Yeah I’ve only ran straight perlite and got pretty good results. Do you reuse the coco mix?
I shake off what I can and reuse, sure. Usually get about 1/3rd recovery rate.
This is my first grow too. I have made a few different soil mixes, but I try to keep mine simple. I lift the pots and when they are light, I water them. Hardest part I have found being new is patience and worrying about little things that I shouldn’t. There is a lot of great people on here with tons of friendly advice. They help us newbies get through it. Good luck with the grow.
My current plants in flower are in MG mix. I couldn’t find Promix so I grabbed some bags of MG at Home Depot. They’re healthy enough, but a little leafy. I suppose from the slow release nutes in the MG mix. They’re only 30 days in to flowering so lots of time for them to develop yet. I’ll look forward to seeing how the coco/perlite mix works.
It’s odd that perlite or vermiculite messed with any pH values as they both have a pH of 7.0.
Another hempy user here. I use canna coco for media on top of clay balls at the bottom. My hole is two inches from bottom. Never had issues doing it this way. I always make sure I get run off without the air still bubbling out.
I veg in normal pots till I ready for hempy.
It’s odd you say that because pure perlite and vermiculite will drive your pH up. They aren’t as inert as you might think. I’ve been doing this a long time with a dozen different brands and grades of coarseness. They all uniformly raise pH. Some brands are worse than others, differences in what material is mined and calcined.
I don’t correct pH for shits and giggles, I do it because I have to. I just test input and runoff.
Fill a bucket with perlite, add distilled or R/O water. Wait a day, test the pH. See for yourself.
I didn’t post any comments to start an argument or create any type of hostility. I try to leave emotions out of my comments and watch how words are put down in print before submitting them.
I posted comments that directly relate to the Hempy style grows that I have experienced over the last four decades.
I know that perlite is created from super heating volcanic rock and that vermiculite is made from neutral clay and that both may get a pH as high as 7.5, but I’ve never experienced any problems with either one.
Although, if I were planning to use just one of them, I would go with perlite, hands down.
If I were creating a mixed medium, I would do it the way you do. Coco/perlite, coco/vermiculite both work better than other soilless mediums do when used in Hempy buckets. Some soilless mediums hold too much water regardless of using perlite, vermiculite or hulls for drainage/aeration.
I won’t argue, but I will help if I feel my experience is relevant enough to help.
Enjoy your day
Just speaking matter-of-factly.
I’ve had pH values in the low 9’s from perlite and perlite-vermiculite. Usually at least low 8’s. I’ve dumped untold gallons of 4.0 pH solution through to correct it in early stages before I just started cutting it with coco. Plants with pinhole burns from too-high pH, you name it. Perhaps some perlite is neutral, but nothing I’ve ever encountered is. Mother Earth, Pahroc, Roots, etc.
Plenty of us have used perlite and perlite/vermiculite mixes over the years with varying degrees of success. It can obviously work but nothing gets past the fact that these are both nasty mediums to work with. I used to hate flushing out sacks in a bath or shower cabinet but that dust is bad for you and leaves a layer like plaster in the bottom of buckets. This stuff can cause ph issues and possibly root damage.
If i was advising a newbie i’d tell them to use hydroton up to just above the drain hole then fill the rest of the bucket up with pure coco which is much nicer stuff to work with. It’s also pretty hard to screw this arrangement up as long as you monitor in going ph and EC/ppm.
You can also fit a drain tube using a grommet to catch runoff in a basin which makes frequent fertigation easy for when plants get big and need feed daily (esp in hot weather).
Plenty ways to achieve the result but this one is hard to beat. You can reuse a lot of the coco if you want and all of the hydroton so it’s actually quite hippy friendly for a hydro setup
I noticed that too on my first 100% perlite hempy.
Some guy on a gardening forum recommends rinsing the perlite before use.
Man, I could not believe how much dust ran off!
I’ll bet there’s 2-3 gals of dust with each 4 cu ft bag.
So now I’ve wised up and reclaim all that dust by doing a dry sift with a regular mesh kitchen strainer in a plastic bag.
I’m gonna mix (5 gals+ already) of perlite dust with refractory cement when I make another rocket stove.
Not sure of the proportion yet, gonna keep on sifting.
Make sure you wear a mask bro cos that dust is very toxic. You should really rinse the bags through before using it. I used to sit the bags in a bath or shower tray, use a fork to make loads of punctures in the bottom of the bags, nick off a top corner and flush for ages with a shower attachment. Then i’d flush it further using a large strainer before using it. Been a few damaged lung cases over the years from repeated exposure to that dust.
For me it’s a poor choice being more expensive here than pre buffered coco, same with vermiculite. The dust from that stuff is toxic too and imo it’s a poor medium. I messed around with it quite a bit back in the 90s and actually got better results from shredded up bits of old seat cushion foam I’d much sooner use rockwool but for me coco beats the lot
If it were cheaper, I’d use perlite for the drainage layer and pure rockwool croutons on top. It really is a superior medium, much more neutral pH and holds both more air and more water. I’ve done it before but I’m not tryna use $100+ for media per cycle. If I had a flood tray, though, with multiple daily waterings and smaller containers, it’d be croutons all day.
I just built some Hempy buckets for my next run. I got some 2.5 gallon containers, and they were not black so I duck taped a few layers around the bucket to block the light, before I drilled the holes near the bottom. I also slapped a bunch of those GLG stickers that I had sitting around on them for decoration. I am using hydrocorn as the drainage layer, and a 75% perlite 25% vermiculite growing media, and am using FloraDuo and CalMag for nutrients.
Are you going to do a grow log on here? Would love to follow along!
Thanks for the encouragement, I was thinking about it. I do enjoy reading other people’s grow logs here, so I might as well join the club
Here’s a link to my coco hempy grow. Just coco and clay balls , charge on pot up and Maxigro , Maxibloom nutrients .
I had a perfect run with perlite hempys earlier in the year, and now I’ve got 7 plants in them and its a complete disaster. Severe drooping like they are overwatered, I emptied the reservoirs 24 hours ago and still no improvement. I think I’m gonna try and transplant them to soil tonight because I’ve wasted too much time this run.
Check your runoff pH.
You can’t overwater perlite. I had some runs where I was fighting high pH initially. It just requires correction with low-pH input feeds. Really the only way they can go wrong is pH, pests, or underwatering.
You’ve got OTHER issues…overwatering is NOT an issue in Hempy Buckets. As stated, check PH closely. Humidity will put them in a tail-spin. Good luck, be well/safe.