Bud Wise is a series I have been doing for a long time here at SKUNK Magazine. I want to carry on the tradition by bringing back Bud Wise. This Bud Wise is from a decade ago—blast from the past—and I added a bunch of kickass photos of some SERIOUSLY exotic cannabis that I grow and love. “The more things change, the more they stay the same”—Snake Pliskin. Good info in any decade.
In the second question, Albert is wrestling with pH stuff. My position these days, simply stated is, don’t ever attempt to adjust your pH using liquids or crystals, if you really love your living soil. Sometimes you need to tweak your pH a little for things like super exotic landrace/heirloom sativas, or indicas. This is best accomplished by altering the soil mix beforehand, or subtly tweaking your water. Let’s check it out, and Happy November 2019!
QUESTION: Derek Leeson
“Hey Rev….Deeker here, just loving the magazine and your crosses….my question has to do with “auto’s”…what is the difference between auto, light sensitive, and 12/12 strains?
I have a particular plant that I can mother and clone but HPS lighting or anything under 18 hrs. and she will flower (blue spectrum light keeps her vegging easier). When she goes Outdoors near the end of May here (44′ north) she will only veg for a couple of weeks. And when June 22 comes and the start of the summer solstice, she stops vegging and fully flowers and finishes Aug 15 each year. I think of her as light sensitive, any thoughts???
Howdy Deek. An auto in my way of thinking, is time/maturity triggered, not light/dark cycle triggered into flowering. Once it is about 55 days old from seed it will start to flower no matter what, even under a halide 24/0 light-cycle. As far as the one you have that starts early outdoors and finishes early outdoors, which is likely the results of where this plant came from geographically; or her parents. Plants like the Durban Poison from South Africa will flower just like your example, in the northern hemisphere. So one of the huge reasons the more northern (northern hemisphere) growers especially love these kinds of genetics.
In Durban, South Africa, at about 30 deg. South latitude, the seasonal daylight lengths have caused plants like the Durban Poison to be able to fully flower under as little as 9 or 10 hours of darkness. For sure, spectrum matters too, as do things like available P and moisture levels of your container, and size of container. A big female in a small container that is allowed to get too dry will often times try and flower, and sometimes go hermaphroditic from stress. Thanks for the kind words Deek; I hope this helps you out.J
QUESTION: Albert Cantu
“I am having trouble controlling the pH of my soil mix. I’ve been using a single probe meter, the $30.00 variety, as oil testing pH meter. I’ve been using lemon juice and vinegar to drive the pH down. It works for only a short amount of time though right after the treated water is applied. Then the meter reads high again. Is this the way the pH is supposed to work? I’ve been thinking about buying a better soil pH meter and pH chemicals, but what if I get the same results?
My soil mix is just Fox Farm soil and fertilizer, Myco fungi, nematodes and some perlite. Can you suggest some kind of organic additive to keep the pH down and stable? Can you also suggest a good soil pH meter to try out? Something tells me my meter isn’t working right because I mixed some coffee grounds and soil in a separate container and the meter hardly responded. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thank you much.”
Well hello there, and right off the bat I want to tell you it would be quite odd if your problems were your pH actually being too high in that soil-mix you have going. This could be the case I suppose if you had added hydrated lime, or any non-Dolomite lime, too much bone meal, too much powdered oyster shells, or wood ashes; or your water source is really super high in calcium (hard water) like some tap, well, and spring water can be sometimes. Softened water could also be responsible; and softened water is super bad to use on plants, so make sure that’s NOT the case.
Mixing some coffee grounds or cottonseed meal into your soil-mix will indeed bring down the pH, but it takes a couple of weeks to start working; some peat moss will also accomplish this. I think most of the $30.00 soil pH meters I have seen were close enough for rock and roll, and I have one now by Rapid Test that works well, and is accurate to 0.5 pH point; that was about $25.00. But my hard-core soil pH meter was more like $60.00, and it’s one of those 12” single probe types.
Take a few readings (from a few places) every time you test, and for the first reading make sure and let the meter sit in the soil-mix for about 4 or 5 minutes before you read it. If you do need to take your water pH down, you can get this very powerful All-Natural pH down (crystals) by Earth Juice (citric acid crystals). You can also add harder well water to bring pH up, along with PPM up. Cleaning your soil testing meter correctly is also vital to accurate readings, so make sure and follow the instructions that came with your meter regarding that.
QUESTION: Jeff Pasadena
“Rev, digging the magazine, and been following and using your techniques now for quite a while. One question for you. In main TLO mixes, you have stated you use diced banana peels (which we do) and to always use them dry. In our recycled soil mix (18 gallon) totes, we add finely shredded and diced veggies and etc. to the mix to compost down along with red worms breaking them down as well.
The TLO we are using now is at least 6 months “cooked” and virtually trouble free. Every variety we run now does very well – the flavors and aromas are outstanding, and the potency is extreme! Just wondering why, we wouldn’t want to utilize “wet” banana peels, I guess. We mix the “recycled” mix with new cooked: mix at a 50% mix with virtually nothing added but a tea every once in a while, and mayhap some bat guano at week 3-4 during flowering cycles. Many thanks to you for sharing your passions with us in this great hobby.
Peace, Bract Doctor”
Outstanding sounding TLO (True Living Organics) dynamic you have going on there, Bract Doctor. As long as you are employing the “cooking” technique you can add all the wet peels you want to, pretty much. And adding them in wet is even better than dry, using this method. If worms are involved, just don’t make things too wet.
The thing about using wet organic matter or dry is really your call. You just don’t want to mix wet banana peels into a soil mix, with living plant roots present, unless they have been composted (or “cooked” TLO fast composted). Otherwise pH issues can arise, insect infestations can occur, and in the case of something like banana peels, they can even ferment sometimes as they decompose; and, NOTHING about that is good for your plant roots.
Cooking (fast composting) your soil mix is a wonderful way to let it reach equilibrium regarding the pH and the microbeasties, and is about as easy as it gets. When making your soil mix use high amounts of organic matter, like cannabis plant leftovers, stems, roots and all. I use alfalfa, kelp, guanos and manures, with some good minerals like greensand and dolomite lime; plenty of nitrogen too. Water it a bit (not soaking wet) and let it sit (“cook”) for a couple of weeks or so in the open unsealed – and even mix it up a few times along the way if you want – and you will end up with a beautiful aged soil mix.
The best and easiest way to recycle soil or make compost is by using a compost tumbler. I love these things and I have a 7.5 cubic foot capacity one I am always using 24/7. The time it takes your soil to cook may be longer, like 30-40 days long if it is cooler, like 60’s and low 70’s. Times can be greatly shortened—in half—by using a compost tumbler placed in the sunlight, or basically in warmer temps, like upper 70’s on up. A big tarp also works well to fast compost a soil mix for recycling, or for straight composting. Cheers everyone.
- REvski 😊
I'm The Rev, and I have been with SKUNK for about a decade now. I hail from Southern California, spent mucho time in Northern California, and now reside in Southern Oregon; always coastal. I am an all natural style cannabis grower and I have written a couple books on the subject - check out True Living Organics 2nd Edition on Amazon - I have been growing for over 45 years, and I have been breeding cannabis for over 30 years. Check out kingdomorganicseeds.com to see some exotic selections. Growing connoisseur cannabis is what I teach mostly, growing it in living soil without using liquid organic nutrients to feed the plant. I am also a highly skilled synthetics grower, hydroponics, aeroponics, DWC/SWC/NFT, Ebb and Flow, and soilless, but I cringe when smoking synthetic grown herbs, so for the last 15 years or so I preach the artisan style of all natural growing, specializing in container growing. Cheers and welcome aboard.