Not sure what’s wrong

So far I’ve been doing alright and I just recently switched it to bloom. Due to the fact that I used a tad bit too many nutes when it was vegging I’m slowly introducing it to bloom nutrients and seeing how it reacts before I cause anymore burn or toxicity. I did flush the soil for about 2 weeks before giving it any bloom nutrients and I noticed that some sprouts that were under some leaves were dying with the tips of the leaves shriveling up and then it turns somewhat yellow, I at first thought it was because they weren’t getting any light but then I quickly noticed that a sprout that does get regular light is slightly starting to do the same thing. I’ve researched a little and can’t really pinpoint wether it’s a deficiency or if anything I’m giving it is too strong (which right now isn’t a whole lot I’m mixing my nutrients a little weak and only give it nutes maybe once or twice a week). So at this point I’m not really sure what is happening to this poor little guy.
 
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What is the soil, and what are you feeding? (How much? Are you following a schedule?). It looks overfed. You flushed for two weeks? How many flushes was that? Did that seem to help or hurt?

Do you have any pictures of the before-flush plant? I'm curious how much of the problem existed then, how much could be attributed to the bloom nutes?
 
What is the soil, and what are you feeding? (How much? Are you following a schedule?). It looks overfed. You flushed for two weeks? How many flushes was that? Did that seem to help or hurt?

Do you have any pictures of the before-flush plant? I'm curious how much of the problem existed then, how much could be attributed to the bloom nutes?
The soil is miracle grow and I started feeding it tiger bloom about 1 1/2 teaspoons per gallon of water, it isn’t an existing issue the issue I had before was nitrogen toxicity and nute burn and this is the photos from that, It was very mild and not bad at all, easy to come back from. Im not sure why it looks over fed because I just fed it the first bit of nutrients maybe two days ago and before that all I gave it was PH balanced water for two weeks about every 2-3 days when it needed it (I have a measuring tool for water in the soil that I use). I’m not following a feeding schedule in particular I just give it nutrients every 2-3 waters carefully since I made the mistake of using a soil that had a little nutrients in it already. Most of the nutrients from the soil should be about gone by now anyway it said it fed for about 3 months. The flush absolutely helped a lot and really fixed my issue of nute burn I don’t have it on any leaves that grew after that period or any nitrogen toxicity that I can see on any new growths.
 
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The soil is miracle grow
Which one?

TigerBloom is intended to be used with two other bottles. Using it alone is 1-4-2 NPK ratio. That's like bloom booster ratio. If you hadn't overfed in veg, and had less dark-green leaf color, you would typically start seeing the leaves yellow from N def.

Maybe, compared to how they looked before, maybe the after photos show the leaves yellowing (i.e., it's all relative. They don't look N def in the traditional sense. But, coming from N-toxic, maybe they do.

Regarding the before photos, the last one shows some crunchy, relatively new growth at the top (the tips burnt pretty far back). When did that happen?
 
Which one?

TigerBloom is intended to be used with two other bottles. Using it alone is 1-4-2 NPK ratio. That's like bloom booster ratio. If you hadn't overfed in veg, and had less dark-green leaf color, you would typically start seeing the leaves yellow from N def.

Maybe, compared to how they looked before, maybe the after photos show the leaves yellowing (i.e., it's all relative. They don't look N def in the traditional sense. But, coming from N-toxic, maybe they do.

Regarding the before photos, the last one shows some crunchy, relatively new growth at the top (the tips burnt pretty far back). When did that happen?
The ratio on mine is 2-8-4 it’s the extra strength. The leaves doing all that curling and crunchyness started like 3-4 days ago and has been kind of stopping at this point. Its Still getting just slightly worse but not as near as fast.
 
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The ratio on mine is 2-8-4 it’s the extra strength.
That's a strength. 2% by weight nitrogen, 8%... etc. There is an abstract ratio implied in those numbers. It's 1-4-2. That (reducing N to 1 part per 4 parts P) is like bloom booster ratio. You typically wouldn't hit that until late in flower (and maybe just 1-2 times). At this stage, you should be more like ratio 1-1-1, or 1-1.2-2. I think if you use the other two bottles (and follow the FF schedule, but maybe not the strength. I don't know much about FF. Never used it.), you'll be around 1-1.55-1.13. That cuts N more than I do. But, it's vastly better than 1-4-2.

The leaves doing all that curling and crunchyness started like 3-4 days ago and has been kind of stopping at this point. Its Still getting just slightly worse but not as near as fast.
7.5ml/gal Tigerbloom isn't strong. It wouldn't burn. It should be about 200-220ppm.

I was thinking those crunchy small leaves look like K def, and that maybe that arose from the 2-weeks of water only. But, it's getting more K than it would if you mixed the three bottles Fox Farms wants you to. Maybe it's a ratio imbalance. P stiumlates K availability or uptake. Maybe the too-high proportion of P has caused that.

I'm still curious to know which specific MiracleGro medium you used. I like to use cheap stuff. It would be interesting to know which one got you through veg that way. (I assume you were feeding FF Grow Big in veg?).
 
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That's a strength. 2% by weight nitrogen, 8%... etc. There is an abstract ratio implied in those numbers. It's 1-4-2. That (reducing N to 1 part per 4 parts P) is like bloom booster ratio. You typically wouldn't hit that until late in flower (and maybe just 1-2 times). At this stage, you should be more like ratio 1-1-1, or 1-1.2-2. I think if you use the other two bottles (and follow the FF schedule, but maybe not the strength. I don't know much about FF. Never used it.), you'll be around 1-1.55-1.13. That cuts N more than I do. But, it's vastly better than 1-4-2.



7.5ml/gal Tigerbloom isn't strong. It wouldn't burn. It should be about 200-220ppm.

I was thinking those crunchy small leaves look like K def, and that maybe that arose from the 2-weeks of water only. But, it's getting more K than it would if you mixed the three bottles Fox Farms wants you to. Maybe it's a ratio imbalance. P stiumlates K availability or uptake. Maybe the too-high proportion of P has caused that.

I'm still curious to know which specific MiracleGro medium you used. I like to use cheap stuff. It would be interesting to know which one got you through veg that way. (I assume you were using FF Grow Big in veg?).
I was actually using black magic that is sold at my local Home Depot with potting mix miracle grow, it wasn’t the cheap miracle grow I use it for most my other plants and it always fed them really good. I guess maybe I can go back to using the black magic and cal mag and use the bloom nutrients later in the cycle. I appreciate the input you’re very informative and detailed.
 
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I was actually using black magic that is sold at my local Home Depot with potting mix miracle grow, it wasn’t the cheap miracle grow I use it for most my other plants and it always fed them really good. I guess maybe I can go back to using the black magic and cal mag and use the bloom nutrients later in the cycle. I appreciate the input you’re very informative and detailed.
Which Black Magic product? I see they have 4-4-4 which looks organic'ish. That should work in flower. You could mix that with the TigerBloom to get a better ratio as you progress into flower. You can tweak it as flowering progresses. I don't think it helps that much to do it. I've grown in 1-1-1 ratio with two different products (one was MiracleGro Tomato). Your plant will look better/healthier in the end. Lots of people use Jack's Classic All-Purpose 20-20-20 all the way through. Same ratio, just stronger.

If you're using a different BM product, let me know. I could say how to mix them (if you wanted to customize the ratio that way).

If you used MG "potting mix" (the green top, yellow bottm, big red flower in the bottom center), that's pretty strong 0.21-0.11-0.16. You shouldn't have to feed that much in veg. That might be why you had N-toxicity (it already has a significant charge). Usually people burn their plants in that particular MG medium. I'm surprised you didn't.

If you wanted to be more in control of what the plant receives, they make a MG Organic Choice potting mix (0.10-0.05-0.05). That wouldn't compete as much if you wanted to supply the nutrients more each feeding. I've read people say they use this product on an ongoing basis, and like it. (Be aware, there is a OC "potting soil" which is stronger. The names are confusing.). Whereas, the one you used usually ends up being a problem. I don't recall hearing anyone say they chose to use that one on an ongoing basis. (If you really wanted to be be in control of the nutrients, look at Solid Gold Organic potting mix. It's 0.05-0-0).

Let me know if/when you want to create a custom NPK ratio using your veg and bloom products.
 
Which Black Magic product? I see they have 4-4-4 which looks organic'ish. That should work in flower. You could mix that with the TigerBloom to get a better ratio as you progress into flower. You can tweak it as flowering progresses. I don't think it helps that much to do it. I've grown in 1-1-1 ratio with two different products (one was MiracleGro Tomato). Your plant will look better/healthier in the end. Lots of people use Jack's Classic All-Purpose 20-20-20 all the way through. Same ratio, just stronger.

If you're using a different BM product, let me know. I could say how to mix them (if you wanted to customize the ratio that way).

If you used MG "potting mix" (the green top, yellow bottm, big red flower in the bottom center), that's pretty strong 0.21-0.11-0.16. You shouldn't have to feed that much in veg. That might be why you had N-toxicity (it already has a significant charge). Usually people burn their plants in that particular MG medium. I'm surprised you didn't.

If you wanted to be more in control of what the plant receives, they make a MG Organic Choice potting mix (0.10-0.05-0.05). That wouldn't compete as much if you wanted to supply the nutrients more each feeding. I've read people say they use this product on an ongoing basis, and like it. (Be aware, there is a OC "potting soil" which is stronger. The names are confusing.). Whereas, the one you used usually ends up being a problem. I don't recall hearing anyone say they chose to use that one on an ongoing basis. (If you really wanted to be be in control of the nutrients, look at Solid Gold Organic potting mix. It's 0.05-0-0).

Let me know if/when you want to create a custom NPK ratio using your veg and bloom products.
That would be great it would suck to have to buy more nutrient products, I’m using the part a and b, the a is 4-0-3 and the B is 1-2-5. Those alone were like $50 for both bottles they were like $24 a piece. Yeah I’m surprised I didn’t kill my plant either, I just payed really close attention to it and I mixed my nutrients pretty weak seeing how the soil already had nutrients in it I was just trying to give it a little boost until it used most the nutrients. I’m definitely not using that particular soil again. Right now I got a palm cactus and citrus soil with only iron added to it that I’m trying out by Kellogg or something like that. So far it’s working really well with the black magic and cal mag that I’m giving my clones and other plants.
 
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That would be great it would suck to have to buy more nutrient products, I’m using the part a and b, the a is 4-0-3 and the B is 1-2-5.
Mix:

A=4ml/gal​
B=4ml/gal​
Tigerbloom=3ml/gal​

Creates a nice early flower 1-1.23-1.69 ratio (300ppm, which sounds about right). For me, that would be a nice ratio. But, others like other proportions.

If you reduce TB to 2ml/gal, that's 1-1-1.67, (275ppm). That might be better if you're just in transition right now. (If you increase TB to 4ml/gal, that's 1-1.43-1.71, 325ppm. That might be good in mid flower.).

My only concern here is that you used hydro nutrients during veg. But, you're growing in soil. MG's potting mix is charged with slow-release synthetic nutrients. So, using synthetic hydro nutrients wouldn't be much different. But, Tigerbloom contains organic sources of nutrients. I'm not sure how hydro nutrients would play with that.

If you omitted TB, you could use A=2ml/gal, B=8ml/gal for ratio 1-1-2.88 (282ppm). I don't think you can raise P much with those two bottles by themselves. 1ml & 10ml is 1-1.43-3.79. That's kind of high K. I never go that high. Not sure how that would work. Those two bottles should have a schedule for flower. You could just follow that. But, maybe half-strength (often schedules are overstated that way. If you mix anything I mentioned above, you should verify the ppms with a TDS meter. I'm just calculating them. But, product labels are *minimum* guarantees. They can be stronger.

Right now I got a palm cactus and citrus soil with only iron added to it that I’m trying out by Kellogg or something like that. So far it’s working really well with the black magic and cal mag that I’m giving my clones and other plants.
That's ironic. Five years ago I saw a bag of Kellogg Cactus torn open at Lowes and *instantly* thought, "that looks perfect!" I've wanted to try it for these years. Just 3 weeks ago I sprouted two seeds in it. My grow journal is here. (<<link).

I've been finding that cactus mix to be N deficient. I've been pushing N higher (as a proportion) than I *ever* grow at. I can almost see the plant's leaves green up with more N, then go back to a limey/yellow color on a daily basis. It's like the *medium* is N-deficient, and drawing it out of the plant. I've never experienced this before. (Could be ph. I'm not ph'ing anything. I have my own light, airy soil mix which works perfectly. I have the nutrients dialed in. I haven't ph'ed my water or nutrients for 5 years. So, I'm trying to make this Cactus work without having to go back to using a ph pen. I want it to be simple, workable for anyone who, on a whim, decides to grow. They shouldn't have to have a ph pen. Nobody does that with their houseplants! But, sometimes I think the problems I'm having with N are ph-related. I think I have it dialed in now. I just transplanted using weak nutrients. I'll go back to feeding in a day or two. See if I can manage the N.).

The one thing I like about this Kellogg Cactus mix: it's well-draining, fast drying. I came from growing soilless using hydro nutrients, feeding every 2 days. I created my light airy soil with that same style in mind. So, this cactus mix fits my style very well.

Anyway, it's odd to find someone planning to use Cactus mix. As far as I could tell, no one's ever tried it. Now here's a second person preparing to use it.
 
Mix:

A=4ml/gal​
B=4ml/gal​
Tigerbloom=3ml/gal​

Creates a nice early flower 1-1.23-1.69 ratio (300ppm, which sounds about right). For me, that would be a nice ratio. But, others like other proportions.

If you reduce TB to 2ml/gal, that's 1-1-1.67, (275ppm). That might be better if you're just in transition right now. (If you increase TB to 4ml/gal, that's 1-1.43-1.71, 325ppm. That might be good in mid flower.).

My only concern here is that you used hydro nutrients during veg. But, you're growing in soil. MG's potting mix is charged with slow-release synthetic nutrients. So, using synthetic hydro nutrients wouldn't be much different. But, Tigerbloom contains organic sources of nutrients. I'm not sure how hydro nutrients would play with that.

If you omitted TB, you could use A=2ml/gal, B=8ml/gal for ratio 1-1-2.88 (282ppm). I don't think you can raise P much with those two bottles by themselves. 1ml & 10ml is 1-1.43-3.79. That's kind of high K. I never go that high. Not sure how that would work. Those two bottles should have a schedule for flower. You could just follow that. But, maybe half-strength (often schedules are overstated that way. If you mix anything I mentioned above, you should verify the ppms with a TDS meter. I'm just calculating them. But, product labels are *minimum* guarantees. They can be stronger.



That's ironic. Five years ago I saw a bag of Kellogg Cactus torn open at Lowes and *instantly* thought, "that looks perfect!" I've wanted to try it for these years. Just 3 weeks ago I sprouted two seeds in it. My grow journal is here. (<<link).

I've been finding that cactus mix to be N deficient. I've been pushing N higher (as a proportion) than I *ever* grow at. I can almost see the plant's leaves green up with more N, then go back to a limey/yellow color on a daily basis. It's like the *medium* is N-deficient, and drawing it out of the plant. I've never experienced this before. (Could be ph. I'm not ph'ing anything. I have my own light, airy soil mix which works perfectly. I have the nutrients dialed in. I haven't ph'ed my water or nutrients for 5 years. So, I'm trying to make this Cactus work without having to go back to using a ph pen. I want it to be simple, workable for anyone who, on a whim, decides to grow. They shouldn't have to have a ph pen. Nobody does that with their houseplants! But, sometimes I think the problems I'm having with N are ph-related. I think I have it dialed in now. I just transplanted using weak nutrients. I'll go back to feeding in a day or two. See if I can manage the N.).

The one thing I like about this Kellogg Cactus mix: it's well-draining, fast drying. I came from growing soilless using hydro nutrients, feeding every 2 days. I created my light airy soil with that same style in mind. So, this cactus mix fits my style very well.

Anyway, it's odd to find someone planning to use Cactus mix. As far as I could tell, no one's ever tried it. Now here's a second person preparing to use it.
what’s the issue with using hydro nutrients during veg in soil? I’m pretty new to growing weed but I’ve worked in dispensaries so I have a direction just not a whole lot of knowledge to my direction. So far the cactus mix is wonderful and my plant is growing pretty much as fast as the mother plant did in miracle grow I just use nutrients ever 2-3 waters and it’s been just fine. I’ll definitely check out your journal I’m always doing research on growing! Also thanks for helping with the mix ratio I really appreciate it. I was thinking something similar to what you’re suggesting but I’ll have to test it out. I’m pretty sure it’ll end up working greatly.
 
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I've been finding that cactus mix to be N deficient. I've been pushing N higher (as a proportion) than I *ever* grow at. I can almost see the plant's leaves green up with more N, then go back to a limey/yellow color on a daily basis. It's like the *medium* is N-deficient, and drawing it out of the plant. I've never experienced this before. (Could be ph. I'm not ph'ing anything. I have my own light, airy soil mix which works perfectly. I have the nutrients dialed in. I haven't ph'ed my water or nutrients for 5 years. So, I'm trying to make this
Isn't the cactus mix mostly sand? I think of planting cactus (I'm in the NE and only grow in containers) as compacting easily, but hey... whatever works! Regarding it not holding N, I see that with using Promix. I don't feed daily and after feeding, you can see some newer growth. I use it as a gauge to keep tabs on nute levels to give me an idea when it needs fed without overfeeding.
 
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what’s the issue with using hydro nutrients during veg in soil? I’m pretty new to growing weed but I’ve worked in dispensaries so I have a direction just not a whole lot of knowledge to my direction.
Soil nutrients expect the soil to provide some things (like magnesium and calcium). Hydro nutrients can have a different balance which might cause a problem in soil. But, to me, why grow in soil with hydro nutrients? If you choose a soil, why not use nutrients that will feed the soil? (Or, conversely, if you choose hydro nutrients to feed the roots directly, who choose a soil? Why not soilless. What's the point of a medium to promote microbes to break down organic nutrients, and then bypass it?

It just seems like it would be ripe for problems. Not optimal for each other, at least. By feeding completely synthetic nutrients, you miss an opportunity to feed the microbes. And, if the goal is to feed the roots directly, it seems like soil would get in the way of that, add to it in ways you might not want (which you experienced with Mg potting mix adding to what you were feeding.).

The only reason I mentioned it, however, is that you were considering using Tigerbloom to create a flower ratio. Mixing hydro/synthetic nutrients with Tigerbloom which contains organic stuff... I don't want to be responsible or encouraging you to do that (without mentioning that they are different products for different mediums.

But, the cactus mix strikes me as almost soilless. Hydro nutrients might be perfect for that. I mentioned that about 10 days ago. It seems like a very non-biologic medium.


So far the cactus mix is wonderful and my plant is growing pretty much as fast as the mother plant did in miracle grow I just use nutrients ever 2-3 waters and it’s been just fine. I’ll definitely check out your journal I’m always doing research on growing! Also thanks for helping with the mix ratio I really appreciate it. I was thinking something similar to what you’re suggesting but I’ll have to test it out. I’m pretty sure it’ll end up working greatly.
I noticed those two A/B bottles produce a high N ratio. And, the way you had N toxicity (or, at least very dark green leaves), that might be perfect for the cactus mix.

I have a spreadsheet (<<link) which will let you figure out the NPK ratio you create using those two bottles. It's safe, no macros. There is a README file there. If you go through the 3 examples, you'll know how to use it. 1. Just enter the info from the products. 2. Enter the amount used of each bottle. (3. Substitute other products to recreate that ratio). I like it because just "5ml of this, and 10ml of that" doesn't tell you want you're actually feeding. If you notice the plant get better, or worse, you don't know that it could have been the NPK ratio. You get locked into products, no way to recreate what you do using other products.

There is a subdirectory containing more products that I've entered, and played around with. (It's fun to unpack what popular feeding schedules create. They're all essentially the same. You see the same patterns.
 
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Isn't the cactus mix mostly sand? I think of planting cactus (I'm in the NE and only grow in containers) as compacting easily, but hey... whatever works! Regarding it not holding N, I see that with using Promix. I don't feed daily and after feeding, you can see some newer growth. I use it as a gauge to keep tabs on nute levels to give me an idea when it needs fed without overfeeding.
The cactus mix is sand, pumice, small wood chips, and a generous amount of perlite. It has some feather meal, poultry manure. But, apparently not much -- because it has no NPK label, just iron is reported (and a footnote says that's only reported because of regulations requiring it at certain levels.).

I had the same compaction concern when I planted the seeds. I felt like it needed more perlite, or the sand would compact, be dense, it wouldn't dry fast. But... it's working well in that regard. By the time the seedling containers were fully grown into, it was needing watering/feeding every 32 hours. Even though the sand compacts, it's very frangible. It's like beach sand. It packs together... but falls apart with a touch.

So far, I'm thinking (if I did this again), I would add perlite. But, I would crush it to between the size of coarse sand and bb shot (0.177", 3/16", 4.5mm). I think the soil would benefit from that uniformity (of perlite spread through the sand), than more large islands of perlite. It already has a fair amount of that.

But, as fast as it's drying, it seems like it doesn't really need that either. If I did that, I might add an equal amount of vermiculite to store moisture throughout the mix. That might be a good balance.

I'm glad you mentioned that you've experienced something similar with Pro-Mix. Because, as you know, I've had it on my mind to try and substitute my soil's Pro-Mix with something that's more readily available at ordinary stores, doesn't require a visit to a specialty store. (Not that it's a big problem. But, I want to demonstrate how to grow using as much stuff from the hardware store as possible (if possible). Keep it simpler for the new grower who might be tempted to try growing, but their eyes roll back in their head when they start hearing "you need this special stuff, and that special stuff...").

Anyway, lately I've been thinking how this Cactus mix might be a good substitute. It's just basically a medium to suspend the roots. That's about all Pro-Mix is. (It has myco.). So, I might try that. (Too many ideas. Too little time.).
 
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So far the cactus mix is wonderful and my plant is growing pretty much as fast as the mother plant did in miracle grow I just use nutrients ever 2-3 waters and it’s been just fine.
How much of the A/B bottles did you use in the MG potting mix? (How much are you using in the Cactus mix?).

If you use A=2ml/gal, B=1ml/gal, you get a 4.5-1-5.5 NPK ratio. (Of course, that's going to be very weak. But, I'm just illustrating "parts" of each bottle makes this NPK ratio.). If you mix 1 to 1, it's 2.5-1-4.

Those levels of K sound very high to me. But, that upper range (4.5 for the N) seems to be what it wants from me. I started with a 1-1-1 ratio (because I've grown that way before, many people do it every grow.). That was not enough. I would have had to feed very strong to get enough N to the plant. I switched to a 3-1-2 product. That was much better. But, it still seemed like I was hitting the max strength the plant would take, and still appearing to need a little more N. I mixed that 3-1-2 product with 5-1-1 fish emulsion to boost N higher.

I got up to about 3.7 (for N) and that seemed good.

So, considering how green your MG potting mix plant was in veg, if you're feeding that same mix, that might work well in the cactus mix. The N might be up in that same area that I've found.

I'm surprised you can alternate feed/water. I thought people usually do that with a biologicially active soil and nutrients (allow the microbes to do their work). The cactus mix doesn't seem that rich/biologically-active. And, the hydro nutrients are geared for immediate uptake, not feeding a soil. The way my cactus soil seems to suck N out out the plants between feedings, I'm surprised you can do that. Maybe you've been feeding higher N long enough that the soil has reached equilibrium. Maybe something like that's happened. (Whatever deficiency in the soil I've been noticing has been sated in yours. Maybe you didn't notice the deficiency because you were feeding much higher N from the start.).

It's interesting to me because I've never fed over 2 (for the N part of the ratio). I've used my dialed-in soil and nutrients for 6 years, and didn't realize how much the 20% "soil" I added to the soilless medium makes so much difference. I didn't realize how it carries the plants so much. My cactus grow has been an eye-opener to me that way.
 
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Mix:

A=4ml/gal​
B=4ml/gal​
Tigerbloom=3ml/gal​

Creates a nice early flower 1-1.23-1.69 ratio (300ppm, which sounds about right). For me, that would be a nice ratio. But, others like other proportions.

If you reduce TB to 2ml/gal, that's 1-1-1.67, (275ppm). That might be better if you're just in transition right now. (If you increase TB to 4ml/gal, that's 1-1.43-1.71, 325ppm. That might be good in mid flower.).

My only concern here is that you used hydro nutrients during veg. But, you're growing in soil. MG's potting mix is charged with slow-release synthetic nutrients. So, using synthetic hydro nutrients wouldn't be much different. But, Tigerbloom contains organic sources of nutrients. I'm not sure how hydro nutrients would play with that.

If you omitted TB, you could use A=2ml/gal, B=8ml/gal for ratio 1-1-2.88 (282ppm). I don't think you can raise P much with those two bottles by themselves. 1ml & 10ml is 1-1.43-3.79. That's kind of high K. I never go that high. Not sure how that would work. Those two bottles should have a schedule for flower. You could just follow that. But, maybe half-strength (often schedules are overstated that way. If you mix anything I mentioned above, you should verify the ppms with a TDS meter. I'm just calculating them. But, product labels are *minimum* guarantees. They can be stronger.



That's ironic. Five years ago I saw a bag of Kellogg Cactus torn open at Lowes and *instantly* thought, "that looks perfect!" I've wanted to try it for these years. Just 3 weeks ago I sprouted two seeds in it. My grow journal is here. (<<link).

I've been finding that cactus mix to be N deficient. I've been pushing N higher (as a proportion) than I *ever* grow at. I can almost see the plant's leaves green up with more N, then go back to a limey/yellow color on a daily basis. It's like the *medium* is N-deficient, and drawing it out of the plant. I've never experienced this before. (Could be ph. I'm not ph'ing anything. I have my own light, airy soil mix which works perfectly. I have the nutrients dialed in. I haven't ph'ed my water or nutrients for 5 years. So, I'm trying to make this Cactus work without having to go back to using a ph pen. I want it to be simple, workable for anyone who, on a whim, decides to grow. They shouldn't have to have a ph pen. Nobody does that with their houseplants! But, sometimes I think the problems I'm having with N are ph-related. I think I have it dialed in now. I just transplanted using weak nutrients. I'll go back to feeding in a day or two. See if I can manage the N.).

The one thing I like about this Kellogg Cactus mix: it's well-draining, fast drying. I came from growing soilless using hydro nutrients, feeding every 2 days. I created my light airy soil with that same style in mind. So, this cactus mix fits my style very well.

Anyway, it's odd to find someone planning to use Cactus mix. As far as I could tell, no one's ever tried it. Now here's a second person preparing to use it.


This says ph 6.0-7.3. I have not seen potting soil buffered to such a wide range. Maybe your ph is raising back too high?



Sorry for the thread sidetrack.
 
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This says ph 6.0-7.3. I have not seen potting soil buffered to such a wide range. Maybe your ph is raising back too high?

I don't think it's buffered (at all). Before I planted, I wet some cactus mix and checked the ph every few hours (with my relatively expensive Control Wizard Accurate 8 soil probe). It seemed to bounce around a lot. My own dialed in soil will go from 5.4 to 6.8 (from wet to dry). But, it doesn't bounce around much during that time. This cactus mix seemed to have considerable swings while drying. (I only watched it for 2-3 days before planting.). I added 1.5 Tablespoon dolomite (per gallon of mix) to one container. The other container is just straight cactus mix out of the bag. I haven't noticed any difference. The dolomited plant looked slightly more N def the first weeks. (Could have been a difference in strain. I'm just growing bagseed. Both look more indica. But, one is very indica. They're clearly two different strains.).

I think the problem I've had: the potting mix is void of nutrients (and maybe even needing N for the wood chips, their decomposition). So far, I don't think I've seen anything that's obviously a ph problem.

It's actually growing well. I just spent too long making small adjustments when it needed substantially more N. (I should "knock on wood." I still worry there may be a ph problem and it's not as simple as I think it is.). It's been fun. I've been in my comfort zone for 6 years, using my dialed in soil an nutrient. It's been fun to do something different, be challenged.
 
How much of the A/B bottles did you use in the MG potting mix? (How much are you using in the Cactus mix?).

If you use A=2ml/gal, B=1ml/gal, you get a 4.5-1-5.5 NPK ratio. (Of course, that's going to be very weak. But, I'm just illustrating "parts" of each bottle makes this NPK ratio.). If you mix 1 to 1, it's 2.5-1-4.

Those levels of K sound very high to me. But, that upper range (4.5 for the N) seems to be what it wants from me. I started with a 1-1-1 ratio (because I've grown that way before, many people do it every grow.). That was not enough. I would have had to feed very strong to get enough N to the plant. I switched to a 3-1-2 product. That was much better. But, it still seemed like I was hitting the max strength the plant would take, and still appearing to need a little more N. I mixed that 3-1-2 product with 5-1-1 fish emulsion to boost N higher.

I got up to about 3.7 (for N) and that seemed good.

So, considering how green your MG potting mix plant was in veg, if you're feeding that same mix, that might work well in the cactus mix. The N might be up in that same area that I've found.

I'm surprised you can alternate feed/water. I thought people usually do that with a biologicially active soil and nutrients (allow the microbes to do their work). The cactus mix doesn't seem that rich/biologically-active. And, the hydro nutrients are geared for immediate uptake, not feeding a soil. The way my cactus soil seems to suck N out out the plants between feedings, I'm surprised you can do that. Maybe you've been feeding higher N long enough that the soil has reached equilibrium. Maybe something like that's happened. (Whatever deficiency in the soil I've been noticing has been sated in yours. Maybe you didn't notice the deficiency because you were feeding much higher N from the start.).

It's interesting to me because I've never fed over 2 (for the N part of the ratio). I've used my dialed-in soil and nutrients for 6 years, and didn't realize how much the 20% "soil" I added to the soilless medium makes so much difference. I didn't realize how it carries the plants so much. My cactus grow has been an eye-opener to me that way.
I am using a half teaspoon a gallon of each actually for the cactus mix and for the MG I was using 1/4 a teaspoon a gallon since I knew the soil had nutrients in it anyway. I mean it did pretty well until now in the MG actually. It seems to me the cactus soil might be best for my nutrients since it’s so high in N because it was exceptionally easy to give my plant N toxicity with the MG.
 
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I am using a half teaspoon a gallon of each actually for the cactus mix and for the MG I was using 1/4 a teaspoon a gallon since I knew the soil had nutrients in it anyway. I mean it did pretty well until now in the MG actually. It seems to me the cactus soil might be best for my nutrients since it’s so high in N because it was exceptionally easy to give my plant N toxicity with the MG.
2.5ml/gal (each bottle) creates a 2.5-1-4 ratio. That's only 140ppm. That's not very strong. Especially if you alternate with 1-2 water-only feedings in betweeen. I've been feeding 3.xx-1-1.5 at 500ppm every 2 days and just started to get the minor N problem fixed.

Maybe it's your higher K ratio. I have potassium sulfate which I can add to raise K. Maybe I should try that. I've read that N & K are linked somehow. You're suppose to always have as much K as N (something like that). I've never played with that because I typically feed between 1.2-1-1.8 and 2-1-1.8. This is the first time I've gone above 3 (for the N part). Maybe K is more of a factor now.

I don't want to fool around NPK ratio tweaking. My goal was to just grow with minimal drama. Something anyone can go to Home Depot and get started without much thought.

But, it would be fun to do this again and do more customizing. (I'm thinking about mixing Kellogg Patio Plus and cactus mix to create a "light soil" the way I do using Pro-Mix HP. That would still be entirely Home Depot. And, if it made the medium more like my soil, it wouldn't need so much N -- which itself might require more K, which then complicates things.).

I haven't seen that Black Magic hydro nutrient at Home Depot. I'll have to look more closely. If that were as ubiquitous as MiracleGro, I'd definitely use it. It sounds perfect for that cactus mix because that mix seems like it has more in common with soilless mediums than actual soil.

I'd love to see photos of your cactus-mix plants are doing. You could do that here, or post to my grow journal. Or, start another grow journal and fill in the details about what you've done up to this point. Update it as you go.
 
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I'm surprised you can alternate feed/water. I thought people usually do that with a biologicially active soil and nutrients (allow the microbes to do their work). The cactus mix doesn't seem that rich/biologically-active. And, the hydro nutrients are geared for immediate uptake, not feeding a soil. The way my cactus soil seems to suck N out out the plants between feedings, I'm surprised you can do that.
I found, years ago, that adding about 15-20% compost or composted manure makes a huge difference in growing with Promix. Previous grows without it were OK, but there was a definite difference in plant health and vigor. My theory is that the manure/compost adds micronutrients, major nutrients, and Iron. The wood ashes mainly add nutrients and a slight amount of buffering. By feeding about every 12 days on avg (1 tablespoon/gallon 20-20-20 Jacks or Jack's Blooming formula), I avoid any type of nutrient overages and the manure/compost provides some lighter nutrients. Any longer than 12 days, they seem to slow down and get hungry, while much shorter than that I get the darker green leaves and higher N levels than I feel are needed. In a sense, with the manure, compost, wood ashes, and a small dose of time released nutrients (I forgot to mention that), I AM getting nutrients between MAJOR feedings, sort of like Sunday dinner after a week of ramen noodles! Growing without any extras in the Promix required more nutrients more often, and it was the only time that I overfed things. I replace the Promix each grow, as I see a decrease in vigor when using Promix for more than one season.
Regarding the Cactus mix, I didn't consider there being perlite and vermiculite in it. Most of the cactus mix I have encountered was the junk that comes with a few cactus seeds and is 99% sand with a few pebbles thrown in. The stuff you are speaking of sounds much more forgiving
 

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