How to Grow Marijuana Organically...But is it "Better Than Hydroponics?"
Posted by John Foster | 30433 views
By John Foster
When you grow marijuana organically in soil, do you get better taste and aroma without sacrificing harvest weight?
(Click to enlarge)
Our marijuana growing community has long argued about whether it’s better to grow marijuana organically or naturally, versus growing marijuana using hydroponics.
The core of the argument is whether synthetic hydroponics nutrients, and the soilless method itself, are equal to, better than, or inferior to growing marijuana in soil using natural or organic ingredients and no synthetics.
Now comes a new marijuana grow book from Green Candy Press, True Living Organics (TLO), that puts the organic versus hydroponics grow marijuana argument front and center.
Written by Skunk Magazine cultivation editor “The Rev,” this long-awaited marijuana grow book is a step-by-step guide to making your own soil mix (some would say “supersoil”), and growing marijuana without using any synthetic hydroponics nutrients or hydroponics methods.
The Rev is a legend amongst fans of Skunk. And his Kingdom Organic Seeds (KOS) marijuana seeds breeding company is widely respected for heady strains like Iron Cindy, Black Malawi, and Deep Wreck.
The Rev presents TLO as a marijuana growing method involving custom-built, aged soil, brewed microbial teas, natural supplementation, and other special methods that rely only on natural and/or organic ingredients.
He’s adamantly against synthetic nutrients, and has little good to say about most of the so-called natural and organic nutrients you find in grow stores.
In TLO marijuana growing, it’s best to do it yourself, he says.
The book’s fundamental and somewhat controversial message (beyond the very practical, well-organized, and easy to understand grow marijuana how-to) is that marijuana plants do best when grown using TLO rather than soilless methods and synthetic hydroponics nutrients.
In particular, The Rev asserts that synthetic nutrients overload plants, short-circuit root zone biology, and produce inferior-quality buds.
The claim that growing marijuana in soil using natural or organic root zone media and nutrition produces buds with better taste, aroma and high is a big component of TLO marketing.
The “organics is better” mindset has also been popularized by marijuana seeds breeder Subcool, a proponent of making “supersoil” that allegedly needs no added fertilizers and can grow big, high-quality buds rich with THC.
The organic versus hydro marijuana debate is important and complicated.
I’ve grown or sampled high-value marijuana grown using a variety of methods including methods that are all organic, all soil, all natural, all soilless, or all synthetic nutrients in sterile media, synthetic and natural nutrients in sterile media, and various combinations of these marijuana growing methods.
I’ve seen taste/aroma/smoke tests in which fanatical “organic marijuana is better” marijuana growers couldn’t accurately tell the difference in taste, aroma and high when comparing samples grown in soil organically versus marijuana grown hydroponically and properly flushed.
If you want to grow marijuana without using modern synthetic hydroponics nutrients or soilless methods, True Living Organics gives you complete and accurate information that’ll grow you big buds.
The book’s comprehensiveness and clarity make its obvious The Rev has decades of experience perfecting the ingredients and methods he outlines in the book.
The Rev’s “spiking and layering” is the first truly effective method I’ve ever seen for handling nutrient deficiencies that frequently occur in marijuana soil grows, especially in bloom phase.
And he tells you exactly what ingredients to procure, and how to mix and apply them, to create a marijuana growing root environment and nutritional base that feeds marijuana from start to finish in smaller than average pots with zero nutritional deficiencies, fast growth, and satisfying yields.
As usual with books put out by Green Candy Press, True Living Organics is a handsome tome with intelligent language, attractive photos and layout, solid organization, and proprietary marijuana growing information provided by a renowned master of cannabis growing and breeding.
I circulated the advance copy of the book to several of my marijuana growing associates, some of whom already use organic marijuana growing methods, others who run deep water culture, aeroponics, or other purely hydroponics grow marijuana systems.
All of these professional marijuana growers praised The Rev for his Skunk Magazine work, his cannabis seed breeding, and his book.
As you might expect, the general reaction from these hydroponics marijuana growers was that they do not back The Rev’s claims that TLO methods produce higher-quality marijuana or comparable yields when compared to using synthetic hydroponics nutrients in soilless systems.
They also said procuring the TLO method’s organic materials, mixing them, “cooking” them, and applying them would take them more time and trouble than their current marijuana growing methods that use reverse osmosis water, synthetic hydroponics base nutrients, and synthetic hydroponics bloom supplements.
I am not in a marijuana growing situation right now where I can procure, mix, cook, and store the materials needed to follow the full TLO method. I have done marijuana growing using commerical soil and using supersoil made for me by a supersoil expert. But the TLO method is more involved than that.
To provide the full menu of what marijuana needs without relying on synthetic nutrients, you have to dig deep (no pun intended) to get the fun things like greensand, myco fungi, and other components properly-configured for marijuana growing.
As The Rev makes clear, almost all the commercially available so-called organic or natural fertilizers sold to the marijuana growing community are NOT TLO-worthy.
You have to get the components yourself, making sure they’re the right forms, and carefully mix them and prep them so your marijuana plants will have plenty of easily-absorbable nutrition, and a living, microbially-active root zone.
When I get my own house and acreage, and especially if I can do legal outdoor or greenhouse growing in large containers or in grow bags in the ground, I am going to run a marijuana grow season using TLO, and I’m sure I’ll get fantastic results.
There are a lot of books on how to grow marijuana, but more and more, the highest-quality, cutting edge how to grow marijuana books come from Green Candy Press. True Living Organics is groundbreaking, in a class by itself, and deserves a place on any serious marijuana grower’s bookshelf…even if you never intend to grow marijuana organically!
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Monday, 15 October 2012
Article by John Foster, on Oct. 15th 2012