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Old 07-27-2018, 10:49 PM #1
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new to using happy frog a couple questions.

Is this stuff always so "airy" I guess? I'm having troubles watering it the way I was watering my other soil mix. It doesn't seem to suck the water up the way my soil was. It pools on top of the surface then it gets sucked into the top layer, but a half inch or so under the surface is still dry as it was without watering. If I keep watering it just seems to drip out the bottoms somehow, I can feel the pot isn't water logged, it feels quite light compared to the same size pot with my old soil blend. My best luck using it so far has been in a fabric pot that would suck the water back up from the bottom, but these hard pots don't do that. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:16 PM #2
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It sounds like the soil has become hydrophobic (repelling water on surface instead of drinking) and the water that is making it past the surface is channeling the path of least resistance out the bottom. This can happen by letting the soil dry out too much.

this is a good example:


Adding a surfactant (wetting agent like when foliar spraying such as yucca extract or dish soap) to your water will help it penetrate the soil beneath the surface. Water a little slowly and wait for the soil to absorb it and repeat (a nozzle that spreads the water like rain works great for this) after a few times it will start to drink normal again. Adding a layer of mulch will help loosen the crusting top layer of soil and prevent from reoccurring.

Last season my outdoor plant's top layer of soil crusted on me from top dressing dry fertilizer pellets all season, id just break the top inch or 2 of crust up with my fingers before watering.

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Old 07-27-2018, 11:26 PM #3
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Alright thanks for all the info Ibechillin! I will source some yucca extract or use some dish soap if I can find some unscented. Once they are transplanted up to their larger pots they will get a layer of lava rocks too.
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:47 PM #4
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Good afternoon pothead.

I use happy frog, sometimes mixed with ocean forest and my soul often becomes hydrophobic like that. The technique I use is kind of a 3 step system of watering. In my pots they get about 3 quarts of water total each watering, about every three days. I slowly put one quart in each pot, then another quart and finally the last quart, giving them a few minutes between quarts while I do the other pots. I find that if I go very slowly on the first quart I can usually put the second and third in more quickly without getting premature runoff and wasting water and nutes. Hope this helps. Happy gardening...Fiddy.
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:55 PM #5
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Thank you Fiddy that reassures me that it's not just my batch gone bad, but is inherent in the soil mix. I'll probably try to go back to smaller, multiple, daily waterings. I have been slacking the last few months and just watering a bunch once a day. Love your indoor thread btw. Gonna hit ya'll up with rep once it resets.
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Old 07-28-2018, 12:45 AM #6
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Sometimes it helps to spray the surface of the soil a little and wait a minute or two.
By then the surface tension isn't as bad and the water goes down easier.

Maybe next time, mix 2 different soil types together.
Like a light soil and heavy soil to get a medium weight mix.
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Old 07-28-2018, 01:58 AM #7
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Peat is hard to "wet" when completely dry. Several watering in a row will alleviate this but... the trenches crated earlier will still transport the majority of the water. IWO it takes time (read more than one water session) What you can do is two things: submerge the entire pot until the bubbles stop; or bottom water the pot. This only needs to be done once, unless you let your pots go bone dry.
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Old 07-28-2018, 04:38 AM #8
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Be careful top watering mixes with a lot of perlite as it will float easily. Watering can or submerge them although that can get pretty heavy/tiresome.
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:45 PM #9
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Thanks for all the replies guys! Has anybody mixed Happy Frog straight with coco coir? I can easily source that. Maybe a 1:3 ratio of the coir:frog?
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Old 07-28-2018, 11:55 PM #10
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I have been using Happy Frog for years. The soil was never hydrobolic until recent years. Within the last year or two, it has become quite a problem with HF...especially in the winter. It’s a pain in the ass for sure. I wish they would go back to doing whatever the hell they were doing before!

Gonna try some yucca extract and hope that helps. Really hope it works because in the winter, it’s so bad that it really effects the smaller freshly rooted cuts. I’ve actually lost cuts that have rooted in the aerocloner when I transplanted them to solo cups of hydrobolic HF. I do a perpetual so it really messes up my timing.
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