All Natural Organics. The Dons' Summaries + FAQ Thread. <2017-'18>

Discussion in 'Organics' started by DonTesla, Nov 17, 2017.

  1.  
    giglewigle

    giglewigle Well-Known Member

    i sent a message to the brass think it got deleted
     
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  2.  
    firstnamelast

    firstnamelast Well-Known Member

    Maybe I missed it, what do you guys use for cover crops usually?
     
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  3.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    i'm more of a mulcher than a cover crop guy. i've tried them before but the cannabis grows faster than the cover crops and ends up shading them out before they even really develop much. IMO cover crops are better if you're giving your no-til a resting period, but want to keep the soil active with plants. then you can "till in/turnover" your cover crop, mulch it, and let them break down into humus.

    what i like about mulching is that is slows evaporation of the soil (which cover crops would appear to increase it given the transpiring plants), and mulch also allows the cannabis roots to grow into the upper most regions of the soil horizon because it blocks out all light, and keeps that layer moist.

    also to note, anytime i've used a cover crop with clover, the damn mites find that shit. they somehow make their way from the outdoors into my basement, and end up on the clover! my basement is not the most sealed environment by any means lol, so if you have a good fortress then clover may not cause this issue for you. the clover must give off a pheromone or something that the mites can detect, just as the cucumber beetle does with cucurbit family plants.
     
  4.  
    DonTesla

    DonTesla Well-Known Member

    This is true. Any one thing can initiate a domino effect, good or bad, really .. Lets look back to biochar for a second, even 1% can have huge impacts.. check the whole link out here (all).. which has references to a couple studies.. one from Washington state University, you might like.


    https://www.airterra.ca/the-soilmatrix-library/

    Yeah, its probably a parabolic drop off like you suggest, albeit gradual.. so timing of the ph test and amount of liming left which would be sliding on a curve, & would have to be taken into account.. a reading of 4 at the very end vs middle of the end for example, would change things / needs to be clarified.

    So not applicable to organics technically plus I wasn't there ha but I'm going to push the envelope a bit here, nonetheless, and see what happens, using that as an inspiration plus just to try some things..

    In organics, its true, I have always used coco, RO, and at least one liming agent I suppose too, since eggshells shouldn't be neglected, per se, true, but yeah, peat free, and higher ph water if neutral is considered higher, might help more than we know too... and then we introduced compost and lots humus too from the get go, too, so just never ever had to worry about ph.

    But now, looking at investing in a commercial soil operation / education (like you!) , and wanting to do more passive gardening, which I suppose go hand in hand.. gonna take a look at these different bases, so one can leave them in a wicking situation, and see how the bases perform.. just gonna fill a table with the same clones and see which row does better really... then can compare the top two winning rows a bit more.. and by row I just mean each row in the table having a few plants with the exact same recipe blend going against clones in other rows with blend tweaks.
    Suppose want to see wicking potential more than anything as we prep to switch over to sip and bed models for the future, but also, to see if peat becomes a favourable option for myself, haha, since its so abundant in Canada and coir is technically from more tropical climates and makes less sense if doing large of amounts of soil..not to mention the gramps owns a glacial peat moraine, so may as well get familiar!!

    Can be sure to keep you in the loop, no problem.. with your schooling your input is getting savage and we really do appreciate it.

    As you pointed out as an easier quest, all I've done really is test the same strains in about 20 recipe tweaks in the same or almost the same base mix, although some base tweaks have happened too I suppose..but that has been a great & terpy adventure full of expression and learnings, so this is going to be really interesting change of pace for me.. interesting semi-casual experiment that should lead to some semi-professional photography and stronger stances on things, I would think. I will have to finally grip that camera in time for the chop cause shoot, this is interesting.

    The bulk of my what 5k pics or so are at a quite the neutral ph really, but the interesting thing is, is that anthocyanin can express itself in 4 different hues, based all on ph.. so I hear you on the point you make, you're right, but I'm actually talking about colour in the hypodermal cells in the trichomes itself, as well as the secretory cells.. these 2 groups of cells along with the basal cell have been my favourite thing to focus on.. and "penetrate"..

    So I don't mean colours of plants overall or leaf tissue in other words, just to clarify! & on the topic of being off topic, one of the hardest to capture hues I need to capture does requires a more alkaline ph, if you can believe it, so here's to walking the line.. I might need some luck with that one.

    Amazing how the plant can adjust though, yes. Its fascinating. I swear this plant is smarter than us..or me anyway! haha

    For those who haven't seen the slide, this is what I'm referring to by the way...

    In summary, add that lime if you peat'ing it up, and let me see what happens with the trails..and get back to you Jah'll..

    Blaze & bless up!
     
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  5.  
    DonTesla

    DonTesla Well-Known Member

    Companion crops or cover crops?
    like is this to buy time, create a myco colony, or to go alongside the Ganja

    I've played with greens, garlics, carrots, lettuces, herbs, borage.. 2" thyme is kinda cool.. but now I like to mulch too. Next round I am also going to try 'sealing' in a side by side SIP thing.
     
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  6.  
    DonTesla

    DonTesla Well-Known Member

    Lets try again...
    here we go...

    Anthocyanin in THC copy.jpg
     
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  7.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    will definitely give this a good look over! thanks for the study link :)

    yeah i think the egg shells definitely helped keep things from going south, even in coco mix. they dissolve when things get acidic, and if the mix stays less acidic, they're basically inert to my understanding of how the chemistry works. i've been wanting to start mixing some coco into my mixes just for the added insurance of decreased hydrophobic potential of the peat... we all know how much of a bitch that can be! dry soil pockets are a paaaaaiiiiin to rehydrate, and really an unknown cause it's not like you can scan the soil for them!

    i appreciate the fun dialog :) . i'm glad we can have sensible conversations on here... i just browsed through the "plant problems" forum for a min.... and wow... so much bad advice (though there are people who do understand but get flamed anyway lol) and know it all people who just spew and don't concede in the slightest that there is a chance they don't know what they're talking about haha. I feel bad for some of those people seeking advice haha, people are just flaming each other and hijacking posts with arguments. Experienced friends like you are what makes this section so much fun to participate in :)

    interesting ideas indeed! i recall a few posts of yours talking about how found a way to influence those pigments in the trichome cells. i'll be along for the walk for sure!

    The plant can do chemistry far better than we currently understand how these things work. we have a good idea... but the plant just DOES IT lol. it's amazing how simple plants are in terms of being able to fend for themselves... but the methods they use are complex and they can respond to environmental conditions in an instant. We have a long way to go before we demystify these beautiful organisms.

    anyway, look forward to your work, and wish the best with your future ventures. if we go legal recreational in Michigan... I invite you to come and do some work with me someday in the future!!!! I have a couple financial backers :)
     
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  8.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    seems like a pretty decent deal @DonTesla .... probably gonna get this pretty soon and increase diversity. Gonna make some biochar too. Going to get a bag of natural wood chunk charcoal this weekend and smash some up and get charging. also gonna start putting the char in my compost too. do you add char to your worm bin? i wouldn't see it as necessary since there is no run off in the worm bin.
     

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  9.  
    DonTesla

    DonTesla Well-Known Member

    Yeah that does look good, @ShLUbY , I have seen wayyy worse prices than that.. good shipping cost too really if you consider it costs one $20 to send a bubble envelope an inch thick. . up here anyway.

    Here are a couple more links too for you to compare, if you like / have time, that is..

    http://growhome.com/growing-media/silica//diatomite-rock-silica-stone-40-liter/diatomite-3/

    https://www.groworganic.com

    Congrats on the biochar too. And I do like some char in the worm bin.. any % helps, if doing sand texture, I would use just 1-2%.. and if using it as aeration, over pumice, etc etc, I would go with biochar chips / and rice size, for up to 20% or so. I really like biochar and its entourage of effects. But at the same time you have a nice little bedding recipe so no need to tweak it much other than 1%!

    As for the good constructive convo, I 100% agree, and most importantly, as per the invite to do some work down in Mi if we ever go legal down there.. I am humbled! and honoured 100% as well, would totally welcome the opportunity to do some organic collab.
     
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  10.  
    calliandra

    calliandra Well-Known Member

    In an addendum, another benefit of mulch is that it inputs nutrients for cycling into the soil and form there into the plant, which is especially desirable when you're looking to establish a no-till system. Here, I have found having a base mulch, say of hay, and then gradually adding different kinds of plant materials over time to be very beneficial. In example, my latest additions were a small handful of autumn leaves, a handful of straw, any leaves I pluck off the cannabis, a bit of comfrey leaf, some chopped kale, and fresh leaf of probably nitrogen-fixing bean.

    How I can add leaf of bean in midwinter?
    It's a companion that sprouted of itself in one of my pots alongside the Mephisto Cosmic Queen I was sprouting in there. :bigjoint:
    2018-01-19_day45_sissi (1a).JPG
    It's become quite a nuisance too, but that's great, it makes it easier for me to keep plucking plant material off her and giving it to all 3 of the plants I have going in there, and even to my pot of comfrey (which has sprouted a chili too - probably a pod from my 3 year old chili plant fell in there while they were sitting side by side haha, so I can skip trying to propagate her - it's done lol)
    2018-01-19_comfrey-chili-pot.JPG
    Note how I'm letting the comfrey grow out those flowers - they'll be made into a flowering juice as soon as it's fully a-bloomin' (and will be picking off flowers and beans off the bean too). Juices for quicker cycling, pretty frequent addition of small amounts of mulch for slow and solid foundations.

    So for this kind of maintenance, I'm finding it great to have companion plants in my system!
    Borage really works nicely for this kind of feeding from the side too!

    Of course, you need to have your soil critters (especially also the worms) in place to process that, and top watering helps move the mulch along towards decomposition too.
    And you need to be in a situation where you're there to do that constant mulching too, since we're indoors and it won't just fall to the ground from above, be swept in by the wind, be crushed by a deer's hoof, lost from a bird's beak, pooped by a hedgehog... you've gotten my meaning a long time ago but I can't stop haha
    So there will always be a bunch of factors that make or break the usefulness of a thing too!
    Especially when you're dealing with natural processes, it aaaall depends!

    Cheers!
     
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  11.  
    calliandra

    calliandra Well-Known Member

    Oh and as for wormbin aeration!

    That's something I've begun doing too because I find my VC starts going anaerobic when stored post harvest.
    I'm currently experimenting with finished VC to shift it more to the fungal side, so would like to be able to let it rest for a while without bad things happening ;)
    Also, the added aeration material then goes into soil mixes/topdresses already super pre-charged by the compost! (there's a whole thread on GC looking at going even another step further: adding all amendments into the wormbin, pre-digesting them so to speak - and then using that VC as the exclusive topdress to maintain the soil. :D

    However, I don't sift my VC, apart from being an ordeal for my worms, I find it a counterintuitive thing to do - why remove all that lovely organic aeration material to then add it back in the form of stuff (hulls, bark...) I need to go out and buy?!?!?!?! LOL

    Cheers!
     
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  12.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    agree with all of this. Thanks for rounding out my mulching reasoning, i def forgot to mention the breakdown and how it keeps the cycling going and so on. I chop all my plant stems for mulch into smaller chunks and that's my "woody" material... i don't have the means to check and see, but i'm hoping that it's contributing to the fungal populations of the soil. maybe its just bacterial food.. i dunno! but yeah i mulch pretty much anything i can :) and yes, we definitely have soil critters for breaking down and cycling!

    I started a little borage patch outside a couple years ago in my strawberries. Last two years i basically left it all alone and just let it seed seed seed seed.... this year... i'm going to harvesting a lot of leaves for borage meal! Should be a great addition to the soil mix and top dresses. Over the next couple years i'm going to focus on producing more of my amendments if i can. I tried getting some comfrey going last year but the root did not take, and i just never got around to ordering another. this year, i will definitely order again and hopefully it will work out.

    as for storing the worm castings... i just had the notion that i needed to dry them out a bit after harvest. so i would lay out a piece of plastic, and spread them out and let them just aerate for a couple days. not go completely dry by any means... but just enough to lose that feeling that if i stored them in plastic bag they would go anaerobic.
     
  13.  
    firstnamelast

    firstnamelast Well-Known Member

    Where's this at? I'm having a hard time finding the rocks, mainly flour everywhere
     
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  14.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    grow organic.com
     
  15.  
    firstnamelast

    firstnamelast Well-Known Member

    Thank you
     
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  16.  
    DonTesla

    DonTesla Well-Known Member

    I just pulled an all nighter getting ready for a big activist trip, first ever! so I will respond when I'm back in the office k guys! Some great convo going on, be sure to keep it up while I'm away.. I should be back in a week, but I will be checking all the emails often, as per usual, and here too if I can, every few days.

    Appreciate you guys giving your input and the reasoning behind doing things.. storing fresh VC and worm castings is a bit of an art for sure, as is mulching.. so thanks again!

    Have a great week everyone..

    Talk more soon!!!
     
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  17.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    have a good trip DT, be safe out there!
     
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  18.  
    calliandra

    calliandra Well-Known Member

    Hey and you have a great week out there!! Tell it to them how it is! :D

    Yes drying it down to around 30% moisture (just about what you're describing yours is like) works well to preserve the balance you have (even if dormant) without bad things happening. It's a good idea to moisten it back up a few days prior to using it (possibly even with a bit of food mixed into the water) to wake the guys back up then.

    The thing is, VC is inevitably more bacterial due to the grazing action of the worms, which on the one side does stimulate fungal growth but yeah, that growth gets consumed real fast too ;) So my idea is to take most of the worms out and continue curing the VC for a while, to get that fungal side built up more. I've tried it once, casually, to now, added oat bran and mbp, and got my fungal to bacterial ratio to 1:1, which is where we want it for cannabis and our veggies. I get the feeling I'm still going to be testing this for a while though before I have any conclusive results to share, and there may be easier ways to get those fungi into our systems ;)
    As much as Paul Stamets rants about spores everywhere, I see fungal growth hardly anywhere at the mo, which is quite unnerving!
    Actually I've thought of starting a promo in local permie circles: who has the most fungal compost?! Bring me your samples, get a free assessment!

    Cheers :bigjoint:
     
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  19.  
    firstnamelast

    firstnamelast Well-Known Member

    Looks like mulch is the way to go, thanks guys! Is it a lot cheaper to make your own biochar? What do you put in your seedling soil? Any myco yet? Any nutes, labs, teas, anything at all? And what about veg vs flower, do you keep your soil recipe the same for both and just amend as needed?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
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  20.  
    firstnamelast

    firstnamelast Well-Known Member

    Calli and Shluby are you both doing no till as well?
     
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