Anyone heard of hydro-organic?

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Hey guys,

I'm thinking about giving this a shot, read it in a book, seems like it should work. Basically fill the net pot half full of expanded clay / lava rock, then fill the upper half with rockwoll / coconut coir or a mixture of the above. Then in the res you either do ebb / flow, or aeroponics with plain un-nuted water. All nutes are applied to the top portion of the pot. The book says that the first half of the plants roots are thin like spider webs, made to absorb nutrients, and that the bottom roots are long like spaghetti to soak up water. Seems alright, the only prob is if you over feed the top and it leaches into your res below it would need changed.

Any thoughts?
 
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I have never had any luck at all with running hydro organic...and I have tried a lot of different methods and nutrient lines. The nutes in the res get icky, even with constant aeration. Running aero is even worse as the organic nutes clogged the misters almost immediately.
 

Rosebud

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That is too bad isn't it. I wish you could do a good organic in hydro.
 

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Maybe you misunderstood the concept, you don't add nutes to the res, only to the top portion of the dirt, and only enough to saturate the soil not enough to leak back into the res.

The goal is to maintain a clean nute free res, that is used solely to supply fresh water to the plants. Also you keep the water level below the soil level, water the soil via hand watering.

When you fill your net pot you create a filter of sorts, first lay down 1/2 expanded clay, then add some bits n pieces of rockwoll to act as a filter between the two substrates, then fill the top of the pot with either dirt, or coir, to apply top dressings / compost tea's to. Also line the entire pot with screen, except for the bottom, so the roots can grow down.
 
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I do not see any way that would be possible. The entire root zone needs to be exposed to the nutrients, not just the ones in the dirt or the upper part of the pot. And I do not see the nutes just staying in the upper part of the pots. The purpose of the res is for the roots to grow into the res water and for this to be as nutrient rich environment with a lot of aeration. Just doesn't seem to be a concept that is possible. I have checked out trying to run organic hydro, but have just found nothing that worked. This plan seemed flawed from the beginning, so much so that it is something I am not even willing to gamble a crop on. You cannot keep the nutes out of the res and have a healthy grow. Rockwool does not filter nutes out--if rockwool filtered out nutes, no one could use it as a growing medium. The entire root zone needs nutes. I don't even really understand how an ebb and flow can work or how nutrients will be administered to the plants if it is not in the res? What is the ebb and flow ebbing and flowing?
 

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I do not see any way that would be possible. The entire root zone needs to be exposed to the nutrients, not just the ones in the dirt or the upper part of the pot. And I do not see the nutes just staying in the upper part of the pots. The purpose of the res is for the roots to grow into the res water and for this to be as nutrient rich environment with a lot of aeration. Just doesn't seem to be a concept that is possible. I have checked out trying to run organic hydro, but have just found nothing that worked. This plan seemed flawed from the beginning, so much so that it is something I am not even willing to gamble a crop on. You cannot keep the nutes out of the res and have a healthy grow. Rockwool does not filter nutes out--if rockwool filtered out nutes, no one could use it as a growing medium. The entire root zone needs nutes. I don't even really understand how an ebb and flow can work or how nutrients will be administered to the plants if it is not in the res? What is the ebb and flow ebbing and flowing?
"The entire root zone needs nutes"
In nature only the top soil contains nutrients, so it kinda makes sense that the top portion of the root zone would be better made to absorb them.

"I don't even really understand how an ebb and flow can work or how nutrients will be administered to the plants if it is not in the res?"
Nutrients are giving to the top soil portion of the pot.

"What is the ebb and flow ebbing and flowing?
The ebb and flow is watering the bottom half of the pot, as well as the root zone protruding from the bottom of the pot.

"Rockwool does not filter nutes out--if rockwool filtered out nutes, no one could use it as a growing medium."

Sorry filter was a bad choice of words, the rockwool is a barrier between the two substrates and also acts like a sponge, to absorb any excess nutes that were hand fed from the top of the pot.

"This plan seemed flawed from the beginning, so much so that it is something I am not even willing to gamble a crop on."

It sounds like a solid concept to me, but I do agree and I hope no one reads this and risks an entire crop based on a few posts about about an alternate method to growing. I may have to give it a try tho.


I thought it was an interesting solution to the hydro / organic dilemma. It keeps the nutes out of the res, and gives you a place to establish a colony of fungi / bacteria. One problem I can see is not being able to apply enough organics to the top half of the pot to sustain good growth, although that would depend on the width of the pot used, as well as the type of nutrients.
 

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In nature only the top soil contains nutrients, so it kinda makes sense that the top portion of the root zone would be better made to absorb them
This is not true. There is food/nutes/organic matter at all levels. What is missing from the lower levels is air that allow the fungi and bacteria to thrive
 
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Sorry, but a lot of your rebuttals of mine are simply not correct. Regardless of what you believe you are simply not going to be able to keep the nutrients in the upper part of the pots. And even if you did, the plant would starve. Most of the root growth is going to be, not in the pot, but below pot level and they DO need nutes. The res would absolutely have to have nutes in it.

I am not sure what about it seems "solid". It will not keep the nutes out of the res. That is the bottom line and the biggest flaw with this plan. You simply cannot water 1/2 of a pot and expect the nutrients to stay their. Everytime you flood and drain with the res solution, it WILL wash the nutes into the res solution. The roots DO need nutrients. I have grown for decades and have been growing DWC since 1998. This is a flawed plan and, IMO, there is simply no way that it is going to work. All my arguments are valid and have merit. I am through arguing with you about this though. I have tried growing hydro organic quite a few times and it simply does not work for cannabis.
 

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Didn't know it had turned into an argument, but otay. Guess that is the end of the thread

The book is called "totally organic hydroponics" lots of information and pictures, seems to work well for what he is growing.
 

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"In nature only the top soil contains nutrients, so it kinda makes sense that the top portion of the root zone would be better made to absorb them".

Not true. That is why when we have soil tests outdoors we have people go down 18 inches to see what the ph and other nutrients are at that level. You think we would have red wood trees with no nutes in the root structure??

Good luck.. I wish there was a way to grow hydro organically, i might try it...But i do love the dirt.
 
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Not sure I should have called it an argument, but I really have nothing to add.

Link this, I will look at, but like I said, in concept this will not work, for numerous reasons.
 

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Here is a link http://www.scribd.com/doc/51307683/Totally-Organic-Hydroponics-Paul-Wright#scribd Its an 86 page book and by the looks of the pictures it has worked, so the concept is solid, whether or not it can be applied and used with mary jane is the question.

Hey rosebud, I guess a guy should choose his words carefully.. Not that it has the "only" nutrients but that it has the "majority" of them.

(Top soil has the highest concentration of organic matter and microorganisms and is where most of the Earth's biological soil activity occurs. Plants generally concentrate their roots in and obtain most of their vital nutrients from this layer.) from wikipedia on topsoil.
 

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Wait... Organic hydro? Im confused by this... Because this is very possible... WHy even involve soil? I mean, it's as simple as using a regular Hydro system with liquid Organic nutrients... Just mix into res as if they are powdered... Or am I misunderstanding here? Do you mean organics as in tangible fertilizers? See for me, you can buy liquid nutrients up here, and get it specifically made organic..... Is this only in my area? Or am I misunderstanding the question? Regardless, the setup you described seems like it wouldn't promote adequate growth... All parts of your roots need to be fed.. Not just the top..
 

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Thanks for your input bud,

That method does work, and is also described in the book. I know that earth juice element's is made to be used with hydro. I thought it would be beneficial to have a place for fungal / microbial growth, also it doesn't have to be soil, just a medium to apply top dressings / tea's into. The top of the soil would likely dry out every other day so you could do small feeds but more frequently.
 

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Next, i was coming at this from a master gardeners perspective. when you said nature I thought trees as good example. Our earth has amazing properties... and what is topsoil? the top 100 feet in a forest? If the roots of a tree is in proportion to it's height, which it is, then all of the earth has to have nutrients. Off my soap box now... Growing pot is really fun. I hope you find the way you want to do it and run with it. We just want to save you some time. I think your book is interesting. We are on your side to grow the best dank you can...
 

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Hey rose,

I do enjoy a good debate, so lets try and keep this on the positive side. I will admit I am no master gardener, far from one in fact. I'm just trying to gather as much information as I can, so I can better understand the plants life process in general. Gathering correct information is alot easier said than done, seems information is the same as opinions these days and everyone has one.

Im not trying to call you out or anything like that, I value your opinions, and I do believe you are a great gardener. With that being said, have you researched much about a tree's root system? From the information I can find, it seems as tho the "majority" of a tree's root system is in the top 18"-24", and the depth at which the roots grow depends on a variety of conditions such as the soil type, amount of nutrients, as well as the type of tree / bush. There is a root to shoot ratio, which is 1/5 or 1/6 under normal conditions, which means the top is 5-6 times heavier than the root system.
 

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I learned that all trees can be different. Some can have a shallow root system (willows) and some can have root mass as wide as the tree is tall. Some have really long tap roots..

You will find a lot of opinions on growing this herb of ours. If you are at all like me you may have to try things out for yourself rather then take our words for it. I will tell you that THG has been growing for like 40 years or something and most of that is in water.
I look forward to your grow as you are interested in the plant and that is most awesome.

Have you been pointed toward Marijuana Botany by Clark? That seems to be the definitive guide. I bet you will enjoy it..Some say it is kinda dry. I have not read the entire book. I think there is a copy on here somewhere. I can look if your interested.

Good to talk with you.
 

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A person must also remember that a plant is alive, and it has various functions that it uses to survive. The root system has 3 main functions, nutrient uptake, water uptake, and a stable foundation for the weight of itself. The roots can and do adapt to their environment, for instance growing in hydro is non natural yet it proves to work great, due to the plants ability to adapt. So I think it is almost safe to say there is no answer as to the depth at which a tree's roots will grow. They will grow as deep as they need to, and as deep as conditions allow. If there is a large amount of nutrients at the top of the soil, the roots don't have to cover as much surface area to acquire enough to sustain growth, same goes for water.
 

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Thanks rose I will def look into that book
 
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