Howdy all and welcome to SKUNK baybee, more great cannabis growing tools in today’s article. I get a lot of really good feedback from you guys revolving around things in these articles, so let’s do it again.
A few very worthy mentions already covered in previous cannabis growing tool articles, compost tumblers, laser thermometers, and of course a TDS meter. All of these I consider must-haves if you can manage them. The most important is the TDS meter. The laser thermometer is also a very powerful tool allowing you to dial in the most delicious harvests ever!
In the featured top photo above, you can see some Riffraff Thai plants just banging away at full power under the new LED light I am using, the 420h LED, wowzerz! Speaking of great growing tools, let’s have a little update on this amazing light first…
Great Cannabis Growing Tools
The Essentials: Lights, Tents, and Water Filtration
Best LED Lights: I can’t tell you all how happy I am with these 420h LED lights from NextLight. The growth rates in my 3’x3’ Gorilla tents is nothing short of amazing. I don’t use that word lightly. The fact that they are 25’ square makes them a perfect fit in my tents, with such a wide light-source footprint my secondary growth is way above what I am used to. This light is quickly becoming my favorite light ever, and I even like it a bit better than my beloved Eye Blue Hortilux lights.
This light (400 watts) runs warmer than the 300-watt LED lights I normally use this time of year, not surprisingly about 25% warmer, LoL. Still, a lot cooler than HID lighting for sure. Normally, on extra super-hot days I have a portable A/C unit I can deploy. I’ll never need it with the 420h thanks to the zoom-dimmer control. Just turn the light down about 25% and no worries at all. Beautiful!
I’m very seriously considering running these lights all year long rather than switching to HID lighting for their added heat in the winter months. These 420h LEDs seem to me to be just warm enough to do winter well with me just adjusting my air extraction and opening my tents to various degrees. Pretty sure I’ll give that a go. Give these guys a visit over at NextLight LED Grow Lights and check out the 420h in detail. Another great light that they have is called the Core Pro. I have heard great things about those too, from seasoned growers.
Best HID Light: Seriously, a fantastic full-term HID light, the Eye Blue Hortilux Metal Halide. I know you may scoff at flowering under metal halide blue bulbs, and I understand why you feel the way you feel. Unlearning things can be freeing, heh heh, you savvy? I only have to say, try them and you’ll love them. HIDs run hot, so they are good for growing situations that require both light and heat. Venting the lights directly is a good way to run HIDs, keeping way cooler growing spaces and especially in tents.
Venting lights directly also has the added benny here of potential protection from sucking pests into your gardens. You can draw in the air from outside, like if you run your flowering ON time during the normal nighttime hours. This works super well, a fantastic heat countering move with HID lights.
Tents and Water Filtration
Best Growing Tents: Gorilla Grow Tents—Boom! Can’t say enough good things about them. Better to use no tents than cheap tents, remember I said that—LoL. Worthy other tent mentions are Jardin tents, and HydroHut tents. 1st Gorilla; 2nd Jardin; 3rd HydroHut. Jardins are solid good tents and considerably better than HydroHut tents; Gorilla tents are “the king” per my own experiences.
Best Dual Carbon Water Filtering Units: I have used the Countertop Dual Carbon water filtration units (double garden hose filter) from PWP (Pure Water Products) for about 17 years now, and still loving them as much as ever. They also have excellent reverse osmosis countertop units. I like using countertop style filters so they can just hook up to any garden hose and are portable. Because, ya never know, and shit happens 😉
Here’s a link to the dual unit I speak of: Garden Hose Filters – Pure Water Products. It’s called the Double Garden Hose Filter. Get the CTO PLUS activated carbon cartridges; they last me almost a year (10 months).
Off the Beaten Path Cannabis Growing Tools
Freshwater Fish Aquarium: Having some guppies in a little fish tank is a great tool for growers using living soil. Just blend aquarium water with your cannabis water (watch PPMs) at various levels during your plants’ growth stages. It is basically an all-purpose nutrient and can easily be used as a stand-alone nutrient source with good living soil. Guppies are basically totally self-sustaining and reproduce like mad. Very little aquarium water is needed per 5 gallons of plant water, start at about 2 ounces per 5 gallons and check PPM.
Spikes Using Granular Guano: If you don’t know what spikes are, check out my TLO 2nd Edition book, and also check out this article: True Living Organics: Soil Spikes 2021 – Skunk Magazine. I HIGHLY advise you guys to start using granular style guano, like bird or bat. Down to Earth, Hoffman, and Espoma all make really good granular guano products. My favorite spiker is the granular chicken manure by Espoma.
Rubber Troughs, Turkey Basters, and Totes
Above you can see my little soil recycling operation. My soil is right around a decade old right now, yeah, and it gets a little better every time it recycles. Tote #1 is currently in use recycled soil. Numbers 2 and 3 also have recycled (finished) soil in them, waiting their turn in line. Tote #4 is my used soil/root-ball storage next to be recycled. And a very special tote #5 holds extra worm castings.
For storage of living soil (or castings) it should be moist not wet, and what you do is drill holes (about pea size) all along the bottom sides of the tote about ½ – 1 inch above the floor. Do the same all around the top of the tote. These are for airflow, and the removal of CO2 that builds up during True Living processes like decomp. CO2 is heavier than air, drawing through fresh air as the CO2 “pours” out of the totes through the lower holes.
Rubber troughs like you find in animal feed stores for farm type animals. These are the best for mixing soil in. Easy to mix up like 10-gallons (about 1.5 cubic feet) at a time. I love these! Also, turkey basters have a bazillion uses in growing rooms. Go buy a couple decent ones and keep them handy in your garden and you’ll see what I mean.
Great Cannabis Growing Tools of Note
Best Lighters: In the photo above left to right, a standard bitchin BIC, a new BIC EZ-Reach that sucks, a Techno mini-torch that is awesome, and an extended refillable BIC with no safety switch that is also very cool. Lighters are pretty basic really, the reason I bring this up mostly is to tell you that the new BIC (2nd from the left) sucks big—sorry Snoop and Martha. It functions fine, that’s not my problem here.
My normal BIC lasts me about 40 days or so. Using that new BIC extended lighter in its place, it only lasted me 11 days. That’s just fucked up no matter how you look at it. Short term profits are god I guess, and slapping the faces of their customers while simultaneously polluting the earth with more plastic. Nice.
The Techno lighters are my top-dog lighters for years and years now. Refillable with a perfect semi-needle flame that is beautiful for bongs and doobie-time! If you want an extended BIC, get the one like on the right in the photo. A BIC as well, however, it is refillable and has no safety switch needed to light it.
Best Portable Vaporizer: PAX 3, for reals! If you are crazy chronic it may not keep up with you, LoL, but for anyone else it’s a vape of beauty and quality. I have used the PAX vapes for over a decade now.
Got a crossword below for a little fun. I hope everyone of you are doing well and staying as healthy as possible. I have been sick so many times since the start of the whole pandemic that I have no idea if I have had it or not yet. I think so, but I dunno for sure. Meaning to get jabbed here but haven’t yet. I really don’t do much public indoor stuff, and I have N95 masks for if I ever do. So I feel alright about everything for now.
See ya all back here next Tuesday amigos for another article. For now, I’m off to inflate a couple kayaks for me and my girl to try it out; first time ever. So, if you never hear from me again, it would be likely due to how bad I suck at kayaking LoL! Wish me luck.
August Crossword for Pandemic II Entertainment
Not a great cannabis growing tool, but a cool entertainment detour—especially a bit baked. Just a little crossword I whipped up for those of you that dig this sort of thing. Fairly easy, but some thinkers too. Good luck, endeavor to persevere, you can do it!!!
Here’s the link to the crossword answers; can you solve it before looking, hmmmm?
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.