I have been growing for just over one year with four grows under my belt with the fifth in flower. I have four clones from current grow plus two seeds that have just cracked.
I started with a local “high performance” soil mix and had a serious gnat problem. Switched to FFOF and have fewer gnats. I have had good results growing in “soil” but I am now thinking of going with coco coir.
There are several areas that I am looking for advice and guidance on from folks that have experience with coco.
Is going to coco a good idea? And why?
Can I continue to use the FF Trio that I have been using? I have 2 1/2 gallons of each on hand.
Is it a problem transplanting my “teen clones” currently in soil to coco?
My understanding is that pH should be 5.8 - 6.3 in coco. Is that correct?
Are there any significant changes to my growing techniques that I should consider in making the switch to coco? What might those changes be? That is besides feeding schedule as I do understand that coco has no nutritional value so all nutrients must be provided from the beginning.
I grow on Coco. Plants grow way faster than they do in soil, if you overfeed it’s really easy to flush and you can reuse your Coco over and over again yes you can use the same nutrients you have been using
Skip coco and go straight to DWC. Walmart 5gal buckets and an air pump/stones. Way easier than soil or coco. No need to futz with measuring output pH and PPM. Rarely do I ever have to pH at all with GH Flora Trio with my tap water.
Brian likes coco. I’ve used both and like Promix better only because it’s a bit lighter and retains less water. That said; adding some perlite to coco would likely get you to the same point. Growth rates were about equal, coco is WAY cheaper and is a sustainable product unlike peat-based media.
Your FF trio is fine; you will need cal mag as coco tends to sequester calcium. My plants seemed to like 5.8 to 6.0 in both.
You will be feeding/watering much more frequently. You won’t be able to go away for a week without making some provisions to provide water. I wouldn’t run a pot size smaller than 7 gallon in media. You have to deal with late flowering major PH changes if the plant is in too small of a container for the canopy. And you CAN reuse it but just wait til you see the root ball: you’ll just buy more lol.
If the soil volume is small in the current pot I don’t see any reason not to simply transplant. If it’s more than 50% of the total volume then something different likely should be done.
@WickedAle is right; it’s not any more work and perhaps a bit less to run DWC or RDWC. But requires a bunch of fittings and tinker toy stuff haha.
If I had rdwc questions my first stop would probably be @TDubWilly. I’m sure the others have good input too, but I feel his progress is a healthy balance of where scientific approach meets practical real world execution.
If the clones are too far along in the 1 gallons, it may make more sense to continue with soil/coco, but if they are still small you could easily wash the roots off. My first grow I started in solo cups and washed and the grow went just fine. For the easiest setup for DWC you would need:
5 gal bucket with lid (Walmart $5)
hydroton (I bought a shoe box full on flea bay for $5 and will last me 20-50 plants and is easily reused.)
3” net cups (alternatively you could get a black lid/netpot integrated but those tend to be 5-9” and require more hydroton). If you go with 3” net pot you can get a 3”hole saw (kit at harbor freight)
air pump ( I have a 4x4 so an Active Aqua 4-port works great for me. ~$25)
air stones (Active Aqua ~$2)
Nutrients of choice. I use GH Flora Trio. It hits and hold the appropriate pH ~5.8 without pH adjustment with my tap, but this will vary with yours.
@merlin44 I have 1 plant in coco @Sirsmokes gave it to me, and I really love the growth rate. He has more experience than I do in it. It’s the largest plant in the veg tent right now, and I’m considering one more week and I’m going to throw it in the flower tent. I’ve found that 6.0 ph is where the plant likes it.
I have all the parts for hydro, but haven’t tried it yet. We could make switch together and I’ll show you what not to do. Lol. As far as the maintenance goes, it seems to be low maintenance as long as you have you’re environment in proper balances. When the res gets too hot, or you don’t have enough air to the roots that’s when you have issues running hydro. As long as that’s understood, it seems like a very easy way to grow with a faster turn around time.
Maybe I’ll switch, and not journal it just in case… lol.
Agree. DWC does not require daily attention. I can go on vacation for a week with only a small concern of tip burn. I top up every 3 days and NEVER have had to adjust the pH during the 7-14 days the roots are in the bucket and rarely have to adjust the pH when I dump and refeed with new nutes. In RWDC there is even more control.