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flyin1420

My No-Till Garden ~

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Sounds interesting, I am not a believer in no till farming in containers, but perhaps you'll change my mind :D


Disappointment is caused by unrealistic expectations. / The more I learn about people the more I like my dog. / Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right. / Its like everything it depends on everything else. 

 

 

 

 

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I was skeptical at first, but the more I read, the more excited I was to get started. I have had some very nice results so far on the first cycle. The real test will be the second, third, and fourth cycles in the same undisturbed soil. I honestly don't know that this will work, and if it doesnt, then at least I've learned what doesn't work, no big deal. Photos to come...

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Looking forward to the ride and the pics :D  I like the Revs work you listed above,  hard to beat experience. :D


Disappointment is caused by unrealistic expectations. / The more I learn about people the more I like my dog. / Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right. / Its like everything it depends on everything else. 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks!  I have some photos to upload, but having some technical difficulties today.

 

To be clear, I have not read any of The Rev's work, and this is not inspired by his methods.  I did a brief search for his soil mix, and while there may be a couple of overlaps, I would not use his mix in my own garden.  Most of the amendments are either unnecessary or counter-productive to what I am trying to accomplish here.

 

ODB, think you could post a copy of The Rev's current soil recipe here? Like I said, I am not very familiar with his work, and I would be interested in comparing

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Hmm, its ever changing and he made a book a few years ago now.....I am a firm believer in his ways, but everyones goals are different! :D Lots of stuff providing everything the plant needs,  breaking down at a different time to feed the plant and you tea to make up the difference.

 

I have NO idea if this is factual or up to date but seems relevant http://buildasoil.com/blogs/news/9885098-why-tlo-dissecting-the-rev-mix-line-by-line


Disappointment is caused by unrealistic expectations. / The more I learn about people the more I like my dog. / Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right. / Its like everything it depends on everything else. 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for posting that link odb. I also found that this morning as I was looking up the revs soil mix. The info and products found on buildasoil are solid. He follows the same methodology that I do, and his info is basically from the same source as mine

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Thanks for posting that link odb. I also found that this morning as I was looking up the revs soil mix. The info and products found on buildasoil are solid. He follows the same methodology that I do, and his info is basically from the same source as mine

So I would say that the info is both factual and relevant. This blog is an excellent source of information. In fact, buildasoil will ship a similar version of the soil blend that I'm using in any quantity. I prefer to source the ingredients and blend my own soil.

Edited by flyin1420

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I live in the farm country and can pick up 50 pound bags of whatever for dirt cheap.  IMHO the key is keeping the soil balanced while introducing as many different beneficial ingredients as you can.  I think his work is at least worth looking at if nothing else. Old info from the three little birds also struck me. ... I dunno- I do what I do. lol.


Disappointment is caused by unrealistic expectations. / The more I learn about people the more I like my dog. / Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right. / Its like everything it depends on everything else. 

 

 

 

 

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This is a Thai x Afghani cross.  This particular cut has a long history, and has been around since 1984.  Known as "The One" or simply TO, this is an exceptional plant.  It was also gifted to me by the same guy that gave me the purple.  The buds are rock hard and frosty, and the plant is healthy, vigorous and pest resistant.  The mites tend to avoid this one for the most part, although it has also sustained some damage.  I would have to say this is hands-down the best thing I've got growing in my garden right now, and that's without even having sampled the finished product!  This is also in a first cycle 20 gallon no-till smartpot:

20150822_190115_zps4zsa9hyt.jpg

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Well, least ya got some meds!  Next time you know not to do the same thing.  :D   For the first time though... ehhh, they lived!


Disappointment is caused by unrealistic expectations. / The more I learn about people the more I like my dog. / Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right. / Its like everything it depends on everything else. 

 

 

 

 

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The learning never stops! The way I see it, my biggest mistake was not starting an IPM program early enough. My second biggest mistake was bringing clones into the garden without even a thought to mites or any other danger.  Sometime during veg, I spent a week out of town for work. By the time I got back, the spider mites had launched their attack, and I had no idea what to do!  I had decided from the start that I would not use any pesticides, not even organic ones. This limited my options. I did some research, and what I came up with was to thoroughly spray neem oil on the the entire plants, mostly targeting the leaves top and bottom. This was enough to control them, but not eradicate them.

 

To spray the neem oil, it must be emulsified. I use agsil 16:

 

35 grams agsil 16
8 ounces water.

 

Put both in a jar with a lid, and shake like crazy. This is a potassium silicate solution. I mix this up ahead of time and keep it on hand to add to my watering, teas, and foliars.

 

For the neem foliar spray, I use 15 ml neem oil with about the same amount of agsil. Stir it up thoroughly until the oil is emulsified.  Add this to 1 gallon of tepid water and spray immediately. This must be done at lights out, or the benefits of the neem oil will be lost and could potentially damage the plants

 

The next generation of clones has been getting weekly neem foliars since they were rooted, and they are looking healthy and happy.  I'll try and post some photos of those tomorrow

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Sounds good man, like you said I have no idea if no till works, but it sure is interesting watching someone else try it! :LOL:


Disappointment is caused by unrealistic expectations. / The more I learn about people the more I like my dog. / Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right. / Its like everything it depends on everything else. 

 

 

 

 

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Here are some new photos that I took just now.  I just set up a second 4x8 tent.  I have two 600W in the first tent, and I'll have three 400W in the second tent.  for a total of 2400 watts.  My plan is to have eight 20 gallon no-till pots in each tent.  I will have six cannabis plants at a time in each tent.  The other 2 pots in each tent will be used for growing compost crops, living mulch, beneficial herbs, veggies for the winter, or anything else I can think of.  I might plant comfrey, as this is an excellent source for biomass.  Comfrey is good for concentrating minerals and nutrients in it's foliage, and then breaks down rapidly once harvested and used as mulch, releasing all the goodies back the soil.  The point will be to grow as much biomass as possible to mulch the rest of the the containers thickly.  That will give me a total of 12 plants, which is my magic number.

 

The containers pictured below are all starting their first cycle.  I just recently blended the soil, filled the pots, and let them sit for a few weeks while I was busy with other things.  The soil is the same mix as I described in the first post.  Except for the addition of biochar and some higher quality ingredients than what I was able to find for the first two 20's.

 

I gave everything a tea yesterday of karanja meal with kelp meal.  Karanja is almost equivelant to neem and it has all same the pest deterrent and nutritive qualities but does not have the pungent odor of neem.  I normally use neem anyway, as I don't mind the smell, and I had a bag of karanja within arms reach when I needed it; the neem meal was at the bottom of a stack of buckets, and I can be lazy sometimes :Secret:

 

First one is Purple:
20150827_225529_zpsfaqjplnd.jpg

 

Next is TO:

20150827_225540_zpsvfabl0ku.jpg

 

I have a Sour Diesel that's clinging to life: (Needs mulch!)

20150827_225556_zps1p0gpjiq.jpg

 

And here is Bash: (Also needs mulch!)

20150827_225549_zpsya095tuj.jpg

Edited by flyin1420

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Yeah, they look marvelous, Defiantly reaching for the light. I'm watching all this "No-Till" stuff real close cause I wanna be able to do it.

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Yeah, they look marvelous, Defiantly reaching for the light. I'm watching all this "No-Till" stuff real close cause I wanna be able to do it.

 

Thanks! I'm hoping that by journaling my experience here, I can dispel some common myths about growing cannabis, and inspire others to re-evaluate their methods.

 

The three biggest motivating factors in this for me:

 

Cost - buying new soil for every cycle, just to throw it out and buy new again seems unsustainable and kind of ridiculous to me. Buying bottled nutrients to supplement that bagged soil seems just as silly to me. with no-till, it's a one time investment, and the soil I've built should last for years to come. the soil will actually improve over time. No more bagged psuedo-soil for me. The inputs that do I use are very effective, inexpensive, and they are not available in any grow store. No more buying cal-mag, no more buying expensive high N nutes for veg and high P nutes for flower.  More on that in another post.

 

Work/Time - all the time and effort that goes into throwing out the old soil, going to the grow store to buy new soil, mix it up, move it around. All the time spent pH adjusting the water and mixing up nutrients. Checking the ec/ppm. Adjusting. Checking pH again. Adjusting. the plant gets harvested, and the soil goes bye-bye. What a waste of time and energy. Things are much simpler now, and much less work.

 

Quality - this is something that I have yet to prove to myself. I've harvested two plants so far that were grown no-till, and they are curing now. I'll have a better idea of the quality once I sample it for myself. I've read nothing but good things in this regard from people experienced in this method, and I am expecting something good. At least I know that my medicine is of the highest quality, and nothing chemical was put on it. Even organic nutrients have to be chemically chelated somehow, so I trust nothing from a bottle in a grow store. There is one exception to this... bioag fulvic acid. They sell this in the grow store, but this is not a plant nutrient, and it was not formulated for the cannabis industry.

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sweet


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THE CODE OF HUMANITY:I CHOOSE TO COMMUNICATE TRUTH,I CHOOSE THE REALITY OF LIFE,I CHOOSE TO HEAL NOT HURT,I CHOOSE EDUCATION OVER IGNORANCE,I CHOOSE THE POWER OF PEACE,I CHOOSE TO LOVE GOD(OR GOOD)AND SEE GOD OR GOOD IN ALL HUMANITY,I CHOOSE TO SEEK THE SOUL IN ALL LIVING THINGS,I CHOOSE TO LINK TO THE WORLD OF INSPIRATION,I CHOOSE THE PRINCIPLE OF SHARING,I CHOOSE TO BECOME A CO-CREATOR IN LIFE AND LIVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY.

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Here are some photos from today.  I mixed up some new soil and filled 4 new 20 gallon smart pots.  Now I have 8 x 20's in the 4x8 tent.  I went head and transplanted the rest of the clones I had growing in 1 gallons, which happened to be 8.  I have each #20 sitting on a stack of four cinder blocks.  I felt they needed to be elevated a bit, and hopefully the porous cinder block will absorb some of the excess moisture from the pot.  When I water, I do not want any run-off.  Watering until run-off is another common myth that I do not follow any longer.  Since I do not use any salt-based nutrients, there is no harmful accumulation of salts in my containers, so nothing to flush out in the run-off.  Excess water would only leach away the good stuff that I want to keep in my soil.  In fact, with no-till there is no need to flush ever.  Not even the requisite pre-harvest flush.   I have harvested, dried, cured, and sampled one no-till grown plant so far (three more are hanging to dry currently) and the quality of the bud is amazing! Great flavor, and very smooth smoke.  I smoked a whole joint the other night without coughing once!  That is without flushing one bit.  Myth #2 busted!  Flushing is not required with this method, and would only be detrimental.  I give each one of my containers the same watering and feeding routine every week regardless of the plants life cycle.  I no longer think in terms of NPK.  The point is to build a high quality humus-rich soil that is healthy and full of life.  The plants will take what they need from the soil when they need it.

 

Yesterday, I made up a compost top-dress for these eight containers.  I sifted enough fresh compost to fill a #7 smartie.  I like to use a #7 to measure out my ingredients because it is close enough to 1 cubic foot, and it is easy to work with.  Once the the compost was sifted, I threw it in the wheelbarrow and added some amendments.  basically the same amendments that I add the the soil in the beginning.

 

1 cup neem meal

1 cup kelp meal

1 cup crab shell meal

1/2 cup oyster shell

1/2 cup gypsum

5 cups basalt rock dust

2 cups biochar

2 cups freshly ground malted barley

2 cups of dutch white clover seed.

 

I mixed this up thoroughly and top-dressed each of the #20s.  Then I watered it in with about 1/4 tsp per gallon of freeze-dried aloe vera powder.

In about a week or two, I should have a nice thick carpet of clover over the soil. This will help the soil retain moisture and add organic matter to the soil

 

Here is vew #1 of the new space:

20150901_092952_zpsgtrrps66.jpg

 

View #2

20150901_093009_zps79vjefvw.jpg

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Worms are a key component in the no-till containers.  I have some red wigglers in two separate worm bins.  They make quick work of our kitchen scraps. When introduced to the no-till containers, they will continually enrich the soil.  They will feed on the organic matter that is already in the soil, as well as all of the prunings and mulch that I put on top of it, plus the decaying roots of the previous plant and the cover crops.  There will never be a shortage of organic matter for the worms to feast on.  As they do, they will improve the soil with their castings, eventually turning everything to rich high quality humus, as well as provide extra aeration as they burrow.  Red Wigglers tend to stay near the surface of the soil and do not burrow very deep.  I've read that European Nightcrawlers are beneficial here, as they prefer to burrow deep into the soil and come up at night to feed.  Once they do, they return to the deeper reaches of the soil and deposit their castings.  I will be ordering some to add soon.  Day before yesterday I added a few handfuls of worms to each container.  They will be fruitful and multiply! :Big Grin:

 

Yesterday at lights out, I did my first IPM spray on this new crop.  I mixed up 15 ml neem oil emulsified with 10 ml potassium silicate solution, and added that to 1 gallon of tepid water.  I sprayed this all over every plant.  Top to bottom, left to right, every surface of each plant, especially the underside of the leaves where spider mites like to hang out.  The leaves look nice and glossy after a neem oil treatment.  My plan is to do a weekly IPM spray with neem every Sunday until about 2 weeks into flower.  Once in flower, I will switch to 3-5 ml/gallon of lavender oil emulsified and applied the same way.  Weekly IPM sprays are critical for pest control, and this was my biggest mistake on the last crop.  Once the spider mites get a foothold, it is very difficult to get them back under control.  An ounce prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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It is also worth mentioning something about watering.  I generally try to water every two days.  I use plain water from the garden hose.  No extra bubbling and aeration.  No adjusting the pH up or down.  My municipal water is very high quality.  It usually comes from the tap at 7-9 pH and 0 ppm.  I replaced the nasty corroded stainless steal pipes in my house about 5 years ago, plus the city re-built my street and installed new pipe on their end about 6 years ago.  My water is very good to drink, and if it's good enough for my family, it's good enough for my plants.  I am keeping things as simple as I can.

 

The soil is rich with humus and has a high cation exchange capacity.  It is this high CEC that buffers the pH, and does all that work for me.  I could try to explain the science behind this if anyone is interested.  I'm the type that likes to check under the hood and understand why things work the way they do.  Every aspect of this method has a basis in science, and everything works synergistically the way nature intended.

 

I use malted barley grain to create a powerful enzyme tea.  I buy the barley malt at the brew supply store and grind it to a powder with an old coffee grinder.  I use 1 cup per 5 gallon bucket.  I bubble it if I feel like looking for my airpump, or else I just stir it frequently for about 4 hours.  No longer than four hours, or acetic acid will start to form which will harm the plants.  after 4 hours, I add Bioag Fulvic acid at about 10 ml/gallon, and ksil solution at about 5 ml/gal. Once this is mixed, I dilute it down to about 15 gallons, and apply as a soil drench.  The results are impressive.  The enzymes in the malted barley provide some serious benefits for the soil life, which in turn provide serious benefits for the plants

 

I also use fresh young coconut water at 1/4 cup per gallon of water.  Coconut water provides a myriad of benefits to the plants. The biggest is cytokinins. These are plant growth substances that promote cell division above and below the soil.  Nothing but goodness

 

I alternate these two treaments with plain water in between.  so it goes like this:

 

day 1  - MBG tea

day 3 - plain water

day 5 - coconut water

day 7 - plain water

repeat

 

I try to stick to this schedule as closely as possible.  sometimes life gets in the way, but the soil is forgiving.

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interesting


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THE CODE OF HUMANITY:I CHOOSE TO COMMUNICATE TRUTH,I CHOOSE THE REALITY OF LIFE,I CHOOSE TO HEAL NOT HURT,I CHOOSE EDUCATION OVER IGNORANCE,I CHOOSE THE POWER OF PEACE,I CHOOSE TO LOVE GOD(OR GOOD)AND SEE GOD OR GOOD IN ALL HUMANITY,I CHOOSE TO SEEK THE SOUL IN ALL LIVING THINGS,I CHOOSE TO LINK TO THE WORLD OF INSPIRATION,I CHOOSE THE PRINCIPLE OF SHARING,I CHOOSE TO BECOME A CO-CREATOR IN LIFE AND LIVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY.

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Here is an update on the garden:

 

I've made a sort of SIP (self irrigating planter) by cutting some food-grade 55 Gallon plastic barrels in half, filling them most of the way with lava rock, and setting the smart pots right on top.  The moisture wicks up into the soil providing steady consistent moisture.  This should make watering very simple.  These containers/SIPs are semi-permanent now, as I do not plan on moving them ever.  As long as the soil I've built continues to produce good medicine, I will continue to replant in them as is.

 

I gave the plants a neem oil foliar yesterday at lights out for IPM.  I also watered in some fresh young coconut water with a few extra goodies:

 

Per Gallon:

1/4 cup coconut water

1/4 tsp freeze dried aloe vera powder

5 ml ksil

 

With this application, about once a month I add just shy of a half tsp of TM7

 

I add all of this to my Chapin sprayer, which holds 3.5 gallons.  I fill it up with plain water to the 3.5 gal mark, then add one cup coconut water, 1 tsp aloe vera powder, about 20 ml ksil solution, and the half tsp of TM7.  I close it up, and shake like crazy, then drench the soil.  I do this twice for 8 containers so that each one gets just under a gallon

 

Here are some photos:

 

First one is Bash.   I call this cut "Charlie".  She is looking happy and healthy. The leaves are turned toward the light, so its hard to see all the light green new growth from this angle.  Also, I am waiting another week or two before I trim all the excess bushy growth from around the base of the plants.  I'm waiting for the lower branches to grow out more on everything so I can root them for clones.  Also note the yellowing on some of the lower leaves.  I have left them there for now because I feel that as long as they are still attached, they are a source of nutrients for the plant.  Many plants nutrients have the ability to be translocated from one part of the plant to another, so I will leave the yellowing leaves for as long as possible to provide a ready source of nutrients for the plants

This one is in a second cycle 20-gal no-till:

20150910_114907_zpsqki9akgk.jpg

 

Next up is another Bash cut.  This cut I call "India":

20150910_114913_zpshedglc11.jpg

 

Another Charlie:
20150910_114918_zpsptmeggbf.jpg

 

TO:

20150910_114924_zpsuqompm1b.jpg

 

Another TO.  This plant is amazing.  I got 6 oz off one plant in a #20 no-till:

20150910_114932_zpstqoth3i2.jpg

 

Bash (India) again.  this one is trying to catch up with the rest:

20150910_114942_zpszbqbdkdg.jpg

 

India again:

 

20150910_114950_zpsmaoj6rm3.jpg'

 

 

And last is Purple:

20150910_114956_zpsmwycimwj.jpg

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So here is the latest addition to the garden.  Hash Skunk (Thanks EK!)

 

20150912_170005_zps0jzvblt2.jpg

 

I transplanted into a 7 gallon no-till that finished its first cycle a few weeks ago.  When I dug the hole to drop it into, I had to wade through tons of worms that were just below the surface.  Note in the photo above that the new clone is off center in the container.  The stump from the last plant is in the center.   As I dug the hole off to the side of the stump, where I would expect to be tearing through old roots, there were none.  After harvesting the last plant, I set this container outside and kept it watered.  I think I sprinkled a topdress of compost with clover seed.  I meant to anyway. The soil remained alive and well, and consumed most of the root mass in a surprisingly short amount of time!  Here is a close-up of the soil line showing the old stump:

 

20150913_005433_zpskkei7bh0.jpg

 

 

And I have begun some training already.  I can't just let her run wild!

20150913_005421_zpsx2gtyfzy.jpg

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