In an email lately I was accused of never having problems in my gardens, LoL, and for the most part that is true pretty much; however, I am a human being so I am flawed by nature and still make mistakes sometimes no matter how good I am. Having a killer skill-set growing gives me the ability to actually address those problems that I caused, successfully. Let me take you through my latest screw-up that I incurred and how I came out of it fine. In the end I likely took a small yield hit, 10% maybe 15%, but all my buds I got were primo, even though I almost killed these plants in their youth as teenagers. Let’s check it out…
Sometimes—Chaos Caused—Shit Happens
Early last Winter high winds caused a branch on a bush outside my grow to partially break, and it was rubbing up against my out-venting—screened—screen. Quickly it gummed up the screen from the wind moving it around on my screen, and blocked like 80% of my air outflow … not good at all! Now that’s an act of nature, and I payed for it with a little dose of Powdery Mildew—of course during mid flowering—but I handled it with some Serenade just targeting it whenever I saw it. You can use this product to get you through late flowering Powdery Mildew issues with no bad effects to your final product.
Once they were done flowering, I eradicated the PM from the room with more brutal methods; without plants present in that room. But today’s article deals with good ol’ human error. If you are growing in a hydroponic garden, or using synthetic nutrients to feed your plants, and you see a problem, you very likely do need to take some fast-active countermeasures to fix it. But when you are growing in living soil, things happen slower, and you must account for that. You also gotta remember that it’s really not up to your “total control” in living soil. You count on the plant and the microbial life to reach a symbiosis, so you need to exercise a little patience.
99% of the Time in Living Soil, Do Nothing
If you are using the living soil, things don’t “just go south” on you for no reason; it has to be environmentally related. Using living soil (well) requires consistency, good water mostly, and good temps, lighting, humidity, air-movement/venting. You have been trained by corporations to believe you need to fertilize your plants with dosages of food—this is simply not true in amended living soil, all you really need is good water. So, anytime you see something wrong, think back about 10 days ago and think of things YOU DID around that time. Getting the best yields out of your living soil is way more about what’s NOT in it, ya follow? Do nothing but add good water when there’s a problem, for at least 10 days, and you will see signs of improvement as long as your mistake wasn’t huge.
Here is What I Did
I was taking care of some of my vegging plants and I broke one of my most ancient rules first off, I was decently baked on some ass-kicking bud, and was blending in small amounts of liquid worm juice (leachate) from my home worm farm, like 1/8th of a teaspoon per gallon of water. This stuff is uber powerful and concentrated, but magical if used with great care in tiny dosages. Competence matters here, and due to the deadly buds, mine was lowered. I made two or three big mistakes right in a row…
- Originally, I meant to turn each gallon of water into two gallons by adding additional carbon filtered water (diluting it). I therefore added ¼ teaspoon of worm juice per gallon of water. I forgot that I had done this and never diluted to 1/8th teaspoon of worm juice per gallon, before using it on my plants.
- I got a tad sidetracked—imagine that—for about 15 minutes and when I cam back to task, I decided I may need more water than I thought, so since I was going to dilute it I should add an additional 1/8th teaspoon per gallon to compensate, forgetting I had already double the dose on accident beforehand—stoned guy syndrome, and hence my rule of not doing these things baked.
Tragedy ensued about 9 days later, and since some of my smaller plants were half landrace Thai, they took an extra serious hit here. Lucky for me I didn’t do something like this during early flowering or I would have been done-for; for reals! You can see how very unhappy they were, close to the point of no return, since their soil had been “bombed” with almost a triple dose of worm juice. The microbial soil life was flung into chaos, and pH in the rootzone (rhizosphere) was changed rapidly by the uber-high PPM value of the worm juice dosing. This always turns out badly.
They started to come back really well going into flowering. They still had some damage to their lower leaves, but I left all the leaves that still had some life in them so the plant could drain them as “batteries” if she needed to while recovering. This is important, make sure not to over-prune damaged leaves and always make sure to leave any leaves on the plant that still have some green in them—like at least 20% of the leaf is still green.
They Turned Out Fine in the End
Ta-Da! They came out super tasty and resin thick, very potent and my yields were all good. Like I said at the start I likely lost a little yield due to this error, but not much at all. I wanted you to be able to see the stages the plants went through while just getting good water after the screw-up. You see how some of the yellowing leaves turned green again, and the newest growth is what you want to watch here.
Bottom line here is if you are using living soil, then let it do its thing. Anytime you pour anything onto the plants’ soil that is a solution of something, like liquid bottled fertilizers, or pH adjusters, you are just kicking your own ass. You can add things, like I do, in Nano-small dosages, natural things like worm juice, aquarium or pond water with living fish in the water, these things work great as long as they are applied in tiny little amounts at any single watering. If you see a problem, try letting your plant and the soil microlife work it out, because they almost always will—cheers amigos.
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.