Growing Cannabis/ Hemp Plants Indoors
When growing cannabis plants indoors quality is always of the up most importance. Many organic growers have some of the best flower on the market however they have some of the lowest yields. This should not be the case. With organic teas and organic soil supplements you can rival even the best growers in Mendocino and Humboldt who grow with synthetic nutrients.
Like myself many organic growers pride themselves in their ability to build high quality cost efficient soils out of Compost, Peat, and an Aeration Substrate. The problem with this is that while we know what makes a perfect soil sometimes it’s a little bit more physically grueling and physically challenging to mix 100, 500, or 5000 gallons. The problem is we don’t have large mixing machines with preset ratios backed up by lab analysis. Many growers who pre-mix their own soil are hoping and planning for the best. Originally when I started mixing my own soil I thought I could save time and money while increasing yields. I found that it takes a lot of years of practice, quality control and large machine to mix balance uniformed soil.
The main problem is with compost. There is so many different types of compost some were made from decompose dead plant material while others are from animal waste by products. Cow manure can have a high sodium content with ultra high ppm levels while plant compost can be the exact opposite.
Bellow is a photo thats showing a plant with sodium toxicity due to a fellow grower building his soil with cow manure.
THE SOLUTION: Buying the cheapest or most affordable pre- mixed soil in bulk is the best option. It is fair to say that you will have to shop around between your farm supply store your Indoor Garden Supply and a local soil company to find what works for your budget. Pre-mix oils will have the correct PH, the correct amount of aeration substrates, and a small amount of nutrients to start growing plants. Many of these companies do not fully fortify their soil because the sell nutrients that will go hand in hand with their soil program.
When buying soil: It is best to use your leverage with horticultural supply, or soil companies with your commercial hemp license. Many of these companies will give discounts for commercial growers. I have found some of the cheapest soil around has been Roots Organic Soil or Happy Frog sold in 3.5 Cubic foot bags. When looking for a soil make sure it is organically produced generally OMRI certified. I also tend to lean towards a physically lighter/ more aerated soil As the roots can grow faster.
Fortying Soil: Biolive from Down To Earth Organics is one one most effective granular soil supplement and one of the most effective and complete nutrients on the world stage. When fortifying the soil the sky is the limit. Many other soil amendments are very beneficial when use alongside Biolive. A few of my favorites are insect Frass, a few of my favorites are Gypsum, Insect frass, Kashi Blend from Growing Organic , and earthworm castings. When mixing remixing and or supplementing soil you can add 1-1.5 cups per 5 gallons of Each supplement Biolive, Gypsum, Kashi, Insect Frass, and Earth Worm Casting. Two of the most important amendments of this feeding schedule are Biolive and Gypsum. Many subsoils and rock layers contain high amounts of gypsum and calcium.
Columns: installing Plant spikes is not a new concept. Many growers such as The Rev who wrote True Living Organics Use columns to continuously supplement their plants with with nutrients with out having to continuously fertilize. With my column technique I pour 1 cup of biolive on each side of the pot. To do this you can use pvc pie and a funnel or simply separate the dirt from the side of the pot on pour in the granular nutrients. After you are finished you should have two columns. Many people are hesitant to use this column technique however the flower that is produced by this technique is unbelievable. The ash smokes clean and white and there’s no residual flavors of any fertilizers whatsoever. I am a purist and I always have lost my weed ever since the first time I have grown. However with this technique you do not need to flush whatsoever because there’s no nutrients that are building up on the outside of your roots.
Calcium: Calcium is essential for plant health as well as nutrient uptake for the plant. Calcium has a 65% to 80% electrical conductivity weight by volume. The higher the EC level of the soil the more effective your soil is at transferring nutrients to your plant. A new theory that I’ve been testing is that adding one cup of gypsum for every 5 gallons of soil will elminate most peat pressure from soil born peat such as thrips and Fungus gnat. While this is a new theory and I will share my results soon it seems highly probable because gypsum is calcium sulfate or CaSO4
Choosing Pots: When choosing a pot type it is all preference, I have seen larger yields with bigger pots. My preference is 10 gallon fabric pots. Fabric pots will increase aeration and drainage within your soil; it is very hard to over water fabric pots but not impossible. Due the drainage and aeration fabric pots are ideal for beginner and expert growers a like.
Reverse Osmosis Filter: A reverse osmosis filter can alleviate many problems before they start.Reverse osmosis filter uses osmosis to filter water. So the water filter works off water pressure alone. Generally reverse osmosis systems come with a hose hook up that 1/2 inch. Many growers are home growers even if you have a farm yourself. You can convert any sink and do a half inch hose connection. Many times a hardware store will have most of the pieces. Just remember if you’re on the fence about buying a reverse osmosis filter you should definitely buy one. There are a lot of poisons additives they put into city water. Dirty water can slow down in growth, I have experienced with my own hydroponic systems Dirty water can reduce yields by 2/3rds, The best reverse osmosis filter on the market right now is the Hydro logic 1200 gpd. This is the Cadillac of water filters. You can run it into a reservoir tank with float valve. When the res tank fills completely, the float valve shut off RO filter will automatically. This is extremely beneficial because many RO system will stay on after the float valve is shut.