What Works Well For Me...

McMurphy

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Over the years, I have experimented with a variety of different methods for growing. Soil. Hydroponics. Aeroponics. Indoor. Outdoor. You name it. I have a whole ton of equipment and supplies in my shed because I moved on to another type of system and/or nutrient menu.

While I have had a lot of success with each one these methods, I have fallen back on good old reliable - soil.

Frankly, the benefits are many and the afflictions are few. Soil is very forgiving and a lot less labor intensive. The chances of over fertilizing are reduced as the soil acts like a buffer. There is also a lot less to go wrong. No pump failures, clogged jets, failed timers, or nutrient disorders means a whole lot less to worry about.

And then there is the "taste factor". Lets face it - there is nothing that tastes as good as some properly grown, properly flushed and properly cured nugs. As far as taste goes, I'll put my soil grown buds up against the hydro stuff anytime!

I use a special blend that I mix up myself for my grow medium, and it works wonderfully! And I'd like to share this with you all. It's not the cheapest way to go but just like everything else in life, quality costs a bit more.

My Soil Recipe: First I mix a 50/50 batch of perlite and vermiculite. Then I mix a 50/50 batch of Fox Farm's Ocean Forest and Aurora Original Potting Soil. Then I mix a 50/50 batch of these two mixtures. The result is a light, airy mix that the plants absolutely love! The roots get plenty of oxygen, meaning maximum nutrient absorption and healthy, hardy plants. They truly do thrive in it!

*A word of caution: Fox Farm's Ocean Forest is a "hot" soil, meaning that it can and will burn some plants due to the high content of available nutrients. This is why I cut it with another soil.

For watering and feeding I use only distilled water. While it's a little more effort and expense, (about 75-80 cents a gallon) it keeps the pH of the soil right where it should be. Roughly 6.5 - 6.8 range. Plus I'm not loading up my soil with any additional additives that serve no other purpose other than to raise or lower the pH. I have found that even after months of growing, the pH of the soil within the root mass is as stable as the day the plants were first started.

For nutrients, I use primarily Fox Farms Big Big Bloom, Grow Big, and Tiger Bloom. I also use just a touch of Superthrive during the vegetative state and the first week or two of flowering. (Just 3-4 drops a gallon!) I also flush my soil religiously, every 21 days with Fox Farm's Bush Doctor Sledgehammer.

Some have reported bad results with this stuff but it works quite well for me. I believe the key is to mix it light. I use just one teaspoon per gallon instead of the recommended two. Other than that, I follow the Fox Farms feeding schedule pretty much verbatim - minus the 10 other Fox Farm products they include such as Cha-Ching, Boomerang and Open Sesame. There is such a thing as too much. Clearex and similar products work as well for flushing out excess nutrients, thereby minimizing the possibility of a toxic salt build-up. Flushing is especially important the last 10 days to two weeks before harvest. It works wonders for the flavor!

I learned a long time ago that cutting corners will cut your crop. I also learned what I consider to be the most important tip about growing - what you put into it is what you get out of it. Don't be afraid to spend a couple extra dollars for a good, high quality grow medium. It will pay off many times over.

Now I'm always looking for new, state-of-the-art products, and Lord knows there's an abundance of them, but most of the time it's just new packaging on the same old mouse trap. But six months from now, I might very well be preaching the wonders of some new or recently discovered soil mix or nutrient solution...but right now, this is what works best for me.

McMurphy out! :cool:
 
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zem

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That is an insightful post, thank you for that, although i disagree with a big part of it.
I would put my hydro bud next to any soil or organic bud and have a taste, i believe that mine taste better than any of them. i have tasted a lot of soil grown and to say the least, hydro is as good or better in taste for me. As for labor intensiveness, and this is a major thing in my grow, I want my grow to be the least labor intensive with best results. I tried DWC, flood and drain, coco, and soil i found that flood and drain in growrocks is the least labor intensive with the best results. it operates automatically, and **** do these submersibles ever break, they live on and on and on, can't remember when i had one changed. i can go for 3 days or more without having to check on plants, when i do, i just need to top my res and adjust its ferts, and at harvest, i just need to remove the roots and grow on, without having to carry soil or dirt in or out, it's 100% recyclable, and i found that cleaning a pot of growrocks is actually easier, less labor intensive than emptying and refilling with soil, let alone amending it, let alone buying it, and mixing it oufff... best part in it is, that you can instantly treat problems as they appear, and worst case is, you flush your res and give a fresh one, flood and drain with that, and your plants are feeding correctly straight away. you don't have this advantage in coco, or soil.
That soil mix that you use sounds great, and I would certainly try it if i ever grow outdoors under the sun, but so far, i grow indoors or in a greenhouse, and hydro flood and drain is still my method of choice.
 

Dr. Green Fang

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I also disagree with a few things, but you're new here.. I don't want to be "that guy" so instead, welcome to MP McMurphy! :ciao:

Enjoy the forums! :aok:
 

WeedHopper

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Im with Zem about Hydro. Ive grown DWC and Soil,,and found DWC much cleaner and easier,,plus being able to fix problems much quicker. Cant say ive noticed a difference in taste,,cause i love the taste of Weed eather way. Im a POTHEAD. LOL
Welcome my friend to MP,where you can have your opinion, and we can agree to disagree.
 

McMurphy

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Whatever works best for you, my friend. That is what this is all about.

You see, sometimes my job takes me out of town for as long as a week... and I could never leave a hydroponic or aeroponic system unattended for that long. But I can with the soil.

And frankly, losing an entire crop of Blueberry due to a pump failure was an experience I'd rather not repeat. (lol)

And the taste debate rages on! Perhaps we'll have an opportunity to share and compare the fruits of our labor!
 

Dr. Green Fang

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You see, sometimes my job takes me out of town for as long as a week... and I could never leave a hydroponic or aeroponic unattended for that long. But I can with the soil.
Hah, I have so much to say to this :D

... but reverting back to this approach; Have you found anything that sets MP apart from the rest?

Also, hey.. how's the weather? :)
 

zem

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Whatever works best for you, my friend. That is what this is all about.

You see, sometimes my job takes me out of town for as long as a week... and I could never leave a hydroponic or aeroponic unattended for that long. But I can with the soil.

And frankly, losing an entire crop of Blueberry due to a pump failure was an experience I'd rather not repeat. (lol)

And the taste debate rages on! Perhaps we'll have an opportunity to share and compare the fruits of our labor!
i will go on vacation soon. it will be about 2 weeks. i am planning on putting 2 pumps for flooding, and making a funky way where if one breaks, the other will still flood. to have 1 break, i will consider myself TERRIBLY unlucky. to have them both break, i would start to believe in spells lol
 

WeedHopper

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The taste debate will always bring differences of opinions,,,But mine is the only one that counts. Lol
 

WeedHopper

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i will go on vacation soon. it will be about 2 weeks. i am planning on putting 2 pumps for flooding, and making a funky way where if one breaks, the other will still flood. to have 1 break, i will consider myself TERRIBLY unlucky. to have them both break, i would start to believe in spells lol
Ill drop by and keep an eye on it for you Zem.:dancing:,,here i come,,may take a while cause im walking.
 

McMurphy

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Hah, I have so much to say to this :D

... but reverting back to this approach; Have you found anything that sets MP apart from the rest?

Also, hey.. how's the weather? :)
The weather here is beautiful right now. My favorite time of year... cause in another couple of weeks, it's going to be 100 plus degrees til October!

What set this place apart from the other forum?

This is actually the first one I found a couple of years ago and have lurked around every now and then ever since. I like the lay out and how user friendly it is... and the people seem pretty cool so far.
 

McMurphy

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i will go on vacation soon. it will be about 2 weeks. i am planning on putting 2 pumps for flooding, and making a funky way where if one breaks, the other will still flood. to have 1 break, i will consider myself TERRIBLY unlucky. to have them both break, i would start to believe in spells lol
That was how I lost a whole room full of Blueberry. Went out of town for 6 days on business and when I returned all those beautiful buds were dead dead dead.

Equipment failure is always a possibility.... and that's what I like best about soil. I can go out of town and I don't have to give it a second thought.

I remember another time running an E&F system that clogged up. That was a quite mess but the plants survived.

But I really do like your idea of running duel pumps!
 

WeedHopper

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Even in Dirt ya have to have away to water while gone. So how do you water without something Mechanical? Just curious Bro.
 

McMurphy

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Even in Dirt ya have to have away to water while gone. So how do you water without something Mechanical? Just curious Bro.
I've never been gone long enough to have the plants completely dry out. Even here in the desert, I usually go about a week between watering/feeding. Any more than that and I start getting signs of over-watering. I use regular old 5 gallon buckets.
 

WeedHopper

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I would never be able to do that in the soils i use in my gardens because it drains to quickly. Guess i would have to use soil that doesnt drain well or add some moisture control.
I work out of town alot also, ,,i use my Wife to watch my plants. So i guess ya gonna have to get a Wife,,,lol
 

Dr. Green Fang

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I've never been gone long enough to have the plants completely dry out. Even here in the desert, I usually go about a week between watering/feeding
I would never be able to do that in the soils i use in my gardens because it drains to quickly.
Yep.. I could NEVER go a week with soil, no matter how big the container even. With the right aeration, you have a better wet / dry period, so I do not like my medium that wet that long.

lol... here I am, starting to partake in convo I was trying not to hah. I try not to do the "this is that because of this" convo's, as it sometimes ends wrong with some mindsets.

Since I started though, I may as well also toss out there;

-I taste no difference in bud from soil (be it chem or organic) vs hydro
-I taste no difference in bud from being flushed vs not being flushed
-Soil is less forgiving, takes longer to show issues and is much longer to correct. Hydro can be identified and corrected in about 24-48 hours tops, for major issues, and almost in hours for minor issues
-There's less chance of over fert as hydro is like a cat dish with food. You load it up, and the cat will eat what it needs, when it needs. Soil is like a dog dish with food. You load THAT up and the dog will eat eat eat until it's sick (toxicity).
-PH is much easier to control in hydro
-PPM's are easier to control in hydro, and identify what's actually going on with your food

I could go on for awhile, but I just wanted to toss out my thoughts in this bowl. I'm not nay-saying or trying to be a downer, just a very bold post so had to toss out the other side of the coin. :aok: Again, welcome to MP and I hope my thoughts don't rub ya wrong my friend :D
 

zem

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in any indoor setup, there are other things that can go wrong while you're away, like the light or ballast burnout, or a fan jammed. I think that i have to consider also adding another fan, because it will be summer, and a fan stopping with about 1kw of lights, it will fry them all. good thing that you opened my eyes to this possibility. a light that goes off for days is bad, might loose a lot in yield but plants will still survive and vegging plants under many fluros will remain unaffected.
 

000StankDank000

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Mcmurphy your fighting a losing battle bro. These guys are PRO hydro. I'm with you I'm a soil guy and agree soil is what I find to work best.

ZEM still waiting on that sample " of the best tasting meds" . I think as long as it's grown right and not over fed it will taste just fine. It's when people hammer the nutes and don't flush is when it taste like poo
 

zem

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Mcmurphy your fighting a losing battle bro. These guys are PRO hydro. I'm with you I'm a soil guy and agree soil is what I find to work best.

ZEM still waiting on that sample " of the best tasting meds" . I think as long as it's grown right and not over fed it will taste just fine. It's when people hammer the nutes and don't flush is when it taste like poo
It's no battle, Stank's always in a battle lol we must have a battle of the buds sometime...
I agree with you stank on the part that it's easy to overdo ferts in hydro, but it's also easy to flush it, unlike in soil. I know that my properly cured buds taste the best of what I ever tasted, sure beats the hydro stuff I tasted in Amsterdam coffee shops years back, and sure beat the commercial soil or hydro stuff, but I am sure that there are many soil growers who get as good a taste as I do in my hydro :)
 

yooper420

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I grow in soil, actually soilless, Sunshine Mix #4. When my plants get into the large pots (5 gallon) I can water them, fill the saucer under the pot with water and that plant is good to go for a week. Have used this method more then once with no problems.
 

Rosebud

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Hi Mc, I am an organic dirt farmer... I love soil!!! Welcome to MP again, glad you are here.

I have a very good friend who shall be nameless, THE HEMP GODDESS. And she can't tell the difference in taste from my organic goodness from her hydro goodness. so there you have it. ha.
 
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