Looking for advice on moving to a living soil setup for a perpetual 12/12 from clone.

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chuey316

chuey316

Hey everyone. I've just recently started using soil again for my current run. I have a Blueberry mother plant, and am going to pick a 2nd mother from a batch of Afghan Kush seeds that I'm vegging now, once I sex them. My mother's and clones are grown in Great Lakes Water Only soil.

I'd like to use the same soil for my veg cab, and my flower tent. Mother's are in 3gal containers, clones are rooted in solo cups, and I'd like to build a 3ft x 4ft x 6in bed in my flower tent using a 2x6 frame covered with a tarp to transplant clones into once rooted, and run a perpetual 12/12 from rooted clone sog setup. If more soil depth is needed, I could use 2x8, or 2x10 for the frame.

I've done some reading regarding living soil, no till, ect, but I'm still a little confused as there's so many different opinions and methods out there. I'm looking for a setup that will be the least amount of input, and that I will be able to harvest, and transplant the new batch of clones within a week of harvest.

Would I be able to fill the bed with the water only soil, add some worms, water with molasses from time to time, top dress with leaves and stems from defoliation/harvest, and be off to the races, or will I need to do more to maintain the soil? A cover crop maybe? What would be a good, easy to maintain cover crop to keep the soil fed?

I do not have a compost, or an area for one, but if needed I can get Coast of Maine Quoddy Blend Lobster Compost locally. While I know that there is no such thing as a set it and forget it system, I'm just looking for something that I can just water when needed, and have a minimum amount of interaction as far as the soil goes, while being able to fairly seamlessly transfer from one batch of clones to the next.

I'm not against holding off on the soil bed, and using separate containers for each plant, but from what I've read, a larger volume of soil is better in a living system, and I'd still like to beable to reuse the same soil as much as possible. Right now I take clones, root them in a bubble cloner, transfer them into solo cups until 6-8" tall, then transplant into 2.5L green soda bottles, then into the flower tent after a few more days to a week.

If what I'm asking isn't feasible, then I can stick to buying new soil each grow, but I'd still like some advice on how to properly keep the soil fed so that it will get me from start to finish without mixing nutes.

Still a fairly inexperienced grower. I've had a couple decent runs in soil and a decent one in hydro, followed by a number of bad ones lately, and I'm just trying to find an easy, mostly foolproof system that will work for me while I learn more about growing, and not having to worry about nutes. Any input is appreciated.
 
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Wh1teScorp1on

Wh1teScorp1on

I’d use something more durable than a tarp to line it. Something waterproof. Then raised one end to provide drainage. That way you won’t rot your floors or get mould and mildew
 
bellumromanum

bellumromanum

Hey everyone. I've just recently started using soil again for my current run. I have a Blueberry mother plant, and am going to pick a 2nd mother from a batch of Afghan Kush seeds that I'm vegging now, once I sex them. My mother's and clones are grown in Great Lakes Water Only soil.

I'd like to use the same soil for my veg cab, and my flower tent. Mother's are in 3gal containers, clones are rooted in solo cups, and I'd like to build a 3ft x 4ft x 6in bed in my flower tent using a 2x6 frame covered with a tarp to transplant clones into once rooted, and run a perpetual 12/12 from rooted clone sog setup. If more soil depth is needed, I could use 2x8, or 2x10 for the frame.

I've done some reading regarding living soil, no till, ect, but I'm still a little confused as there's so many different opinions and methods out there. I'm looking for a setup that will be the least amount of input, and that I will be able to harvest, and transplant the new batch of clones within a week of harvest.

Would I be able to fill the bed with the water only soil, add some worms, water with molasses from time to time, top dress with leaves and stems from defoliation/harvest, and be off to the races, or will I need to do more to maintain the soil? A cover crop maybe? What would be a good, easy to maintain cover crop to keep the soil fed?

I do not have a compost, or an area for one, but if needed I can get Coast of Maine Quoddy Blend Lobster Compost locally. While I know that there is no such thing as a set it and forget it system, I'm just looking for something that I can just water when needed, and have a minimum amount of interaction as far as the soil goes, while being able to fairly seamlessly transfer from one batch of clones to the next.

I'm not against holding off on the soil bed, and using separate containers for each plant, but from what I've read, a larger volume of soil is better in a living system, and I'd still like to beable to reuse the same soil as much as possible. Right now I take clones, root them in a bubble cloner, transfer them into solo cups until 6-8" tall, then transplant into 2.5L green soda bottles, then into the flower tent after a few more days to a week.

If what I'm asking isn't feasible, then I can stick to buying new soil each grow, but I'd still like some advice on how to properly keep the soil fed so that it will get me from start to finish without mixing nutes.

Still a fairly inexperienced grower. I've had a couple decent runs in soil and a decent one in hydro, followed by a number of bad ones lately, and I'm just trying to find an easy, mostly foolproof system that will work for me while I learn more about growing, and not having to worry about nutes. Any input is appreciated.

Welcome to the farm and good luck on your journey man! Living soil is a lot to learn and if you wanna stay towards the KNF natural route with lower maintenance I'd recommend looking into a Probiotic Wellness Garden. It's a complete living soil no till fully organic grow system in an EarthBox container (sub-irrigated reservoir for fresh water, top dressing for nutes). There are step-by-step instructions for growing through both veg and flower. As you learn the process and understand the inputs you can get fancier with your setup.

YOu're not wrong about more soil generally being better. One way the earthbox gets around the amount of soil needed is by piling nutrients on top of the box that the feeder roots grow into, while the taproots grow down into the fresh water res. As a result of this (and several other components of the system) the plants can uptake a similar amount of nutrients as a plant in a larger container (not my science - check out the content from BuildASoil, he started doing a lot with EarthBoxes and I think that's the only place you can buy the whole system now)

This is all just my $0.02. I've had two great crops with the probiotic wellness gardens and I'm expanding my setup this run to include separate containers etc. I wouldn't have felt as confident I'd be successful without the runs in the EarthBoxes.

YMMV

This is the one I used:

the BAS version looks good too:

Good luck dude whichever way you go!
 
chuey316

chuey316

I remember looking into earthboxes a little bit before, and thought about making some. I can fit 3 27gal totes in my tent. How many clones do you think would be a good fit per tote? I'm not looking to grow them too big, just root them, and put them straight into flower, maybe a week or two veg time under a couple 50w led shop lights that I use for my veg cab.

I'm going for smaller, mostly single cola plants, and would be happy with a 1/4 per clone, and very happy if I can pull a 1/2 per. They'll be flowering under a 400w hps btw. I've had a few 2 plant 10-12oz runs under this light, so I'm hoping it'll work well enough for the sog.

If I went that way, depending on how many clones I could run per tote, I could use two totes, with say 12 clones each. Once the 1st batch is a month in, I could transplant the next batch into the 2nd tote.
 
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chuey316

chuey316

After a little debating, I decided to go ahead and build an earthbox. I have 6 Afghan kush plants that are about 7-8" tall from a female that threw some nanners from stress, and I let it go a bit past harvest time to get some mature and hopefully fem seeds. Hopefully they all turn out to be female. The plant I got the seeds from didn't really stretch much during flower, but I also topped and mainlined her though.

I'll be putting 5 in the homemade 27gal earthbox, and keeping one as a mother, as I may end up just flowering out the Blueberry mother because she and her clones keep developing some type of deficiency that I can't figure out. I've tried with the Great Lakes soil, FFOF, and even the Blueberry clones in the bubble cloner will sometimes start to show signs before even rooting.

If I like the way these grow, I'll end up building one or two more, and start my perpetual at that time.
 
chuey316

chuey316

What would be an easy way to sustain the microbial life in the soil? Do I need to add some worm castings and let it cook before using it, or is there something that I add during the grow cycle?
 
Arwood

Arwood

What would be an easy way to sustain the microbial life in the soil? Do I need to add some worm castings and let it cook before using it, or is there something that I add during the grow cycle?

If you haven’t already, build a worm composter. Cost a total of a $4 for some window screen I had to buy. We already had the totes available. It’s making worm casings and worm tea. Here’s the plans I used:

https://www.epa.gov/recycle/how-create-and-maintain-indoor-worm-composting-bin

it sometimes stinks so get a carbon filter for it or put it outside.

Mycorrhizae fungi to the soil is a great start and end for many. You can make your own or buy it in order online. We have directions on how to make your own fungi the forum here. The fungi helps with water and nutrient uptake. It’s also great for rooting new trees and aiding in growing fat tomatoes.
 
chuey316

chuey316

I would need both right? The Mycorrhizae to feed the roots, and the compost to feed the Mycorrhizae? Could the compost be substituted with a once a month or so watering with molasses?

Anything special have to be done with the Mycorrhizae, like letting the soil cook, or can you just add it at anytime before, during, or after a grow, and be ready to use right away?

A worm compost bin will probably be something I'll end up doing eventually. Wanted to make one in the past to use as a bait farm for fishing. This would make it dual use.
 
Arwood

Arwood

I haven’t cooked either. The idea is that it’s alive and that everything works together in tandem. While I haven’t had the luxury of growing with clones, I’ve grown for many years in general.

Start with the fungi. Mix the powder in water and water your plants like normal. That’s about it. I do it when I start a new grow or when the plants stop absorbing water/nutrients and looking limp.

with the compost. because it can carry not so nice things, I’d experiment first with some clones to see what you’re working with.

These two little ones were both treated with fungus for their first watering in soil. The one closest to us started in soil almost a week after. Seed or not, fungus works.
 
chuey316

chuey316

Thanks. I'll start looking for some Mycorrhizae and add it in after I figure out why my setup doesn't seem to be wicking. It's been a little over 24hrs and the water level hasn't moved a bit.
 
chuey316

chuey316

Got my wicking figured out, and the plants are taking to their new home well. I ordered some Wallace "wow" myco. I thought it was the water soluble type when I bought it, but it's granules instead. I used the handle of a measuring cup to bore 2 ~4" holes per plant on opposing sides about 4-5" away from the stalk. I put about 1tsp of granules in each hole, back filled the holes, and watered.

Does this sound right, or is there something else I should do to get the myco growing?
 
Arwood

Arwood

Got my wicking figured out, and the plants are taking to their new home well. I ordered some Wallace "wow" myco. I thought it was the water soluble type when I bought it, but it's granules instead. I used the handle of a measuring cup to bore 2 ~4" holes per plant on opposing sides about 4-5" away from the stalk. I put about 1tsp of granules in each hole, back filled the holes, and watered.

Does this sound right, or is there something else I should do to get the myco growing?

starting this off by saying I’ve never used granules. I’ve made my own and bought the powder.

that said, I’m having a hard time visualizing what you did for a better response. Like ( . O . ) where () is the pot, big o for plant and periods are the holes?

Generally, so long as the myco find the roots, it will do what it is supposed to do eventually. Granules could be different. However if they are full of life, then life usually finds a way.

let us know how it works out. Good luck!
 
zigzagtop

zigzagtop

Hey, you know how to get better at growing weed? Practice...and more practice. I've been growing plants outside for decades now, and just started indoors...it's an entirely different thing is some respects. In my opinion, unless you live in Hawaii or Afghanistan or Cambodia, then indoors plants are always more consistent...others may beg to differ. As far as clones go, sure, clones are handy, inexpensive, but a plant from seed is a stronger and healthier plant. You'll see once you grow both...in fact you may think different too. To each their own I suppose eh?
 
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