Originally Posted by repuk
This is going to be my first outdoor, organic grow, zero experience growing outdoors, my latest attempt with some autos I got gifted was a disaster... one died, another ended up the size of a lollipop, and the third yielded about 6 grams...
Learning as much as I can as I'm growing fruit trees and a vegetable garden too.
All and any advice is welcome!
I thought on putting them straight in the dirt, but then thought of the convenience of using big pots: if the need arises to be able to move the plants. Thinking on getting 40L baskets (espuertas)
to use as definitive pots. Should them be bigger?
The soil clay content is rather high, as I'm really close to a river.
It is really rich soil, full of nutes (this soil has been worked on organically on recent years) as I had to deal with impressive tall nettles, carpeted full of yellow oxalis (clovers) flowers. Tons of Zantedeschia aethiopica growing wild too.
I thought on ammending the soil in the final pots with a high peat content, light soil, 50/50 to ease drainage. Maybe a thin layer of compost as dressing on the top on the final pots?
From what I've read at ACE's descriptions, looks like no additional fertilization will be needed?
I guess is the right time to start the (regular) seeds indoors, how should I harden them once I bring them outdoors (thinking that would be by the end of May)? Leaving them at the shadow several days?
I usually repot and use dry/wet cycles in coco.
I thought on starting them in coco (easier for me indoors), then move to soil when bringing them outdoors. Or should I sow in soil from the beggining?
Congrats on choosing some solid Ace genetics to grow outdoors! I'm definitely tagging along for the show.
If you're going with pots outdoors I'm of the opinion that bigger is better. These plants are going to get massive and they're going to have a nice large root system that's going to search out and discover every inch of that pot. Is doing a raised bed or large fabric "smart pot" an option for you? Dubi has talked about the potential for Lebanese to auto flower if it doesn't have enough root space so you'll want to keep that in mind. The Honduras and Ethiopian will both produce monsters outdoors.
I'll let others more experienced with soil comment on the mixture. I don't know much about amending soil, but a good rich soil is excellent for these plants. You should need very little fertilizer throughout the entire grow should your soil provide a sufficient amount of nutrients for them. I don't know about top dressing the soil with compost but perhaps you could mix it in while you're amending what you've got. I'm a coco grower primarily so I would rather just admit I don't have a ton of experience with soil rather than give potentially poor advice.
Hardening off your plants is pretty easy. You could either offer them limited exposure (put them out for a few hours, bring them in), or put them outside on a patio or somewhere where they will not be getting strong direct sunlight for the entire day. I usually like to leave my outdoor plants under my covered patio where they can get indirect sunlight for most of the day then I move them under direct sunlight for a few hours at a time and gradually increase the amount of direct sunlight they're receiving.
As far as transplanting goes I would imagine it would be less stressful to go from soil into soil. With coco (as you're aware) you're looking at adjustments of PH, different water requirements, etc. I haven't tried transplanting from coco into soil but I imagine it could potentially cause stress. If you have the ability to start in soil then move them into soil I'd say that's going to be your best bet.
Best of luck this season!