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PsyCLown

Should a beginner start with soil?

Should a beginner start with soil?  

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  1. 1. Should a beginner start with soil?

    • Yes
      17
    • No
      6


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So considering the amount of threads we have on the forum of people having issues with soil, I was wondering how the majority of the forum members feel about a beginner starting with soil.

 

Should a beginner grower start with soil, or should they rather look at getting started with coco or hydro?

This is more applicable to indoor growers, although I am curious!

 

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I don't have any issues with soil. It is the easiest way to grow. AACT are also a cost effective way to feed your plants. Seed sprout tea is just as eazy. Maybe I should put up an easy grow section on the forum. Easy soil recipes, aact and sst recipes. 

 

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It is an interesting topic. I started with coco and synthetic nutes, but constantly measuring ec and ph and watering twice or 3 times day by the end of flower just didnt fit with how I grow.

Organics is very forgiving, and definately a good way to start growing cannabis. Common mistakes like over feeding and overwatering is just something all of us need to get to know. 

 

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I said no, because I feel there is a lot to learn from starting with a inert medium. You really understand what it means to be middleman in that scenario, and it gives you a better picture of what the plants need. 

But definitely easier to grow in soil. 

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Excellent topic you choose@PsyCLown
I started with RDWC, it was interesting at the time and I was very involved with the water/EC/PH daily.
Then I tried coco/perlite and simular time was spend with the water, with both I enjoyed it at the time.
Then soil came along and I started with various store bought cannibis specific soils, tried a few and they all mostly simular, however less time was spend as with hydro. With the hydro I run into a few problems and all was due to nutrient def/toxidity, my fault and not the method. So far in soil I haven't had problems besides pests and also my procrastination dendensies .
My opinion would be that new growers can benefit from a proper cannabis soil and get a grow behind them and then try other ways. But anything goes they all work and we need to try all and see what work for us

That would be a nice contribution to the community and new/old growers@SkunkPharm

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Posted (edited)

You have to write, proper cannabis soil. The 25 rand bags from the nursery will not do the trick. Rest, i think soil is more foregiving and buffers best for a beginner. With good soil and a big ass pot, you can skip the fertilizer and get a result just adding water.

Start in soil outdoor.. is my beginner tip

As soon as you go indoor, is a different game anyhow. Fuck ups not just cost seeds and in what medium to grow is a bit a Aini Meni Muh selection. I started hydro, no ppm pens at the time, ph we used stripes. Pure chemical fertilizer, 3 part NPK. Worked and hydro grows fastest. Dont think anybody argues with that. I never did coco... but when you do hydro, there is no reason to go coco, at least not in my books. I always grew soil outdoor and enjoyed the ph free hassle. Now i even grow soil indoor. I made a sexy 4/4/4 biobizz mix in Jan and took my pen out just for fun... 12.something reading ph. I had to chuckle, pured it into the pot and went on as usual. Easiest over all is soil with rain water... kinda hard to mess up 😬

 

Edited by Prom
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31 minutes ago, SkunkPharm said:

I don't have any issues with soil. It is the easiest way to grow. AACT are also a cost effective way to feed your plants. Seed sprout tea is just as eazy. Maybe I should put up an easy grow section on the forum. Easy soil recipes, aact and sst recipes. 

 

Please do, I think this will help a lot of members.

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I have grown in soil and currently prefer coco. Never attempted hydro though.

 

From a beginners point of view, we cannot expect someone living in Sandton, Clifton or Umhlanga to be experts at mixing soil and compost or to even be interested in making their own soil. People want quick and easy. So what you can buy from a store.

So we have 2 identical setups, decent quality lights, nice tent, good extraction and air circulation, temperature and RH is controlled perfectly. So environment wise, it's all good and the only variable is the growing medium and  the effort required on your usual "garden maintenance".

Both soil and coco will require you water at least every 2 or 3 days during summer when the plants are big, coco may hold a bit more water than soil though but that is besides the point. So the frequency of watering is the same. Soil can be purchased from a shop, as can coco.

 

Now here is where things start to differ, some people use just water and expect the soil to provide everything needed from start to finish, including flowering. I feel we can all agree that none of our local soils (which are stocked in majority of grow shops) will suffice without some additional source of nutes. This will be noticeable when compared to a plant which is receiving nutes or additional source of nutes.

Now for soil you have a few options:

  • Liquid / powder nutrients which are mixed with water and fed to the plant
  • AACT
  • Soil amendments

 

Out of those options, I personally feel it easiest is liquid nutes, such as BioBizz. AACT will require someone to go through more effort, obtain more equipment and brew multiple times throughout the growing process and try source everything to go into a brew etc. etc.

 

For Coco, there really one main option which majority of people do - feed nutes from a bottle.

With coco you certainly have to check the PH, although in flower and once the strength of the nutes are high enough, this generally ends up within your ballpark so you do not actually have to try and lower the PH further with PH down. You do not even need an EC / PPM pen if you follow the feeding chart on the guide - so same as using BioBizz.

 

I do not see much of a difference between using soil or coco if one chooses to go the easy route, which I feel majority of beginner growers who have the funds available, will choose to do. If we look at people who want something easy which will "just work" I feel using bottle nutes is the easiest option, coupled with what you can buy from a grow shop.

Where is the difference? How is coco more difficult? The amount of work and effort required is the same, the only possible difference being checking the PH of your nutrient mix before feeding it to the plants. You may be able to get away with it when using a good soil which is buffered.

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Posted (edited)

@SkunkPharmThink its a good idea, believe many new growers would benefit from such a thread. Easy and manageble way to start your journey down the cannabis growing rabbit hole. 

An inexpensive way to get their toes wet, without the complexities and technical equipment of dwc and coco.

They can grow their first plants and there after decide where they want to take it- soil, dwc or coco.

Edited by Bos
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19 hours ago, PsyCLown said:

I do not see much of a difference between using soil or coco if one chooses to go the easy route, which I feel majority of beginner growers who have the funds available, will choose to do. If we look at people who want something easy which will "just work" I feel using bottle nutes is the easiest option, coupled with what you can buy from a grow shop.

Where is the difference? How is coco more difficult? The amount of work and effort required is the same, the only possible difference being checking the PH of your nutrient mix before feeding it to the plants. You may be able to get away with it when using a good soil which is buffered.

Good Morning ^^ late answer.. Thursday we play poker and smoke a lot 😁

You can skip the nutes with soil as a beginner. Why stress yourself.. just learn the plant, works without fertilizer. Starting to grow as a beginner.. get a quality bean (at least you will enjoy the smoke you produce), a bag of quality soil.. or 2, depending on pot size and just water it. Will still grow to a 2 meter tree in a good pot size. Can't grow easier than that.. 😉 

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I started out with DWC and am now slowly moving away from it, mainly because I want to start getting into doing SCRoG nets and doing that with a standard DWC setup is balls to change the reservoirs. 

DWC was definitely super cheap to start out; literally just needed to buy the nutes, air pump and airstones. Cool thing is when I move away from DWC I can repurpose the airpumps for maybe a AACT system, or if I ever decide to go Autopots I can run the airpumps into the pots for some extra bang. 

Ironically, soil can be either even cheaper, or one of the most expensive options. Cheap if you pop the seeds outdoor, expensive if you go indoor with proper pots, bagged soil and Biobizz nutes, plus all the other equipment. 

But expense aside, I am having a blast using Freedom Farms Premium (Green Bag) with Biobizz. Some of the most hastle-free growing I've had yet, but I attribute that to all the mistakes I made while doing hydro. The great thing about hydro is that if there's a problem, you can immediately flush, throw out the reservoir and make your amendments. With soil, I feel like you really gotta know what's wrong before making a fix because from what I have seen, there's about a 3-4 day delay to actually seeing a result to a fix. Although, given all the buffers provided with going with soil, in order to have gotten into a really bad problem is a feat of it's own (at least nutrient wise). 

So I think I'll say, yes a beginner can begin with soil. Should they though? I think what a beginner should definitely do is buy the right soil. The biggest issue I see with beginners and soil is they either try to pop the seeds or transfer seedlings into soil that's way too hot, or the soil is entirely terrible. 

With hydro, unless you're using pool water, or live in an area with poor water quality, everything else is pretty much in your control and in a way, less can go wrong due to naivety.

Jissis I've literally gone back and forth in my head with whether to vote yes/no 🤔 

I'm going to take the question literally; should a beginner start with soil? I'm going to say no. I think a beginner should learn the ropes with hydro so they can attend to deficiencies/toxicity immediately and also learn the subtle art of 'less-is-more'. 

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Contradicting opinions coming trough on this subject hahaha.😀 In the end it's all up to the (New) grower, but they have to do some research (and there is a lot you can read up on the subject) about the different nutes, mediums and equipment required and obviously what the budget allows.

Then decide which way they want to go.

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3 hours ago, Prom said:

Good Morning ^^ late answer.. Thursday we play poker and smoke a lot 😁

You can skip the nutes with soil as a beginner. Why stress yourself.. just learn the plant, works without fertilizer. Starting to grow as a beginner.. get a quality bean (at least you will enjoy the smoke you produce), a bag of quality soil.. or 2, depending on pot size and just water it. Will still grow to a 2 meter tree in a good pot size. Can't grow easier than that.. 😉 

I get you, it can help keep everything simple.

Although let's be honest, mixing nutes is really not difficult. Measure of x amount of ml per L, throw it altogether in a bucket of water and then feed it to the plants (perhaps with checking the PH). Considering the difference this will make to your plants, I feel it's well worth the little bit of extra effort.

 

Also using coco, you have nothing to worry about in terms of inconsistent soil batches and you have full control over the process - as in you know exactly what nutes your plant is getting. No guessing about whether the batch of soil you're using is too hot or perhaps lacking in something. A new grower need not worry about the nitty gritty details, simply follow the feeding chart on the bottle of nutes (be it BioBizz or GHE).

No bugs will be coming out of the coco you purchased either, unlike with some soils.

Growth will likely be quicker as well in the coco.

 

Now for someone who started in soil and wants to improve and better their grow, what would you recommend?

They could try mix their own soil

AACT

Play around with different ratios and when making their soil and teas, perhaps try and reuse their soils and add extra amendments before using it again.

 

For someone who started with coco, well, there really isn't that much more one needs to do to improve upon it. They can start playing around with a few different additives and trying different "potions" to see if they like any of them or whether it makes a difference to their grow.

They could perhaps start to look at fertigation to improve growth even further and make their life easier by automating the watering - but it's not needed.

 

 

Am I missing something? I still do not see the extra effort and work required for coco. 

If anything I am of the opinion that it is simpler and easier as there are less variables. Coco is coco, it is inert.

Provided you are buying decent coco (which can be had for like R85 for 5kg brick, which is around 60 - 90 liters) you will not have to worry about bugs, you will not have to worry about whether the batch of coco you are buying is different to the previous batch. You won't have a problem with one batch being hotter than the other or having more of some nutes and less of others. The inconsistency is gone. It's a level playing field.

If a beginner grower does run into issues, perhaps they fed too little or too much nutes - this can be resolved by watering until runoff with the correct feed. Simple as that.

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3 hours ago, Ill_Evan said:

I started out with DWC and am now slowly moving away from it, mainly because I want to start getting into doing SCRoG nets and doing that with a standard DWC setup is balls to change the reservoirs. 

DWC was definitely super cheap to start out; literally just needed to buy the nutes, air pump and airstones. Cool thing is when I move away from DWC I can repurpose the airpumps for maybe a AACT system, or if I ever decide to go Autopots I can run the airpumps into the pots for some extra bang. 

Ironically, soil can be either even cheaper, or one of the most expensive options. Cheap if you pop the seeds outdoor, expensive if you go indoor with proper pots, bagged soil and Biobizz nutes, plus all the other equipment. 

But expense aside, I am having a blast using Freedom Farms Premium (Green Bag) with Biobizz. Some of the most hastle-free growing I've had yet, but I attribute that to all the mistakes I made while doing hydro. The great thing about hydro is that if there's a problem, you can immediately flush, throw out the reservoir and make your amendments. With soil, I feel like you really gotta know what's wrong before making a fix because from what I have seen, there's about a 3-4 day delay to actually seeing a result to a fix. Although, given all the buffers provided with going with soil, in order to have gotten into a really bad problem is a feat of it's own (at least nutrient wise). 

So I think I'll say, yes a beginner can begin with soil. Should they though? I think what a beginner should definitely do is buy the right soil. The biggest issue I see with beginners and soil is they either try to pop the seeds or transfer seedlings into soil that's way too hot, or the soil is entirely terrible. 

With hydro, unless you're using pool water, or live in an area with poor water quality, everything else is pretty much in your control and in a way, less can go wrong due to naivety.

Jissis I've literally gone back and forth in my head with whether to vote yes/no 🤔 

I'm going to take the question literally; should a beginner start with soil? I'm going to say no. I think a beginner should learn the ropes with hydro so they can attend to deficiencies/toxicity immediately and also learn the subtle art of 'less-is-more'. 

I have not grown hydro myself, although from what I have heard coco seems even easier than hydro and has pretty much the same perks as hydro - to a degree.

 

I feel coco is a happy compromise between soil and hydro. You do not have to be as hands on with coco I feel.

 

As you have stated before, growing in soil is the current meta with cannabis. So naturally people looking to grow turn towards soil, although whether that is really the best choice for them or the simplest way to get going and will provide great results... I am not so sure.

 

I have nothing against soil, I just feel people are too quick to turn to using soil and it may actually be beneficial for a newbie to use a different medium.

It will be easier for us to guide them as well if shit does go south.

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32 minutes ago, Bos said:

Contradicting opinions coming trough on this subject hahaha.😀 In the end it's all up to the (New) grower, but they have to do some research (and there is a lot you can read up on the subject) about the different nutes, mediums and equipment required and obviously what the budget allows.

Then decide which way they want to go.

I agree completely, no reason a beginner can't start with any of those 3 and be successful.

 

Although I feel people are quick to push soil, quick to think it's the best thing since sliced bread and has all these amazing benefits and pros over other mediums.

I feel soil is a lot more indepth than people may realise.

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1 hour ago, PsyCLown said:

I feel soil is a lot more indepth than people may realise.

I totally agree with this statement @PsyCLown. At least when it comes to mixing the soil yourself.

On the other hand starting to grow with some good premixed soil like for example FF soil plus using the biobizz range is pretty much fool proof (if you stick to the feeding table).

Beginner growers tend to try and invent a new wheel instead of sticking to proven grow technics. Or they try to safe and buy crappy soil from the nursery around the corner. IMO these are big contributing factors why some beginners struggle with their soil grow.

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2 hours ago, PsyCLown said:

I agree completely, no reason a beginner can't start with any of those 3 and be successful.

 

Although I feel people are quick to push soil, quick to think it's the best thing since sliced bread and has all these amazing benefits and pros over other mediums.

I feel soil is a lot more indepth than people may realise.

I dont think soil as the ''easiest'' medium by a long shot, but you have to learn and get to know your medium- whichever one you choose, its part of the learning curve. Some growers struggle with soil, if you dont respect the parameters of your medium you can get it wrong quite easily.

To make a good soil is quite a process and a number of ''retailers'' offer some good options for ''buy in bag'' which is a easy starting point for new growers.

I like to know what I'm working with and I enjoy mixing my own soil.

On the surface it may look straightforward, but the rabbit hole goes much deeper than you think.

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6 minutes ago, Bos said:

I dont think soil as the ''easiest'' medium by a long shot, but you have to learn and get to know your medium- whichever one you choose, its part of the learning curve. Some growers struggle with soil, if you dont respect the parameters of your medium you can get it wrong quite easily.

To make a good soil is quite a process and a number of ''retailers'' offer some good options for ''buy in bag'' which is a easy starting point for new growers.

I like to know what I'm working with and I enjoy mixing my own soil.

On the surface it may look straightforward, but the rabbit hole goes much deeper than you think.

yeah, and getting to know your plants. The more I grow a specific strain, the more intuitive my interactions become. you get to a point where you give your plants one look and know just what they want.

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All in all, even though coco will teach you exactly what's going into your plant, etc... IMO soil is more beginner friendly and far more forgiving if you forget something or get something slightly off - I'll always suggest it to newbies.

There are a number of reasons for this but I'm typing this on my phone with the few minutes I have, lol. Just wanted to drop in my 2c.

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Posted (edited)

A lot of good opinions in the thread :-thumbsup

Pros and cons to both, coco maybe less so with mostly buffering being a major block for some new growers. 

23 hours ago, Bos said:

Contradicting opinions coming trough on this subject hahaha.😀 In the end it's all up to the (New) grower, but they have to do some research (and there is a lot you can read up on the subject) about the different nutes, mediums and equipment required and obviously what the budget allows.

Then decide which way they want to go.

I think this is spot on, most newbs fail because of eagerness, too amped, te veel geees.

Whichever medium chosen the grower (not just newbs) should always educate themselves as best possible, be diligent with your grow and try to think ahead. 

A lot of the time when you see a issue its prob something that happened a week ago :-rolled 

Edited by Dank
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Whichever medium chosen the grower (not just newbs) should always educate themselves as best possible, be diligent with your grow and try to think ahead. 
A lot of the time when you see a issue its prob something that happened a week ago :-rolled 


Gold

If you know how to treat your medium, you shouldn't experience any issues.


For instance, a new Grower may want to monitor everything, and be comfortable choosing coco and watering every day - but another new Grower may not be able to water every day...

It's just 1 example but I'm sure people can understand the gist of what I'm trying to say.

If the person takes the time to learn about what they want to use, any medium is beginner friendly... With the exception of hydroponics being a bit more advanced I feel.

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IMO, best medium to start with is earth. So, soil, I guess, but not bagged soil.

Firstly to get to know the look of decent soil, that will hook one on the composition of the soil and from there you take it step by step. Some bagged soils may look and smell amazing and is adverized as the best thing under the sun and this can really be discouraging to some as most comercial soils do more harm than good when it comes to growing cannabis. 

Understanding the whole picture, instead of building an interest around one thing and seeing that as the holy grail and only thing that works, just because it makes more sense to you.

More importantly, WHEN is the best time to START? Honestly, few years ago. Second best time is RIGHT NOW. 

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So... this idea... bear with me I may be a little goofed

What are the practicalities of growing in different mediums side by side?

Wouldn't the ultimate way to settle the growing medium debate be for a complete newb (in this case me) to attempt three styles side by side and see which turns out better?
1 Soil
1 coco
1 hydro

Could learn some valuable things and maybe help the next beginner along...

I've long been attracted to hydroponics so might be fun. Could be a bit cheaper than having to buy 4 auto pots or similar if I tried one first to see if I managed.

I imagine it may get a bit chaotic in there trying to keep track of everything going on... or would that be biting off more than I can chew

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8 hours ago, StonerZN said:
So... this idea... bear with me I may be a little goofed

What are the practicalities of growing in different mediums side by side?

Wouldn't the ultimate way to settle the growing medium debate be for a complete newb (in this case me) to attempt three styles side by side and see which turns out better?
1 Soil
1 coco
1 hydro

Could learn some valuable things and maybe help the next beginner along...

I've long been attracted to hydroponics so might be fun. Could be a bit cheaper than having to buy 4 auto pots or similar if I tried one first to see if I managed.

I imagine it may get a bit chaotic in there trying to keep track of everything going on... or would that be biting off more than I can chew

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk

 

So I wouldn't say any particular medium is the ultimate, it comes down to personal preference and what suits your needs best.

Someone may want an organic grow for whatever reason, you could use coco for that although soil would be a better medium as there would be stuff in the soil for the microbes to break down etc. Etc.

Coco and hydro can give you a lot more control over your grow as you fully control what goes in, soil has variables to it which are near impossible to control for a home grower.

Hydro, I'm of the opinion it's one of the cheaper ways to grow in terms of running costs although it does require slightly more initial equipment but barely. Soil and coco you're buying pots, hydro you're buying a tub and air pump. I have yet to try it out myself, although I believe it's a bit more hands on.

I personally prefer coco, suits me needs and wants well. I find it simple to use and any mistakes can easily and quickly be fixed.


Also if you'd like to try out all 3 methods in your first grow, then by all means go for it! You'll gain a fair bit of experience and you'll get assistance and support from members on the forum to help ensure your grow is a success overall and you can then decide from there which medium suits you best.

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Edited by PsyCLown
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Most soils on the market have a heavy hand of coco mixed in, this makes the soil light and fluffy. 

Light and fluffy is the type of meduim weed likes. 

The compost added to the coco can be very broken down already, super fine particles of goodness, tend to compact and make a denser heavier soil, which is less what cannabis likes... 

Now if all soils were equal, you would know you have enough nutes for veg and what ratio the elements are in and how to use the soil correctly for best results. 

This has never been the case with soil... Shit, even from bag to bag of the same soil can be vastly different in composition to each other... Ideal for a noob? Hell no... 

Ideal for an experienced grower? Maybe... If he is making his own compost and knows the ratios more or less... 

So now what about hydro? All the control in the world! But you gotta do that... You gotta control it... If you leave it... Shit goes south very quickly. 

But it's easy to fix with a fresh res. 

Should noobs be going this way then with all their eagerness and want to be in control? Maybe... 

If you like the control side of things and have the patience and willingness to be diligent then you will really reap the rewards. But if you know yourself and you're a lazy cunt... Hydro is not the way for you. 

So then... Coco? 

Cheaper than soil by a considerable amount

Inert

Light and fluffy 

You know what you put in is there, and nothing else, no imbalance of nutes... A clean slate so to speak. 

It has the flexibility and control of hydro, with the benifits of being able to neglect or be slow without it going wildly out of control. So what now... You need salt based nutes... Non organic? Bleh?! 

Nonsense... You are feeding them the elements they need... Directly... They don't have to be broken down first to get absorbed and used... They just get used... You feed today, you have results tomorrow. 

For noobs? I feel coco is an all round best and convenient way to grow weed. 

Very little room to mess things up... But it's also fairly easy to fix any mistakes you may have made. 

And for experienced growers? I have heard of soil grows converting to coco and doubling their yeilds... Double mother fuckers, can you hear me?? 

Soil can only compete with coco run after run after run under the guidance of a truly great grower... 

That's my R1 to this take

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