Ancient Hindu Kush Living Soil 2x2 Grow

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Young_ogkush

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What's up farmers. New here and wanted to document my first proper seed to harvest grow. I say that because I've grown in the past but never made it to harvest. I have helped growers before and have lived with one so I'm not a complete newbie.

A couple of things first: I started the grow in December 2021 and am switching to flower tomorrow. I never planned on putting it online but alas here we are. I'm growing as natural as possible in the limited space I have to work with in my small apartment.

Here's a list of things I'm using for this grow:
- Balkh heirloom seeds from Afghan Selection
- Atreum Lighting Hydra-1000 LED Grow Light
- AC Infinity Cloudlab 422 Grow Tent (2'x2'x4')
- Lasko 6" Clip Fan
- 3 Grassroots Living Soil Fabric Pots (3 gallon)
- 1 Grassroots regular Fabric Pot (15 gallon) for mixing soil
- Sta Green Organics Coconut Coir (leftover from last grow attempt)
- Oly Mountain Fish Compost (2 gallons)
- Atlantic Bay Organics Earthworm Castings (8 Pound Bag)
- Red Lava Rock (Scoria) from Volcanterrico on Ebay
- 3"x4" bags of Atlantic Bay Organics Fish Meal, Kelp Meal, Crab Meal, and Alfalfa Meal
- Build-A-Soil Mineral Kit for Coco Coir (Basalt, Gypsum Dust, and Langbeinite)

That's about it for now. I will be ordering an AC Infinity Cloudline Filtration Kit soon before any crazy odors come up. Honestly the tent smelled crazy just from mixing the soil up lol Living soil is potent for sure.

Will be uploading pics and giving more details on each item used. Stay tuned and thanks for checking this out😁
 
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Young_ogkush

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Alrighty. I took some pics yesterday which was DAY 24 of Veg. The one on the right (#2) is the oldest at 24 days yesterday and the smaller one on the left (#3) was 22 days old (technically still 22 days old until 9am this morning). Day 1 was on December 26th. They are currently getting the longest rest they've ever had (about 13 hours) so that will let them know it's time to start flowering as they are both mature enough now. I did not plan to leave it this late but there was an issue with the dwarf (#3) that slowed her down a little around the second week where she got a little too much light than she was ready for but she's doing well now. #2 is clearly a larger phenotype so I had to top her while I waited for #3 to be ready for the flower stage.
 
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Young_ogkush

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OK I wanted to get a pic up there to keep yall interested lol Now it's time for the details.

So in the fall I was learning how to make my own soil. I read about different organic amendments and why they are used and I studied the benefits of earthworm castings. I knew castings were great already since I had grabbed some in the summer and had used Fox Farm Big Bud (basically worm tea) back in 2014 in my first true grow attempt but I didn't know the why and how they really work in good living soil. I found this study from India where they experimented with 3 different worm species and fed them vegetable market waste or flower waste to compost. They also made traditional compost with the waste products as well. They discovered all 3 species' worm castings were more nutrient dense than the traditional compost. I won't go in depth here but check out the link since it's worth a read.


I also ran into Build-A-Soil's blog on their website which talked about why concentrated "super" soil isn't necessarily the best soil to make out there and Jeremy broke each ingredient in Subcool's recipe, some of which I knew weren't good for sustainable farming such as bat guano, most which comes from the bats in Jamaica from old research I did years ago. Then there's that blood meal and bone meal which are not exactly organic because the blood and bones must come from animals who are fed a truly organic diet for that be the case but instead it's just a way for slaughterhouses and such to get rid of waste and make more money. There's also the fact that in nature the nutrients are in the top soil for the most part as matter decays on the surface and gradually feeds the soil (nature's top dressing) as opposed to the super soil that's put at the bottom of the pot that can burn the plants that grow in it a little until they are finally able to handle it (I've known this for years so I'm not just regurgitating Jeremy's words).

Anyway there was a link to 3 different soil recipes at the bottom of that post. The main one I took interest in was the 3 part Coots Mix (yes I'm also aware Clackamas Coot didn't invent it and that it has been used at Cornell University for decades). That 3 part mix consists of 1 Part Base such as peat moss or coco, 1 Part Compost which can be one kind or a mixture, and 1 Part Aeration such as pumice, black lava rock ect. It's suggested not use more than 15% worm castings in this mix due to sodium buildup unless the source is extremely high quality (Coot makes his castings that take 2 years per batch to make), but it's a good companion compost.

Next Jeremy's version suggests using only 1/2 per cubic foot of nutrients/amendments such as kelp meal, karanja or neem meal, crustacean meal ect. Coot's version on his website states that he started his mix with up to 2 cups of nutrients. I will show what I decided to use later.

Lastly you need 4 cups of minerals per cubic foot. Basalt, gypsum, oyster shell flour if growing in peat moss to lime the soil, not good for coco coir which I didn't know about until after I had used some in my last grow attempt in October. Langbeinite a.k.a. Sulfate of Potash Magnesia is a good alternative to use in Coir which is included in Build-A-Soil's Mineral Kit for Coco Coir or you get Down 2 Earth's Langbeinite or another source. The mineral kit has 18 lb of minerals and you only need about 3 pounds per cubic foot of soil so I still have like 15 lbs left lol.
 
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Young_ogkush

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The light I'm using was reviewed well by Shane from Migro last June and is his overall Top 3 Small LED and is also his Top Total 3 Year Cost LED beating his Migro Array 2+ Red and the Viparspectra P1000. Dr Coco from Coco for Cannabis also has a nice review of my light, a great grow light calculator to use, and includes a 5% discount code for it as well.

The Hydra-1000 by Atreum Lighting, a company out of Seattle, Washington, is a nice little grow light that is rather advanced in its design due to the algorithmically spaced diodes that are spread out lightly in the center and more dense and congested around the edges to distribute light evenly over the canopy and so PAR doesn't drop off at the edges like many other LEDs do. Most PAR maps of it in a 2x2 enclosed area with reflective walls show roughly 500 micromoles at the edges at 12 inches hanging height.

It has 3000K Warm White and 5000K Cool White Samsung LM301Bs, and 660nm Deep Red and a 730nm Far Red all of which are Osram diodes. The driver is a Mean Well XLG-100-H-AB.
The light pulls about 115 Watts from the wall at full power.
 
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Young_ogkush

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Here are some links to those reviews:
 
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Young_ogkush

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I forgot to mention that Atreum Lighting also added a thin waterproof nano-coating to the diodes. This is good since the diodes used are LM301Bs. Samsung's LM301Hs already have a coating on them out of the factory which is honestly the only real difference between the two.
 
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Young_ogkush

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I made a Bloom Tea to get #2 ready for flower and to help her recover after I topped her on Sunday morning ( Day 22). It's mostly Alfalfa Meal with a little bit of Kelp Meal and Earthworm Castings.
It took about 27 hours to make and ferment. No bubbler equipment or anything I just used a chopstick to mix it every few hours then covered it and let sit for half a day or so. I mixed the tea half and half with filtered tap water (Zero Water filter) and gave her a 16 oz bottle of it yesterday and she's already thirsty.

All of my amendments come from Atlantic Bay Organics which is a nice company in Florida who specialize in Earthworm Castings and my goodness are they quality whenever I order from them. Not gonna lie, I've never gotten castings from another company but I could tell these were special because they are just black and pure and the batch I got in the summer had some baby worms. When worms are thriving in your soil then you know it's good. Haven't seen any so far in this batch and I don't necessarily need them but they are nice to have when you top dress because the worms will come up and take the food and help break it down which feeds the soil.

The last pic is the castings and using the black bag as reference they are just as dark.
 
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Young_ogkush

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Just to clarify, due to some typos a couple posts up, Jeremy's recipe suggests 1/2 a Cup per Cubic Foot of soil of nutrients/amendments. Coots original version uses 2 Cups. Because I'm not growing in large pots, which make living soil much easier because there's more food for the plants to eat, I went with 1 Cup of Amendments per Cubic Foot. I didn't feel like 2 Cups was needed because the cultivar I'm growing is only a moderate feeder. I'm sure you ppl are interested in the genetics I'm growing (What do you mean YOU ppl?! 😆 I had to do it).

Some sites call it Balkhi. It's a landrace Hindu Kush from northern Afghanistan in the city of Balkh which is like the epicenter of cannabis in the country. Afghan Black Hash comes from these genetics.
Afghan Selection now calls the seeds they have a local heirloom but after doing extensive research it still has those landrace genes and can turn Red or even Black. I got them from Seed-City who always show me love and throw me extra seeds.

The original description for these seeds is a little different than the current one. The original states it is a landrace:


INFO FROM AFGHAN SELECTION (My seed stock):

Balkh- The Old City

The old city of Balkh is located in the Balkh District in Balkh province, in the northern part of Afghanistan.

This city is called “Mother of cities.” It’s culture and history runs deep. It’s said to be the home of the mystical “Baba Khu” a Sufi with spiritual power, that covered the town with smoke when he lit up his chillum. Considered holy because of his alleged part in fighting against Genghis Khans army.


Climate - Balkh Dist - Balkh Province
  • Temp April/May 13-33c and 13h day light
  • Temp Sep/Oct 10-33c and 12h day light
  • Temp Nov/Dec 1-15c and 10h day light
  • Temp Jan/Feb 0-10c and 11h day light
Balkh (aka The Old City) is an indica variety from Afghan Selection and can be cultivated indoors (where the plants will need a flowering time of ±67 days) and outdoors. Afghan Selections Balkh is a THC dominant variety and is/was never available as feminized seeds.


This local landrace’s seeds contain 5-6 different phenotypes. They vary from short to tall with large and wide leaves to some that are slimmer. It grows both tall and short and often in dark green red and black. Smell is very diverse but reported to be dominated by rotten fruit and skunk with some earth and nuts influence.

The hashish is very calming and relaxing in nature and is considered the best medicine in Afghanistan. It’s been used for everything from “normal” body aches to internal issues. Displays a unique spicy mint character.

  • Brand Afghan Selection
  • Indoor / Outdoor Indoor / Outdoor
  • Flowering Time 8-11 Weeks
  • DNA Indica Dominant
  • Yield Medium/High
  • Seed Type Regular
 
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Young_ogkush

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Afghan Selection don't seem to have website and aren't breeders (to my knowledge). They are native Afghani ppl ( Afghanians? Afghanistanians?🤷‍♂️) who collect local seeds. Many sites have their seeds though and in my not so ideal set up I have gotten 3/5 seeds to germinate. This run I planted 3 and these 2 soldiers I got made it through the soil.

The Real Seed Company have nice pictures of this variety.
 
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Balkhi 555 3
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Young_ogkush

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I knew I was missing something in my supply list. I have this Taylor Weather Station to keep track of temp and humidity.
1731 1 60e418b9 630a 413e ac31 a2ec6b8a3147
 
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Young_ogkush

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My apartment has low, perhaps very low humidity of around 25-27%. The tent zipped all the way up gets like 70% rH so I usually keep it partially unzipped for better levels as well as for airflow until I get that AC Infinity Kit. The 6 inch fan I got is doing just fine though. Genetically these plants are built to handle dry environments that can get as hot as 104 degrees F/ 40 degrees C in the summer and as cold as 33.8 degrees F/ 1 degree C around harvest time in the fall.

The hash from this cultivar is known to be spicy while the flowers can be fruity to skunky so we'll see what I get from these two bad girls. First 2 pics are #2, which was topped. The others are of the dwarf #3. Balkhi is described as a semi-dwarf by The Real Seed Company but the phenotypes vary. Also they have been grown for resin for thousands of years so they can be THC or CBD dominant or both. I'm hoping to get plenty of THC and CBD.
 
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FrankWhite41

FrankWhite41

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All that in a 2x2? Gonna get hairy with 3 in there. One woulda filled that tent nicely.. Don't veg for to long or you'll be out of room on the stretch. Also stay on top of defoliation once it gets thick. Don't allow any micro climates or you'll have some issues. Build a soil is great 👌 Never ran any afghan selection should be interesting. Cheers
 
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Young_ogkush

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Some of you may notice how shallow the pots are looking soil wise. I originally had about a cubic foot total of ingredients but Jeremy mentioned in that soil recipe blog post that you should use more than you think you need because when you mix the soil and hydrate it it will combine with each other and lose volume. I ended up with about 2 gallons per 3 gallon pot when it was done.

I made the soil by filling 1 of the 3 gallon pots with each of the 3 parts:
1) I emptied the last of my Coco Coir into the 3 gal and it barely filled it. Just enough so it worked. I poured it into the 15 gallon mixing pot and added water. I must note that the bag of Coco wasn't zipped up all the way when it was stored for some reason so it was rather dry. ***This Coco is OMRI listed but not certified*** There is a difference but it's fine I'll get a better quality Coco next grow. It works tho.
2) Next I measured out the Red Lava Rock. I used most of the 2.5 gallons I had but I left little bit in case I wanted to add some to the top soil later in the grow. Added this to the mixing pot. I added more water and mixed everything by hand.
3) Lastly I filled up the 3 gal with the Oly Mountain Fish Compost (Build-A-Soil carries this brand's compost which contains Hardwood and Alaskan Fish that has been composted for over 2 years, ***Certified Organic***) and I topped it off with Atlantic Bay Organics Earthworm Castings ( Btw I found this company on Etsy but I order directly from their website, Jay is a good guy to work with and gave me 2 pounds extra castings because of an issue with my order). For measure it was about 3/5 Fish Compost and 2/5 Castings. I added this to the mixing pot, hydrated it and mixed by hand.

I watered more than 10% of total soil volume because of how dry the Coco was (Jeremy suggests 5-10% depending on soil moisture). I let it sit for a day in the mixing pot while I soaked 3 Balkh seeds in water. After a day or so I placed the soil as evenly as I could into the three 3 gal Living Soil Pots.

*** Grass Roots Living Soil fabric pots have a liner built into them so the soil doesn't dry out from the sides like with regular fabric pots. I used Vivosun pots when I tried growing Balkh a few months back (unsuccessfully I might add but that was before I knew how to make living soil) and the soil dried out so fast from the sides which is terrible. In nature the soil dries out from the top down. With Living Soil fabric pots the soil only dries out from the top and bottom (the bottom takes longer though which is fine). Big difference between these Living Soil pots vs. traditional fabric which I witnessed first hand.
The 15 gallon mixing pot is just a regular fabric pot since I'm not growing in it.
 
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Young_ogkush

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All that in a 2x2? Gonna get hairy with 3 in there. One woulda filled that tent nicely.. Don't veg for to long or you'll be out of room on the stretch. Also stay on top of defoliation once it gets thick. Don't allow any micro climates or you'll have some issues. Build a soil is great 👌 Never ran any afghan selection should be interesting. Cheers
Thanks. Yeah my baseline for this grow was Grow Weed Easy's 2x2 Micro Grow Set Up. Nebula grew 3 autoflowers in a 2'x2'x3'. The alternative she gave was to go with a 4 foot tall tent so height wouldnt be much of an issue so that's what I did. It can be done with photo periods with a short veg as well or 3 weeks or less. Today is day 1 Flower but I would've flipped them a couple weeks ago if they were mature enough. The oldest only vegged for 24 days so that's not too bad. My first grow in 2014 I vegged for 6 weeks ( a bagseed Pineapple Kush) so I have an idea of how bushy Kush genetics can get and this is nowhere near as bushy as that Pineapple was.

Btw I'm only growing 2 plants because they were the ones that germinated. #3 is a certified dwarf as I just checked she has 6 nodes now and is much shorter than #2 who had her 6th node pinched off. #2 is the only one that will need to be managed to keep small but keeping the LED close to the canopy has helped a lot. The 3rd pot in the tent won't be there for long I'm just keeping the soil in it alive so I can top off the other pots with it when they need top dressing in a week or so.

Also because I'm doing a short veg I needed more than one plant so I can get a good enough harvest and not rely on one plant to provide all my medicine.
One ounce on one plant isn't enough for me. Plus I will be making some black hash and pressing rosin as well. My goal with these 2 plants is 3 ounces which can be done. The yield potential of the grow light for instance, according to the Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Calculator, is 4.5 -6.2 Ounces (127 to 173 grams).

I'll happy with 100 grams from this set up to be honest. Never had that much bud in my life. The most I've ever had for my own personal use was a little over an ounce and that was when I was getting Cali bud for good prices back in 2018 ( $150 for a zip of Blue Dream and $175 for White Fire, those are amazing prices where I grew up at).
 
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Young_ogkush

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These pics took a bit to get but here they are. I moved things around for more space and better light distribution. Again that 3rd pot is only for living soil to be added to fill the other pots so I keep it moist.
These 3 pics are before feeding (#3 got half of her water early this morning but she wanted some tea so I recently fed her and just watered #2 which after today will be watered everyday.

FLOWER DAY ONE
 
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Young_ogkush

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These pics are after feeding #3 about 1 cup of 25% strength Alfalfa Tea (3/4 filtered water) and #2 received 1 cup of plain filtered water which I will give her everyday from now on. Normal feeding during veg was 2 cups which is approximately 5% of soil volume about every other day, sometimes every 2 days. Only need a 16 oz water bottle per watering but I try to keep a liter bottle full of filtered water to refill it. It's time to keep a 16 oz bottle for each plant to make things easier.

My baseline was my Pineapple Kush grow that did very well in her 6 week veg before I had to move her from my friend's house (where I could grow freely) to my bedroom closet (way before I ever had my own place lol) during flower. I was able to stop by my friend's to water every other day to every 2 days and the Kush plant did extremely well.

*I rolled down the sides of the pots for easier access and because they were just taking up space without that extra soil.
 
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Young_ogkush

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I took better pics of my ingredients so you all can see the quality.
1st pic is the Oly Mountain Fish Compost, next is the Atlantic Bay Organics Earthworm Castings. Both composts are just black and nutritious (for the plants, not for me, I don't have the palette for worm poop😂) I also took better pics of the tea I made that continues to ferment and stink lol that shit is strong💪.
You can also see how the soil mix looks in that 3rd pot.
 
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Young_ogkush

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It's too late to edit it but the post I made earlier today at 2:57pm is from the last day of Veg which was yesterday 1/18/22. The post after that is from today.
 
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Young_ogkush

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So I think I mentioned that I used 1 Cup of amendments for my soil mix. I didn't break it down properly so the last post gives you information on almost everything I used in the whole process.

I forgot to add that I used 1/3 Cup of Kelp Meal, 1/3 Cup of Fish Meal, and 1/3 Cup of Crab Meal. It's the Sea Trifecta🌊. I added these after I mixed the soil up in the 15 gallon pot. I mixed these in and hydrated the soil again ( the 10-15% water I used was all added in parts).

Lastly I added 4 Cups of Build-A-Soil Mineral Mix for Coco Coir (Colorado Basalt, Gypsum Dust, and Langbeinite). I mixed this all in and hydrated the mixture again. I explained the rest of the process earlier (let it sit for a day and soaked my seeds in the mean time before I placed the soil into individual 3 Gal pots).

My bad I forgot about those steps. I haven't had any medicine in almost 2 weeks and I won't have any for a bit so I haven't been getting much rest. I use cannabis for pain, sleep, fatigue, to help ground myself and just to regulate my endo-cannabinoid system. Anyway I'll update this thread in a few days. Peace💓
 
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Young_ogkush

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Yup I definitely need some medicine soon. I didn't mention that I did my own custom gas lantern technique during Veg but instead of 13 hours of total light I gave the plants about 15 hours. Veg light schedule went something like 11hrs On, 4.5hrs Off, 4hrs On, 4.5hrs Off.

They plant seeds in Afghanistan during the spring when there's about 13 hours of light and Veg peaks at about 14.5 hours of light during the summer. I've watched many grows online and plant #2 I'm growing is on par with most traditional Kush/indica grows I've seen that get 18 hours of light.

I wonder who came up with the 18/6 light schedule. 6 hours doesn't seem like enough rest for these plants especially when they're really young. In nature they get to sleep for 11 hours when they're babies.

Not gonna lie I despise the people that do 24 hours of light. Plants are living creatures and they need to sleep to repair their tissues just like us. Makes me wonder if people who grow like that even communicate with their plants. I bet you their plants don't really like it but push on anyway because they have no choice.

Equatorial strains get at most between 15-16 hours of light. Why take a plant like that and bring it inside and blast it with more light than it really needs to thrive? Why use the extra electricity when the only ones who really benefit are electric companies who happily bill you for it and grow light companies (before LEDs were a thing) who know the longer you have the light on the sooner it'll burn out and need to be replaced.

Just some thoughts for the day.
 

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