow.

    Wet soil is something to avoid if possible. Is it just the soil in the cups that stays damp, or do the smart pots have the same issue? If it's just the cups, have you drilled a couple drain holes in the bottom of them? Or if it's all your plants (and the cups have drains) try putting them up on something like a baker's cooling rack so they can get air underneath them as well. Roots need air to breathe just as much as they need moisture, so making sure that the soil they're in drains quickly is the way to go. It can be painful to watch so much of your tea run out the bottom of the planters, and it can make a mess, but your plants will love you for it. Besides, you can compensate by watering with less volume but doing it a little more frequently.

    Anyway, hopefully this concert of a humidifier and an oscillating fan (oh, and a 15-min interval timer for the humidifier, too, so it doesn't provide too much RH) will help get everything into balance. Another benefit of fans is that they strengthen the plants. When the stems are getting lightly bent by the wind the plant responds by growing thicker, and that definitely helps once there are (fingers crossed!) massive buds to support come harvest time! I think I have the same size tent as you, and I run both the oscillator and the humidifier on the same timer. I do 15 min on / 15 min off for as long as the lights are on. But when the lights are off I do 15 on/45 off to keep from inviting mold. I run my vent fan (which also looks to be the same as yours - kudos to you for your excellent taste) 15 on/30 off around the clock. I'm in the high desert though, so my schedule probably won't be perfect for you. Good thing that playing around with all these tools is half the fun!
  14. OCKushCollector

    OCKushCollector Active Farmer

    Yeah that brewer most definitely does the job. I got for $50 at a local hydro store. The soil in the smart pots does dry out after a few days, it's the seedlings in the cups that remain wet for long periods of time. I transplanted those yesterday, and the roots haven't grown at all since I put them in the cups. Barely sticking out of the bottom of the root plugs. Is it safe to say these things are a lost cause?

    I agree that you're humidifier/fan schedule would be different as I am near the coast so the RH is always pretty high. With some adjustments to the tent flaps and fan, I am able to keep the RH at about 60 now without a humidifier.
  15. singingcrow

    singingcrow Farmer

    Hey OcKush, I'm new at organic soil myself, but have about 2 yrs experience in salt fert based hydroponics and semi organic hydroponics. Definitely don't write the babies out as s lost cause, my friend. You can always pop them outside this time of year or put them in a windowsill that doesn't get a full days direct sun..make sure they get a partial day, with dome residual early morning or afternoon light. You don't want to "cook" them in a window, since the heat multiplies under glass but, with some real sun, they should bounce back. Natural sunlight is the best remedy for MJ plants, in my opinionand has saved many a lost cause for me. Hope this helps. Love your setup and pics. Especially love your brewer. Lastly, consider dropping the expensive stuff, as one poster said, but I would add to that...spend the $40 or so on Capulator's beneficial bacteria. It has helped me so much! Very high quality and much better than the expensive store-bought White Shark, etc...

    Capulator (we call him Cap) is a regular contributor and approved vendor on the forums. A great guy. I would propose to him, only I'm married and have no idea where he hails from..lol. seriously though, great product and a teaspoon goes a long way in your brews. His foliar formula has completely prevented spider mites and helped with any kind of abuse I pile in my girls. My husband is thoroughly impressed with my mad skillz...! Too bad he doesn't know the real reason the plants are gorgeous these last 6 months! :)

    Good luck and let us know if you need more help! Lisa
  16. EVOKE

    EVOKE Well-Known Farmer

    i use age old organics line up with the other tomatoe all phase great stuff has a boat load of microbiology... i just got some info on a new product called Dominion Organics. check it out if u get a chance..
  17. EVOKE

    EVOKE Well-Known Farmer

    i think u should start them off in a smaller container the soil will never dry out...
  18. EVOKE

    EVOKE Well-Known Farmer

    i like starting my babies with t5s i will post some pics tonite i like to use rhizotonic on them and i get great results... i was about to toss a re veg cl i took two months ago.. now ithas new growth.. its the best og i have ever smoke and stupid me waited to long to take cuttings... i took 5 and only one made it.. i was gifted a three leaf og and i use rhizotonic and omg it took off...