Growing organically

It saves money

Growing organic cannabis means knowing exactly what’s going into your plant. Rather than getting the nutrients from synthetic or chemical sources; they get them from organic material like worm castings, kelp meal or bat guano. The Gaia Green organic slow release nutrient blends are designed to feed the soil which feeds your plants over a longer period of time than traditional nutrients. They’re versatile because you can amend the soil or coco coir prior to planting and top dress feed your plants with one product. I also found that you don’t really need to use a Cal-Mag or any other supplements with the dry amendments, which saves money. It’s a one stop shop for nutrients in my opinion. I don’t use any other bloom enhancers or secondary supplements.

My experience with organics

My first grow I decided to go with a pre-mixed soil mixture that I could purchase rather than making my own soil mix. I started with a good organic living soil by Gaia Green (30L) mixed with Fox Farms Ocean forest organic soil (42.5L). This gave my plants a soil with great microbial life in it to break down all the organic materials in the soil mix and the nutrients I would be adding later on. You can also achieve this with a coco coir/perlite mixture as coco promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria which break down the organic material.

During our first grow, we decided to grow autoflowers so we ended up using less nutrients then we could have as we didn’t want to overfertilize our plants. This is because autoflowers are known to We gave each plant 1 tbsp of the 4-4-4 at week 4 and then fed them each 2 tbsp 4-4-4 & 2 tbsp 2-8-4 at week 6. They went for a total of 13 weeks and finished beautifully despite being under fed (I know this now). Since autoflowers don’t take a lot of nutrients, I was able to buy the 500g containers. This saved me money as combined they were only about $30CAD.

Amending your medium

  • Put all of your growing medium mixture into a container large enough that also has room to mix
  • Measure out the Gaia Green organic dry amendments; 3 tbsp per gallon of medium (ex. 30 tbsp for 10 gallons)
  • Depending on which stage of life the plants going into the medium are in, you can use only the 4-4-4 or a mixture of 4-4-4/2-8-4 (ex. Vegetation 70/30 – 4-4-4/2-8-4; Start of flower 50/50; Flowering 30/70 – 4-4-4/2-8-4; Autoflowers soil only 4-4-4)
  • Make sure to break up any clumps in the nutrients prior to mixing to avoid any “hot” spots in the medium
  • Mix the nutrients into the medium until their thoroughly combined and the medium is amended and ready for planting

Top dress feeding

  • Measure out the Gaia Green dry amendments; 2 tbsp per gallon of medium (ex. 20 tbsp for 10 gallons)
  • Depending on the stage of life the plant you’re top dressing, you can use different ratios of the 4-4-4 & 2-8-4 (Vegetation 70/30; Start of flower 50/50; Flower 30/70)
  • Break up any clumps in nutrients prior to adding it to the top of the medium
  • Mix nutrients with the medium on the top of the pot
  • Water plants immediately after
  • Continue to water with regular pH balanced water in normal intervals

Why I love growing organically

Growing cannabis organically means better smelling and tasting buds. The terpene profiles you can get when growing organically is enough to make me continue. The different flavour profiles of all 4 plants from my first grow were completely different. Even though, there were only two different strains. This difference in smells & tastes was mostly due to autoflowers unstable genetics from being bred with cannabis ruderalis. This is where the ability to flower automatically. But, I believe growing them organically gave each of these 4 plants an amazing smell and taste.

  • Blueberry #1 – Sweet, fruity, distinctly blueberry smell & taste
  • Blueberry #2 – Almost a celery smell, but the most chronic smelling celery, with fruity undertones
  • White widow #1 – Woody/Earthy & Lime smell & taste
  • White widow #2 – Strong Fruity & sweet smell and taste

For other all natural & organic fertilizer recipes, follow these links:

DIY Calcium Phosphate for creating DIY CalMag+

Banana peel tea: Secret weapon for your cannabis garden

DIY Sweet Raw for under $5

Composting for your cannabis plants

If you liked this post; Please like, comment or share! Your support is greatly appreciated! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram ‘@marijuana.mama_420’ for more photos of our grows!



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71 thoughts on “Growing organic cannabis using Gaia Green organic dry amendments

  1. Thank you for all of the content you have provided, it is very informative. I have started using Gaia Green 4-4-4 and worm castings in Promix HP mycorrhizae. I have been using in two ways, mixed into soil prior to transplant and top dressed after about a month. A week after top dressing, I am noticing some of the leaves are yellowing; similar to a nitrogen deficiency. Prior to, the plants appeared happy, no purple fan leaf stems or yellowing of leaves. Do you have any recommendations? Should I add a bone meal from Gaia Green or more worm castings? I am new to dry amendments and would appreciate any advice.
    Thanks again.

    1. Try top dressing them a few days earlier than you usually would and see if that helps. I find sometimes it helps to do it slightly earlier so the nutrients aren’t depleted. If you’re still experiencing the same issue, you could add bone meal or more work castings. Hope that helps

  2. Hey there! I’m curious if you can explain the ratios you use for the different phases and how you came up with them? I’m a fairly experienced grower but new to organic so am still learning as I grow. Would I be ok to just use straight 4-4-4 for veg and 2-8-6 for flower, or does that not provide enough N to get through the end of the flower cycle?
    Many thanks!

    1. You could absolutely use them that way. I use those ratios because I saw Mr.CanuckGrows using those ratios with great success.

    2. You could absolutely use them that way. I use those ratios because I saw Mr.CanuckGrows using those ratios with great success

  3. Whats is your feeding schedule for your organic amendments during veg and flowering other than Gaia green fertilizers?

    1. Please check out my nutrient schedule page for a full description of what i use. Though, you don’t need much more than the gaia green other than some occasional compost teas.

      1. When I premix my medical with dry Amy, I used all purpose 4-4-4 and power bloom 2-8-4 and I did that mix 50/50 and after about 45 days I top dressed the soil with just power bloom 2-8-4. Would that be too rich for autoflowers causing nutrient burn? Should I of just mixed all purpose at first?

  4. One question. In your Nutrition Schedule is the 4 week topdress counted from Germination or from when you transplant into final pot? . . . thank you . . . Trevor.
    p.s. Keep up the good work. Love your website!! ✌ Sistet!

    1. Thanks for the question and support. You do Both. You can top dress every 4 weeks up until the 5th week of flower or so. If you transplant though before the 4 weeks, the soil will have enough nutrients in it if it’s fresh or you can amend it and then you’re good for 4 weeks from that point.

      1. Ive been feeding as top dress for the first 3 weeks of flower, once a week with…
        60 ml Bat guano 1.10.1
        60 ml Palm tree ash 0.1.30
        60ml Bone meal 3.9.0
        60 ml Ecothrive charge 3.2.3

        Watering in with tea consisting of…

        500ml worm castings
        2 tbsp molasses
        1/2 tbsp epsom salts
        Ph to 6.5 using lemon juice
        In 5 gallon bucket aerated for 24hours with pump.

        From week 3 / 4 i decided to make a tea consisting of…

        500 ml worm castings
        200 ml Bat guano 1.10.1
        200 ml palm tree ash 0.1.30
        200 ml bone meal 3.9.0
        200 ml ecothrive charge 3.2.3
        2 tbsp molasses
        1/2 tbsp epsom salts
        Ph at 6.5 with lemon juice
        Again, aerated with pump for 24 hours.

        Would you be kind enough to let me know when i can stop the feed, if the feed is too hot and if i should flush my soil 2 weeks before harvest ?
        All amendments are organic.
        Regards,
        Liam.

        1. I don’t have a ton of experience with liquid fertilizers but Those amounts don’t seem too high. I’d definitely flush 2 weeks prior. You can still ph down with lemon juice though.

        1. So, you can top dress about every 4 weeks. If you have the 2-8-4 as well, you can use both on varying ratios. I also have a page on here that’s my nutrient schedule as well as a blog post with free downloadable chestsheets. There’s a Gaia Green one in there.

      1. I should have mentioned ..back about 22 years ago..used to use liquids like Black Gold ..with dirt..but we would fert one watering..then water only, then fert again..
        Never used this Gaia stuff bought a bunch on advice from a friend on the east coast ..but don t want to make a mistake,

  5. Hey mama dont take anything to heart, i read that stuff when duder was criticizing your skills and over all quality. Reminded me of them people that pull up in a fancy car and give bad looks to the ” peasants”. I appreciate every bit of info you share and i couldnt think of anything to knock your grow swag. Infact, your words inspired me to try the gaia. Peace love and chronic

    1. Thanks very much for your kind words. I truly try my best to put out useful information for people just starting out, like I was. I give it all in one place, rather than having to look for it. Glad you decided to try Gaia, they’re amazing nutrients and very easy to use. Stay safe and have a great weekend

  6. Is Gaia 444 a good source of calcium and magnesium ?
    The reason I ask is, I want to use the Gaia 444 for veging , then afyer two weeks into flower start feeding it with liquid organic Biothrive Blloom 244 until 2 weeks before harvest. I’m growing I Fox Farm soil as a medium.

    1. It is pretty good, but sometimes I do have to supplement with CalMag sometimes. Typically, it’s enough though by itself

      1. Can I amend the 444 and 284 all at once in soil from the beginning when transplanting seedlings , and then just water them till harvest without having to top dress ?

        1. I have heard of some people doing something like this but I’ve never personally done it and I don’t recommend it only because it could cause nutrient burn in the plants. Plus they need different ratios for different stages of growth.

    1. I believe you could make a compost tea out of them to use in an ebb and flow system but I’m not 100% sure. I’m a soil grower and don’t have any experience growing with hydroponics.

  7. Growing in coco and using Gaia green 2 8 4 and 444 my question is what would be the best way to add great white to my photo periods and autos?

      1. It’s a Mycorrhizal Inoculant, which are tiny fungal filaments that work symbiotically with plant roots to help them absorb more moisture and nutrients. They also release enzymes which help break down nutrients into forms more easily utilized.

        1. I know that people use that when transplanting their plants and when planting seeds into the soil. I’ve never personally used it before but I’ll have to check it out. Thanks 😊

        2. You can top dress with it. Mr Canucks grow on YouTube does it in one of his videos. He has a whole library of videos using Gaia green organics and composite teas to grow very nice looking plants. Highly recommend checking out his channel.

  8. Good Day! Can you explain what you do in regards to flushing a week before harvest please. Or do you time it for harvest a month after you have top dressed? I believe that your auto flower program you are at week three of bud when you are at a week 7 leaving you a month for the nutrients to work there course. So that making me think it’s flushed enough by then 😬.
    Does the program change for a 8 or 9 week program? Haha lots of questions. Sorry and thanks as well for any info you can give 😊

    1. No problem lol. I find that even strains that say 8 weeks usually take at least 10 weeks. If it’s that short, I usually just top dress it once at about 4 weeks and supplement with compost teas and stuff like that.

      1. i admire your growing an the fact that you have ambition to do it,but your quality cant be the greatest…the way you explained your experience with each strain growing the way you did,theres more to it an i encourage you to keep at it and better yourself as a grower as everyday is a learning process,theres something your not doing the best at and thats just real.

        1. I’m just sharing my experiences. I never claim to be an expert. I’m still a novice grower and state that on my site. Would you care to elaborate as to why my quality can’t be the greatest? And what exactly do you mean by there’s more to it? I’m constantly trying to learn more so your insight would be great.

          1. u said it yourself its a constant learning process,the characteristics u name scent,taste euphoria,sounds potent,but like your missing your full potency…quality to be exact,not underestimating you,not even sure what method of growing your using,ebb and flow,deep water culture,hand feed,so forth,i feel your on your way to become bigger than what you think,but as a consideration k.i.s.s.,keep it simple stupid,go outta your usual comfort technique zone while still keeping it simple and see what happens.ex:nutrient wise,environment,etc…good luck and dont stop the great progress

          2. Thank you for your advice. I truly appreciate it. I will continue to experiment with different nutrients, techniques and environmental adjustments to see what works best. I hope that I’m on my way to become bigger than what I think. Thank you for saying so. I’m doing things the old fashioned way right now and hand feeding and hand watering. Definitely will branch out and try new things. Thanks again for the advice.

  9. Thanks for the info in written form. I’ve grown using this method before with great results but my memory was failing me on the ratios. I’m transplanting established clones straight into the flowering tent so I will try a 50/50 mix of the bloom/all-purpose at 3tbs/gal and update how they do. Had to save some babies from a friend and I’ve never mixed this stuff for going straight into flowering before. Cheers.

    1. I love your recipe, so I thought I would use it as a basis for my next outdoor grow. I was just wondering if I’m “missing” anything from the recipe that may need too be added to optimize the soil. I love your posts!!!😊 . . . Thank you very much for you information!!

      I was thinking of the following:

      Pots: 20 gallon Fabric Pots x ? 😉
      Location: Outdoors
      Seeds: Auto flowering and fast-flowering photo seeds
      Germination: Start indoors with peat pucks, and move into 1 gallon fabric pots under T5 lights in non-amended Pro-Mix HP or BX. In late May transplant into final 20 gallon pots outside.
      20 Gallon Pots: One inch Perlite on bottom. Super Soil mix on bottom 1/2. Pro-Mix HP/BX on top 1/2.
      ===============
      SUPER SOIL – AUTO & PHOTO
      30% Pro-Mix HP or BX
      15% Mushroom or Sea Compost
      15% Earth Worm Castings
      30% Perlite

      Additions To Soil:
      1. Gaia Green 4-4-4: 3 or 4 tbsp/gal.
      2. Wallace Wow Premium Mycorrhizal Inoculant – 1/2 cup per 20gal pot.
      3. Gaia Green Diatomaceous earth ( not quite sure how much)

      ==================

      TOP DRESSING
      AUTO
      Gaia Green 4.4.4: 2 tbsp/gallon.
      Veg/Flower Start/Flower Middle

      PHOTO
      Gaia 4.4.4 PLUS Gaia Power Bloom 2.8.4 – 2 tbsp/gallon . . .
      Veg: 70/30
      Flower Start: 50/50
      Flower Mid: 70/30

      I will also be adding molasses to the water and dusting the root ball with Wallace Wow Premium Mycorrhizal Inoculant when I transplant . . . thanks . . . keep up the good work!!👍👍👊👊

      p.s. I will also be planting two in the ground as a “test” . . . cheers . . . Trevor

  10. Hi. I was wondering what your thoughts are of starting autoflowers in veg with a photoperiod plant that is in a 12/12 bloom cycle? I understand 18/6 is key for autoflowers but could it be done? Or would you think the 12/12 would effect the Auto to trigger to bloom to fast.

    1. I kinda figured so. I believe it should work out well with a week for it to germinate and 3 weeks veg. Once I go to the 18/6 it should go through the week stretch and ready to start the flower. Definitely excited to start from the beginning with the Gaia Green. Switching on the fly was risky but still getting amazing results with the top dressing and molasses tea and the banana peel juice with worm castings and a tablespoon of bat guano. Seen a huge improvement with adding the tea two weeks between top dressing. Huge thanks for your simple tips to complete a excellent program for me. The anticipation for a taste in the end is what I am excited for. Advanced nutrients vs Gaia Green. We will see. Cheers

  11. hello, i might have a very dumb question but here it goes
    when mixing the fertilizer with the medium (i’m using three 5gal grow bags) i should mix 45tbs of fertilizer, being all 4-4-4 or mixed
    but for the top dress where i’ll have 30tbs, once i mix those i have to distribute to all pots?
    i’m confused bc 30 tbs seems a lot for top dressing

    (i’m still doing research for my 1th grow, decided to go organic so your article was big help)
    i’m just awaiting my seeds and i hope i have some good bud by april lol

    1. Thanks for your question. So, if you’re using fresh soil that has some nutrients in it already, there’s no need to amend it. Also, are you planning on growing Autoflower or Photoperiod plants? If Autoflowers, they require less nutrients. Also, when top dressing, think of it more in terms of each pot. So if Autoflowers, for example, a 5 gallon pot/grow bag would only need 7.5 tbsps. You’d repeat it for each pot. If you’re amending your soil for Autoflowers, you’d use 30 tbsps in the 15 gallons of soil. If you have any further questions or need any clarification, feel free to reply

      1. i saw a “recipe” for the medium i really liked:
        3 part peat moss
        3 part compost
        2 part perlite
        1 part vermiculite
        i still didn’t buy the compost, the rest is already bought.
        in this case if i use compost, do i still need to mix in the nuts?

        also, if i decide to fill 3 part of coco coir instead of the compost, then i’d need the nuts?

        i’m going to grow autoflowers, the seeds will arrive in 2 weeks or so, i’m doing the most research i can so i do ok in my first grow lol

        thanks a lot for the help you have an amazing blog

        1. Thanks for your kind words. I think if you use the compost, you would be fine without amending it but the coco coir would need amending. Sounds like you’re doing it right. Good luck with your first grow. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask 🙂

          1. Hello. I have topped dressed 15 days ago with the 4-4-4 and 2-8-4 bloom. And now I was wondering should I wait till day 30 when I re top dress to add The guano? I can’t find out if it’s bad to top dress with this before 30 days. Or if I should use the whole amount of 0-13-1 that the recipe says? Or a percentage of it with the 30-70 ?? Thanks in advance

  12. Hey awesome information, love how the replies are alive. My question is can you re use your coco coir medium after first grow? If so do I need to replenish soil? Is it possible to throw this spent medium into a forest or garden bed and be natural and break down, not toxic. Thanks

    1. Thanks for your question, Kenneth. You can absolutely re-use coco coir but you will need to re-amend it with some dry amendments. I have the specific amounts in my Nutrient Schedule page. You can also dispose of the medium when it’s done in a forest, garden bed or compost bin. It will be put to good use that way. I have used my soil 3 times total before getting fresh soil. So it helps to save on costs for sure. Hope that answered everything for you.

    1. Hi Chris, thanks for your question. I pH my water to around 6.2 but I try to vary slightly though. So each gallon of water is a slightly different pH. But adjusted between 6.0 to 7.0 because I’m using soil. It would be less if you’re using coco coir.

      1. Ive read that using dry amendments with coco you want to water around 6.5-6.8 is this correct? I’ve noticed a lot of my growth to be very light coloured (lime green).

        1. Yes, that pH should be good for coco coir. You could have a Magnesium/Calcium deficiency. If you suspect that is what it is. You can make a Cal-Mag solution using Epsom salt and egg shells. The recipe is in my DIY recipes. Best of luck

    1. I do pH my water and my local water is a 7.0 so i use about 2ml of lemon juice per gallon (give or take, so you create a range, not always the same exact pH)

  13. What’s the feed schedule for say two months veg, and then two months flower. I now you feed every 4 weeks, but if I feed starting at week 2 of flower, I might not have enough nutrients to to push to flower. I like to stop-feeding 5 weeks prior to harvest. Would a compost tea work at week 4 or 5to help push through to flower. Thanks for info great article.

    1. Thanks for your question! Usually for 2 months in veg, I would top dress at 4 weeks, 8 weeks and week 4 of flower. That’s if the flower period is 8+ weeks. You could absolutely use a compost tea to help push through flower. You can also use the DIY Banana peel tea recipe I have for this. It has lots of potassium and phosphorus, but also magnesium and calcium.

      1. Hi there mama420. Would you be able to out the recipe for the banana peel tea. My babies look like they need something more than the usually compost tea.

  14. Hi there…how often do you top dress using dry amendments? Say your vegging for 2 months…top dress every 4 weeks?
    Thanks

    1. Hi, thanks for your question. I usually top dress every 4 weeks and the second top dress would be a 50/50 mix of the 4-4-4 & 2-8-4. And the last top dress is during week 5 of flower or just before that depending on how it falls

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