Hey-hey good peeps! Today’s article is a cautionary tale of sorts. I myself have made (and paid) for all the mistakes/oversights in the past that I am going to cover in this article; and from what I hear from you guys, many of you also hit these “bumps in the road”.
Reading this should help you avoid these mistakes, especially when fairly new to all-natural growing indoors. Mistakes are going to happen whenever you start out on a new unknown path, a little forewarning can limit them; because a shitty harvest (or no harvest) sucks—boom.
There are no single answers, or magic formulas in a bottle, that can suddenly turn you into a fantastic grower. Rather, it is an accumulation by you of many good habits, where your plants’ needs/wants are concerned. Sort of like the same way you make a race car superfast … many little tweaks; all those small moves all add up to one major upgrade, like humongous!
LINK: TLO Book on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/1937866092/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_F5EiEb079BSC5
Grab a copy of my book (TLO 2nd Edition) and get a whole bunch of empirically gained knowledge by yours truly regarding this subject matter. Below in my list of don’t do’s. Included are some TLO specific rookie mistakes, so if you brave the TLO path you will start out with a leg up. A’ight, on with the show…
Don’t Even Use Coir in Your Soil Mixes – it is Extraneous
Coir is essentially not needed in custom all-natural soil mixes, period. If your water source is distilled/rain or R/O filtered (low PPM water sources), then you can have great results using coir in your mix; thoroughly flushed/rinsed coir. Since those water sources are so low in PPM (parts per million) value, the coir does the buffering and mineral supplying, relieving the water of that job.
LINK to My Duel Carbon Filtering Unit: http://www.purewaterproducts.com/garden-hose-filters
I would choose the white cartridge holders rather than the clear ones shown in the photo.
Skip the coir, and use dechlorinated groundwater, like tap or well water. Make sure the water’s PPM value isn’t over 90 PPM and isn’t under 40 PPM. This works markedly better than coir soil mixes x low PPM water sources, in my experience. If all you have is rain, distilled, or R/O filtered water, then simply bubble (air-stone) some powdered dolomite lime in it for 24 hours. Just like making a living tea. Use 1/8th of a teaspoon dolomite lime per gallon, and just pour the bubbled water off the top. Your water will be about 40-60 PPM; and wonderful for cannabis.
LINK to the Proper Active Carbon Cartridges to Use: http://www.purewaterproducts.com/products/fc001
If you only have the option of using reverse osmosis (R/O) filtered water, you can add back in some of the “wastewater” to your filtered R/O water to bring the PPM up. HOWEVER, R/O membranes don’t remove chloramine, so your R/O filtering unit should be a 3-stage unit, with 1 R/O cartridge/filter, and 2 active carbon cartridges/filters. This way the “wastewater” has been dechlorinated, and is just high in PPM/TDS; (AKA groundwater minerals.)
Don’t Let Your Humidity Run Too Low
During the winter months, especially indoors, my house stays mostly sealed up and heated, it is dry as hell. My grow rooms suck in fresh air from my home, so with that added heat (and grow room air movement/circulation) my grow rooms tend to get very dry—too dry sometimes—and this can cause problems with your K (potassium); and anytime your K has issues, your Ca (calcium) invariably will have issues as well. In the photo below you can see the early warning signs of coming K issues; however, this could also happen with something like too much available N (nitrogen).
Here’s a cool-water-vaporizer I purchased at a local drug store for under $30.00 USD. These are a great way to keep your humidity above 30%. For sure 30% is dry, but most cannabis has no problems until a few days’ worth of sub-30% humidity, then about a week or 10 days later you will see the signs. Cannabis plants (and other plants) can “sweat out” a fair amount of potassium in super low humidity. Just like us humans sweat out mineral salts when we get our metabolisms up and are also hot and dry.
Don’t Listen to the Hydroshop Guy for All-Natural/TLO Advice
Alright my esteemed homeskillets, I am going to need you to summon your inner cynic here for this one. Here’s a good rule of thumb if starting out on the path of all-natural growing: Avoid taking advice about growing from anyone that isn’t growing well using the style of your choice. The grow/Hydroshop guys are real hit and miss, and they usually know stats of products they handle, but are not normally anywhere near qualified to give advice regarding all-natural growing. Selling you things is what they are ostensibly best at doing—wink.
Don’t Be a Snowflake
Embrace being tenacious my friends, don’t give up easy. Making mistakes along the way goes with the territory and you always learn great lessons from mistakes, as long as you accept them as your mistakes and correct them. Some peeps screw up, and then just say “fuck it” and usually blame their mistake on someone or something else, never learning anything good. Don’t be those peeps, heh heh; ya follow? To actually be a skilled all-natural grower is a beautiful thing, in more ways than one. It’s not hyperbolic to say that these skills will change the way you see your world in wonderful ways. Believe it.
Bullet List of Don’t Do’s
- Don’t use softened water
- Don’t have your lights too close
- Don’t use granular dolomite lime in soil mixes unless it also says ‘Fast Acting’
- Don’t forget to replace water filtering cartridges in a timely fashion
- Don’t forget to get a TDS meter – it’s a must have
LINK to a good TDS meter that I have used for over 2 years straight: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002T6L5M/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_xqhjEbCX56K3H
Afterword with Rev
Of course there are about a gazillion more don’t do’s, many of which are related to your particular environment. Additionally, I wouldn’t take my indoor plants outdoors to get sunshine. I have seen this turn out badly more than once. Apparently, your plants can easily pick up some nasties outdoors, like viruses and parasites, that can cause serious problems. 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.