Before I begin; I do not claim to be a “Soma” of the organic world. Nor am I seeking that. This brief reference is gathered because what better way to share and spread the information. Besides that, I promised Marco a short take on what I know. So pull out a nice bong, pinch off a chunk of G13 x NL5 and dig in.
A healthy soil, rich in nutrients and life, is the essential building block of any garden. Soil is a complex and delicate ecosystem in its own right with a multitude of organisms converting a wide variety of inactive materials
into the essential nutrients that your plants will thrive on. Chemical fertilizers can destroy these organisms and pull you and your garden into a cycle of dependency. A fundamental principle of organic gardening is to feed your soil and then let the soil feed your plants. By providing the materials that the natural fauna and flora in your soil need to thrive, you will encourage more and more of these hard-working little organisms to grow and multiply. The result, an ever-increasing quality of soil with more and more available nutrients. Many gardeners wonder what exactly organic gardening means. The simple answer is that organic gardeners don’t use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides on their plants. But gardening organically is much more than what you don’t do. When you garden organically, you think of your plants as part of a whole system within Nature that starts in the soil and includes the water supply, people, wildlife and even insects. An organic gardener strives to work in harmony with natural systems and to minimize and continually replenish any resources the garden consumes. Organic gardening, then, begins with attention to the soil.
There are plenty of Mediums used by us; the Gardeners and each choice from individual to individual can differ in its components. The key ingredients that make a medium-successful could range from plenty of combinations just the same. The key ideas are to keep your medium life bearing, light and aerated for root health.
Do not make things dense and compacted preventing root development and growth… Also, mix for proper drainage to prevent any type of root rotting and promotion of negative fungi from water and feedings not draining from the medium.
Here’s a basic example of what I use. This isn’t a world-wide known and recognized method that’s a bottom line etched in stone soil build. It’s just my example of a simple and basic Organic Soil to start your Cannabis seeds off, along with growing it right through to the harvest. The measurements and quantities vary depending on the number of plants I’m growing at the moment as well as the specific need of the plant at that given point of time.
For example….my sprouts and seedlings will use a Coco Coir mixture with perlite, greensand, (Ocean Potion) Ascophyllum Nodosum Sea Kelp and worm castings until their first transplant…
Later I foliar feed with a Sea Kelp tea or (Sea Green Plus) Kelp and Fish Emulsion 3-2-2 it depends on what the
plant is showing me through its leaves and color, growth spurts and if it’s flowering or vegging. So far so good
with no problems, but I’m not an expert of organic matter. Organics can be used in hundreds of ways. This method happens to work for me. There are plenty of named brand items too. Like the Sunshine Mixes, Foxfarm, Canna, sphagnum peat moss,
Black Gold…etc. All of these make good baselines to start from. These soils are made up of various things and may require a touch of this and a touch of that to adjust pH, hold water or gain the right consistency. Just remember to use a good quality potting soil or soilless mix to begin building your medium. Once you get your medium built, established and mixed, now’s the time to think about how you’ll fertilize your plant. Think of it like this: “Feed your soil, fertilize your plant!”
If you apply compost to your garden on a regular basis; you probably will not need to use commercial fertilizers, but while you are building your soil they are very helpful. Fertilizers give soil necessary major and minor nutrients, which are then taken up by the plants, but they do not change the physical characteristics of the soil. Both natural and artificial fertilizers are labelled with numbers such as 0-10-10 or 4-6-2. These numbers show
the percentage by net weight of three major nutrients: nitrogen (N; the first number), which stimulates green leaf growth and form’s proteins and chlorophyll available phosphorus (P; the second number), which contributes to root, flower and fruit development, as well as disease
resistance potassium in the form of soluble potash (K; the third number), which promotes stem and root growth and the synthesis of proteins. A 5-8-3 fertilizer, then, would contain 5 percent nitrogen, 8 percent avail-
able phosphorus, and 3 percent soluble potash.
So if you desired a fertilizer that would make a plant flower, you would want a fertilizer with a high phosphorus number (the second number), such as 1-10-0 bat guano. Artificial and natural fertilizers both provide nutrients to the plants; however, the nutrients differ in both their source and their spectrum.
N – P – K AND ORGANIC FERTILIZERS
Confused about the numbers associated with organic fertilizers? What value do they offer organic gardeners? A plant needs nutrients to survive. Most of these are provided by the soil, but soil varies tremendously in nutrient amounts, soil type, pH, and nutrient availability. The three main nutrients that have been identified as absolutely necessary for plants are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). These three are also known as macronutrients and are the source of the three numbers commonly found on organic fertilizer labels. The numbers found on our Organic All-Purpose Fertilizer, for example, are 7-7-2. This is the percentage by weight of the N, P, and K found in the fertilizer.
So what’s so important about nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium? Nitrogen (N) is probably the most widely recognized nutrient, known primarily for its ability to “green up” lawns. Nitrogen mainly affects vegetative growth and general health. Chlorophyll, the green substance in plants responsible for photosynthesis, is largely composed of nitrogen. It is also used heavily in new shoots, buds, and leaves. Air contains about 78% nitrogen, but atmospheric nitrogen is not readily available to plants.
They must absorb it through the soil. Ammonium and nitrate are both readily available forms of nitrogen, but they are common in chemical fertilizers and leach heavily and quickly out of the soil. Nitrogen can be applied organically in many ways, including composted manure, blood meal, canola meal, fish powder and various liquid organic fertilizers. Keep in mind that many organic dry fertilizers are slow-release, helping the long-
term nitrogen content and building up organic matter in the soil.
Nitrogen deficiency is recognized by the yellowing of older leaves, slowing or stopping of growth. Leaves may drop sooner than expected. Excess nitrogen is recognized by extremely fast growth, resulting in long, spindly, weak shoots with dark green leaves. Phosphorus (P) is important for healthy roots and is used more heavily during blooming and seed set. Phosphorus is easily rendered unavailable to plants when the PH is slightly unbalanced. It is released in soil through decomposing organic matter.
Phosphorus deficiency is recognized by dull green leaves and purplish stems. The plant is generally unhealthy, sometimes yellowing. Lack of blooming with lush green foliage may also indicate a lack of phosphorus. Organic phosphorus can be found in rock phosphate, bone meal and various liquid organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion. Potassium (K), sometimes known as potash, is important for the general health of plants. It is a key factor in the formation of chlorophyll and other plant compounds.
Potassium is also known to help with disease resistance. Potassium deficiency is hard to diagnose, but plants are generally sickly, with small fruit, yellowing from the older leaves upwards, and sickly blooms. Sources of organic potassium include sul-po-mag (sulfate of potash magnesia, quick release), greensand, and liquid fertilizers such as Earth Juice’s Meta-K.
Below is a Table on plant tips I use from Epsoma Eighteen elements are considered essential for plant growth. Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen are primarily supplied by air and water. Plant roots absorb the remaining 15 elements from the surrounding soil. These elements are divided into three groups based on their relative abundance in plants: Primary Nutrients (or Major Nutrients),
Secondary Nutrients (or Minor Nutrients), and Trace Nutrients (or Micronutrients). Although the Major Nutrients are needed in the greatest quantities, a deficiency of any one nutrient can prevent plant growth, or reduce it to unsatisfactory levels. Even though some soils may already contain these nutrients, they may not be in a form available for plant growth. The best way to ensure that all of the nutrients are available in the soil is through regular applications of plant foods. Table 1 provides more information on each nutrient, its deficiency symptoms, and possible plant foods to cure the deficiency.
Many of these items can be found locally or commercially depending on your location and the will to utilize resources that are available. I hope this helps out for understanding the beginning of organics. It’s a natural world we live in; why not grow natural too. A lot of my information, ideas and tips came from the vast world of Cannabis Cultivators on various websites. With the resources available, knowledge from a lot of gardeners and the attempts on our own, we should be able to write volumes of information to further share our growth outside and definitely within the garden.