As my 3rd organic outdoor Michigan grow unfolds....some thoughts that may help new growers?

  • Thread starter MerryJane22
  • Start date
  • Tagged users None
MIGrampaUSA

MIGrampaUSA

2,841
263
Not familiar with it, although it sounds like its part of their organic line.

My best luck has been with Roots Organic "Lush." Water before use, let it cook and its pretty much a living soil. It's pricey though and for some that's a major turn-off.
 
weed420420420420420

weed420420420420420

650
93
Broken down horseshit seems to work nice. Even gets all shaley and good drainage once it breaks down. Gonna try out the discs on the tractor and drag it all around. Mix up a nice even patch.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff
Supporter
25,090
638
Broken down horseshit seems to work nice. Even gets all shaley and good drainage once it breaks down. Gonna try out the discs on the tractor and drag it all around. Mix up a nice even patch.
Horse manure is great… probably the best for growing mushrooms also. Not that id know or anything like that 😉

I think much like synthetic the more diverse the the inputs the better
 
Jimmie

Jimmie

191
93
Picked mushrooms in cow crap in Fla, in sheep crap in Tex . Not that I remember anything about it.
Very interesting discussion. When I first started on here took me awhile to figure what everyone was talking about. Nutes? I had no idea . I treat my garden like a living thing, no chemicals. Just stuff to feed it. I really don’t get bugs that take over. I keep it simple and run with it. I’d freak out if I was growing in pots or bags. You have to control a micro environment. It’s basically all on you . I applaud everyone with the time and effort you all put into it.right on
 
Bib4tuna

Bib4tuna

584
93
Despite some of the perils of my first two grows.....I've decided to do it yet again (but better?) ha! we shall see 💚

I made so darn many rookie mistakes it's hard for me to select a few & I don't wanna bore you all to tears.....I know you're busy googling every change your plants experience, lol. Here are a few that nearly cost me my harvest(s). Now, all of this info will be obvious to many of you guys. Lots of you are well prepared and do research beforehand. I did, too. So much so that I went overboard with it. I was SURE I could dodge every rookie mistake out there---if I only read enough and collected everything I'd need. Ha ! I can be pretty naive at times.....bless my heart. Anyway, I was SO prepared that at the first sign anything, I got busy (way too busy).

BUGS:
This one stands out, as it was my first big disaster----just because you see a couple bugs-----this is not cause to suspect "a complete infestation". I didn't wait long enough a few times and doused the heck out of my first batch with copious amounts on Neem mix. It almost plugged all their growth & suffocated them. If you DO decide Neem is a good option for 'prevention' (I absolutely have) make sure the couple drops of soap you use isn't 'anti-bacterial' or loaded with other chemicals ---castille soap for the win. Or dirt cheap dollar store stuff that is nothing but soap. ALSO.....let them dry out somewhere out of the sun. Early mornings a good time. They can dry off pre-daylight. But shake the shit out of that spray bottle as you go---neem will ball back up if you don't---and have a good mister type, not a super cheap one with only two settings.

PREVENTION OF BUGS:

Even though I got heavy handed up there, I really did need to be keeping a good eye. Here are the few products that (if you live in a place like Michigan) you should really have on-hand. You'll need them. I'd order them now, as supply chains are drying up even as I type for some things.
1) YELLOW STICKY CARDS (hang them near your grow between pots. You may think they are only sort of effective, but they're priceless as you attempt to identify the culprits, they'll be stuck to the cards for you to see.
2) NEEM POWDER (you can sprinkle this on the top soil and it deters fungus gnats & other critters from tunneling in and making a home in your soil) it also provides some other benefits as you water it in).
3) DIAMOTACEOUS EARTH (same as Neem, good to have around---I sprinkle on top of soil for prevention and a few other reasons)
4) JEWELERS LOUPE (get a few, they're cheap) if anyone is going to help you solve issues---you'll need to check under the leaves, etc----these help. BONUS is you'll have them ready to check trichomes later :)
5) EXTRA SPRAY BOTTLES (have at least 3, you might be foliar feeding for an unknown deficiency ---or mixing up a solution to treat something----not everything will be OK to rinse and re-use).
6) SPINOSAD for caterpillars , moths, thrips, etc (haven't used this yet, but it's good to have on hand for different critters---plus as I mentioned, things are becoming scarce at times to find. Last minute needs create a shit load of unnecessary panic, trust me on that one).
7) PYRETHRIN (again, haven't used but have on hand for various bugs) it's always oner of the main suggestions for people to use in a crisis, so....I have it.
8) THURICIDE (this is bacillus thuringiensis)---haven't used but plan on using once per week to help avoid powder mildew ....the bane of my existence so far. Mildew is a rotten bitch here in Michigan.

CLOTH GROW BAGS:

Holy smokers do they dry out fast here in my hood. Keeping that "micro-herd' alive is a chore. They say keep the medium moist but not wet. Even 'moist' has been a serious challenge for me. This year (since I'm now growing photos) I'll be slowly growing them into larger pots as they develop. It was tough watering small plants in 5 gallon bags, but year one was all autos & these are supposedly fickle about changing homes. Year 2 (last year) I pulled it off OK, but autos are so touchy......this year its ALL photos.

If you are in cloth pots, there are a number of ways to water to re-wet the soil. It really has to be SLOW. You'll find this out. Water will come pouring out of the sides of those grow bags in the dry pockets---and where there is dry soil----there will be no roots. My root systems were garbage thanks to so much dry soil. Also, I absolutely underwater the first two grows. I won't be doing that this year. I'm actually going to go ahead and water to a little run-off.

Side note on the grow bags---they are cost effective so far (I washed after each grow and they are still OK to use). Now---the only plant I had with a massive root system was a photo and I had to cut that bag off to transplant. I'm not sure I'm gonna use them this year as I've obtained a collection of black plastic pots of various sizes & may decide to do that instead. It's just easier to keep moist soil in those pots (imho).

FEEDING SUPPLIES:

The soil I use is called "Smoking Tomatoes" from Morgan Composting here in Michigan, the Dairy Doo people. It comes complete w/ all the goodies and is a living soil. I had really decent luck with it. And even though these two grows were peppered with errors, I have never had to buy a speck of smoke the last two years (I have though because I enjoy a wide variety---and recreational is legal here in my state now----so sampling of wares has occurred 😎). All I added at different times was :
SILICA: this one regularly and I will do it again. Really helps the plants become vigorous. And here they need to be!
KELP: started this last year. I can't prove or disprove it's utility....but I have it and have used it & will use again, lol.
EPSOM SALT: very handy if a magnesium issue arises, as that's what epsom is.....magnesium.
MOLASSES: some of the super expensive highly advertised 'plant foods' are nothing but molasses with a couple BS things tossed in to make you think it's fancy. It's not, it's plain old molasses. I only use it in flower stage though. Get the blackstrap variety as this one is better for plants :)
GROWERS RECHARGE: this is an expensive microbe mix for the soil. I hate advertising for people, but I really do notice an uptick in growth & hardiness when I've used it. This also has molasses as an ingredient.....so Ill (maybe) not use it so much especially together. That said if I had more time I'd investigate less expensive options. Heck, if I had a lot of time I'd be making and re-using my soil, too (that day will come for sure---it's just not now).

I've ordered a few more supplements this year to try out. I can't comment on them as I have no experience yet. But I got some Alaskan fish fertilizer & Wildroot Mycorrhizae root stimulator (I ran out of the Mykos brand last year) and also a big bag of worm castings (to add to the soil mix when I transplant). The company I use has several soils & as I up pot I'll move to a different soil that will contain help with flowering. But that's all TMI for this post (I can be a wordy birdy, lol).

POWDER MILDEW:
I cannot stress this enough ---do some research NOW if you live in a humid region and have on hand anything you might need to combat it. It's a harsh thing to have to deal with after you've cared for these babies for so many months. Big beautiful buds can be annihilated basically over night. If you see anything at all that's suspicious don't overlook it !!! this stuff can spread so fast it's heartbreaking.

I successfully dodged it the first year, (but did have a little) but last year I ran a photo and she was a real chore to get to harvest (the milk spray is a mess to deal with as when it dries on leaves it resembles the PM itself). If you end up doing this, rinse the leaves once it's done it's job). I lost a section of my plant last year. This year I'm being very pro active. My seedling are 19 days old and will have their first Neem treatment soon, as I'll be transplanting them into 2 gallon pots soon and outside they go. I'll be alternating solutions and using regularly this year.

HARD WATER:
Last two years my well water tested out at 8PH and 200 TDS. I was told many times "organic soil doesn't need to be PH'd" okay okay......but alkalinity and PH can be separate. My water is loaded with calcium and the bottoms of my cloth pots have been gross with caked white rings. Both years I limped to the finish as I experienced nute uptake problems the last month that I believe to be caused by hard water building up in the root zone. Maybe in the round, this really isn't a problem. But in a confined space it has been for me. I need to be able to haul my plants around (until they're in final pots anyway). The sun isn't ever present in the places I could put them in the ground. Gotta use pots.

This year my water tests 7.0PH (weird) and 186 TDS......I won't be waiting for the last month, all the while assuming 'all is well' (no pun intended 😹). I got a RO buddy that I'll use to collect filtered water. I plan on mixing back in some of my well water to add some minerals back in. I do have CAL/MAG on hand here though, but don't think I'll need it with this new plan. We'll see?

Other things I'm doing should help with the bug situation (companion plants etc) but this post is already too long.....and maybe has very little helpful info in it? I just wanted to give something back, as this community has helped me a great deal. I really did intend for this to be short & sweet. Oops......anyway, GOOD LUCK GROWING !

As maddening as this has been......I sure love the cannabis I've grown. Last year one of my batches was labeled "Perfect Cure" because I did the harvest and cure text book.....I'm still smoking it and actually will reach for it before some of the other recreational strains I've paid decent money for. This hobby is fascinating for sure !

EDIT: a side note, I just ordered a big bag of perlite as I'll need it for transplanting later this summer. It was expensive. Planning ahead right now may end up being brilliant. This is true for lots of needed supplies.....just something to think about !

I had same problem with cloth grow bags last year. I was told to water from bottom up with these bags. Seemed like it helped.
 
Bib4tuna

Bib4tuna

584
93
Horse manure is great… probably the best for growing mushrooms also. Not that id know or anything like that 😉

I think much like synthetic the more diverse the the inputs the better
I have access too it if needed. Funny you mention tho because I was considering doing shrooms,lol. Seems pretty easy with self contained spore kits.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff
Supporter
25,090
638
I have access too it if needed. Funny you mention tho because I was considering doing shrooms,lol. Seems pretty easy with self contained spore kits.
Easy is cubes with coco and verm… manure is best for things like pan cyans
 
Bib4tuna

Bib4tuna

584
93
Easy is cubes with coco and verm… manure is best for things like pan cyans
I learn a lot from mistakes & like being lazy sometimes if I can go for convience so the jars & spore kits seemed pretty straight forward. Either way seemed like a neat project.
 
weed420420420420420

weed420420420420420

650
93
I keep seeing what look like laughing jims out there in the spring and fall. I'll have to bring one in and show you guys when I see them.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff
Supporter
25,090
638
I learn a lot from mistakes & like being lazy sometimes if I can go for convience so the jars & spore kits seemed pretty straight forward. Either way seemed like a neat project.
Yeah go woth spore syringes and have if you dont have a laminar flow hood. Really reduces risk of contam
 
MIGrampaUSA

MIGrampaUSA

2,841
263
Yeah go woth spore syringes and have if you dont have a laminar flow hood. Really reduces risk of contam
I just happen to have 3 syringes of Golden Teachers in my refrigerator. They have been in there a few months. How long are they good for stored like this?
 
MIGrampaUSA

MIGrampaUSA

2,841
263
I don't either. I got that and an "all in one grow bag" style kit. It was for my adult son. I thought it was better if I held onto it until he's off of house arrest. He still has 30 days to go.
 
Bib4tuna

Bib4tuna

584
93
I don't either. I got that and an "all in one grow bag" style kit. It was for my adult son. I thought it was better if I held onto it until he's off of house arrest. He still has 30 days to go.
I hope I have that kind of relationship with my daughter when she grows up. Right now she’s only interested in tiktok & twitter,lol.
 

Similar threads

Determined2069
Replies
4
Views
341
strider26554
strider26554
Drunature
Replies
23
Views
568
Oldchucky
Oldchucky
nashobaTHC
Replies
0
Views
122
nashobaTHC
nashobaTHC
Top Bottom