New at growing, have soil questions!

Discussion in 'Closet / Cabinet Growing' started by brittanycamp, May 22, 2008.

  1. brittanycamp

    brittanycamp Registered

    Ok so my boyfriend and I are extremely new to growing and have done a lot of research and are trying to expand our knowledge everyday. As of right now we have seven early adolescent plants that are about four inches tall in this potting mix that was supposed to be mixed with regular soil [but we kind of missed that...]. We are about to transplant them into pots that have about a three-four gallon capacity and are in the process of setting up a permanent grow closet (about 9 ft high, 6 ft wide and 2 ft deep).

    We went to Home Depot today and bought some soil and nutrients and were wondering if what we have is good or if we need to return to the store and exchange/return tomorrow. The soil we bought is Scotts Premium Potting Soil and the ingredients are as listed: Peat, Forest Products Compost, Sphagnum Peat, Perlite, A Wetting Agent, and Plant Food (containing .07% Nitrogen, .01% Phosphate, and .03% Soluble Potash. Before realizing that there was already Perlite and Sphagnum in it we bought a separate bag of each. Both of them are Miracle-Gro brand. The plant food we bought is Miracle-Gro water soluble All-Purpose Plant Food that has a Nitrogen-Phosphate-Potash ratio of 24:8:16.

    The main question: Is the soil itself good enough or do we need to get better stuff or make our own mixture? We know that good soil is a key factor in growing good plants and although this is our first batch, a trial run, we want to get it right ASAP so our future batches will turn out GREAT!:thumbsup:
  2. anbesol

    anbesol Registered+

    First. Never go to Home Depot for your plants. That soil you got should be returned, if you want to do things right, get Foxfarm soil or any high end soil from any hydroponic store. And throw the miracle grow out. When i first started growing i used miracle grow and it burned my plants and kept them stunted. Try General Hydroponics fert. its great for soil.

    Good Luck To You!! I really hope you and your boyfriend grow great bud!

    I spent so much money on the wrong stuff...and its a pain in the ass having extra shit laying around.

    There was a poster on this forum that had the signature "You go cheap, You grow cheap".
  3. Registered+

    Thanks, we kinda had a feeling that it wasn't quite right and that HD wasn't the best place to go when we saw their terrible selection. We know we got off to a terrible start and really want to change it immediately(we know some most likely wont make it). We are going to put pics up in a few, any advice would be greatly appreciated. As i said we know they aren't doing good and want to change that immediately.

  4. brittanycamp

    brittanycamp Registered


    Ok so here are some pics of our plants. Two are not doing well at all, and I think it may be that I was overwatering them early on [root rotting?]. Three others are doing very well though! Going to post more pics in another reply.

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  5. brittanycamp

    brittanycamp Registered

    Any imput would be awesome!! Were making a hydroponics store run later today after work to get all those goods!

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  6. the image reaper

    the image reaper Registered+

    do NOT use 'peat' or 'peatmoss' products, it is way too acidic for cannabis plants ... be aware, almost every soil you will buy, has peat in it, anyway :wtf: ... just don't add any more to it ... good luck :jointsmile:
  7. anbesol

    anbesol Registered+

    Those plants look like they are burned or have lack of nitrogen. common in using miracle grow. If you cant afford real cannabis fertalizer, just go with premium soil, you can even order it online, it may be a bit expensive, but you will solve a ton of headaches!
  8. brittanycamp

    brittanycamp Registered

    Alright well later me and my boyfriend are taking a trip to the store and were gunna try and buy premium soil [Foxfarm if they have it] that DOES NOT conatin anything peat-like and then cannabis fertilizer if they have it otherwise well pick up the General Hydroponics Fert.

    Thanks SOO much for the help guys!! We'll probably be posting in the FAQ section from now on with any questions.
  9. brittanycamp

    brittanycamp Registered

    Oh, btw do you know of any really simple solution to neutralize the pH if the soil becomes too acidic? And what are the best kind of soil pH tests? We saw some that were in pill form and you do something with the powder in the capsules to test it. Are those good or are just regular pH test strips fine too?
  10. PlantHeadJ

    PlantHeadJ Registered+

    What the hell is cannabis fert?!?!?! Please don't confuse people. You want people going to hydro stores asking for cannabis fert?!?! And what's wrong with peat? Anyway when you go to the hydro store get yourself some fox farm soil and fox farm nutrients. You can go@gle the fox farm feeding schedule and follow that to a T and you will have good luck. Also try to plant plants so that they are at the top of the planter. When they are down deep in the cups the crown of the plant does not get enough airflow. As far as Ph goes get yourself a Ph control kit by General Hydro or something similiar. Ph up and down will be the best way for you to get started with balancing your Ph to 6.5-6.8. Good Luck and read as much of this site as you can!
  11. anbesol

    anbesol Registered+

    If you read my first post on this thread, you would have noticed I said General Hydroponic Fert. aka thats why i use for cannabis. i.e. cannabis fert. thanks
  12. keeko

    keeko Registered+

    a double thanks.

    and to the guy asking about peat. a lot of soil is peat based, peat being a natural moss found in the earth, all decomposed, is much more acidic than cannabis wants.

    the soil i use is peat based (trying new soil out) but has added dolomite lime to correct the ph of the soil. ill have to see how long before the soil starts changing on me and might add something organic to fix ph. if fixable.
  13. Rusty Trichome

    Rusty Trichome Registered+

    May be time for transplant to a gallon pot. Likely rootbound and possible overwatering. (not enough soil in the cup, either) Are there drainage holes in the bottoms of the cups? Lack of drainage will cause root-rot, and stops nutrient uptake. Also, as stated above...a ph pen is very important. Using MG soil, it's likely best to go with half-strength nutes AFTER the first 3 or 4 weeks, especially for seedlings or clones. From previous experience, the nutes already in the soil should last for about a month, before needing supplimentation with veg nutes.

    In regards to a couple of posts above:
    I just don't get it. So what's up with all the bad advice being slung-around like it's gospel...?

    Are there products better suited than Miracle Grow, and better places to buy, than Home Depot...? Sure. But even the products "designed" for cannabis need adjusting and practice.
    Around five or six years ago, HD and WalMart were the only places around me where I could get garden supplies. For three years, the only soil I used was Supersoil or Miracle Grow Moisture Control. For ferts, I used Miracle Grow All Purpose (12-4-8) for veg, and some off-brands for flower. Never have I lost a crop to Supersoil or Miracle Grow. But just like "cannabis" ferts and still need to test, flush and watch your ladies growth habits.

    Gets pretty frustrating looking at all the bullshit people spread. Miracle Grow works. But yes, it is a bit testy to work with. make adjustments and learn from the experience. If all you can do is follow the package directions, without having the ability to make adjustments...then it really doesn't matter what soil or ferts you use. Your inflexibility will kill your plants.

    Not too sure I even want to get into the bullshit about peat or peat based products. Been using them for MANY years, and I swear by them. Damn near any fricking product you use for your garden will have to be adjusted to suit your needs. If that includes occational flushes to leech salts or nute build-up, or adding extra perlite and/or vermiculite, then so be it. But patently accusing Home Depot and Miracle Grow of stunting ones flat-out bullshit.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. the image reaper

    the image reaper Registered+

    I used half-strength Miracle-Grow for probably 20 years with great results, no burning,etc ... nothing wrong with it whatsoever, it's more 'how' you use it, than 'what' the name is ... plants don't read the labels, they just know nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium when they eat it :D ... I also had less than favorable results from the 'high-dollar' soils, the 'Ocean Forest' etc ... switched back to my old mid-priced brand, (Whitney Farms), much better results :jointsmile:
    Last edited: May 24, 2008
  15. brittanycamp

    brittanycamp Registered

    Thank you guys so much for all the help! The Hydroponics store nearby has a rediculous amount of pretty much anything we need so we went with FoxFarm Grow Big nutes [for vegetative stage only] and FoxFarm soil. Their prices are really good too so we will probably just stick with that for a while and see what happens!
  16. the image reaper

    the image reaper Registered+

    if starting seedlings in the Fox Farm 'Ocean Forest' soil, don't add ANY nutrients for 2-3 weeks, wait and see how your plants are doing ... the soil is already so rich, it is easy to over-fertilize ... I don't care for the stuff, for young plants, OK for adults ... :smokin:
  17. Rusty Trichome

    Rusty Trichome Registered+

    Good point ,IR...

    The same caution (awareness) should be used for any pre-packaged soil mix. Finding a happy balance is not rocket science, but is part of the challenge of getting used to ANY of the techniques we utilize for cannabis growing. If paying attention to what you are doing, (a personal grow diary and measuring spoons help bunches) it shouldn't take long to zero-in on what nute ratios work with what's in your soil.

    If worried about overferting youngsters with pre-ferted Scotts, Supersoil or MG, try rinsing (flushing) soil prior to use. :eek:
    Last edited: May 27, 2008
  18. stinkyattic

    stinkyattic CultiModerVatorAtor

    What is a cannabis fert? A fert designed for the specific needs of cannabis. It would be considered 'cannabis-specific'. You don't ASK for 'pot food' at the grow store; just assume that if the company advertises in freakin' High Times, yeah, that's a pot fert.

    What is wrong with peat? It buffers naturally in the range of 4.5-5.5. This means that you can throw a lot of pH up at it and as soon as it is used up, your medium goes right back down again. You MUST add lime if you are making a home-made mix with raw peat moss. Store-bought mixes already have it.Peat products from the store (ProMix is very popular among growers, and I have been working with it lately with perfectly acceptable results) already have it if they are sold as potting soil. But you have to re-pot frequently to make sure that when the lime is used up (about 6-10 weeks from first wetting, depending on a lot of factors), you are providing fresh soil and not leaving the roots to sit in acid soil. Be prepared to monitor your pH.
    Also, over time, the particles break down and change water retention. So extra perlite is a good call.
    No fertilizers or pre-fertilized soil on plants that young, including FoxFarms media!!! Too hot! Use seedling starter mix from the farmers supply until they have ~4-5 nodes, THEN pot up.
    Last edited: May 27, 2008
  19. PlantHeadJ

    PlantHeadJ Registered+

    I have had great luck with 1/3 Peat, 1/3 topsoil, 1/3 perilite as a media. I used this for years with mom's, breeding, and outside cultivation. I have been using hydro indoors for quite some time, but still dirt farm some. I agree that peat is acidic, that is why I use it. I flush before transition and at the end. I would never reuse the mix. I have had superb luck with that blend. As for fert, my point was that any fert can be used, just don't give noobs the impression that there is MJ specific fert that we all use. True some are angled that way but I have seen compost flat out door Advanced N products recently. Anyway what do I know, I just want people to understand that there are a million combinations to use and I'm sure they all work if tinkered with. Oh yeah I also add peanut shells to my soil mix.
    You might want to print that F Farm feed schedule out and consider following that, it's pretty easy. Good luck!!
  20. bowl

    bowl Registered+

    miracle grow...on this crop

    Miracle grow soil,Miracle grow bloom,Superthrive,Expert bloom booster,Omri fish emulsion,....are all products i've been using from Walmart.I don't have much of an option (no hydroponic stores for many,many miles around).I'm a newbie grower,and most of what i've learned about cannibus growing came from sites like this.I've got tons more to learn,but miracle grow soil works ok for me,for now:DI'm also trying this soil from Big Lots called Black Magic.I've also had good results with the Expert potting soils.I like to try different soils,nutrients,etc...It's a learning experience.:D...Just keep researching and don't believe every post,because you'll be mixing rat piss and cat's hair if you listen to some of these "experts":D

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