Super noob here. I’m stopping by to impart my ONLY nugget of wisdom on cannabis growing. I’m new to this hobby and I will be the first to admit I know less than most. BUT I do have a tip that might help others and even enhance the experienced growers. Oh, and it saves money too.
The first lesson I learned was that cannabis LOVES airy soil.
Loves Loves Loves it.
Most people turn to Perlite to bolster the oxygen in their soil, keep it light and porous for easy drainage. However, perlite doesn't come cheap and you can't reuse it. It breaks down and turns into dust after a few grows. I thought about what I could do to fight the root rot and overwatering problem we all encounter as beginners. Drainage is a serious issue to some and I think I have a clever solution. I started using perlite and realized that if the silt from the soil collects at the bottom of my fabric pots I'll have a issue with drainage. My little brain started working and soon I shifted it into overdrive. There HAS to be a better alternative to perlite. My fingers went "tappity tap tap tap" on the interwebz, Lava Rock? Pumice? Volcanic stone? Propane BBQ briquettes? YES that MIGHT work.
Researched a bit and to my surprise, this is the answer I’ve been searching for. The lava rock does nothing to the soil. Completely inert, neutral to the environment, cheap, reusable, in abundance in EVERY hardware store and Big Box traps I.E. Walmart, Target, HomeDepot, Lowes etc.
I bought myself a bag and began to toil. Laid down 2 inches at the bottom, filled up the rest with my soil mix. FF Ocean Forrest w/20-30% perlite. Fast forward a few months and it was working GREAT. If it works this well on the bottom, how about a smaller lava rock mixed in place of perlite? Got myself a small bag of one quarter inch to three eighths sized rocks.
I'm going to include a few photos to better explain my discovery.
This is the bottom 2 inch layer of Lava rocks for immediate drainage assistance.
Size comparison for the 1/4 - 3/8ths bag of pumice.
This is the bag and brand I purchased incase you wish to do the same or if your local store carries it.
I decided to go the Lava rock route because it’s reusable and with a garden hose and 30 minutes drying time you’re ready for the next grow cycle.
Extremely porous, lots of air pockets, nooks and crannies for nutes and Myco to flourish and one hell of an anchor for your plants roots.
This coming month I’ll be in harvest and I plan on replacing some of the perlite with the smaller lava rocks (keeping the roots clear of anything binding of course) to see if the extra surface area will yield more available oxygen to the root zone of the plant.
The best thing I’ve ever read on here was “Focus on root health and growth to get a better outcome on top”. And that is probably the best advice one can ask for as a noobie getting into this hobby.
I forgot who the author of the thread was but if you're reading this?
THANK YOU EMENSLY for that super nugget of wisdom.
Hope everyone is having a awesome weekend.
Chin up, Monday is still 1 day away.