Grow Lab: Diverse Methods

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justiceman

justiceman

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This will be an ongoing journey exploring different styles to achieve the same goal that we all seek.

To start things off I will share the techniques I like to use for organic soil as well as coco coir. I need to look through some of the pictures I have been taking but until then here are a few to enjoy. The next post will include more detail. I like to keep things as simple and affordable as possible without sacrificing quality.

Coco Coir
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Coco Coir
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Soil
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justiceman

justiceman

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First let's start with the nutrients I like to use with coco coir and how I go about using them. I currently use MasterBlend Tomato & Vegetable with Calcium Nitrate and Magnesium Sulfate. It is a complete profile and can easily be adjusted. Other comparable nutrients with similar profiles are Jacks, or Chem-gro.

Elemental PPM Profile
(MB Tomato & Veg/Calcium Nitrate/Magnesium Sulfate) 2g/2g/1g at 5g total per gallon

N 101
P 41
K 167
Ca 95
Mg 29
S 34
Si 0

I like to make 32oz A & B stock solutions because it is easier for me to administer liquid with a syringe in to gallon jugs instead of weighing powder.
Stock Solution A(Masterblend/Magnesium Sulfate) and Stock Solution B(Calcium Nitrate) are used at a 1:1 ratio
15ml per gallon of A and 15 ml per gallon of B are what I use. That mixes up to about 1.3EC(650ppm) in RO water for me.

Here are two 32oz containers(measured) with Reverse Osmosis water(Distilled is preferred) and all the components weighed out:
128g Masterblend and 64g Magnesium Sulfate + 32 oz water = 2gMB/1gMagsul per 15ml.
128g Calcium Nitrate + 32 oz water = 2gCalnit per 15ml
MB stock solution 1.jpg


First add the MasterBlend component to container A while trying to pour it as close to the water as possible to avoid a plume of fertilizer dust. Agitate ever so often with a plastic spoon or paddle of some type until it completely dissolves. I used a plant marker. Of all the components this takes the longest to dissolve which still is not very long.
MB stock solution 2.jpg


Now add the Calcium Nitrate to container B. Either rinse or use a separate plastic spoon/paddle to agitate so that it completely dissolves.
MB stock solution 3.jpg


After MasterBlend is dissolved it is time to add the Magnesium Sulfate to container A. Agitate it with with the mixer a few times until it completely dissolves.
MB stock solution 4.jpg


Here is the completed Stock A & B solution.
MB stock solution 5.jpg


Once again the recommended strength is 15ml A and 15ml B per gallon of water. ALWAYS add A first, mix and THEN add B.

What is the point of A and B? Why don't we just mix everything in one bottle? Of course control over Nitrogen and Calcium is one reason but the other even more important factor is avoiding PRECIPITATE. Has anyone here ever tried to get Maxigro, Maxibloom, Vegbloom, or Megacrop to completely dissolve and notice it is near impossible? That's because it is not a good idea to combine magnesium sulfate and calcium nitrate in one bag. When Calcium Nitrate and Magnesium sulfate come into contact at high concentrations in water at the same time they form Gypsum. In other worlds an unknown amount of calcium and sulfur drop out of solution.
 
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justiceman

justiceman

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Not a fan of using Hydroponic Nutrients? This this might be more up your alley 😉 When growing organic I like to stick purely to dry amendments as a nutrient source. It is simple and very easy. When using dry amendments you shouldn't have to use anything else except for plain water.

I like to use a common tried and true base mix but slightly adjusted with more Perlite and less EWC. It's not necessary to create a base mix from scratch. A store bought mix will do just fine as long as it fluffy and has enough aeration. Keep in mind if using a store bought mix with fertilizer already added you may need to omit or reduce the use of dry amendments.

5 parts Peat Moss
3.5 parts Perlite
1.5 parts Earth Worm Castings
2 tbsp per gallon of powdered dolomite lime or 1 cup per cubic ft

This completes the base mix. What I like about it is the possibilities are endless from here on in terms of what amendments you would like to add. I prefer to keep it simple as always. This is a tried and true recipe that works very well for me.

Blood Meal at 1 Tbsp per gallon or 1/2 cup per cubic ft
Bone Meal at 2 Tbsp per gallon or 1 cup per cubic ft
Kelp Meal at 1 Tbsp per gallon or 1/2 cup per cubic ft

With this mix it is necessary to moisten and periodically blend for at least a few weeks. Sometimes referred to as "cooking". This allows the microbial life to grow, stabilize, process and mellow out the mix so that it can be ready for planting without negative effects. I love this mix!

Lately I have been trying out a slightly different approach. Instead of the above amendments I have been adding:

Dr Earth Tomato, Vegetable & Herb at 4 Tbsp per gallon or 2 cups per cubic ft

I treated this with a slight difference. Instead the amendment was blended with the base mix but I planted right away. I believe the Fish Meal and Alfalfa meal as a Nitrogen source offer more of a mellow start than Blood Meal so in my experience when using this amendment it was not necessary to let it "cook". It is still beneficial to do so but it's nice to know that it's not absolutely necessary unlike the recipe with Blood Meal above.

Here is a FastBuds Stardawg Autoflower that I used to test out the fertilizer. So far it is doing well although I will say the mix had a touch of extra N. Next time I will substitute 1 Tbsp of DE Tomato, Veg & Herb with 1 Tbsp of DE Bud & Bloom Booster(Less N Higher P and K) and see what happens.
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justiceman

justiceman

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I'd like to show and tell about these different styles so I have my tent just about a week into flower. I will be dropping periodic updates here. There are 4 strains in the tent and there is a mix of the two growing methods above.

The order is like this as if you were looking in from the front of the tent so it reads from back to front:

G13 c99(blood,bone,kelp, peat moss mix) x G13 Giga Bud(blood,bone,kelp, peatmoss mix) x G13 c99(blood,bone,kelp,peatmoss mix)
Barney's Farm Tangerine Dream(coco coir) x Super Lemon Haze(coco perlite) x Barney's Farm Tangerine Dream(coco coir)
Super Lemon Haze(coco perlite)emon x Super Lemon Haze(coco perlite) x Super Lemon Haze(coco perlite)

The soil plants in the back are fed plain unfiltered tap water only. I don't let the chlorine off gas nor do I filter or treat the water for chloramines. I've done grows with filtered and unfiltered tap water and honestly did not see much of a difference so I stopped using a carbon filter. Less maintenance is always nice. For reference my tap water usually sits around 0.4-0.5EC(200-250ppm) with a pH of 7.5.

Here are the two C99's and the Giga Bud in the back. I will say this Giga Bud has some ridiculous vigor.
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The coco coir plants in the front two rows are fed with Master Blend(hydroponic nutrient), Calcium Nitrate, and Magnesium Sulfate with a pH of 5.8-6.0 and an EC at 1.3(650ppm). For these plants I like to use RO water or tap water mixed with RO to 0.2EC(100ppm). I have used my tap water at 0.4-0.5EC(200-250ppm) and it works but can eventually lead to carbonate build up witch increases the mediums pH and is undesirable.
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Lately I have been playing with LED. I used to use a 600w HPS for flower and a 216w T5 HO for veg. Now I use very efficient Samsung LM301H LED boards at 3000K(my veg tent section also has one of these at 3500K) with Meanwell drivers that are dimmable hooked up on a heat sink. Instead of paying an incredible mark up from other sellers I bought these on Alibaba from Kingbrite. I highly recommend them if you are trying to save some money. In the 4x4 tent I have two 240w Kingbrite kits which is adequate lighting for the space and it cost me a total of $320 shipped. They run much cooler than HPS and if dimmed the heat output is barely anything. All of the pictures so far are from LED lighting and honestly I don't see myself ever going back to HPS.
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justiceman

justiceman

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Here are some root shots comparing a peat moss based soil mix, and coco coir fed with hydroponic nutrients. It is interesting to note a pretty identifiable difference in the amount of roots as well as the health of the roots. I attribute this to a few factors. Of course the availability of nutrients is one thing, but I think more importantly it is the difference in an approach to watering as well as the medium air capacity.

When using a peat moss mix with organic amendments I tend to water once every few days, or when the plant needs it. Aside from a bit of air entering the medium passively during the dry cycle my peat moss plants only get fresh air actively pulled in to the medium on the water days.

When using coco coir with hydroponic nutrients I like to feed once a day so there is a daily renewal of air in the medium. Coco coir doesn't require any additional amendments to be used and has very good water and air retention thus it can be irrigated daily without worrying about encouraging anaerobic conditions.

I don't particularly think one medium is "better" than the other since both approaches can yield high with good quality, but there are certainly trade offs to each.

Peat Moss
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Coco Coir
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justiceman

justiceman

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Autoflowers sure are fun to grow!

Here is Stardawg currently at day 58 from sprout. This started off as a side experiment for the Dr Earth dry fertilizer, but it's turning into a really nice plant. I honestly was not sure what to expect from these LED boards but I will say they are pretty impressive in not only light output, but penetration and running temperature.
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I also have one more Autoflower going from Dinafem called White Cheese at Day 23 from sprout. This one is in a coco/perlite mix fed with Masterblend daily at 1.3EC(650ppm) which is 15ml A and 15ml B from the stock solution I posted above.
0BA530D0-F2CB-4C90-93B2-D896D4A5D61D.jpeg
 
justiceman

justiceman

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That PPm profile is bangin. Nice healthy plants there.
Right on Dirtbag!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alright thought I would drop in and do a quick update on the Autoflowers.

Stardawg(FastBuds) in the Peat Moss mix with Dr Earth Tomato, Vegetable & Herb dry fertilizer at 4Tbsp per gallon.
She is currently at 61 days from sprout and has been fed only plain tap water when needed.
8F22BD9D-1109-40B0-9C70-75CEC526EDC8.jpeg


White Cheese(Dinafem) in Coco/Perlite. She is currently at 26 days from sprout. Fed Masterblend at 1.3EC(650ppm) daily.
82B051A1-9D89-47EA-8622-C91153F20C96.jpeg
 
Farmer P

Farmer P

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Excellent thread JM! This one will get bookmarked for sure. I got a buddy who is running the Dr. Earth dry amendments on some dreamcatcher. He's running a blueberry leaning pheno that I should be done in a week or so. He says he gets bigger yeild from the hydro, but looking at yours I think he may be doing something wrong. I'l have to show him your method.
 
justiceman

justiceman

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263
Looking good... Healthy plants make me giggle. Lol
Same here 😆

Excellent thread JM! This one will get bookmarked for sure. I got a buddy who is running the Dr. Earth dry amendments on some dreamcatcher. He's running a blueberry leaning pheno that I should be done in a week or so. He says he gets bigger yeild from the hydro, but looking at yours I think he may be doing something wrong. I'l have to show him your method.
Good to have you along! I like my blood, bone, and kelp mix but this Dr Earth stuff is very solid. I'm going to be using it again soon with a few autoflowers once my current multi style tent run is done. Some with just Tomato, Veg & Herb like the Stardawg above and others will have Tomato, Veg & Herb with Bud & Bloom Booster. I want to see if the booster will have any negative or positive effects.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is a fun little experiment.

This is going to be my small Krakty Method test with Masterblend at the recommended strength. It is passive hydroponics or DWC without an airstone. Ideally as the roots grow and suck up water/nutrients the area within the reservoir is displaced with more air. As the plant grows and you find yourself adding back to the reservoir the idea is to leave at least 25% of the roots exposed to air. You then have "air roots" and "water roots". It's the trick to avoiding the use of an air pump. I've seen a lot of successful lettuce, pepper, and tomato grows but have not seen very many try this with cannabis. Cannabis growers often go straight to DWC and rightfully so since it is proven to work great.


Here is my super cheapo krakty set up that I made with materials lying around as I did not want to invest much money or time on this side experiment. I used a 1 gallon jug with the top cut off as the reservoir and a tomato container from the grocery store as a net cup. Instead of hydroton I used some coco chips I have. I'm aware that the clear plastic should be covered to block out the light to avoid algae growth but I'd like to view the progress for a bit before doing that.
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I put it in yesterday and the roots are already reaching into the the solution. This will be fun.
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the rrock

the rrock

1,282
163
Such an awesome growlog JM,something for everyone. I thought I knew it all but your explanations are great for beginners and vets.
Did you get your SLH from Barneys?,my wife has been wanting me to grow it for her for awhile
 
oldskol4evr

oldskol4evr

12,192
438
Same here 😆


Good to have you along! I like my blood, bone, and kelp mix but this Dr Earth stuff is very solid. I'm going to be using it again soon with a few autoflowers once my current multi style tent run is done. Some with just Tomato, Veg & Herb like the Stardawg above and others will have Tomato, Veg & Herb with Bud & Bloom Booster. I want to see if the booster will have any negative or positive effects.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is a fun little experiment.

This is going to be my small Krakty Method test with Masterblend at the recommended strength. It is passive hydroponics or DWC without an airstone. Ideally as the roots grow and suck up water/nutrients the area within the reservoir is displaced with more air. As the plant grows and you find yourself adding back to the reservoir the idea is to leave at least 25% of the roots exposed to air. You then have "air roots" and "water roots". It's the trick to avoiding the use of an air pump. I've seen a lot of successful lettuce, pepper, and tomato grows but have not seen very many try this with cannabis. Cannabis growers often go straight to DWC and rightfully so since it is proven to work great.


Here is my super cheapo krakty set up that I made with materials lying around as I did not want to invest much money or time on this side experiment. I used a 1 gallon jug with the top cut off as the reservoir and a tomato container from the grocery store as a net cup. Instead of hydroton I used some coco chips I have. I'm aware that the clear plastic should be covered to block out the light to avoid algae growth but I'd like to view the progress for a bit before doing that.
View attachment 937518

I put it in yesterday and the roots are already reaching into the the solution. This will be fun.
View attachment 937520 View attachment 937519
i started out with this method the past summer,in a 33 gal thrash can,on my third attempt i finally got a watermelon growing,i did have to add air to the can ,the triple digit weather wouldnt allow me to keep it alive other wise.
im down sizing to 5 gal buckets come spring,run watermelon canaloupe and pumpkins on to a top deck i have ,the melons will grow on trellis up the wall,pumpkin vines get about 50 ft long before they put on fruit it seems so all good,i plant on running the air pump to all again,one thing for sure i found out the hard way was this wouldnt work with my well water at all,so ro water was the key when i finally got the melon growing,im sure since i found that issue i could go all out kratchy,so a half and half gig that way i do get my fruits
 
justiceman

justiceman

2,719
263
Such an awesome growlog JM,something for everyone. I thought I knew it all but your explanations are great for beginners and vets.
Did you get your SLH from Barneys?,my wife has been wanting me to grow it for her for awhile
Thank you! Everything is from seed except for the SLH that I got in clone form so I am unsure of it's origins, but I am thinking it's from GreenHouseSeeds.
i started out with this method the past summer,in a 33 gal thrash can,on my third attempt i finally got a watermelon growing,i did have to add air to the can ,the triple digit weather wouldnt allow me to keep it alive other wise.
im down sizing to 5 gal buckets come spring,run watermelon canaloupe and pumpkins on to a top deck i have ,the melons will grow on trellis up the wall,pumpkin vines get about 50 ft long before they put on fruit it seems so all good,i plant on running the air pump to all again,one thing for sure i found out the hard way was this wouldnt work with my well water at all,so ro water was the key when i finally got the melon growing,im sure since i found that issue i could go all out kratchy,so a half and half gig that way i do get my fruits
That is awesome! I was watching a few videos about some pretty large krakty set ups outdoors. I was wondering if it was possible to do melons so I am glad to hear you had success with that.

This video is pretty cool:

32 Gallon Krakty set up

Got real nice size rootball on that pepper plant. Ya it's not quite as efficient as DWC because the lack of an airstone can cause some root browning but it sure seems like a ton of fun to play with.
 
justiceman

justiceman

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Time to drop in with a couple more pictures. I rooted some cuts for fun when I trimmed back the tent for flower so as you know I have the Krakty going.

The roots are coming along nicely.
D6779023-B8FB-4BED-B314-1FAE42ED11A8.jpeg


I decided to do another water only trial with Dr Earth Tomato, Vegetable & Herb but with a twist.... No compost and coco coir instead of peat moss. Usually I like to use peat moss based mixes for my organic amendment grows. However I have been seeing some successful grows using coco coir based mixes instead but without any type of compost or worm castings. This concept perplexes me greatly. I'd think the compost would be a critical component in efficiently activating the organic fertilizer. Another interesting thing to note is while peat moss has a high CEC coco coir has a low CEC. With this I will see how things go. If it works out well enough for this plant to veg with healthy growth then I may do a Dr Earth side by side with peat moss VS coco coir in the near future for the heck of it.

Here is the test cut rooted
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And here is the test cut planted.
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It is Day 29 from sprout for the Dinafem White Cheese Autoflower in coco/perlite. She got some LST to even her out. Currently being fed Masterblend daily at 1.3EC(650ppm) pH 5.9
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Lastly here is the Fastbuds Stardawg Autoflower at day 63 from sprout. This is the one in the peat moss mix with Dr Earth. The smell is becoming pretty strong now and she is bulking up nicely.
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justiceman

justiceman

2,719
263
I've got a few random pictures of what has been going on lately. Hope everyone enjoys them!

Here is the StarDawg on Day 70 from sprout gearing up to be harvested soon.
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Here is the Krakty Method test which seems to be going pretty well so far. If it pans out I'd like to try growing an Autoflower with this style to see what happens.
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Here is the G13 Gigabud inside my 4x4 tent. She is way taller than everything else. It's actually pretty ridiculous haha but that's what I get for doing a multistrain run. Looking good though.
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justiceman

justiceman

2,719
263
What’s up everyone! Time for a random periodic update 😎

I ended up harvesting the FastBuds Stardawg Autoflowr at 77 days(11 weeks) on the dot. Currently in the dry/cure process and I cannot wait to sample this one. It has a very pungent fuel and pine aroma. I am very happy with the results of this test run in a peat moss mix with Dr Earth Tomato, Vegetable & Herb. To me it was a great success. Once again it was very low maintenance with just plain chlorinated tap water(0.5EC or 250ppm) all the way through. I'll be sure to throw up some pictures one it is cured up.
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This Krakty experiment was very fun. It was interesting to note at what point deficiencies would start to show up because of such a small reservoir size. The starting EC was always 1.3(650ppm) and as the plant would drink it also would eventually reduce EC to 0.8(400ppm) and it was at that point when deficiency would appear. pH stayed very stable which was interesting. I would then add back full strength nutrient to the point it would replace the lost water volume. Then it would start growing normally again. What I thought was most interesting about this is I did not run into root rot. I did however start to develop algae which was going to happen at some point since I did not cover the container at all as the plan was not for this to be a long term experiment.
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Here is not 1 but now 2 Barney's Farm Tangerine Dream clones that I placed into coco coir with Dr Earth Tomato, Vegetable & Herb fertilizer at 4Tbsp per gallon of medium. The one on the right is in coco perlite, and the closer one on the left is in pure coco. They are just being fed plain chlorinated tap water at 0.5EC(250ppm). The growth overall is pretty good which is impressive without any additional compost. There have been a few random nutrient burns here or there. I believe this is due to the low CEC of coco coir. My theory is instead of a portion of the broken down available nutrients being held up for example in high CEC peat moss they are able to flow freely and potentially concentrate towards the bottom more readily with the low CEC of coco coir. Overall looking pretty good. I would like to do a test trial from start to finish comparing coco coir, and peat moss in a side by side with the same strain using Dr Earth as the nutrition source.
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Here is the Dinafem White Cheese Autoflower in coco/perlite being fed Masterblend at 1.3EC(650ppm) pH 5.9
This is on Day 52 from sprout. Looking pretty good so far with some nice resin production.
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Here is the 4x4 tent with 4 different strains.
The front row is Super Lemon Haze x3.
The middle row is Tangerine Dream, Super Lemon Haze, Tangerin Dream. These are all in coco, or coco perlite being watered with Master Blend(1.3EC(650ppm pH 5.9) daily to a touch of run off in their saucers which I let them soak back up. So basically no run off. I will likely be reducing Calcium Nitrate soon.
The back row is Giga Bud, C99 x2. These 3 are all in the peat moss base mix with blood, bone, and kelp meal being watered with chlorinated tap water(0.5EC or 250ppm) when needed.
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As you can see the Giga Bud is ridiculous haha
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