Where to start
Unlike house plants that can survive on just water cannabis requires a nutrient rich diet. The decision-making process on which direction you choose can be difficult, hydroponic, soil/soilless, or organic and organic no till beds. Luckily, we have spent our energy and resources on all the above to help make this difficult decision easier.
There are a few factors to consider when deciding which feeding regimen you want to choose.
• Grow space size
• Are you using tents
• How much extra time do you have to spend tending to your garden each week
• How much experience/knowledge you already have about gardening
• How much research are you willing to do on your own time
• How much money are you willing to invest
• Legalities in your region (ex: number of plants allowed)
After taking all of these into consideration we will break down each method for you to see what best suits your needs.
No till Organic Beds
This method of growing is fantastic for saving time in the long run, because once your bed is set up you are just feeding it PH corrected water except for the one day a month where you re-amend your bed and/or when you brew a compost tea. No till beds are great because the microbial life increases exponentially, so over time your harvests will get better and better if you keep amending your soil.
List of ingredients needed:
• 100% sphagnum peatmoss
• Worm castings
• Dolomite lime
• Red rock phosphate
• Glacial rock dust
• Insect frass
• Green sand
• Worms (red wigglers are preferred)
• Bacillus subtilus
• Cover crop seeds (legumes are common)
• Neem meal
• Kelp meal
• Crab meal
• Fish bone meal
• Humic acid
• Air pump
• Nylon sock
• 5-gallon pail
• (An easier, but not necessarily better is to purchase something like gaia green dry amendments and use those as they contain a mixture of most of these ingredients)
To build a no till bed we recommend purchasing the 100% sphagnum peatmoss which comes in a bail the same size as pro mix for ¼ the cost. However, it is JUST peat moss, no perlite, myco, dolomite lime for ph or anything.
Once you have decided the size of your space, we will use a 4×4 grow tent for this example. You build the frame for your bed out of 2×6 pieces of lumber. Next line the interior with thick greenhouse plastic and staple it over the other side, essentially making a box with a plastic bottom. Place this in the grow tent, line the bottom with cardboard, then lay twigs and small sticks covering the cardboard, then add a layer of compost covering the sticks completely (about 4 inches thick).
In a separate bin, mix your peatmoss, perlite, and worm castings at a 2:1:1 ratio. This is going to be your soil base. Now we start to add your amendments.
• Alfalfa – 3 tbsp per gallon or soil-is high in nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, calcium, sulfur, boron, iron, and zinc. As well as other vitamins and minerals. Alfalfa most important aspect is the growth hormone called triacontanol which is one of the most potent growth stimulators known about today.
• Dolomite lime- 2 tbsp per gallon- peatmoss has a very acidic PH of around 3.4 so adding the dolomite lime will help raise it to the appropriate PH as well as provide calcium and magnesium to your plants
• Red rock phosphate- 1 tbsp per gallon- red rock phosphate is very good for early-stage root development, stem strength, resistance to disease, nutrient uptake, flower formation, and yield. It assists in photosynthesis and pretty much every major plant function.
• Glacial rock dust- 1 tbsp per gallon- glacial rock dust is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, as well as trace elements and micronutrients which feed the beneficial micro-organisms.
• Insect Frass- 3 tbsp per gallon- Insect frass contains chitin which is a naturally occurring molecule found in the cells of crustaceans as well as the exoskeletons of insects. Chitin fortifies your plants from there cell walls, it triggers the immune system causing them to rev up and defend themselves. The presence of chitin tricks the plants into thinking they are being attacked by pests, so they release natural insect toxins and build up their cell walls as a defence.
• Green sand- 3 tbsp per gallon- green sand is a natural source of potassium, iron, magnesium, and manganese. It is a mind iron potassium silicate mineral from ancient seabed’s. It improves friability of hard soils as well as nutrient retention. The silica content is its main function.
• Mycorrhizal fungi- there are many different strains of mycorrhizae, and some products contain a full blend and charge you a premium for this. However, there is only one strain that has been proven to be beneficial, so we recommend xtreme gardenings mykos product as it contains just that one strain of myco which builds root mass and increases uptake of nutrients and water.
• Bacillus subtilus- this is found in many products labelled as a soil conditioner however you can buy it as a stand-alone powder, depending on the producer follow the instructions for the product. This bacterium is especially important because if you inoculate the root zone early in the plants life this will aid in fighting off fungal infections such as powdery mildew which can be entirely prevented if inoculated before infected. When sprayed directly on powdery mildew the bacillus feeds on the PM until the PM are gone. Once there are no more spores on the leaf the bacillus dies. So, it requires multiple applications as a foliar but having it in the root zone is most affective. (there’s a whole list of bacillus strains that are beneficial to growing cannabis, however this one seems the most useful all around)