Soil - Recipe 420, Big Rootz (Soil King), Fox Farms, Emerald Builder, etc

Hope every is doing well on this wonderful day. I was just over at the local grow shop that I patronize and I got some time to talk to the owner and one of the other people there. “RASA Hydroponics and Organics”, in Almaden, CA, to give them a plug. :shushing_face:

I started to mention to them how I have 3 seedlings growing in Fox Farms Ocean Forest from some planters that have been around for a few years, but they had been used once. I used that to fill 3 before I realized it had a lot of rock in it. The discussion came up about having water removing material and he said he feels that Big Rootz is lacking some, and I think so also, as it is super rich in earthy material and nutes, but doesn’t have much rock and/or drainage material.

This could be important, IMO, as he also mentioned that Emerald Builder is used by a lot of people and it is made up in the Emerald Triangle also. He also said it seems to have better drainage. He recommended using it for the early part of the grow, and then switching over to Big Rootz after as he agreed the nutes in Big Rootz seem to produce bigger bushier plants. This fits with my findings in the non-scientific testing I’ve done.

One thing I notice is that the plants get really dank and I am pretty sure I over water, since my theory has always been to let the excess drain through the holes in the bottom of the planter (I drill them if they’re aren’t any). This moistness I believe attracts insects, notably budworms, and if you’re not careful they can destroy an entire plant in a few days. Once I noticed this the buds were so moist, I thought the branch couldn’t support them, but then I found a budworm in a piece I was taking apart. Luckily I saved that plant, but it was about half the size it should have been, I lost a couple huge branches and the top cola.

I started to water less last season, and try to only keep the Big Rootz moist, to prevent over watering…but it was too late…hence loosing quite a bit on 2 plants to budworms before I caught it…Now I know better and will keep an eye out for moths, yet another obvious piece I hadn’t realized, they lay the budworm eggs… :roll_eyes:

The owner also noted that he prefers the Recipe 420, and I was almost going to change the 2 bags I got today of Big Rootz…but decided to stay with Big Rootz with a couple mods as I don’t like to test the PH and monitor like indoor growers do.

Any comments on the Recipe 420? There must be some people using it here. Would like to hear your opinions and/or anyone else’s experience with Big Rootz and/or having possible drainage issues using it.

I haven’t had any issues with big rootz. Safer for seedlings than ocean forest. Yes it could use a bit more perlite. Roots organics original is what big rootz would be if it had more perlite. Haven’t messed with the 420 as I haven’t had a need to move on from big rootz or roots organic.