thanks for the feedback already!
I will get some pics in asap.
Let me start with Mikell:
Hey man, thanks for stopping by
I was also surprised with the N-deficiency because I had thought coot's mix is rather high with it and it was the last deficiency I expected (especially with the plants looking so lush in the first round of veg, might have been the mycos as well though). Which is also why I thought I was having Magnesium deficiency for the longest time.
But the final hint that convinced me was someone mentioning that buckwheat hulls (which I use in place of perlite) are known to leech N from the soil mix. Sounded plausible to me (although never heard that before) and I gave the EWC topdress a go and voila, no more deficiency, plants looked nice.
Regarding the worms not liking the rich mix: Any suggestion how to tackle this? Stretch the soil with more peatmoss and perlite/buckwheat hulls?
@Soul and Mikell both re watering/soil too wet:
I hear you and I think especially in my first two rounds, I did overwater at least sometimes. Usually I rather underwatered, found the plants droopy and sad and then overwatered to "compensate".
I learned from those mistakes and have since kept it on the dry side and would say I water rather conservatively, letting it dry out and rather err on the "too little" than "too much" side of watering.
It also helps that I run fabric pots, I think?
The way I water now is usually every 2nd or third day the latest in the 5 gallon fabric pots, depending on how the plants look and how the soil feels. I water until I see some runoff and then go to the next pot. When I am done watering, I have a very thin film of water covering most of the floor (I made a sort of basin out of pool liner).
This water film evaporates within an hour or two. I think watering-wise I should be on the right track but will monitor more closely again and not discount your feedback.
To reiterate: I don't really have big problems. The plants look fine and the product is good. The yield is way too low for what I would expect and the potency I feel could be better but I am quite certain that has mostly to do with slightly early harvest this time.
And I started out very basic, I have only ever brewed 1 microbial tea and watered it in, during last round.
I think the plants liked it so I want to try it again this round but in essence I just started with coot's mix and water. Then overdid it, as you said, with adding BioCanna Rhizo and Boost and some other things here and there and paid the price.
Went back to basics, reset everything and stuck to soil mix, water, light, as you said. The cover crop and EWC topdress were both to tackle the N-deficiency and they worked and didn't impact the plants negatively, I can't imagine. The worms were just a test since I needed EWC, I ordered some extra worms with it and threw them in. The fact that they all ran just worries me is all. To me that sounds like something is not quite right with my soil mix..
Tested the microbial tea in mid-flower and didn't see adverse effects, maybe positive ones, not yet conclusive.
Otherwise I think it is quite basic.
Now let's get to Easy7's feedback:
I think you may have nailed the nail on the head man.
Completely forgot about this factor.
This is probably the most unconventional thing in my garden. The fact that I run so many plants at once in organic soil and rather small pots!
The reason behind this is that I am pheno hunting but I remember several people commenting that I am shooting for way more plants than they would run in organic soil and everyone and their mother was commenting that I should reduce number of plants and grow in much bigger containers, both for veg and flower.
I didn't listen and decided against it. Not because I was stubborn or anything but because I decided that yield is not what I am after, especially not at the moment. But pheno hunting is what I am doing and that requires as many plants as possible be run.
But then I shouldn't be complaining about yields, should I?
I just forgot I made that decision consciously and you reminded me, thanks! (my reasoning back then btw was that "what use is it to pheno hunt in hydro, when I won't get the true terpene profiles of those plants due to all the chemical nutes etc.?")
I believe if I grew the same way as now but just vegged the plants in 3 or 5 gallon pots for 2 months to let them get really nice big and bushy and then transplant to say 20 gallon smart pots for flower, I would probably hit more sensible yields with 4 or 8 plants or something.
It should also be noted that going against the advice of many, the 5 gallon pots in flower are shoulder to shoulder. Way too close to each other to really bush out and stuff. Which would also explain why I had half the yield of this round with 1/3rd of the plants in the first round. They just had more space to branch out and develop as the 7 plants in my first round occupied the same space as 14 plants in my last.
I think I might have a solution to my predicament and would like to hear anyone's opinion on it:
What if I combine Hydro and organic soil for my purposes?
Could I run for example a flood&drain hydro setup in my veg chamber and transplant these plants from coco straight into organic soil? Will the plants be alright with that? Anyone any experience with it?
The idea behind that would be that I just switch my flower room to house maybe 8 instead of 24 plants and just put those 8 into really large (maybe 20 gallon or sth) containers.
When it comes to pheno hunting, I could just turn my smaller flowering chamber into the veg chamber for a round and run a large number of plants (20-30) in the hydro setup which I turn into a flowering chamber.
Flower those plants out in hydro and at the end of the round turn the hydro chamber back into the veg chamber, select the most worthy keepers from the hydro round and run them again as 8 plants in 20 gallon smart pots in organic soil under CMH to make my final selection and hit better yields overall at the same time.
I think that would be best for my situation/goals. The only question would be if plants grown hydroponically in coco during veg, would accept being transplanted and flowered out in an organic soil mix...
If that is possible, that would also circumvent the whole "slow veging" thing in organic soil that seems particularly problematic when I veg in 1 gallon pots...
I would veg in 3 gallon pots but if I transplant those to 5 gallon smart pots, I basically swap out all the soil every transplant which isn't the point of organic soil...
All thoughts welcome!
Will post pics asap, I also need to post the Karma gear in veg anyway to show some appreciation for him fixing the f*up from the tude.