Taking the extra step of adding a nutrient supplement, such as the RQS Easy Combo Booster Pack, will provide your plants will all the minerals they need throughout the vegetative and flowering phases.
Growing cannabis in soil alone offers good results, but soil amendments such as peat moss and coco coir can make good results great. They add structure, hold water, improve acidity, and boost microbial life.
Growers need to properly prepare peat moss before adding it to a soil mix. The moss is known to be particularly resistant to absorbing water at first, and therefore needs to be well-moistened. To do so, place the desired amount into a deep tray. Spread the peat moss out across the tray and leave it exposed outdoors for several weeks. Allow dew and rainwater to soak the moss, but drain the tray as soon as the water begins to collect. If you live in a dry region, manually soak the moss before it dries out.
HOW TO FEED CANNABIS CULTIVATED IN COCO COIR
If you have coco coir in brick form, make sure to purchase a high-quality brand. Every brick will be relatively uniform. When you add 4-5l of water and leave it to soak for about 30 minutes, a consistent 9-10l of medium will be produced from each brick. Simply add perlite and mix by hand in a good-sized bucket.
Peat moss will add beneficial microorganisms to the soil. Before planting, add RQS Easy Roots to enhance nutrient uptake and complement the peat moss microbes.
Coco coir is the recycled and processed natural fibre from the husk of coconuts, grown mostly in India and Sri Lanka. What was once regarded as waste material, in contrast today constitutes a magnificent growing medium for cannabis plants both indoors and outdoors. With a pH of typically between 6.5-7.0, coco coir is comparable to unfertilised soil. Coco coir is available from most grow shops in 50l sacks. It’s sold just like soil. But usually more readily available in tightly compressed coco bricks.
Coco coir is more forgiving than most hydroponic mediums, but not quite as an effective buffer as soil. That being said, you absolutely can hand-water cannabis plants in coco coir as one would soil cultivated marijuana. Moreover, the grower can assess when to water by picking the pots up. Light and dry just as is the case with soil. That’s your cue to water.
That’s it. I don’t mean to oversell it here, but this technique has saved me so much heartburn and so many hundreds of dollars in seeds since I learned it that I can’t help it.
It took me a couple tries but once I got the technique down, I won’t ever go back to anything else for seed starting. The pH of the water really isn’t important at this stage (in my experience), and the idea that you should never let coco dry out is also something you want to ignore until they are established with a solid root system. the cycle of wet to dry to wet again encourages the root growth. I have never had a seed that did not show a tail within a day or two of soaking that was not viable with this seed starting method. The only seeds I have ever seen not pop with this are the ones that probably weren’t viable to begin with, but your mileage may vary. Here’s the technique I use:
-Plant as per usual, keep the humidity at a nice comfortable level for seedlings/vegging plants/humans (50-70% is fine), and don’t even worry about humidity domes or anything as they aren’t necessary.
-If all went well, you will see seeds breaking surface within 24-36 hours, maybe 2 days at most.
-Tap water, 1/3 strength coco nutes (in my case 5ml each Canna A and Canna B). In my case, tap water and using the coco-specific line of nutrients from Canna at or below the recommended 15ml/gal dilution has always produced excellent results across the ideal range of pH for coco, from the mid to high 5’s to the low 6’s. YMMV depending on the mineral content of your tapwater, but I do know that Canna and probably other coco nutes as well call for tapwater specifically over R/O.
-What you want to do is run enough of the nutrient/water solution through the coco to get a considerable amount of runoff, maybe up to 100-200% runoff, and then squeeze it until it is about as dry as you can get it by hand. Couple different ways to do this: for smaller amounts of coco, an old pillow case works wonderfully as a "strainer" and then you can squeeze it to get the water out. If you’re planting a ton, or transplanting into larger pots (this works brilliantly for that as well, same exact process) and need to do a bigger batch at once, go spend $5-8 at your local Wally World for either a very fine mesh or cloth laundry bag and use it the same way as the pillow case. Either way, you want the coco to be just moist enough to feel it, but not so wet that it leaves water on your fingers.
-Soak 24-48 hours (not necessary, but speeds the process along a bit) until you have a 1/4"-1/2" tail
-For containers, you can go with seedling trays or small plug-sized cups to start out with if you really want, but I recommend you just cut to the chase and start them in the initial container (for me, this would be a 4" pot until the first transplant)
This method is hard to mess up if you follow the instructions. Place your seeds inside a folded wet paper towel, and put that between two plates. The purpose of the plates is to prevent the seeds from drying out. Don’t let any part of a paper towel hang out the edges or it will wick away all the moisture and dry out. Keep everything totally contained between the plates.
Before you start germinating your seeds, set up your soil or coco. It will still be a few days until your seedlings arrive, but you want to have everything ready before the seedlings need to be planted.
Don’t touch the shell if possible because a tiny tug in the wrong direction can pull the seedling out of the plug and break off the taproot.
More seedling resources
If seeds sprout, but then stop growing…