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Synthetics - Mycorrhizae Killer


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I'm sure this has been covered but I want to further emphasize this issue. There's a lot of misinformation surrounding our hobby and one of those is that mycorrhizae can't not live in a synthetic environment. 

But what is mycorrhizae actually? 

Well in simple terms the associations between roots and fungi are called mycorrhizae. These symbiotic arrangements have been found in about 90% of all land plants, and have been around for approximately 400 million years. Plant roots are hospitable sites for the fungi to anchor and produce their threads (hyphae). The roots provide essential nutrients for the growth of the fungi. In return, the large mass of fungal hyphae acts as a virtual root system for the plants, increasing the amount of water and nutrients that the plant may obtain from the surrounding soil. A plant that forms an association benefiting both the fungus and the plant is a "host." Large numbers of native desert plants are hosts to these fungi and would not survive without them.

Two general terms are used to describe virtually all mycorrhizae: 

  • In ectomycorrhizae (external), the fungus produces a sheath around the root. 
    This sheath then produces hyphae that grow into the root and out into the soil
  • Endomycorrhizae (internal) do not produce a sheath; the hyphae grow within the cells and out into the soil. These are far more common than the ectomycorrhizae.

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But without going into much what mycorrhizae is and what it does (not the purpose of this thread) 

We want to know if mycorrhizae can Infact live within a synthetic environment. 

According to Robert Pavlis (gardener & scientist with 45 years of experience) 

most organic books or blogs will tell you that synthetic chemical fertilizers are killing the bacteria and fungi, the microbes, in soil. Dr. Ingham and her Soil Food Web preach this same message. Stop using fertilizers because they kill the bacteria and fungi. 

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Some people claim that the ‘salts’ in fertilizer do the damage, but anyone making such a claim does not understand what happens to salts in soil

Fertilizer provides nutrients like nitrate, ammonium, phosphate, calcium, potassium, sulfur etc. These are all nutrients that plants need to grow

A lot of organic followers believe that the nutrients from organic sources are some how different from the ones provided by fertilizer. They are NOT! There is no lab in the world that can tell the difference between a nitrate molecule from manure and one from a bag of synthetic fertilizer. Plants can’t tell the difference either, because there is no difference. They don’t care where the nitrate came from.

A lot of people doubt science and in some advanced areas of investigation science may not be 100% correct. This is not one of these situations. All chemists agree on the above fact and have done so for a long time.

Organic material releases the nutrients slowly over many years. Synthetic chemicals release the nutrients as soon as the fertilizer dissolves in water. Is it possible that the quick release of nutrients kills microbes?

Keep in mind that the soil under your fingernail after a day in the garden contains millions if not billions of bacteria. Is it reasonable to think that fertilizer would kill all of them? I don’t think so. Even if the fertilizer killed 99% there would still be billions and billions in every shovel full of soil. And bacteria grow very quickly – as fast as doubling in number every 20 minutes (at least in a lab).

There have been many studies looking at the number of bacteria in soil after applying fertilizer

One such study done by "impact of organic" 

looked at both bacteria and fungi populations, and compared untreated soil to (a) soil treated with organic material (manure, rock phosphate, neem cake) and (b) soil treated with synthetic fertilizer. Measurements were done at two different depths.

Adding synthetic fertilizer resulted in no change in the number of bacteria and an increase in the number of fungi. Organic treatment increased both fungi and bacteria slightly.

Synthetic fertilizer did not kill bacteria in soil and it increased the number of fungi.

Agriculture Canada looked at the effect of ammonia and urea on the microbes in soil over a 10 year study, and concluded that “nitrogen applied according to soil test recommendations had minimal long-term detrimental consequences for soil microbes, soil biochemical properties, or soil structure.”

The science is quite clear. Fertilizer, when used properly, does not kill microbes.

BUT why do fertilizers not kill bacteria? The simple fact is that the nutrients in fertilizer, especially the nitrate, is a nutrient required by bacteria. They eat it! They actually absorb it since they have no mouth, but you get the idea. They also eat the other nutrients; phosphate, potassium, sulfate etc. Bacteria and fungi need these nutrients as much as plants do.

Once you understand this, it becomes fairly obvious that adding these nutrients to soil will not kill the microbes, unless they are added in very large amounts that prove toxic.

Think of composting. If you add too many browns the composting process goes slowly because there is not enough nitrogen available for the bacteria to eat. Since the bacteria are starving for nitrogen they don’t multiply and composting is slow. Add some nitrogen, either as a fertilizer, or as ‘greens’ which contain higher levels of nitrogen, and the compost pile suddenly heats up. The bacteria now have enough nitrogen to eat, they are active, and they multiply. All of this activity heats up the compost pile.

BUT!!! 

It is true that fertilizers are salts. This is not sodium chloride or table salt. The term ‘salt’ has a different meaning for a chemist. To them, a salt is a compound made up of two or more ions. Table salt is made up of sodium ions and chlorine ions. Ammonium nitrate fertilizer is made up of ammonium ions and nitrate ions, so it is also called a salt.

In dry form the ions come together to form salts. When the salts dissolve in water, the molecules break apart and form ions. When fertilizer salts are spread on the ground the white and gray balls are salt. When it rains, the water dissolves the salt into ions and washes them into the soil. Once they are in the soil they are no longer salts.

Salt will harm bacteria and plant roots if there is direct contact. Due to the large number of microbes in soil, and the small surface area of the fertilizer crystals, this has no significant effect on the microbe populations in soil. Once the salt is dissolved, the ions quickly become diluted as the water moves through the soil layer.

Diluted ions in water do not harm microbes or plant roots. In fact both of their lives depend on the ions being in the water. It is the ions that they absorb – not the salts.

What happens with organic fertilizers like compost and manure? They contain large molecules like protein and carbohydrates. As these are decomposed, they are converted into ions. These ions are the exact same ions that fertilizer produces.

Once commercial fertilizer dissolves in water it is no different than organic fertilizer. Fertilizer does not kill bacteria or fungi

Edited by Marzcanna
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@Marzcanna Great info, do you have a link to the source perhaps?

 

However there will still be those who read this and believe synthetic nutes are the devil.

Each to their own though 😄  As long as we're all growing good cannabis, who cares?

 

No reason one cannot do a mix as well, does not need to be an organic grow in order to make use of fungi, microbes, bacteria etc.

I personally use a mix of stuff with my grow, along with my GHE nutes and plants respond exceptionally well to it.

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Feed the disease 🙄 

Look at the algal blooms on many of the coastline where run-off is occurring, due to an unsustainable practice. If only all the microbes loved nitrates... Also how I understand them Greenhouse salts to work so bloody good. 

First you have vegging energy in the initial stages of plant growth, this is green growth. Green growth favors nitrates, chloride, calcium, and potassium... These elements when supplied to the plant in the right ratio stimulate the production of auxin, pushing to the seeds and the growing tips (this is masculine energy) While all this is happening the plant is sending exudates to the rhizosphere to ready the colonies that it would favour for the current stage and future stages (microbiome changes as the plant matures). 

We know microbes use nitrates as an energy source, that and carbon, in ratio of 26:1 (its a bit more complexed, but that's the bulk)... what is carbon? well that's much of the organic matter in the soil. So add more nitrogen, naturally add more carbon. In ratio. Other pitfall not mentioned.

Now we need to understand how much of this nitrate is needed to grow plants. Science says really not nearly as much as we thought post the war effort. Now that there is a microbiome thriving on nitrates and supplementing its new carbon appetite with the necessary organic matter available, just know you'll be needing to PH your water now. The most important body in the soil that does everything, and I really do mean everything is in decline, and something else is taking its place. 

Okay now you done vegging, and your plant is going to flower, this is referred to as reproductive energy, supporting this stage requires a well ratio'd amount of the following Ammonia, Calcium, Mangenese and Phosphorus - These are the ones worth mentioning. Reproductive energy and Vegetative energy are highly antagonistic. The reason everybody cuts the nitrate in an inert system is because of the above - it does no good for flowers man. Would you consider an amended system with a high OM to hold onto nitrates better than an Inert system? Well I most certainly would. 

So Algae - Greenhouse seed company make their special sauce, cant remember the name but its a biostimulant product containing Humic, fulvic and Algae... And I always wondered, why algae??? Because if there is any excess nitrate lying around during flowering, they should surely tie them up safely and out of roots reach. 

Nitrates change the make-up of the microbes in the soil faster the exudates can. 

 

 

 

Edited by ORGANinc.
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I'm not going to get technical it's above my pay grade lol

However I just recently started my frist "salt" grow with EHG nutrients and coming from biobizz it feels like I'm cheating 

So much easier to get healthy fast growing plants my only concern is tasting the "salts" in the flower 

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1 hour ago, PsyCLown said:

@Marzcanna Great info, do you have a link to the source perhaps?

 

However there will still be those who read this and believe synthetic nutes are the devil.

Each to their own though 😄  As long as we're all growing good cannabis, who cares?

 

No reason one cannot do a mix as well, does not need to be an organic grow in order to make use of fungi, microbes, bacteria etc.

I personally use a mix of stuff with my grow, along with my GHE nutes and plants respond exceptionally well to it.

Yes original article by Robert Pavlis HERE

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54 minutes ago, Dr. Green said:

I'm not going to get technical it's above my pay grade lol

However I just recently started my frist "salt" grow with EHG nutrients and coming from biobizz it feels like I'm cheating 

So much easier to get healthy fast growing plants my only concern is tasting the "salts" in the flower 

you cant think like that man haha... thats the same as saying ag why smoke weed when it comes out the ground... we must just smoke the ground rather then right?

all the elements the plant uptakes are building blocks for the plant, and like @Marzcannasaid, elements are elements, doesnt matter if they are organic in nature, or manufactured. 

so as long as you are not burning your plants and have happy healthy plants... your bud will taste the same if not better

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2 minutes ago, CreX said:

you cant think like that man haha... thats the same as saying ag why smoke weed when it comes out the ground... we must just smoke the ground rather then right?

all the elements the plant uptakes are building blocks for the plant, and like @Marzcannasaid, elements are elements, doesnt matter if they are organic in nature, or manufactured. 

so as long as you are not burning your plants and have happy healthy plants... your bud will taste the same if not better

I agree,

And it would depend on factors, firstly is it outside in the ground, or inside in a pot.

Because one, outside you going to want to look after the earth and its life therein, as you will be feeding the plant and not the soil, so it will die away (view depending)

Inside, in your tent and pot, you can do what you like, you not hurting shit.

I have used mixed, with good results, and only in my opinion and my mates, prefer the soil to be fed and find a longer lasting high, maybe not as punchy, but longer, and debatable sweeter. 

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24 minutes ago, The_StonedTrooper said:

I agree,

And it would depend on factors, firstly is it outside in the ground, or inside in a pot.

Because one, outside you going to want to look after the earth and its life therein, as you will be feeding the plant and not the soil, so it will die away (view depending)

Inside, in your tent and pot, you can do what you like, you not hurting shit.

I have used mixed, with good results, and only in my opinion and my mates, prefer the soil to be fed and find a longer lasting high, maybe not as punchy, but longer, and debatable sweeter. 

i think thats highly debatable. 

referring back to @Marzcanna, i also agree that if you apply too strong a dose of nutrient feed to your plants, you may do more damage than good to your meduim, definitely the plant. An analogy would be that you like your coffee hot, and that cold coffee is gross. but if you were able to heat your coffee to 120 degrees would you still like it? no its gonna burn your beak!

so if you are following the salt based nutrient feeding schedule for happy healthy plants... then your meduim will also be happy and healthy. i do not remember ever seeing a healthy plant in unhealthy medium.

and as for smoke reports, i have had some strains keep me high for 6 hours no sweat! and others that keep me high for 30 min, other strains that taste like dog poo...and other strains that taste like a unicorn came in your mouth... and i only grow in coco and salts.

if the plant is healthy without deficiencies or toxicities - then that is the plants expression

if you grow poorly in coco vs growing great in soil - obviously the soil will taste better

visa versa, if you grow shit in soil, vs great in coco - the coco will trump the soil

but if you grow well in both meduims - that same strain (and pheno) will taste the same and i do not think you would be able to tell a difference

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@Marzcanna I like me pavlis, he isn't trying to sell anything and says it straight. Have you read his opinions on fish fertiliser? Another good website is called horticultural myths, by a lady called Linda Chalker-Scott. 

If you apply too much nitrate, organic, synthetic or whatever, then it burns out the carbon and you strip away the fertility of your ground. You create a feeding frenzy, boom and bust scenario.

Use organic matter, compost, humic acid and fulvic acid and don't go too heavy on any fertiliser. Organic fertilizers work well with compost and OM, as do synthetic salts.

 

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Microbial enhanced nutrition delivery, is the phrase he uses and also "There's a microbe behind every mineral"

I think he farms with 18,000 apple trees and produces millions of apples every season. He says our farmers in SA are leading the world, when it comes to turning around the agricultural decline and rebuilding the soil's fertility.

A lot of these strategies for building up the fertility with no till, teas and inoculants are for Broadacre, pasture lands and orchards. I'm not so sure that they scale down, or are appropriate for our small garden use.

There are only 2 known species of Endo mycos (glomulus) that form any relationship with weed. Do any myco products list the spores they contain?  It can take up to 10 weeks for the symbiosis to establish. If there's already an abundance of soluble P in the soil, then the mycos can remain dormant, or even turn parasitic against the host species ☠️

If you use trichoderma in your potting mix then it will dominate over other species. Its the most aggressive fungi in the soil and it chows up other mycos, in its wake.

 

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Personally, I'm always going to want to feed the soil, and not the plant, whether outdoors in the ground or potted indoors. Let the plant establish its own symbiotic relationship with the soil. Synthetic fertilisers have tended to focus on solving one particular aspect, so growers end up with insane cocktails of stuff, over correcting here and under nourishing there. It's kind of why no-one has yet produced one medicine to solve all human health problems. It's too profitable to push multiple different drugs onto us.

In the same vein, I don't know of any good all round synthetic fertiliser that can do everything that awesome soil can. But of course we are biased, being soil producers ourselves. The ultimate test is to examine the tissue structure of the plant, and the proof of the pudding is in the eating, or the smoking. When it comes to food, we can easily taste the difference between naturally grown food in awesome soil, and food grown with chemicals. Good soil is so complex that no-one has yet to completely understand all its aspects. We are learning everyday.

"We know more about the movement of celestial bodies, than about our soil underfoot" - Leonardo da Vinci

 

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16 hours ago, Twix Aphen said:

If you use trichoderma in your potting mix then it will dominate over other species. Its the most aggressive fungi in the soil and it chows up other mycos, in its wake.

 

Trichoderma is a very fast colonizing and aggressive fungus, however it can often be purhcased as a wettable powder which also contains mycorrhizal fungi.

 

Biocult make this particular product:

image_2021-07-28_104232.png.abe9919e6f2bd8a828fdce3adfdd5bf4.png

 

There are multiple trichoderma strains, not sure how much they vary and if all are as aggressive etc.

Perhaps some can be used in harmony?

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@ORGANinc. The secret sauce is to properly chelate the elements, before they come into contact with the roots and foliage. Alginic acid and mannitol are both chelating agents and are constituents of kelp. As you know, kelp is closely related to algae. It looks like a good product from Greenhouse, but why is it R2100 for a kg 😆 

There's a few ways to improve the chelatiin, depending on your style of cultivation. Compost holds onto nutrients and the microbes cycle the nutrients. A minimum of 20 % organic matter in your medium is a great way to achieve this balance. A teaspoon of well made worm castings contains 50,000 different species of microbes. Less fertiliser is required if its assimilated into an available form and also buffered by carbon.

 Magnesium sulphate + fulvic acid = magnesium fulvate. A lot of sulphate compounds are approved for organic use, but they can be improved exponentially when mixed with humates.

I use gypsum with my worm castings. The calcium is then synthesized into a chelated compound, called calcium humate. Calcium is responsible for delivering 7 other elements into the plant tissue.

@PsyCLown I think that using these myco products is a better strategy than using toxic fungicides and pesticides. Treating the seed to prevent damping off is a wise move, in the field. Especially if the soil is marginal and needs improving. Your label says 150 g per hectare, but Indoors where the seed are planted individually, in a disease free environment then I don't think it makes much difference. 

The row on the left is the control, next 3 have had plant matters myco and the 3 on the right side had mycoroot.large.IMG_20210728_153743.jpg.a7b6ed20f531ba313c81024927e05ef8.jpglarge.IMG_20210728_153809.jpg.24e0276018e72858b3156da451791f7b.jpg

Trichoderma species are biotrophic mycoparasites, but they can turn necrotrophic. If your trichoderma turns necrotrophic, it will then kill off the harmful Fusarium, but it doesn't revert back into the biotrophic state. Once its in seek and destroy mode, your beneficials are also at risk.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycoparasitism   However, in some combinations, the parasite may live during its early development as a biotroph, then kill its host and act more like destructive mycoparasites in late stages of parasitism.

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12 hours ago, Twix Aphen said:

@ORGANinc. The secret sauce is to properly chelate the elements, before they come into contact with the roots and foliage. Alginic acid and mannitol are both chelating agents and are constituents of kelp. As you know, kelp is closely related to algae. It looks like a good product from Greenhouse, but why is it R2100 for a kg 😆 

There's a few ways to improve the chelatiin, depending on your style of cultivation. Compost holds onto nutrients and the microbes cycle the nutrients. A minimum of 20 % organic matter in your medium is a great way to achieve this balance. A teaspoon of well made worm castings contains 50,000 different species of microbes. Less fertiliser is required if its assimilated into an available form and also buffered by carbon.

 Magnesium sulphate + fulvic acid = magnesium fulvate. A lot of sulphate compounds are approved for organic use, but they can be improved exponentially when mixed with humates.

I use gypsum with my worm castings. The calcium is then synthesized into a chelated compound, called calcium humate. Calcium is responsible for delivering 7 other elements into the plant tissue.

@PsyCLown I think that using these myco products is a better strategy than using toxic fungicides and pesticides. Treating the seed to prevent damping off is a wise move, in the field. Especially if the soil is marginal and needs improving. Your label says 150 g per hectare, but Indoors where the seed are planted individually, in a disease free environment then I don't think it makes much difference. 

The row on the left is the control, next 3 have had plant matters myco and the 3 on the right side had mycoroot.large.IMG_20210728_153743.jpg.a7b6ed20f531ba313c81024927e05ef8.jpglarge.IMG_20210728_153809.jpg.24e0276018e72858b3156da451791f7b.jpg

Trichoderma species are biotrophic mycoparasites, but they can turn necrotrophic. If your trichoderma turns necrotrophic, it will then kill off the harmful Fusarium, but it doesn't revert back into the biotrophic state. Once its in seek and destroy mode, your beneficials are also at risk.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycoparasitism   However, in some combinations, the parasite may live during its early development as a biotroph, then kill its host and act more like destructive mycoparasites in late stages of parasitism.

Kelp and Algae are similar in that they both grow in water. Kelp is a plant, Algae is a eukaryotic organism. The ability for these organisms to tie up nitrates in the medium is where I'm getting at. This could never work well in a living system, that is re-used. If you throwing the soil away, then the algae wouldn't have enough time to fully engulf the the root system, eventually suffocating the roots of air. 

Chelating agents are usually the missing links when a certain amino acid chain is waiting for its other piece of the puzzle to form complete proteins. For example an iron chelate, is Iron that can be taken up by the plant directly because the iron molecule is held together by a claw like structure made of EDTA, i'm sure everyone has seen this. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. a white, water soluble solid. 

I like to use Humic and Fulvic acid, they work very well. But without a viable sugar source dosed properly, they just don't work as well. So now I maintain bacterial populations in the soil with molasses, different types of molasses as the ingredients can vary, but not much that it makes a huge difference, still experimenting somewhat. I do not focus on fungal growth as the soil food web works in succession. Obviously doing all initial inoculations of specific species.

Then the standard pie chart depicting the best make-up for a soil will show you Organic Matter in the soil should be 5%. Some cannabis growers utilizing living mediums get 9/10%, I have never heard of 20%. The problem with high organic matter in the soil is the potassium that comes along with it, hence the reason why many soil engineers veer away from the typical 1/3:1/3:1/3 mix and opt for less Wormcast/compost. Its a balancing act. 

We think we maybe be doing the system good by adding this and adding that, and then dumbstruck when plants in the garden or on the side of the street grow better.  

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You should always look at who funded the research. There is allot of money to be lost in this business of fertilizer. 

The only thing I will say is that plants evolve along side the microbes and both play there part in this symbiotic relationship. Why fuck with nature?

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  • 1 month later...

I have been experimenting with all sorts of so called organic products in my salts and coco grows and they do work and don't seemed to be bothered by salt nutes. That is one of my secrets but I guess it's out the bag now

On a more serious note, there are dwc systems that have an upper section to hold soil in order to achieve a hybrid synthetic /organic grow.

Comparing organic nutes to salt nutes is like comparing eating whole foods compared to a meal replacement. They both do the same thing but one can be taken more frequently to achieve better results(pure mass at flower) .

Sent from my SM-A715F using Tapatalk





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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/2/2021 at 3:05 PM, PsyCLown said:

Organic is one thing.

 

Salt nutes, microbes, fungi etc are separate.

I don't know if I'm misunderstanding the context here but, I would have to disagree with this. Organics, microbes and fungi go hand in hand, if you are looking to achieve the best results in a completely organic / no till garden. 

 

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On 7/27/2021 at 2:39 PM, CreX said:

 

so if you are following the salt based nutrient feeding schedule for happy healthy plants... then your meduim will also be happy and healthy. i do not remember ever seeing a healthy plant in unhealthy medium.

  Synthetic fertilizers work, but just because something works doesn't mean it is the best way of doing things. 

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56 minutes ago, EastRandGrower said:

I don't know if I'm misunderstanding the context here but, I would have to disagree with this. Organics, microbes and fungi go hand in hand, if you are looking to achieve the best results in a completely organic / no till garden. 

 

Yes, they go hand in hand.

Microbes and fungi are often seen in "organic" grows, however at what point is a grow no longer organic? If you do a foliar with some CalMag or perhaps do a feed with some CalMag or something along these lines?

 

Just because it is organic does not mean microbes and fungi are being used, on the other hand just because someone is using salt nutes, does not mean they are not making use of microbes and fungi. As well as just because someone is using some organic soil with microbes and fungi, does not mean it is an organic grow as other additives, supplements, nutes or sprays could be used which are not organic.

 

They may go hand in hand, but they are separate and I feel people often see it as a whole and therefore often limit it to "organic" grows or soil grows.

 

41 minutes ago, EastRandGrower said:

Since I made the switch I am one of those people ..... 😅😁

As long as it works for you 🙂 

We both believe that fungi and microbes can be beneficial for a grow and we both make use of them. We just disagree on certain points which is completely fine and I guess this is kinda like religion in a way. lol

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31 minutes ago, PsyCLown said:

 

 

Just because it is organic does not mean microbes and fungi are being used, on the other hand just because someone is using salt nutes, does not mean they are not making use of microbes and fungi. As well as just because someone is using some organic soil with microbes and fungi, does not mean it is an organic grow as other additives, supplements, nutes or sprays could be used which are not organic.

 

Very good point, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. Like what I said about a no till garden, it takes a balance of the three. 

The bulk of synthetic salt based nutrients on the market (not specifically marketed / recommend in cannabis growing)  have been show to degrade soil quality and cause a few other issues, a lot of these products do not state it and you actually have to do some reading to understand what everything inside them does. And this is why I prefer the organic no till route, especially because I eat a lot of what comes out of my garden.

Edit: yes there are studies that show the opposite, and mentioned in these it comes down to use. 

I would just like to add I am no scientist, have never done any testing. Just read stuff and decided to make my own decision.  

Edited by EastRandGrower
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53 minutes ago, EastRandGrower said:

Very good point, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. Like what I said about a no till garden, it takes a balance of the three. 

The bulk of synthetic salt based nutrients on the market (not specifically marketed / recommend in cannabis growing)  have been show to degrade soil quality and cause a few other issues, a lot of these products do not state it and you actually have to do some reading to understand what everything inside them does. And this is why I prefer the organic no till route, especially because I eat a lot of what comes out of my garden.

Edit: yes there are studies that show the opposite, and mentioned in these it comes down to use. 

I would just like to add I am no scientist, have never done any testing. Just read stuff and decided to make my own decision.  

 

I agree, I also think a big difference with cannabis is whether one is growing indoors or outdoors and if outdoors, is it in pots or straight into the ground?

Although I guess the same can be applied to just about anything someone is growing.

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