Let's Talk No Till - Open Discussions - All Input Welcome

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that makes me feel like outdoors a lot of things are possible without too much crazy amending if you trust in nature and take good care of the girls, maintain the mulch layer and such. I'm pretty awestruck after seeing the powdery nature of your soil and then seeing it perform like that

cheers for the inspiration dude @GT21


I like soup
that makes me feel like outdoors a lot of things are possible without too much crazy amending if you trust in nature and take good care of the girls, maintain the mulch layer and such. I'm pretty awestruck after seeing the powdery nature of your soil and then seeing it perform like that

cheers for the inspiration dude @GT21
Keep it simple. .. .more food doesn't mean bigger plant.... good sun, good water and grow


that makes me feel like outdoors a lot of things are possible without too much crazy amending if you trust in nature and take good care of the girls, maintain the mulch layer and such. I'm pretty awestruck after seeing the powdery nature of your soil and then seeing it perform like that

cheers for the inspiration dude @GT21
Ya like theft, rabbits and deer. Powdery mold and cattapillars..


Jackers, rabbits and deer suck ass!!!!!.... its pretty dry here for pm.... but my buddy did bring me spider mites... so i have that going for me
How do u gaurd against the rabbits and deer. I tried to use coyote urine. It might have worked for the deer but it didnt deter no rabbits!


I've never had a rabbit munch on cannabis and we have wild hares everywhere. I have a deer fence and lots of deer so I can't be sure, but they don't seem to stare longingly thru the fence. Won't leave my gate open to prove it though, lol.
I had rabbits take out 4 of 5 plants 4 foot tall... Gnawed right thru the stalk a foot or so off the ground...

Fuck he might have got the last one as i havent been out to see them un almost 3 weeks..


I suppose the thing I'm missing that all the great growers on here say you need is a soil test. But after thinking many times about getting one I have decided, that I would not just need one but many...and many soil tests are expensive. My thought process.

I have three raised beds, I would need to test each bed. I use my own homemade compost from kitchen and garden scraps, it has to be variable in nutrients depending on what goes in it. I use my compost all through the growing season. I could get my compost tested, but what about a month later when I go back to the bin or a different compost bin, get it tested again? Maybe if I was a professional grower and entering cups, but I'm just growing for me and don't see how it would benefit me that much without dropping lots of cash for lots of tests, and I started composting to keep from spending money. My two cents on that...but I do see value in soil tests, just not for me.
Yup. I get asked that question. I just smoke the herb. If it's good, I'm doing something right! And so far, it's good! Lol


I wanted to kick this off. I don't know if there have been in depth no-till discussions but I'd like to freshen up and see some pics of your set-ups and what your methods are such as feed schedules, amendments, beneficial applications, etc. I will share mine when I get off work but i will share a picture of my 150g no till raised bed. Only on it's first cycle so she's still a little delicate but stable enough sitting at 6.5-7pH at all times. I will still be needing inoculants and teas for a couple cycles.

Here's my bed. I will more that likely end up with a couple more 3x3 geopots soon enough. As of now I'm running skywalker kush, mazar i shariff x white rhino, and afghan cow. I ran coots mix with some left over supersoil which i don't recommend to anyone unless you give a couple weeks to cook. 2" layer of super compost over that and a 1 1/2" layer of organic alfalfa hay. Be careful using alfalfa hay. Try not to bury any. Also reduce your compost teas and feedings a bit if you run this stuff. It's hot!!!

I am by no mean no expert in no till. I have done much research but we all know true expertise comes from getting your hands dirty. This is why I'm curious about other ideas. I am open minded and understand all methods work to each person's needs.


Here are some of my personal notes collected from posts made by clackamas coot at grass city forums. I have to give credit to those guys. I love how coot makes you realize it's silly to over complicate things and he brings you back to earth and most things we do are not necessary. They're overlapping and redundant.


Base soil mix:

Equal parts:
CSPM (Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss)
Aeration (Pumice/Lava rock)
Compost - Malibus B/U is an excellent choice if it is available in your area.

Amended per cuF with:
1/2 - 1 cup Neem or Karanja meal
1/2 - 1 cup Kelp meal
1/2 - 1 cup Crab/Crustacean meal
1 cup MBP (Malted Barley Powder)

1/2 cup Gypsum (nice sulphur source)
4-6 cups Basalt dust
6-8 cups Biochar

***Small handful of worms per container***

Amending Between Cycles:

MountainOrganics said:

I've continued with my post harvest ritual at the beginning of each cycle which includes ensuring a solid mulch layer consisting mainly of all the leaves and stems from harvest, a sprinkling of neem (Karanja meal actually), kelp and MBP and a sprinkling of some sort of cover crop type seed which is usually fenugreek or Crimson clover (I just did a cycle with chia and lo and behold some flowered and produced seed!) - about 1/4 cup of each typically. The MBP is a weekly/biweekly addition anyways and the neem/kelp is just at the start of the cycle and likely once more by early flower. You could say neem/kelp is topdressed about every 8 weeks.

As far as vermicompost is concerned there is no outside vermicompost or compost that is added to the soil - that process takes place directly in the containers via decomposition of the mulch layer and topdressed inputs (breaks down into compost, essentially) and then the worms have at it processing it and depositing their castings throughout your soil. Pretty neat right?! I think so anyways!


MountainOrganics said:

Here’s an example of a tried and true watering schedule (because I personally used it for years) to use from day 1 to ensure your plants are being pushed to ‘peak health’ and expressing their full ‘genetic potential.’:

Day 1 Plain water
Day 2 No watering
Day 3 MBP top-dress watered in with Aloe/Fulvic/Silica (agsil or your silica source of choice)
Day 4 No watering
Day 5 Plain water
Day 6 Neem/Kelp tea
Day 7 No watering
Day 8 Plain water
Day 9 No watering
Day 10 Coconut Water
Day 11 No watering

REPEAT - Beginning to end, no changes needed for various stages of growth, simple enough right?

Now for al the reasons previously stated your soil is becoming richer and richer as the water and nutrient retaining ability of your soil improves over time. By the 3rd cycle the plants may already be showing signs that you could back off on the above watering schedule and that can be done any number of ways to best suit your situation. For example, use half the amount of neem/kelp tea and coconut water. Add a couple extra days of plain water in between 'feedings', and so on.

As an observant gardener you should be able to notice plants performing equally as well even though you are using less inputs and in the same way you can tell if perhaps you backed off too much from time to time - in this way you can find the "sweet spot" for your garden and when that clicks with you it is very easy from then on to know what your soil needs.

Here's an example of a watering schedule a couple or few years into established no-till gardens (it happens to be my current routine as well):

- Plain water every other day, beginning to end
- MBP top-dress every 10-12 days watered with aloe/fulvic/silica

Neem Kelp Tea:

1/2 cup neem seem meal with 1/4 cup kelp meal bubbled in 5 gal water for 24hrs
I keep the cloth bags worms are shipped in and use those to put whatever I'm bubbling in so it stays contained.
To this finished tea before watering I'll add powdered aloe at 1/4tsp per gal and fulpower fulvic acid at 10ml per gal.
For new soils or soils that are lacking this can and should be used at half to full strength and as often as once weekly, maybe alternating with an alfalfa/kelp tea at the same amount.
I dilute the 5gal tea to whatever I need and that's more often than not 20gal water.
Now let's go make a tea!

Malted Corn instead of Coconut Water:

AgnesDawgz said:

So do you think the same topdressing method would work well with corn? Do you think it would be beneficial to use a mixture of corn and barley for a wider enzyme profile? If so it might be nice to use it that way and drop the expensive coconut water. Maybe I could just topdress with a barley/corn blend and alternate watering between a aloe, fulvic, silica mix and just plain water?

If we were at Instagram I could send you to a feed where they have began using malted non-GMO organic corn mixed 1:1 with malted barley. I assume you're wanting the benefit of the cytokinin Zeatine which is responsible for lateral growth, in part.

I've been using corn for a bit longer, again as a top-dress. Though I've been alternating week by week. Figure out what's best for your situation and schedule. There are a couple of products in the pipeline with Clackamas Coot as part of the product name, Gnarly Barley and A Maize Zing Malt. We found an artisan malt operation that will do less than 10,000 lb. runs. I want to enter this deal slowly and use investor's money and not mine.

In the meantime, here's a source for your malted corn - Grouse Malting in Colorado. As always compare quality, pricing and the usual. Not a recommendation per se but more of a lead. Having said that I've been more than satisfied with the quality, service and pricing.

Malted Barely Application Rate:

MountainOrganics said:

The range of "ok to use" appears to be rather large but you can use this as a basis and adjust as needed to your container size.

1/4-1/2 cup per 20 gal container. 1-2 cups per 45gal.

in general 1/4 cup per plant, for example if you're in large beds.

I've basically mulched with MBP with only positive signs. as in 2 cups in a 5gal bucket.

(several recipes inside the quote)

MountainOrganics said:

Nearly everything we utilize in NTG doubles up as a form of pest prevention / IPM and if it's main use IPM it also doubles as a 'nutrition' source.

Aloe vera is nutrient accumulating plant containing the full range of elements along with enzymes, hormones, rooting compounds & salicylic acid, contributing to a plants natural pest resistancy (SAR).

Neem is a powerful fungicide/pesticide while also being high in nutrients and excellent soil building qualities.

Crab/crustacean meal is high in chitin - this will strengthen cell walls for example which is all a part of making our plants an unattractive target for pests - but the enzyme chitinase is needed to break this down into a plant soluble form. While chitinase is naturally present in your soil malted barley/grains is high in chitinase, among many other enzymes, thus ensuring a more than sufficient amount is present and really kickstarts the process which all aids in pest resistance and of course overall plant health. Adding fulvic acid to the equation further enhances the process (and many others), as Dr. Faust of BioAg has stated: enzymes are the catalysts for life and fulvic acid is the catalyst for catalysts.

The above is a just a few examples of what I hope will show that healthy and naturally pest resistant plants is simply a byproduct of this style of gardening and the inputs used. With healthy plants and a healthy, rich & diverse soil life utilizing these powerful natural compounds (such as neem/karanja & aloe etc) the act of IPM as foliar sprays really becomes just a preventative measure, while still important and otherwise necessary, to ensure a thriving garden and prevent that unsuspecting attack and of course further creating a less than appealing environment for pests.

With all that said, there isn't much left to foliar applications (LOL!) and for anyone expecting something new and fancy or overcomplicated to the point of silliness, well you'll be quite disappointed.

Under the scope of simplifying and streamlining this process I made a point for over 2 years to quite literally only apply one type of foliar spray and to cease any type of spraying past week one in flower. The results? Better than my wildest dreams, absolutely stunned at the simple effectiveness.

Per Gallon
1 TBSP organic Karanja oil (or neem)
emulsified in 1tsp liquid concentrate agSil
1/4 tsp organic 200x aloe vera powder

heat a quart of water or whatever so that it is warm to the touch and in a mason jar you already have your oil and silica mixed together to a creamy yellow consistency. Pour the warm water in and close the jar, shaking the hell out of it. The aloe can be included in here as well or drop it in the water in your sprayer then add the warm water solution and shake your sprayer again before applying. Giving it a good shake every now and then while applying will ensure any little bits of separation stay suspended and mixed into the water.

I apply this from a couple days after transplant as small rooted cuttings.
View attachment 2133491

Until week 1 of flower, whichever day that happens to land on.
View attachment 2133503

And that is it! Years later there continues to be NO reason to need or want to spray during flowering.

If one is so inclined, for maybe an added layer of protection, you can add any number of essential oils to the karanja oil foliar, if anything it smells nice right? LOL! I will add 20 drops total of whatever EO at the same time you emulsify your karanja oil. I like Holy Basil, peppermint, lavender in any combination totaling 20 drops. That is on the uber safe side so no worries about burning plants at that rate. Also recommended is to add fulvic acid along with your karanja oil/aloe/silica - I typically don't, but it's always a good thing!

If you do have a need or desire to spray in flowering a good all around base foliar for plant health and to 'knock off' unwanted pests is aloe/fulvic/silica and this is good to spray up until the end.

Fenugreek is a powerful fungicide. Sprout 2 TBSP seeds and puree/dilute to 1 gallon of water - add aloe/fulvic/silica and this can be sprayed in flower.

Cilantro is a great pesticide and I've had success testing it against mites. Take 1 cup of chopped ORGANIC cilantro and puree and soak in 1gal of water for 24 hours. This is now a concentrate and can be strained & diluted at 1 cup to 1 gallon of water, add aloe/fulvic/silica as well.

The same recipe above can be used with any number of herbs including mints (peppermint & spearmint being the go to mints), lavender, nettles, rosemary and many more. With rosemary you might want to cut the amount way down and with all of these especially in flower please apply on a test plant and after 24-48 hours apply to the rest of the garden.

I have never had any issues with the any of the above burning plants etc.

Again just to reiterate. I veg for 4-5 weeks and try to religiously apply the base karanja oil foliar every 7-10 days for a total of 3-4 applications per veg/flower cycle, that's it!

Eventually when you become very in touch (I kinda hate saying that) with your garden/plants/soil you will know when and if eradication of a pest is necessary. There is nothing wrong with allowing a natural balance to occur between pests, beneficials and the plants SAR. This is not a popular topic in the cannabis industry, but I think it's important in this paradigm to state that total annihilation does not always have to be the goal.

What is a large reason for plants to create secondary plant metabolites (terpenes, terpenoids, ketones, cannabinoids etc)? What is a plants response to a pest attack?
If there is a natural balance then there is not an issue.
View attachment 2133520


jerry111165 said:

Being able to successfully eradicate Spider Mites takes persistence. There are many products available these days but as organic gardeners we are limited because we don't want to use harmful chemicals on our plants. That's ok though - with a few different organic items in our arsenal we can be successful.

One of the most commonly used and most effective items in our IPM toolbox is COLD PRESSED ORGANIC NEEM OIL. I put this in bold because there are many neem products and knockoffs out there. Your best bet is actual, simple cold pressed and unadulterated organic neem. Neem Tree Farms and Neem Resource Ahimsa brands are examples of what I'm referring to.

Neem oil will not mix readily with water to be able to spray it. It NEEDS to be emulsified, ie: broken down to a point where it can mix with water. Think about what happens when you add a single drop of dish soap to a greasy pan in your sinkful of dishes.

You can simply use a few drops of dish detergent t achieve this. Most organic gardeners will want to use an organic dish soap such as is made by Dr Bronners, or similar. Many folks are also now using a silica product, whether it be a hydro store product like Rhino Blast or Dyna Gro ProTekt. I use a little pinchful of concentrate silica powder.

The single trick to beating mites is to break the egg cycle. The problem that most folks run into is that they will spray their plants, kill the mites and then in a few days the damn eggs that were attached to the underside of the leaves hatch! You're back to square one. Mites all over again.

You must take your time and spray well, making sure not to miss a single leaf. Not one! Just a couple of mites will repopulate your plants very quickly.

Most importantly, you MUST REPEAT. The general consensus it to spray every 3 days but if I see a mite, that scares the hell out of me. I know the damage they can cause. I will spray every two days for several weeks - I don't want to take chances with them returning. I have also sprayed every single day for several weeks to ensure complete eradication. IMO, this is the best way.

What about flowering plants?? This is a tough one and is a real issue. Nobody wants to spray their flowers - we don't want to ruin them, of course.

I've discovered that very low amounts of organic neem oil can be very effective if sprayed daily during an infestation. I'm talking a half a teaspoon per gallon, and even less. Neem
Oil is strong stuff and it doesn't take as much as many think to be effective. I have sprayed up until there is around 3 weeks left of flower with very low amounts of neem effectively. Hey, it's that or the mites take over. Take your pick. I choose eradication.

There are also other very effective products that we can discuss of course. Neem is only one.




MountainOrganics said:

if this is our first cycle with your no till recipe and dont have trimmings and stalks to compost for use as multch, would we just use wheat straw or something as a multch?

also..... this is kinda a silly question...... top dressings under the multch correct?

respect and many blessings to you bluejay and coots and the whole no till fam

Straw is an excellent choice and a good one to use in general. Other great options are your nutrient accumulating plants such as comfrey, nettles, yarrow, dandelion, horsetail (equisetum), excess herbs (mints, basils etc) when you cut the back. Many options for mulch - that salad or bag of lettuce that's a little too far gone to eat? Mulch it! Compost it! Whatever, it all turns into the same thing in the end anyways.

I do not disturb the mulch layer, other than to take the occasional picture for the mulch-porn addicts around here LOL, just sprinkle your topdress around evenly and water it in, done deal!
I use bugs to kill bugs. Arbico.com has many predators. They work! Green lacewings are awesome!


I had rabbits take out 4 of 5 plants 4 foot tall... Gnawed right thru the stalk a foot or so off the ground...

Fuck he might have got the last one as i havent been out to see them un almost 3 weeks..
I had a rabbit issue too. Ate alot of it. This rabbit must of been high for 2 days! Lol

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