Hey guys I figured I'd ask for help here since I'm really struggling with this and it doesn't seem like there's a lot of other organic growing corners this active.
I made a soil mix a while back, grew a cycle of plants in it, and recycled it, and it's been growing well. Not fantastic, a little issue with burned tips, but it's still not too bad. I had it analyzed, and it has a ph of 7.2 and pretty high levels of everything, I've been told to ratios are all good, etc. I'll try to find my analaysis report of that if someone wants to see it, but basically it had been working great as a water only soil, and it was about 20% ewc (worm gold plus with kelp meal), 30% Sunshine Mix #4, 50% perlite with Down to Earth Bio-Live, Neem Seed Meal and Azomite in it.
So anyway I've got 5 plants going with that recycled mix right now and they're very happy in it, but in the middle of potting I ran out of it, and so all I had to mix with was some other stuff I had mixed up originally that was much, much too hot for clones or anything else. It was basically 18 gallons of 1:1:1 perlite:peat:ewc, with 8 cups ( yeah I know ) Bio-Live and a good honking amount of neem seed meal too. I actually used this in the mix I ended up with, but I cut it with that 20%,30%,50% mixture that had no amendments mixed into it, at a rate of about 1 gallon to 4 gallons. So I basically cut the amendment strength own by a factor of 4.
Going by that line of thinking, I decided to mix my original super-rich mix up 1:4 with just Suneshine Mix #4, figuring it's pH stabilized and mostly just peatmoss and perlite so it shoud work out the same. However, I think I really screwed up without adding more EWC, or at least that's one of my guesses because I thought it was pH lockout from not pH adjusting my water. So far with the good mix I had, I have just been adding water, and not worrying about it, so I figured without the EWC I must not have a strong microherd and it just wasn't pHing and it was all lockout.
Well, I brewed up some teas with EarthJuice, not particularly strong, but when I fed this to the plants ( properly pH adjusted ) they seemed to get worse, as if there was more of a toxicity going on. So my second guess is that I didn't actually dilute my super-rich mix down as much as I thought I had, and thinking back, I do remember only adding 3 gallons of Sm4 to every 1 of the hot mix.
Anyway, nevermind how I got here, where I'm at now is looking very ugly. I'm attaching some shots of my plants in my good water-only soil mix, and ones in the bad mix, and you can see what I mean. The ones in the good mix are under a T5 and nice and green with nice developing flowers, the ones under the net are under my CMH, and I just flipped them about a week ago when it became obvious they weren't going to get better before they grew out of my tent.
Is there anything I can really do at this point to try to help the soil along? Thinking just aerated compost tea, but if it's an over-fertilization issue, I don't know that it will make a difference and maybe even just make it worse by making more nutrients available? Some people have suggested flushing with pH adjusted water and then using bottles, so it would basically be like converting to soilless, but would that evenwork? So far EarthJuice has only made it worse, and I've heard flushing doesn't work to remove organic nutrients.