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

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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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