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trichomechaser

Don't Make This Mistake (Soil)

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I've seen a lot of people (across social media platforms) make the same mistake I personally made when I started growing, and that is thinking that any soil will be good enough. The idea that heading down to BenBell and picking up whatever they've got is a good idea because "I'm still starting out".

In reality, starting out with a good soil will make you see how great growing can be, instead of wondering what's wrong and trying to diagnose the problems that come from bad soil. 

If I had a PSA to give the new growers it would be: AVOID HEAVILY BARKY SOIL/BARKY POTTING SOIL

Particularly avoid the Culterra mixes you find at your local gardening stores.

While these bark filled mixes will work for a lot of plants, cannabis is not one of them. They are inherently acidic and the bark causes excessive nitrogen in the soil. The result is that you're left with plants which are getting burnt from the nutrients while being unable to absorb them because of the acidic nature. The result is plants that show both deficiencies and burns in early life, and rarely grow bigger than a ruler. There is a striking similarity between almost all of the plants which are unlucky enough to be placed into these mixes. I've grabbed some other people's images from social media just to show how uniform the problems tend to be.

Invest in good soil! You're investing money into beans, don't waste that money by putting them into bad soil.

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Fully concur!

If you're not buying a commercial soil tried and tested with cannabis, then you need to mix your own. Like @trichomechaser says these commercial potting soils are loaded with bark plus they're not nearly as aerated as a good cannabis soil should be.

Culterra and Garden Master potting soils are everywhere. Stay the hell away from them. I don't know how it is nowadays but when I was in the cape I used to mix Doublegrow potting soil with coco, some vermicompost and perlite and that did really well as a starting platform for the plants. The doublegrow soil was much less "barky" than the others

 

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I agree completely!! Soil makes a world of a difference, it is well worth spending money on some good soil.

 

Although often soil is not without its faults as well, not all batches of soil will be the exact same. I believe there has been a bad batch of Organics Matter soil going around.
Others have previously had issues with Freedom Farms soil burning plants and being full of Fungus Gnats.

Bio Leaf (meant to be inert coco) having a stupidly high EC

 

I have personally had a good experience with Organics Matter soil and have not been affected by the bad batch, although some friends of mine have been.

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I got some fungus gnats in my seedling mix from Freedom Farm. I got it sorted pretty easy but yeah it's no good buying contaminated soil

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I've mentioned it to a member on the forum. Selling living soils/super soils commercially is risky business with a lot of factors that could go wrong. Having a production facility that is sealed and contaminant free is almost next to impossible, maybe that day will come, but not right now. That's how the occasional batch will have fungus gnats etc.

I also feel there's a catch 22 with packaging. I don't know the real science behind it but I'm worried the bags are too sealed and don't allow the soil to breathe well. On the other hand, if you allow the soil to breathe well by punching more holes in the packaging you risk the soil drying out, another issue in itself, plus you invite pests like fungus gnats etc.

I think you'll need to accept a certain element of risk when buying a commercial super soil. The only way to avoid doubt entirely is to mix your own

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Fully concur!
If you're not buying a commercial soil tried and tested with cannabis, then you need to mix your own. Like @trichomechaser says these commercial potting soils are loaded with bark plus they're not nearly as aerated as a good cannabis soil should be.
Culterra and Garden Master potting soils are everywhere. Stay the hell away from them. I don't know how it is nowadays but when I was in the cape I used to mix Doublegrow potting soil with coco, some vermicompost and perlite and that did really well as a starting platform for the plants. The doublegrow soil was much less "barky" than the others
 
Agreed, most commercial potting soils as mentioned will kill your plants...some faster than others.
As a standalone medium they are rubbish for many reasons.

But used as a base with a couple of additions and some composting you can turn it into a relatively good, cost effective medium.


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I agree with @Bospatrollie2. All I added was worm castings and seagro. didn't have any major issues...20190820_005414.thumb.jpg.1a29807b84bee664075db9900f6d8b9c.jpg
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Cee2020 Those are some pretty flowers.

I wanted to elaborate on my previous comment regarding soil.

I use commercial ''potting'' soils
(garden master/blackwoods) in varying percentages depending on quality and bark content, but with sweat, elbow grease and time it is turned into something else. Don't know if it would qualify as a ''super soil'' but the plants love it and it suits my budget.

2x 30dm bags of potting soil
2x 30dm bags of lawn dressing
1x 20dm composted manure
Add 5kgs of hydrated coco and 1kg perlite for good texture and airyness.
50kgs of my own clean and sifted garden compost and 2kgs bonemeal.

I innoculate repeatedly with compost tea to push the bio-activity and get the mix hot.
Turn that mountain once a week, keep it moist, airated and covered.
After 30-60days you should good.


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@Bospatrollie2 

I really like your approach on making a cheap potting soil into a cannabis haven... smiley-rolling-joint.gif.99f5b0cfbc3e366f27a425534bde9b15.gif

Boys south of the burg... where only the buds get covered in snow... peace.gif.460f5eeae8c8d66a303490e8bcfcfb9f.gif

Thanks Mambawana.

Neccesity is the mother of invention.

 

We might reside in a large metropolitan area, but it might as well have been in the sticks.

Try to apply the knowledge you gain.

 

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On 11/19/2019 at 1:23 PM, PsyCLown said:

I agree completely!! Soil makes a world of a difference, it is well worth spending money on some good soil.

 

Although often soil is not without its faults as well, not all batches of soil will be the exact same. I believe there has been a bad batch of Organics Matter soil going around.
Others have previously had issues with Freedom Farms soil burning plants and being full of Fungus Gnats.

Bio Leaf (meant to be inert coco) having a stupidly high EC

 

I have personally had a good experience with Organics Matter soil and have not been affected by the bad batch, although some friends of mine have been.

a bad batch of OM soil going around?! This could be why i just lost 3 clones in their mix

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Yes there was I was effected and I know large amounts in Cape Town as well, some batches had ph run off of 3.5 and ec of 3K+

Edited by greenkush
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