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    Organics for Beginners

    Here are some tried and true recipes for getting started in organic growing. Pick one of the first two soiless mix recipes for your grow medium. Then, choose a nutrient recipe that will work best for what you have available.

    Enjoy...

    Here are two very good organic soiless mixes...

    LC's Mix is great for any stage of growth. You can germ seeds in it, grow mothers in it, root clones in it as well as veg and flower in it.

    LC’s Soiless Mix #1:

    5 parts Canadian Sphagnum Peat or Coir or Pro-Moss
    3 parts perlite
    2 parts worm castings or mushroom compost or home made compost
    Powdered (NOT PELLETED) dolomite lime @ 2 tablespoons per gallon or 1 cup per cubic foot of the soiless mix.
    ...Wal-Mart now sells worm castings.

    Or, if you use Pro Mix, Sunshine Mix or Fox Farm mixes...

    LC's Soiless Mix #2:

    6 parts Pro Mix BX or HP / Sunshine Mix (any flavor from #1 up) / Fox Farm Ocean Forest or Light Warrior
    2 parts perlite
    2 parts earthworm castings
    Powdered (NOT PELLETED) dolomite lime @ 2 tablespoons per gallon or 1 cup per cubic foot of the soiless mix.
    If you use a 3 qt. saucepan as “parts” in the amounts given above, it equals about 1 cu. ft. of soiless mix and you can just dump in a cup of powdered dolomite lime. The dolomite lime is for Ca. and Mg. not just to adjust the PH of the soil.

    But, a "part" can be anything from a tablespoon to a five gallon bucket. Just use the same item for all of the "parts".

    Now for the plants organic food source

    Choose one of these organic plant food recipes to add to LC's Soiless Mix.

    RECIPE #1

    If you want to use organic nutrients like Blood meal, Bone meal and Kelp meal...

    1 tablespoon Blood meal per gallon or 1/2 cup per cubic foot of soil mix
    2 tablespoons Bone meal per gallon or 1 cup per cubic foot of soil mix
    1-tablespoon kelp meal per gallon or 1/2 cup per cubic foot of soil mix
    or Maxicrop 1-0-4 powdered kelp extract as directed
    (OPTIONAL) 1 tablespoon per gallon or 1/2 cup per cubic foot of Jersey Greensand to supplement the K (potasium) in the Kelp Meal and seaweed extract.

    Mix all the dry nutrients into the soiless mix well and wet it, but don't soak it. Use Liquid Karma and water @ 1 tbs./gal. Stir and mix it a few times a week for a week or two so the bacteria can get oxygen and break down the nutrients and make it available. And don't let the mix dry out, keep it moist and add water as needed. It'll also have time to get the humic acids in the Liquid Karma going and the dolomite lime will be better able to adjust the pH of a peat based mixture too.

    With this recipe, all you need to do is add plain water until harvest.

    When I'm working with seeds, I punch a hole in the bottom of 16 ounce cups and fill them with plain LC's Mix. Lightly wet the mix in the cups and germinate one seed in each cup. At the same time I mix enough LC's mix along with the blood/bone/kelp to fill all the 3 gallon flower pots I'm going to use for the grow. After about two weeks, the seedlings and the blood/bone/kelp mix are ready. I transplant the seedlings into the 3 gallon pots and just add water until harvest.
    When you go to flower and pull up the males, save the mix in the pots. It is ready to be used again immediately. Just remove the root ball and transplant another seedling into it.

    RECIPE #2

    If you want to use guano in your soil mix...
    Bongaloid's Guano Mix.
    Use all these items combined with one gallon of soil mix.

    1/3C hi N Guano Mexican Bat Guano or Peruvian Seabird Guano (PSG)
    1/2C hi P Guano (Jamaican or Indonesian Bat Guano)
    1TBS Kelp Meal
    (OPTIONAL) 1TBS Jersey Greensand

    RECIPE #3 (My favorite)
    If you want to use guano tea and kelp...

    Guano Tea and Kelp:

    Seedlings less than 1 month old nutrient tea mix

    Mix 1 cup earthworm castings into 5 gallons of water to make the tea. Add 5 tsp. Black Strap Molasses.
    Use it to water your seedlings with every 2nd or 3rd watering.

    Veg mix-

    1/3 cup Peruvian Seabird Guano (PSG)
    1/3 cup High N Bat Guano (Mexican)
    1/3 cup Earth Worm Castings (EWC)

    (That makes the "dry mix". You can make all you want and save it to use later.)

    Mix with water @ 1 cup of dry mix into 5 gallons of water to make the tea.

    To that 5 gallons of tea add:
    5 tbs. Maxicrop or Neptune's Harvest liquid seaweed.
    5 tsp. Black Strap Molasses

    Use it to water with every 3rd watering.

    Flowering nute tea mix:

    2/3 cup Peruvian Seabird Guano
    2/3 cup Earth Worm Castings
    2/3 cup High P Guano (Indonesian or Jamaican)

    (That makes the "dry mix". You can make all you want and save it to use later.)

    Mix with water @ 2 cups of dry mix into 5 gallons of water to make the tea.

    To that 5 gallons of tea add:
    5 tbs. Maxicrop or Neptune's Harvest liquid seaweed.
    5 tsp. Black Strap Molasses
    Use it to water with EVERY watering.

    You can use queen size knee high nylon stockings for tea bags. 3 pair for a dollar at the dollar store. Tell 'em you use them for paint strainers. Put the recommended tea in the stocking, tie a loop knot in it and hang it in your tea bucket. The tea should look like a mud puddle. Agitate the bag in the water vigorously. An aquarium pump and air stone will dissolve oxygen into the solution and keep the good bacteria (microherd) alive and thriving. Let it bubble a day or two before you use it. If you find you are making too much tea and having to throw it out, use 2 1/2 gallons of water and cut the nute amount by half.


    RECIPE #4
    Three Little Birds Method
    40 gallons used soil
    4 cups alfalfa meal
    4 cups bone meal
    4 cups kelp meal
    4 cups powdered dolomite lime
    30 pound bag of earthworm castings . . .
    That’s the basic recipe . . .
    However we also like to use
    4 cups of Greensand
    4 cups of Rock Phosphate
    4 cups of diatomaceous earth


    RECIPE #5
    Fish and Seaweed (This is sooo easy)
    1 capful is 1 TB or 15 ml.

    For veg growth…
    1 capful 5-1-1 Fish Emulsion
    1 capful Neptune's Harvest 0-0-1 Seaweed or Maxicrop liquid
    1 gallon H2O

    For early flowering…
    1 tbs. Neptune’s Harvest 2-3-1 Fish/Seaweed
    1 gallon H2O

    For mid to late flowering…
    1 tbs. Neptune’s Harvest 2-4-1 Fish
    1 gallon H2O


    And now for some more good tips...

    Seed Germination

    First, you'll need some LC's Mix
    I use Sunleaves Super Starter Plugs. They are pre-moistened. I drop one seed down in the hole. Gently push them to the bottom of the hole. No need to cover the hole.
    I use a 5.5" X 5.5" square Kord pot or any 1 to 3 quart nursery pot and fill it full to the top with the LC's Mix. Don't pack it. Dig out enough soil mix to place one plug into one pot of mix about level with the top of the mix in the pot.
    Set the seed in the plug in the mix in the pot aside in a 75 to 85 degree well lit space until the seedlings sprout.
    Don't water it, sing to it, piss on it or anything else that will kill it with what you may think is kindness.

    Listen up, this is important...
    When the leaves of the seedlings are about one inch above the top of the plug, push the plug down into the LC's mix until the seedling leaves are just below the top of the pot. Now use some fresh LC's Mix and gently pack it around the stem of the seedling all the way up to the first leaves. When finished, the mix should be level across the top just below the bottom of the leaves a millimeter or two. Not all seeds will sprout at the same time so you will have to do this at different times. If you don't push the plugs down and support the stems with mix, they will fall over and die. If the stems continue to stretch you can push the plugs down further into the mix. These little suckers are robust below the surface of the mix. Don't be afraid of pushing them down gently.
    The moisture in the mix should be plenty for several days. Don't let it completely dry out or soak it down with water. Add no nutes to the mix for about two weeks.
    Your seedlings can stay in these pots for 2 to 4 weeks and then can be transplanted into a grow medium rich in organic food like blood/bone/kelp.
    I hope this helps get you started. It's worked for me many hundreds of times.

    Organic pH issues

    I hear a lot of people asking or talking about the pH of their organic soil mix or organic nute solution and how they might correct or adjust it. pH in organics is not an issue like it is in synthetic growing.
    The best place to settle the pH issues in organics is within the grow medium. A "living" medium rich in humates (humus) is the place to start. Humates and bacteria work to "buffer" the pH of organic mediums and the nutes you pour (or mix) into it.
    Humates come from compost, worm castings and bottled humus. If you use a peat based medum, use dolomite lime to raise the pH of the acidic peat. Dolomite should be used in any soil or soiless medium to provide magnesium and calcium. But since we are talking about pH here, I'll mention dolomite lime's pH correction benefits.
    A medium of coir has a pH near neutral (or 7.0). But humates are still neded to allow uptake of organic nutrients that are outside a near neutral pH range.
    With an active medium rich in humates you can pour in nutes like fish, Earth Juice and guano teas way outside the optimum pH range without worry. The humus and bacteria will allow the nutes to be taken up through the roots, even at such an extreme pH reading.
    So throw those pH meters away folks and enjoy the ease and safety of organic gardening.

    Chlorine tap water

    Just a word of caution for you organic heads out there...
    If you are tapped onto a municipal water supply that uses chlorine to kill bacteria in the water, it'll do the same thing to the bacteria (microherd) in your organic food source.
    Always bubble your municipal water in an open container (5 gallon bucket) for 24 hours before adding ANYTHING organic to it.

    Flushing

    There is absolutely no reason to "flush" organic nute solutions from your soil mix. In an organic grow, the plants don't take up the organic nutes (guano, bone, blood or kelp). The bacteria eat the organic nutes and excrete food that the plant can feed off of. So the organic nutes don't need to be flushed because they never enter the plant. And besides, meals like kelp, bone and blood along with worm castings and dolomite can't be flushed from your soil mix anyway. If you use guano and seaweed, try using plain water or worm casting tea for your last watering or two so the plant can use up what's left in the soil. But drowning your soil with water isn't necessary.

    Burn1
    Last edited by BurnOne; 11-17-2014, 15:06. Reason: edit
    It's 4:20 somewhere. Time to Burn1.

    Bullshit! There's no need to flush organics. -Bongaloid

    pH meter? We don't need no stinking pH meter!



    #2
    Very helpful, thanks.

    Comment


      #3
      BurnOne,

      Do you think the tea recipes you listed could be used in a bio-bucket system? I would like to try organics in hydro, and the bio buckets already have a microherd of beneficial bacteria. Just wanna make sure I don't fry my girls. Is that even possible with organics?

      Bake
      sigpic

      "When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
      Nelson Mandela

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the info BurnOne! A good variety of mixes offered, lots to chew on.

        Would this be a good thread to post a bit more info on what the different parts of a mix supply and alternates? I see a lot of that is in here, though it's scattered around. What I'm kinda thinking of is a 'build your own mix' guide. IE: Base soil, what to look for/options. Ferts to add, IE: Blood/bone/kelp meal and why you add each one in those amounts. Even if it's just something of a vague/basic description.

        Since this forum is international and various store bought/manufactured amendments may not be availible, some good basic info on substitutes would be handy to have for a beginner.

        I'd try and post up the info myself, but I really don't know anywhere near enough.
        Originally posted by Grat3fulh3ad
        Organics - "The Rube Goldberg Machine of indoor gardening."™

        Comment


          #5
          Burn One

          Hello Peeps,

          Well I've been waiting to see this thread for some time now and finally my friend and mentor B1 has made it possible, for those who don't know he was Edit:Mentor:Edit at OG and has kept it going on this forum ever since it went down.
          He has helped countless beginners successful with their attemps at organics and has been the foundation for much of what I have learned and sought to learn throughout the years, after seing this mixes pop up in MANY threads it will be nice for them to have a permanent home at the top so to speak.

          Let the games begin.

          Suby
          Last edited by Suby; 03-23-2007, 01:35.
          Organic Fanatic Collective
          Suby's Kitchen
          The "Beer" Fridge
          ~Pimp Your Organic Fertilizer~

          Comment


            #6
            Bake_McBride-
            I don't know about bio-buckets. I've only used soiless based mediums. I think there is an organic hydro forum here. You may want to post your question there. Or better yet, try it out for yourself.

            Pimpslapped-
            The recipes and mixes I posted are a starting point for beginners. Seems everyone including myself ventures off the beaten path. All plants/strains are different. You may need to add more of one nute here and reduce another there. But when all goes wrong, you'll have a base to come back to. Thats what makes organics fun for me.
            The main thing your looking for in organic food sources is N-P-K (Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium). The ratios of the numbers should be 3-1-2 for veg and 1-3-2 for flower. What you use doesn't matter much. For Nitrogen you could use alfalfa meal, dried blood or Mexican bat guano. For Phosphorous try bone meal, Jamacian bat guano or Neptune's Harvest fish. And for Potassium it's kelp meal, seaweed or Earth Juice Meta-K. And there are others.
            For a soiless grow medium you should use a mix high in humic acids (humus) to buffer pH. Worm castings, bottled humic acids and compost are a few sources. Perlite is important for drainage. Water on the roots is bad. Sativas like a lot of drainage, Indicas like less. Peat and coir are two very popular mixes.
            So, you see it's up to you how you supply the plants needs. Enjoy yourself.

            Suby-
            Thanks for the flowers. I never made it to Mod over at OG. Just a lowly Mentor. But I get my kicks out of helping people learn about organic farming. I learned everything I know from Lavender Cowboy and Bongaloid. And oh yeah, some Birds along the way. Three of them. Ever heard of The Three Little Birds?

            Everyone take care and be safe. And if I can help, just call.

            Burn1
            It's 4:20 somewhere. Time to Burn1.

            Bullshit! There's no need to flush organics. -Bongaloid

            pH meter? We don't need no stinking pH meter!


            Comment


              #7
              I'd not commit to stating that humics buffer a medium's pH. Theres too many publications that cite it may buffer a mediums pH. By the time humics could actually buffer a mediums pH, the medium would have too much calcium or magnesium that will lock out other cations. Most notably, potassium.
              Also, humics are benificial for that they chelate a minerals ions. That is, the ions of those minerals binds to the humics where roots coming into contact with the humics finds a steady supply of a mineral.
              Organics or not, throwing away a pH reader is madness! Ph is gOD to plants!
              Maybe later I'll get into why lime applications are best used in outdoor containerless grows. Container growers can do much better than tossing limes into their soil. I mean really...who the heck wants a substance in the soil that takes the medium's pH to 7.0 and beyond? If growing by the plants life cycle and appropriate pH for a stage's growth...'sweetening' the soil during vegetative growth is counterproductive!

              Good blends though here Burn! Number 3 could even be a last ditch resort if you ever go mad with hunger!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by BurnOne
                Bake_McBride-
                I don't know about bio-buckets. I've only used soiless based mediums. I think there is an organic hydro forum here. You may want to post your question there. Or better yet, try it out for yourself.
                Burn1
                Burn1,
                I have been checking out the organic hydro forum, but you're right, the only way to figure this out is thru trial and error.

                Bake
                sigpic

                "When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
                Nelson Mandela

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by BurnOne

                  Pimpslapped-
                  The recipes and mixes I posted are a starting point for beginners. Seems everyone including myself ventures off the beaten path. All plants/strains are different. You may need to add more of one nute here and reduce another there. But when all goes wrong, you'll have a base to come back to. Thats what makes organics fun for me.
                  The main thing your looking for in organic food sources is N-P-K (Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium). The ratios of the numbers should be 3-1-2 for veg and 1-3-2 for flower. What you use doesn't matter much. For Nitrogen you could use alfalfa meal, dried blood or Mexican bat guano. For Phosphorous try bone meal, Jamacian bat guano or Neptune's Harvest fish. And for Potassium it's kelp meal, seaweed or Earth Juice Meta-K. And there are others.
                  For a soiless grow medium you should use a mix high in humic acids (humus) to buffer pH. Worm castings, bottled humic acids and compost are a few sources. Perlite is important for drainage. Water on the roots is bad. Sativas like a lot of drainage, Indicas like less. Peat and coir are two very popular mixes.
                  So, you see it's up to you how you supply the plants needs. Enjoy yourself.


                  Everyone take care and be safe. And if I can help, just call.

                  Burn1
                  I'm starting to get a handle on the basics. Still in the early days of my first grow, had some problems and got past those so far. Plants have suffered a bit, but they seem to be good at bouncing back from my noob mistakes (Just using random bagseed, not playing with anything expensive 'till I work the basics out).

                  3 - 1 - 2/veg, 1 - 3 - 2/flower. Now that's a piece of info that's handy to have. I take it you mean those numbers proportionally? IE: 12 - 4 - 8/veg, 6 - 18 - 12/flower? I'm sure that will vary a bit by strain, environmental conditions, etc. But having that baseline number to work with helps out a lot.

                  I can mimic peoples recipes, but have been afraid to try and come up with my own because I feel I lack a good basic understanding of the fundamentals that many more experienced growers just take for granted.

                  A question for you, Burn, or to anyone else that has an answer. What is a good way to figure out how MUCH of amendment X to add? Just follow label directions? I look at a fert, or even something like Molasses and the numbers for various nutes but I don't even have a clue as to how to figure what proportions would be good.

                  Using your example of dried blood to add N to the mix, say I collected and dried blood myself in order to make my own fert. If it's like Blood Meal, I can guess that a good ratio may be around 1 - 2TBS/gal when mixed with soil, but I don't know why. Does this make sense? I'm not sure if I'm explaining things properly.

                  Thanks for taking the time to read this, I tend to get a bit long winded so my apologies for that.
                  Originally posted by Grat3fulh3ad
                  Organics - "The Rube Goldberg Machine of indoor gardening."™

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Pimpslapped-
                    Dried blood and blood meal are the same thing. The first place to start is your grow medium. IMO it's the MOST important part of your grow.
                    If I were you, I'd pick one of the recipes that I posted that is the easiest for you to get. Start there and like you said, each plant will need it's own type of feeding. You can play around with that after you get a few grows behind you. But I guarantee you this, use one of those recipes exactly as directed and you'll grow some amazing plants the FIRST time.
                    Let us know how you do.
                    Burn1
                    It's 4:20 somewhere. Time to Burn1.

                    Bullshit! There's no need to flush organics. -Bongaloid

                    pH meter? We don't need no stinking pH meter!


                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hey burn.. in ur one recipe you say:

                      1tbsp blood
                      2tbsp bone
                      1tbsp kelp
                      1tbsp greensand

                      Now im curious as to why there is so much bonemeal in there?
                      I'm plannin to make a veg mix to put freshly rooted clones into..

                      Do you think this would work better for them?

                      1tbsp blood
                      1tbsp bone
                      2tbsp kelp
                      1tsp crushed rock powder

                      Thanks man.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Skunkface-
                        If you want to veg only in that mix, I guess it would be okay. I've never used powdered rock phosphates. But if you plan on flowering your clones in a week or two after planting, then you'll need the phosphorous from the bone meal. And that is the recommended dose.
                        Here's how I do mine. I'm not much of an up pot guy. I start my seeds in Rapid Rooter plugs. Each one pushed into a single five inch square nursery pot full of one of those soiless mixes I posted. I make my mix of blood/bone/kelp at the same time. When the seeds sprout and get about an inch or two high, I push the Rapid Rooter plugs down deeper into the soil mix. Then I push the mix up around the stem of the plant up to the first leaf set. This keeps the seedlings from falling over. There they will stay under 24 hour light until the nute filled soil mix is ready (about two weeks). I put the mix into three or five gallon pots and up pot into them. That's it. Now just water with worm casting tea and molasses until harvest. I don't like to veg very long (if at all). With clones, I go to 12/12 as soon as they root.
                        Hope that helped.
                        Burn1
                        Last edited by BurnOne; 03-26-2007, 23:21.
                        It's 4:20 somewhere. Time to Burn1.

                        Bullshit! There's no need to flush organics. -Bongaloid

                        pH meter? We don't need no stinking pH meter!


                        Comment


                          #13
                          has anyone uesed power flower soil and if so did the nuts in the soil go the whole flowering period?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            oh yeah.. is there any way or organic method to increas yeilds? i know molasses adds weight to the plant but is that the same consepte as using
                            sum of the non organic chems out there? like koolbloom , or big bud ect..

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thanks burnone.. im an outdoor grower.. and i'll be putting the clones into 5gallon containers full of the veg mix, where the plants grow for about 2 months. After that they are transplanted into 10-20 gal containers full of flowering soilmix. (high P guano / kelp)

                              the crushed rock i spoke about is just a trace mineral source.. cuz i cant get greensand.

                              Comment

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