Trying to understand salt buildup and watering

Im new to growing and undoubtedly lazy when it comes to my watering practices. I do intend to invest in autopots once my budget allows it. Anyways as a result of not liking to water to run off, flush, or even test water. Im always looking to find a method that doesnt require all that. My plan on my most resent plant is to just use Dr. earth and worm castings. The dr earth is a dry nutrient I plan to just top dress with. I have all purpose fetilizer for veg and one called flower girl for flowering. Do these types of nutrients still have salts? Is salt buildup still going to be a concern? Thanks all


What medium are you currently growing these in :love_you_gesture:

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:point_up_2: what brand, sounds like salt based?? Dr Earth is an organic nutrient line

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oh sorry, it dr earth all purpose 2-2-2. pure gold i think is the line

Im using soil. fox farm ocean forest. i did layer in mycorrhizal fungi before planting.


do you think adding something like recharge would help my soil better use the organics or would that be adding salts? I honestly dont even know what salts are. It kinda just a word to me. in my mind i associate it with liquid nutes.

What’s the age of the plants growing in the FF? This medium will typically feed for 4-6 weeks and the only way to check the nutrients remaining in the soil is testing the run off :love_you_gesture:

I copied and pasted this… :love_you_gesture:

How Microbes and Cannabis Plants Work Together

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the relationship between microbes and the cannabis plants you are growing play out in the soil. Plants need sufficient amounts of phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen to survive and microbes have a direct hand in how much of those nutrients your plants receive.

While the nutrients may be in the soil already, they aren’t as accessible as they could be. Potassium, for example, is often shrouded in inorganic material. As microbes happen upon it, they’ll consume it, metabolize it, and excrete it in a form much more readily consumed by the plants. While the others aren’t as hard for the plant to get to, the microbes break them down nonetheless, and the plants benefit greatly from the enhanced access. This effort is further assisted by their ability to aerate the soil, ensuring there’s an even flow of water and nutrients.

The microbes aren’t only doing all this from the goodness of their heart, though. As the plants are fed, their roots excrete a collection of substances, called exudates, into the soil. These exudates, which include a variety of amino acids, organic acids, and sugars, happen to be a great source of nutrition for the microbes. With their microbe bellies full, the nutritional cycle is fully formed, and the plants are ready to thrive.


NPK derived from

The label for the most part tells you what you need to know. And I will add, I took chemistry before the term middle school was ever used. I don’t see any nasty salts. I assume N is coming from alfalfa and kelp?. Phosphorus is coming from bone meal and potassium from potassium sulfate. I think the potassium is sulfate of potash (SOP) and not a chlorine based salt.
The label also tells you about the microbes included.
Bacillus is bacteria. You can google each one if you care too.
Mycorrhizae is fungi.

I use autopots, coco and Jacks. Personally, if you want to stick with soil and living soil type growing, autopots would not be the answer. The benefits of autopots & hydro is constant and frequent fertigation. Basically pumping in a many nutrients the plant can take. With bottom watering systems (autopot) unused salts them rise to the surface and away from the main rootball.


Learned a bit reading this.


I think @JaneQP would be the one to correct anything I may have misstated.

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thank you. You are right doesnt sound like the autopots are for me. I just want to keep the plants healthy with minimal effort. sounds like the autopots are for more advanced techniques and not just easy watering like I thought. Its good to know also that the microbes are included in the mix. I wouldnt have figured that out. If this doesnt work out may end up trying the grow dots. still very much trying to find a method that fits me best If one exists lol


Spot on @beardless . I used Dr Earth after I stop the miracle grow I used for my houseplants🤣


Is Dr. Earth more inline with miracle grow? will it even provide needed nutrients to keep Autoflower plants healthy? Or am I make a collasal boo-boo? Thanks

100 times better than the miracle grow salts in my opinion!!!

Check out their products. The one you have is well balanced for veg but you will need something with more PK as soon as they start to flower.

Use the search function on this site for Dr. Earth and I am sure there are other growers using it. You can check out their grow journals and ask questions.

I only used Dr. Earth one grow and moved to Earthdust but the company the manufactured it went out of business. I may be switch back to Dr. Earth or try Highway dust.


Sounds good. I’ve been using grow dots, I’m on my 5th autoflower with them, in a moderately-amendeded soil, along with Recharge, works great. In 2-gallon or 3-gallon pots, I water about every 3 days once they are established/in veg and flower. I water enough to see that the bottom is wet, but runoff isn’t needed, neither is flushing. Likely, it sounds like you know that already. :slightly_smiling_face:

I hand water, I don’t know if/when I’d do autopots. I’ve heard that autopots with coco and grow dots should be the easiest. Maybe someday. :grinning:

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ok awesome thank you! I have Dr. Earth flower girl also I was planning use once they started flowering. thank you again for your time and reply

yeah I am going to try the grow dots for sure probably just to see the results. I like doing some things with the plants. or mostly I like to see how they react and develop. I just dont have a lot of time to devote to it sadly. so the grow dots would possibly be right down my alley. Its good to know that they work well with autos. Thank you lots

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AutoPots are super easy. You just need to fill the reservoir once a week or longer if gone on vacation. I use an extremely easy to use nutrient line that is very clean and leaves no sludge or slime.

I just mix cal/mag and a veg nutrient through the veg stage, cal/mag with bloom nutrient in flower adding a pk booster product the last half of flower. No adjusting pH, it stays stable and is always in an acceptable range whenever I do test it.

I’m home only on weekends so having something that I don’t have to worry about couldn’t be easier.


@CMichGrower Thank you. Now im back to thinking about autopots lol. Im not set on soil or organic. I just have limited time to invest, but at the same time I do enjoy being somewhat hands on which is why ive not done grow dots yet. I only choose the Dr. earth to get away from flushing and properly watering to run off. watering letting it soak in then rewatering then checking ppm and all that becomes a choir to me personally and starts sapping my enjoyment. Im a hobby grower and not overly concerned with pushing my plans to the max. I just like to see them healthy and develop. I do enjoy doing LST and watching them adjust and react. A self watering system that doesnt require flushing or bunch of numbers testing sounds great to me. Even when i was using the fox farm trio I just messured out a half feeding and went with it. ive never balanced PH I just use distilled water. what nutrient line do you use? Thank you for your advice