Help: Prioritizing next focus areas for Crop 2

I’m the guy who started growing with tap water, generic soil, plastic 5 gallon pot, and 4 blurples in my bathtub. Partly, this was because money was tight.

But the other reason was: I wanted to deliberately begin my cannabis growing/learning career in the most fundamental, methodical way possible, so as I got better, I could understand all of the different components of the process – AND how they work together.

I wanted to start with the premise: “It’s a friggen weed. How hard can it be?”

Though, I knew it wasn’t true.

I was going to need to raise the healthiest weed possible, feed it like a newborn, and optimize it for some very specific things.

I get it. :slight_smile:

That out of the way, here’s a snapshot of my general past/current practices, up through my current Cheese run in week 8. Of these basic areas, I only really want to focus on one or two. I want those to be the items that need the MOST attention in order to get the BEST QUALITY weed.

Plastic 5 gallon pot has become a series of 1, 3, 5 and 7 gallon fabric pots. On my current grow, I germed and grew in a 1 gallon for about 3 weeks, then up-potted to the 5. No need to modify now, imo.

Tap water (pH 7.0) became Brita-filtered tap water at pH 7.0 treated with a touch of ascorbic acid to treat chloramines. To date, I haven’t messed around with trying to hit a pH number consistently, but area this might be next.

Generic potting soil became same + perlite + sand + Nectar of the Gods feeder pellet things. I do not use a nutrient line or even a regular fertilizer. I generally rely on a few off the shelf things. But I see a lot about Jacks 321 for soil and Advanced Nutrients. I am thinking this should be the tandem focus area for Crop 2 this fall – this and “water” (above).

My bathtub became a 4x5x8 Vivosun tent. I have good ventilaton, VPD control, air movement, temp control, etc. No need for focus there, imho.

My blurples became a 1000-watt MH/HPS in said tent. This is ample light that I’m not sure I am managing well (heat is major, PPFD is huge). Basically, I actually want to downgrade to a high-end LED at this point, because me and my 1000 watt wrestle daily and it stresses me out. For now, let’s just leave it.

Should I focus on BOTH water and soil/nutrients next time? Or just one? (Remember: I am fully aware I could’ve been growing way better weed, so I’m not in rush that way. But I DO understand that nutrients are awfully $$ to be wasting them with untreated tap water, too.)

I think about something easy but well-balanced NPK – a Dr. Earth, Espoma, basic is fine. In regular, high quality potting soil (?). With something like Espoma Soil Acidifier? And supplementing per phase (veg, transition to flower, etc.).

Maybe this is just my Sunday geeking out. But this is how I like to roll, so if you feel like geeking out with me or havin’ a laugh, please join! :slight_smile:


I heard bad things about using Brita, googled it and found this:


What a great thread, Id love to geek out with you!

Absolutely. 100% agree. Go directly to the store and buy a BlueLab pH and EC meter. I know they are expensive, buy the pH first and wait on the EC

I grow in hydro, but every single issue I have, save stupidity, is a pH problem. It’s always pH giving you a hard time.

Whoever told you this needs to hop off their high horse. I grow in well water all day. Now. If you have something harmful, or unusually high or low pH or EC in your water then please, filter or correct for that.

Do test your water so you know what you’re working with. Do you need and RO system? No. Wil you want one? Yes, of course who wouldn’t want to be in total control :smiling_imp:


Thanks, man. I think I’ve kept Brita around so I feel like I’m doing something. :slight_smile: Plus, the hardwater deposits around here are fierce.

I do not see Brita being around much longer, for this function at least. But how would you treat hardwater?

Thank you!

I think if it is too hard you will need that RO system already mentioned (good tip), do you know what EC it has? My tap water is pH 7.4 and I use Advanced Nutrients pH Perfect, so far so good, no need to correct it … Pirata|nullxnull


i have NEVER PHed my water. i do filter and oxygenate it tho.

i run organic soil and make a supersoil mix to start.
OMRI soil
perlite, vermiculite, coco and/or peat moss
dr. earth dry amendments (tomato and herb for veg and flower girl for flower)
epsom salts (magnesium)
garden/dolemite lime (calcium)
azomite (trace minerals)
langbeinite (big potassium boost)

i top dress top of each month.

occasionally use alaska fish fertilizer 5-1-1 and 0-11-11
or make my own compost teas to supplement between top dressing.

i’m limited in my grow medium as i’m doing this for medicine, so i can’t really speak to the other grow methods and synthetic nutrients etc.
i also grow outdoors - ganj and vegetables/fruit. that’s all outside as well.

i would like to try DWC sometime though. especially for autos.

the only other type of fertilizer i have used is osmocote. and that is just recently within the last 2 months.i have found this stuff saves my ass when it comes to growing plants in small containers (solo cups). it is VERY difficult to stay organic in the cups IMO. so hard to keep the nutrients dialed in. you either give too much or too little. always trying to balance. it’s a pain in the balls.
osmocote seems to handle all that for me. just add water.

what’s next on your menu for grow once the cheese is done?


Do you mean the EC of my water? Like this?

Both TDS and EC are important indicators of water quality, as high levels of dissolved solids can affect the taste, appearance, and safety of drinking water. Ideally, drinking water should have low levels of TDS and EC, usually less than 500 ppm for TDS and less than 1000 μS/cm for EC.

Would something like a soil acidifier (like the Espoma product), which is mixed-in and/or top-dressed, be a good idea? Or should I concentrate of getting the water pH correct before using something like that? Hmm. … so much more to think about from your post, so thanks so much for writing that up, buddy. I’ll go through it again again have more q’s I am sure. :slight_smile: (Next run? Probably a few each of Acapulco Gold and Amnesia Lemon, which have similar timelines, according to BF. I want to up my stash substantially, fast. I’m ready for a crowded tent. But it’s like being a kid at Christmas right now, so I may change my mind in an hour. :slight_smile: )

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i think the water pH is going to be important if you’re doing synth nutrients in a soilless mix.

the organics seem to self regulate pH. and the dolemite lime will help with the pH regulation as well.

i spray my outdoor plants with water straight from the hose. some days you can SMELL the chlorine as you’re spraying. even with the chlorine in the water, the soil microbes stay alive and keep spinning the soil web. perhaps we can thank the coco/peat moss as well as the perlite and vermiculite for some modicum of “filtration” but the microbes find their way and keep feeding the plants.

the only thing i do to water is for my inside stuff. i filter it first thru a brita filter then dump it into a 5gal “tank” out in the garage that has 2 airstones in the bottom fed air by a fish tank air pump. i let that bubble overnight to do 2 things:

  1. disperse the chlorines and florides out of the water in it’s gaseous form(s).
  2. hyper-oxygenate the water to feed the roots O2 when i water.

still don’t pH it tho… i have never had to worry about that. shrugs

i’ve got an acapulco started… need to replenish abuela’s stash.

have you won any seeds from here yet?

hopefully you keep the excitement and enthusiasm for growing forever.
i never realized i would enjoy this as much as i do. wish i had started sooner, but probably best i didn’t. timing matters.

have you considered running autos? 80 to 90 day seed to finish or less with some of them. smaller plants, less of a yield, but they have come a LONG way in a short time and some of them are pretty damn good smoke. i always have some autos going on inside. and the ones that run outside and like the sun finish out quite nicely.

otherwise, if it’s about boosting stash quickly without autos you may wish to consider sticking with more indica dominant strains like kushes. those can finish in about 8 weeks as opposed to 10-16+ weeks with acapulco or other sativa leaning strains.
was your cheese strain a 10 week finish or less?


Yes, or ppm (parts per million), you said your water was hard, I don’t know if you can get from your city an analisys with it’s components, to see what minerals and in what quantity it has. Have in mind that with RO water those minerals (Calcium, Magnesium …) are wiped out, so you should give an extra feed of them …

The pot should be real big (at least 15 gallons) to be able to buffer the pH, otherwise you have to check it … beer3|nullxnull

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Hey George, I want to seriously look into NOT acquiring an RO system right now. Our household is figuring out a house-wide solution – I’d really like to explore a Yarna device, so I’m not perpetually buying salt or cleaning filters. I will have to explore how Yarna-softened water works. Otherwise, I may just leave it hard. Thoughts?


I have to step back lol. I’m going to use soil, for sure. Simple, not outrageously expensive, I’m happy to supplement, etc… I MAY use synth nutrients, OR maybe just look for a good, basic fertilizer + the right types of supplements for different stages. I think what you do in terms of building your mix, etc., is too much for me. Probably as-is an RO machine.

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Without knowing the pH of water and nutes going in, it will be a crap shoot with your grow. Proper pH eliminates the guess work and uptake issues through the run.


there are a LOT of different ways to grow out there. it can get overwhelming/confusing. and when everyone is throwing their opinions in the ring, it could get more confusing.

my beginning wasn’t so far away, so i understand your position of overthinking and doubting yourself… wanting to do things “right”. here’s a tip… you will do things right, but it’s going to take a lot of mistakes and “aha!” moments to get there… and this is ok. we all f^ck things up our first grow(s). i still f^ck things up. but i’m learning and tweaking and improving along the way.
the cool thing is, you’re in the right place now. you can ask questions and you’re going to have a bunch of helpful, experienced and knowledgeable people jumping in to offer some help.

my best advice to you is to get your environment sorted out first. your environment (indoors/outdoors) is different than mine and everyone else that’s answered your thread. my area is nuclear sun, hot and dry. your area might get more overcast, rain and humidity.
me giving you advice to do the soil and grow the “texas way” is counterproductive to you. it might work, but it’s still not tailor made to your exact specifications. this is what you will figure out as you gain more experience and learn about your particular space.

when you also factor in space and budget and most importantly end goals (what are you really growing for? yourself, a loved one? is it recreational, is it medicinal, is it commercial?) that’s a lot of factors to consider. but these are questions only you can answer.

once you have your purpose in mind, concentrate on YOUR environment. get it dialed in. little bits at a time. tweak things and improve things as you move along. keep your mental notes or take notes. you will find a system that works best for your space and your grow style. it may end up being something completely different than what you first thought you were going to do. (says i with the 4 indoor zones and a backyard for outdoors… things have a tendency to “expand” if you find you’re enjoying what you’re doing… :wink: )


That depends on how you are growing. For organic, I don’t. For coco I do.


Well, I made a search about that Yarna stuff, it acts mostly as a RO system, takes out Magnesium and Calcium but leaves the rest, check this out:

One way to avoid this problem is using a DWC system, you should just have to change water once a week (I know people that just fill :see_no_evil:) and you can mix that water with bought one (demineralized) to soften it. Using Advanced Nutrients pH Perfect would avoid your pH problem and you don’t need more extra ferts to have a decent grow, tried once and this was the result:

I can guide you if you wish, easy peasy … beer3|nullxnull


I would like to armchair quarter back for you. I grow autos in DWC all day. BUSHES of plants. Except this current auto, he’s a tiny little buddy :rofl:

I’m very interested in learning to be a better soil gardener, I’ll be sure to follow your grows!

Who would do such a thing :innocent:

George and I leaning heavy on the DWC bwhahah! Grow you some bushes in a bucket!


You did a great job with those … Aplausos|nullxnull

They are @Going2fast scarlet grapes. The shorty on the right will stone you out of your gourd.