Mandella Seeds Grow Guides

Hackerman

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This might be a good sticky for the beginners forum (although, I learned a lot of new stuff by reading it and I'm not exactly a beginner).

http://mandalaseeds.com/

Click on the tab that says, "Grow Guides".

I'm sure most of you have seen this but I saw some rather astonishing things there. For example...

From their soil guide...

Is it necessary to add anything for drainage such as perlite, vermiculite, sand, expanded clay pebbles?

It is best not to add any additional materials to your potting soil. Horticultural grade potting soil is perfectly mixed for the best air-water ratio. Adding more non-nutritive substances depletes the water retention capacity of the soil, it unnecessarily "stretches" the soil and reduces the total amount of nutrients available to the plant, and it creates dry pockets in the container.
Adding a large amount of perlite/vermiculite (some growers add as much as 25%!) is a completely outdated practice from 30-40 years ago when there was only a very small selection of horticultural potting soil available for non-commercial gardeners. It is one of the unfortunate harmful practices in cannabis cultivation that many still cling to although they do not understand the reason or consequences.
Especially harmful is to fill the bottom of the container with coarse materials such as expanded clay pebbles. This is where most roots grow down looking for water and nutrients! If they reach a dry and sterile layer of substrate the delicate root hairs shrivel, valuable space is lost where the plant requires rich soil that stores moisture and minerals.


Doesn't everyone add perlite and vermiculite to their mix? Apparently, they don't approve.

Oddly enough, among the recommended soils you see Miracle Grow Potting Soil.

Fafard Professional Potting Mix
Kellogg Potting Soil
Supersoil Potting Soil
Sunshine All Purpose Planting Mix
Scotts Potting Soil
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix
Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix
Fox Farm Ocean Forest
Fox Farm Happy Frog

Some interesting info in the rest of their grow guides
 
P

P Jammers

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I'd take what they say with a grain of salt. They are posting an opinion, not fact.
 

Hackerman

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There are a number of things in their guides that they say are wrong that I have been doing for years.

Still, as a breeder, you would think that their "opinions" are pretty darn close to fact.
 
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I have found that for the most part, the germination guide is pretty good, but I have found some things I disagree with, too. For instance, I have found rooting cubes to work very well for me. Other things I agree--I don't add much perlite to my soil and no vermiculite. And I never soak newer seeds and don't germ in paper towels.

There are a lot of parts of this growing thing that I think you have to just figure out what works best for you. Some things are pretty cut and dried, but just as there are different growing methods, there are different germination methods. Find what works for YOU and go with that. Germination is one of those things that you either succeed or fail at. The seed either pops or it doesn't.
 

pcduck

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I have never added vermiculite to my soil, just perlite..I would imagine that if you added 25% vermiculite it would screw up your soil.
 

Hackerman

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My mix for decades has been 50% Garden Magic Top Soil, 25% perlite and 25% vermiculite.

It doesn't provide any nutes but it drains well and has always been a great medium for me.

I may try Fox Farms Potting Soil next time. I have always been afraid that organic soil draws bugs. Is Fox Farms Happy Frog Potting Soil a good choice?
 

Rosebud

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Fox Farm ocean forest is great soil. It is not 100% organic, but only really nutty people like me care. FFOF has nutrition that can last 6 weeks more or less. Happy Frog is what i use, it has some nutes in it that lasts 3 weeks. I use HF and put some organic Biotone starter plant food in the bottom of my pots. When they hit that it is pretty hot but they like it.
You can always supplement with teas, for bloom and molasses and that is a whole different thread.
 

lyfespan

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My mix for decades has been 50% Garden Magic Top Soil, 25% perlite and 25% vermiculite.

It doesn't provide any nutes but it drains well and has always been a great medium for me.

I may try Fox Farms Potting Soil next time. I have always been afraid that organic soil draws bugs. Is Fox Farms Happy Frog Potting Soil a good choice?
I have been getting good results with happy frog mixed with extras
 
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Vermiculite and perlite are almost opposite things. Perlite makes for good drainage and vermiculite holds water. I really don't understand the benefit of using them together?
 

Hackerman

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The vermiculite (I use the coarse grind) actually helps in breaking up the soil so it doesn't "clump" or compact too tightly. So, although it holds moisture like dirt, it is bigger so it aids in drainage.

One of the worst things you can do for pot is to have dirt that is too compact and won't allow root expansion. The verm helps with that. I have used a 50/25/25 mix for years and it seems to work great for me. Very nice drainage and it's always nice and loose. Even if it is soaked in water you can pick up a handful and squeeze it, and when you open you hand it will break apart easily.
 

8planets8

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man did i learn alot i just bought some happy frog now i'm haveing second thoughts about my next grow with what you guys had to say about your pots 888 thanks
 

lyfespan

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Vermiculite and perlite are almost opposite things. Perlite makes for good drainage and vermiculite holds water. I really don't understand the benefit of using them together?
Like hacker, I use it to avoid soil compaction. I have noticed they seem to deal with the heat a lil better as well.
 

8planets8

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Is that all i use if i decide to use happy frog just that and the other things you all mentionted??????? 888
 

Hushpuppy

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Iff you go with the Happy Frog soil, you will be doing an "organic grow" which has certain parameters you must follow. It is not difficult to do or use it, you just have to follow its rules rather than the rules of synthetic nutrient growing. I would mix pearlite and dolomite lime with it before using. I would also recommend that you get either the Happy frog nutrients like "Fruit and Flower" to keep the soil from getting depleted of nutrients before the end of the flowering cycle. :)
 

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