Why Grow Organic
Why should you grow organically? It's certainly can be an effective way to grow. It can be cheaper and better for the environment than non-organic equivalents. Not to mention you can guarantee an all-natural smoke, which is contended to be superior in flavor. Also, any pesticide that has not broken down by time and light can be directly harmful to your health if inhaled or smoked. Organic growing can limit your exposure to potentially damaging pesticides.
Let's Talk About Soil
Let's talk about organic soil, both in ground and container. Growing organic in the hydroponic methods is a whole other blog! First thing to consider is your medium, the base from which your plant will grow. A blend of organic top soil, compost and manure are an excellent start. You can buy premixed bags or buy separately and mix yourself. Next, we need to amend the soil, there are a variety of potent organic additives at your disposal. For nutrition you can add worm castings, bat guano, and kelp or fish derived meal. For water retention and drainage additives there is peat moss and perlite. Fostering a natural ecosystem of beneficial bacteria can provide nutrition and a buffer against stress and disease.
The next concern is water. If using tap water be aware that it contains chlorine and the only way to get it out when growing organic is to let it sit 24 to 72 hours at room temperature. This will cause the chlorine to evaporate from the water, it can be sped up with an air stone and air pump. Water soluble fertilizer can be added after that. Any fertilizer that is derived from kelp, fish and manure/guano is usually an excellent choice, but should be confirmed if organic on the label. It is readily available at your local hydroponics store. Compost tea, which can be derived from adding a cup of compost to a bucket of water with an air stone pump combo and letting it sit at room temperature for a few days. Other compost replacements are worm castings, bat guano, even composted grass clippings. One of my favorites is Bokashi, it new up and comer that can strengthen the soil ecosystem. It is a bacteria booster, combined with some base nutrition additives. Constantly adding a fresh supply of new microorganisms will keep your ecology strong and resilient. Mycorrhizae booster is another good additive to bolster the beneficial fungi in the soil. The fungi will not only redistribute moisture, but also metabolize nutrients for the plant. In bloom organic molasses can be used to provide the necessary carbohydrates for putting on weight.
If the worst should happen, and by the worst I mean the ultimate scourge of the garden; pests. You can try predatory insects like ladybugs. It can be costly and cause other problems though. Biodegradable soap is an excellent weapon against most pests as it is can disrupt feeding and reproduction cycles. It is not appropriate during budding however. Many organic farmers use sulfur or diatomaceous earth as organic pest control. Also it is most effective in vegetation and not recommended in bloom.
Long term the soil will get better and better over time, whereas with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides leave the soil in poorer condition. You can dump your container soil in the garden and actually improve the soil!
Organics can not only provide a more economical way to grow, but more sustainable is well. You can incorporate all or some of the methods outlined here with standard grow methods. Growing organic can be a rewarding and wholesome way to grow. You and your buds will be better for it!
If you want to take the plunge into organics, come see us at the shop - 1332 Bloor Street West or give us a call at: 416-530-7750.