Sep 20, 2018

Couple of questions and any help is welcomed and appreciated. Thank you :)


Edited: Sep 25, 2018

1. Should you top or use other training methods on mother plants?


I guess it doesn't matter so much about topping or training mother plants and depends on the space they are kept in, right?


Also, if anyone can offer some help on two more questions........................

2. How many generations can you continue to use a no-till organic soil structure?

3. Can you keep male plants alongside female plants in a vegetative state without any risk of pollination?

Oct 2, 2018Edited: Oct 3, 2018

I'll put this to the top again. 1. I think part of training is to help build that structure Chef talks about. So even if not flowered, I would think shape and light getting into the plant would be necessary. 2. I don't know the longest time, but JM Fortier said forever in this video: "How Market Gardner, JM Fortier, Farms 8 Acres (Without A Tractor)" at 6:45 in that video. 3. I would say yes, technically. But I'm thinking not many growers are keeping males near females that don't want to pollinate.

Oct 4, 2018

Okay cool! And thank you for providing some insight to my questions. Appreciate that and I'll be checking out that video. Cheers. If I where to keep males for pollination later down the track then maybe it's best to just grow out the male and harvest the pollen for storage rather than keeping a male plant around.

I would personally recommend not training the mothers but as you said it depends on the space they are in and how large the mothers are. I prefer to let the mothers grow naturally so I know what the plants characteristics are and how to treat them. If you are creating a healthy soil structure complete with a diversity of microorganisms it can continue to thrive indefinitely. The soils ecosystem improves in time. Nobody tills the forest and it has been productive for thousands of years. Some farmers still grow no-till and have passed down that soil structure for may generations. I have encountered problems growing no-till in small to medium sized pots. Growing in beds or troughs seem to be the answer since plants need to connect with each other to thrive. It is always risky keeping male plants around if you don't want your crop to go to seed. I have had male plants flower during the veg cycle. It has only happened once in all the years that I have been growing so it is very rare. Best advice is to get rid of those males unless you plan on breeding.

Oct 9, 2018

Awesome, Chef! Very much appreciate your response.......I know you're a busy man and we love your work. After reading your thoughts on the mother plants I totally agree and I'd prefer to understand my strains natural structure. Beds seems to be the go huh....that's what I will be working towards. These answers have helped me make real time decisions so that you and also Local Fixx....Cheers Guys

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  • Hi all. Below is a recipe for a homemade organic pro-mix taken from SF Gate. I know Chef has passed but I think this is still an excellent forum to gather on and spread research with. I do think someone should comment on if this web page will exist for long though as well just in case so this valuable research is not deleted! I have back ups just in case but I'll make a seperate post for that. Onto the pro-mix recipe: 1/3 peat moss 1/3 perlite 1/3 organic gardening soil 1/4 cup garden lime per gallon of mix I have tried it and it works. Be careful if you have hard water, you will need to add intermediate chelators (AKA L-Amino Acids) to chelate the calcium, magnesium, etc in your water to prevent transpiration issues etc general salt issues that occur with mixing hard water and this fairly sweet and calcium and magnesium rich soil mix. I recommend going easy on the dolomite lime in general and also go easy on the peat moss, peaty soil is known to compact. If you are gonna be moving plants in pots add more perlite than peat moss because this will help with transpiration issues that come from compaction when moving potted plants around. You'll notice how good this mix smells and works for plants! You'll get very fast growing plants because this mix is focused on high porosity for a very high rate of transpiration and therefore plant mass production! Also note that this mix only feeds plants for a couple weeks and then you will need to add some salts for the plant and soil health. Adding a bit of organic matter to the soil eventually will be a good idea as well to continue feeding your organic base in the soil. I personally have a food web with springtails being consumed by a certain antonymous fungi in my soil I try to keep going. The springtails don't leave the pot and the fungi and springtails provide a ton of nitrogen to the plant, potentially CO2 as well! This cycle has successfully infected all the pots in my house interestingly. Sources: SF Gate Guide for peat moss pH balancing: Peat moss to perlite ratio (Also SF Gate): SF Gate's article on the disadvantages of soil-less media (similar to this growing medium (pro-mix) minus the organic gardening soil): SF Gate article on composition of potting soil (good place to start to understand potting soils which are often replaced by soil-less pro-mixes). Also ratios of stuff: On the springtail and fungi note, that is harder to source. The certain springtail eating and red hued mushroom producing fungi comes from Host Defence's Myco-Blend all purpose microbial and biostimulant inoculant and I think the springtails followed me via transporting the same compost over a long period of time. On the transpiration topic: Dr. B.C. Wolverton's book "How to Grow Fresh Air" explains that there is an equation that dictates how much air a plant is filtering dependent upon how much mass the plant produces. This has a lot to do w/ the soil medium. High porosity soil makes for the fastest mass production in plants. PS. If you have your own high porosity pro-mix or something similar please post it here. Of particular interest are environmentally friendly mixes, which the above mentioned mix is not due to the unsustainable peat moss component. Coco coir can be used to replace it (and is more environmentally friendly) but then potassium salts should be added at some point although I am less experienced with that mix so I don't know how soon potassium would be essential. I imagine co co coir may cause issues w/ pH because it may not be super acidic and so dolomite lime may need to be adjusted to lesser quantity per gallon. Also this mix may have too much calcium and magnesium due to coco coir and dolomite lime having so much of these elements. Maybe it'd be fine though. A good pH, texture, and an organic base, and magical things can happen with any soil mix basically.

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