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Watering practices in organic soil

greentomato
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Just wanted to ask all the organic soil growers out there what their watering practices are? 

There seems to be a mass of misinformation and contradictory information out there along with the fair share of bro science. 

Hopefully with everyone’s input there’s a way to find some tried and true methods.

do you ph your water? Do you water to run off? Do you discard run off? Always keep your soil moist? Etc...

Its a hard question to answer because there are so many variables so it’s more a question of soil growers share your own practices of how and what you do when watering and maybe collate the trends.

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Topic starter Posted : January 9, 2021 4:09 pm
littlegardens, Zombie Nation, Fish and 8 people liked
Toploader
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Interesting question. As I am currently embarking on my very first soil grow I can only draw on general plant growing experience. That would be keep it evenly moist, but not saturated. Personally I use rainwater whenever available (and in England it's normally available 😁). I can't think of a reason to ph rainwater, but I'm willing to learn. I try to always let it come up to temperature, so as to not shock the plants. I shouldn't think it a good idea to water until run off, as that would simply wash the soils nutrients away. Just my tuppence worth !

Time to grow old disgracefully.

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Posted : January 9, 2021 4:41 pm
littlegardens, Zombie Nation, Fish and 7 people liked
Macky
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Yer man, what Top loader said, you dont want run off, that washes the good shit out. If the soil is too wet, you get root rot, if its too dry the will air prune lol.

Im new to the organics thing, but I water what i consider to be very little. Just enough to wet the soil. The water will disperse around the soil and itllleave it evenly moist Smile

Just dont get run off, and if the pots are light, water them Smile

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Posted : January 9, 2021 5:02 pm
littlegardens, Zombie Nation, Fish and 8 people liked
jacks_farm
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Posted by: @greentomato

Just wanted to ask all the organic soil growers out there what their watering practices are? 

Depending what you mean by organic grower ?

Bottle food, dry food in the soil mix or full living soil ?

Also watering practices are based on the quality of the soil and pot size compared to the canopy size.

do you ph your water? Do you water to run off? Do you discard run off? Always keep your soil moist? Etc...

With bottle food it's a good idea to have run off and ph the water when you feed the plants.

With a good soil mix you add a small amont of garden lime and don't need any run off ( some grower don't add lime)

Full living soil should stay damp or you going to kill all the good bacteria from what I understand ( never grown in full living soil) don't need any run off, ph or lime.

Imo easy way is a light soil with perlite and add dry food, garden lime and you water till harvest.

Use 20-30ltr pots 

 

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Posted : January 9, 2021 5:40 pm
littlegardens, Zombie Nation, Fish and 6 people liked
greentomato
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@jacks_farm

just talking about people who grow in water only soil. Wether that’s a super soil or amended soil or whatever it be. 

And yeah it’ll be different for everyone so if people state what’s in their pots, size then how they water to just compare notes basically.

like I water to a little bit of run off so I know the pot is saturated, the fabric pot wicks it back up, I water again in about 3 days when the pot feels light or the plants look like they need it. 

Started to ph water recently after some issues and the fact my soil was alkaline and I have no buffers in there. Was under the assumption soil buffers ph and was told “don’t worry about ph when in soil just add water” but this is a blanket statement and not true as I’ve learnt the hard way. 

same goes for run off in soil, some people let the plant suck it up others drain and discard because of some reason that I can’t quite remember but something about exudates?

The light soil route with dry food and water is how I do, question as to why the 20L and bigger pots, here this one quite a bit and would like to learn why?

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Topic starter Posted : January 9, 2021 6:03 pm
littlegardens, Zombie Nation, Fish and 5 people liked
greentomato
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@macky

interesting, so you’re going with little and often when it comes to watering? Was thinking about this before with some sort of drip irrigation system. Can imagine it would be good for a living soil grow. Not sure if it would be beneficial for a lightly amended potting soil grow.

cheers for the input!

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Topic starter Posted : January 9, 2021 6:06 pm
littlegardens, Zombie Nation, Fish and 6 people liked
greentomato
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@toploader

I’ve been trying to catch a bit of rain water and use that but then you even get conflicting views on using rainwater in an indoor grow.

it’s so great having access to a vast amount of info but sometimes hard to separate the facts from fiction!

good luck on your first soil grow man

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Topic starter Posted : January 9, 2021 6:08 pm
littlegardens, Zombie Nation, Fish and 5 people liked
Toploader
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@greentomato yes I know what you mean. I can see if you are growing in coco there could be other considerations,  however to my mind, with a plant growing in soil I can see no reason not to use rainwater. That said, I'm here to be educated ! 😁

Time to grow old disgracefully.

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Posted : January 9, 2021 6:58 pm
littlegardens, Zombie Nation, Fish and 4 people liked
DubbleBluff
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@greentomato yo man, good thread to start! I'm new to growing and have started out organic so will follow with interest. Only into my second grow now but will share my experiences so far for what it's worth. I've got a diary if you want to get see the size of grow I'm doing. 

I've been using BioBizz bottled nutes in their pre-amended all-mix soil (not an ad, just the first organic set up I came across). I dial back to about 2/3 the recommended strength and up it if needed. In regards to run off, Toploader said it, I look to keep the soil moist without drowning the roots... If you water by hand, the bigger the pot the better as it'll act as a 'reservoir' between waterings without having to over saturate. For me it's 24 ltr fabric pots that get watered once a day, about 30 minutes after lights on. The girls have a chance to wake up, get themselves together - then it's time for breakfast. My water comes from the tap- I try to keep a 25ltr bucket full next to the tent so the water is ambient temp and loses it's chlorine, if I'm in a rush a few drops of Vitamin C do the trick. I don't bother with pH, the soil seems to do that. Once a week I'll water without any nutes, not sure why, just a chance to let them have a drink rather than a feed I suppose. I get you on the bro science... we all have our own way of doing things and some get firmly entrenched in what they do. I'm probably doing it all wrong but bugger me, my first crop didn't die and tasted better than anything I'd had before! Win! Always willing to learn new methods... bring it on!

Hope this was useful in finding out what others do!  Fist Bump  Ohhhhh... and I'm seriously lazy so I've been thinking about a passive drip system. May well move onto that in the future when I change to a Sohum style living soil and don't have to have organic nutes in the water. 

TLDR:

Pot size:24ltr fabric 

ph:No

Run-off: No

EC: No

Keep moist: Yes

Frequency: 1 to 2ltr jug of water/nutes once every 24hrs (more or less depending on how dry/light the soil is)

Timing: 30 mins after lights on

 

 

 

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Posted : January 9, 2021 7:11 pm
littlegardens, greentomato, galandil and 8 people liked
jacks_farm
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Posted by: @greentomato

@jacks_farm

same goes for run off in soil, some people let the plant suck it up others drain and discard because of some reason that I can’t quite remember but something about exudates?

Often growers will overfeed (bottle nutes) there plants and this can burn the root mass, the run off helps to reduce the ec level in the root mass 

with a good soil mix(water only) you don't want to lose the food in the soil mix so you don't want any run off.

The light soil route with dry food and water is how I do, question as to why the 20L and bigger pots, here this one quite a bit and would like to learn why?

The plants can grow a larger rootmass and the soil can hold a lot more food without burning the rootmass, you can water less often, just seems to give me improved result. 

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Posted : January 9, 2021 7:31 pm
twisted1
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I keep my soil moist but not saturated, Good for the microbes. Sometimes there is a bit of run off  if its is not wicked back up after about 10 mins i will remove it.

I always Ph my water  Quality in quality out,  I use lime in my soil mix but more for calcium  not to buffer my lazyness lol. The Sohum living soil website even states to Ph the water between 6.0 and 6.5

You should check the Ph of rain water also  due to the chemical compounds in the environment ( sulfuric acids  from burning of fossil fuels and many other substances) The Ph can vary quite a bit. the link below is for the US but it shows how the Ph varies in different locations look to the bottom of the page.

https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/ph-and-water?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects

 


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Posted : January 9, 2021 7:49 pm
littlegardens, greentomato, galandil and 7 people liked
Chillbert
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Yes @greentomato You’ve probably asked the most relevant question that applies to all soil or any solid medium grower for that matter! 
watering (over or under) are apparently the most common causes of issues to growers (from various book and www sources) 

So your question has many answers... including the ones given already! Each of the strategies given above by each of the above (Jack, Macky etc) all work well. The reason I believe for this is that they all apply their watering strategies consistently so their plants adapt to their given schedule to be as Effie isn’t as they can with it. The same as they do with the amount of light, heat, CO2 etc (see the 8 needs of the plant). As long as what you give is acceptable to the plant, as in too much too soon means waterlogged and then no air so root rotting problems etc

and so on.. too little too seldom and your plant wilts then sooner or later dies.. your job is to observe how much she drinks and how often.. this can be done through close observation and lifting the pot really tells you without doubt if the pots too light it’s definitely time to water.. if heavy still, it ain’t, so hold off..

One huge positive for you is you’ve chosen soil, the most forgiving way to grow, not always the easiest but it can be.. 

Other significant factors, mentioned already.. 

pot size - why? 
smaller (<15L) = you’ll water more often when the plant is budding and growing at fast rates

bigger (20L upwards) = you have the option to water less often, if you wish

To run off or not? 
this is to do more with salts and also where are you running off to..?

if feeding salts (or mineral based liquid feed) and you water til 10%max run off this is ok but can lead to a salt build up at the bottom of your pots if they sit in the run off and absorb it back. If the run off is going into a drain and away that’s not going to be an issue, but is a waste of nutrients potentially. 

With water only (where the food is in the soil already) too much run off could be washing some of that food away if draining away. If left to sit in the pot it will be reabsorbed. 
Other factors including plant thirst and evaporation rates will affect how prong the plant is sat in the run off. Observe this and you’ll see whose thirsty! And who isn’t! 
So is there advantages to run off?

Well there can be.. but it’s a fine balance achieving run off and overwatering your or under watering your plants depending how often your watering your them.
I used to watch the Greenhouse grow videos (Arjan and Franco) years back and they’d say to let the plant dry up wks 3 and again wk 5 in flower to make her hungry and thirsty.. they’d lift the big plant up to show how light the large pot was ... then up the feed and let her have it!! Booooom they’d say what her go!

So basically there are lots of strategies out there bro.. find the one you want and don’t confuse it with what others are doing..! 
For example, if you’re using microbes as your ‘feeding force’ maybe you don’t wanna risk dry soil, as it doesn’t make so much sense cos they don’t like dry soil.. if you’re feeding bottles nutes, you’re bypassing all that so maybe microbes aren’t the focus so much.. I hope this of some help and clarity lol 

But you asked such a simple question, for which the simple answer is give her what she needs 😂

btw I’m in 20L soil currently, I water around 1.5 to 3L every other day for plants in flower depending on how they’re drinking, temps etc.. typically 2L but I grow variety so they don’t always drink the same. 
Now I could go for 1L daily but that means watering daily. 
Or I could go 3L every 3 days..

you see where I’m going., 

Each has pros and cons

make your grow the way you want it bro 😎 

good luck and no more tough questions like that for at least a hour or two til I get me spliff rolled up ta 😉

Time to pop some more beans 😗

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Posted : January 9, 2021 8:57 pm
galandil, Zombie Nation, Fish and 5 people liked
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Posted by: @greentomato

@toploader

I’ve been trying to catch a bit of rain water and use that but then you even get conflicting views on using rainwater in an indoor grow

No conflict at all brother, it’s all I use and it’s zero carbon closed loop too.

Random acts of kindness make the world a better place

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Posted : January 10, 2021 5:37 am
greentomato, Hart, Zombie Nation and 5 people liked
greentomato
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@jacks_farm

@chillbert

@dubblebluff

great answers, thanks 👍 

I’m looking forward to trying some bigger pots!

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Topic starter Posted : January 14, 2021 11:02 am
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