BioTabs organic marijuana crop in coco
Growing marijuana in soil can be difficult when it comes to move tens of liters of substrate for cannabis plants, and more particularly when the crop is located in a building or in inaccessible areas. Coco coir has the advantage of being easy to carry, but it is also a substrate that offers good aeration, what is needed for a strong development of the root system which, at the time, means more vigour.
As we know, coco coir doesn’t contain nutrients, so fertilizing the plants through the nutrient solution is the common practice by growers when using this substrate. We must adjust the pH level of the nutrient solution so that all nutrients can be properly assimilated by the plants.
The BioTabs Nutrient Line, designed to be used with either soil or coco coir, is an optimal alternative to transform the lifeless coco fibers into a rich and live substrate which only needs to be watered with tap water, without regulating the pH level or adding more nutrients. Micro-life and beneficial bacteria balance and ensure proper uptake of the available nutrients in the substrate.
Preparation of the substrate for marijuana plants with BioTabs nutrients
To create an environment suitable for our cannabis plants, we will have to follow the advice from BioTabs to prepare the mix:
- 60% Coco
- 20% Perlite
- 20% Vermicompost
- BioTabs Organic Nutrient Starter Pack
Perlite is an important element to keep the soil structure, particularly because we have chosen to grow plants outdoors with the help of an automatic irrigation system, the AutoPot. Perlite and Coco will ensure a substrate with good aeration, despite the constant presence of water. AutoPot recommends using a 50% of Perlite, which seems to be very necessary to prevent any problems caused by over-watering.
The BioTabs Kit has extracts of vermicompost contained in Startrex, so we wouldn't need to add more; however, quality humus considerably improves the texture of the substrate while enriching it with fulvic and humic acids, besides beneficial bacteria.
Our enriched Coco mix for marijuana plants is ready to use, either indoors or outdoors. Using a tab for each 3-4 liters of substrate and watering with an solution enriched with Orgatrex to stimulate bacteria and other beneficial fung like Trichoderma is all we have to do for a top quality harvest.
Growing California Dream from Mandala Seeds with BioTabs
We used the Jumus germination Starter Kit to sprout three California Dream feminized seeds from Mandala, which were then transplanted into 0.25 L pots filled with coco, humus and Perlite, without adding BioTabs: humus will be enough to ensure the limited nutritional needs during the first days of life of the seedlings.
Once plants are properly growing, it is time to transplant them into 3,25L pots , in which we’ll put one BioTab for each plant. These are slow-release fertiliser tabs and are composed of bone meal, blood meal, fish meal, natural humic acids, beneficial bacteria and a formula of slow-acting Nitrogen, with an NPK content of 12-9-9. It’s important not to use too much tabs with those marijuana plants more sensitive to high nutrient concentrations, since the excesses of nitrogen can quickly damage certain strains like, for instance, automatic plants.
For this reason, instead of increasing or decreasing the number of nutrient tabs according to the size of the pot, we will do it according to the needs of each strain. Auto-flowering plants, for example, are grown in 15 litre pots, but they rarely need more than one or two BioTabs for a correct development.
After three weeks in these 3,5L containers, our California Dream plants were transplanted for the last time. Two of them into 15L AutoPots, while the last one was transplanted into a 7,5L SmartPot with an AutoValve irrigation system.
This time, 2 BioTabs were added in each pot. Using the vegan fertilizer Orgatrex from BioTabs is also advisable to ensure life and richness in the soil. Orgatrex is rich in trace-elements and sugars and has a NPK content of 7-6-7.
Orgatrex can also be used after each transplant, working harmoniously with the beneficial bacteria and mycorrhiza provided by the Bactrex and Mycotrex additives. A few weeks later, at the beginning of bloom, one BioTab was added in each 15L pot to ensure a last slow-release fertilizer input.
Analysis of a marijuana crop grown with BioTabs
The BioTabs organic nutrient range has been developed to ensure completely healthy plants, rich in chlorophyll up to half the flowering period. From this point, leaching the coco with large quantities of pure water may be useful to promote senescence and degradation of chlorophyll, thus improving the organoleptic properties of the harvest.
Those plants more sensitive to nutrient over-feeding - landrace sativas or auto-flowering genetics - may show signs of nutrient excesses during the first days, so it's always better to start adding a single BioTab to the mix, and then wait 7-10 days to start using the recommended dose according to the volume of substrate used. This progressive decomposition will prevent stress, particularly in seedlings (young marijuana plants).
We used stimulants and other additives to optimize the results of this crop: Delta 9 from Cannabiogen (sprayed), ATA Flavor, Halo and Vita Race from Plagron, plus BactoBloom's flowering bacteria from.
We were very pleased with this plants, also with a crop of tomatoes and eggplants grown in coco with BioTabs. We highlight both its easiness of use and the quality of the final product, rich in resin, terpenes and active principles. It should be noted the award received for the best fertiliser during the 2014 Expogrow in Irún, thus recognizing the efforts of the manufacturer to offer an effective and easy to use product. BioTabs has already attracted many growers for its great quality and easiness of use.
Summary of the crop and tasting of California Dream
The feminised California Dream from Mandala Seeds is a Sativa/Indica hybrid (Mexican Sativa x Afghani Indica) which embodies a harmonious balance between two different cannabis species. Well branched, California Dream develops a main central bud unless it receives longer growth periods. During this crop, two successive apical prunings were performed, and we also trained the side branches to favour an elongated structure and a good distribution of the buds in the plant.
As Mandala Seeds advises, the faster phenotype starts flowering at the second half of July, while plants sprouted at the beginning of June will do it later. The three plants have slight differences in behavior; the most Indica pheno was harvested in late September, while the most Sativa was harvested in late October; the 3rd plant, more balanced, was harvested in early October. The stretch and nutrient requirements varied depending on the Sativa/Indica influence of each grown phenotype.
The compact structure of the buds of California Dream from Mandala Seeds, the complex fruity and spicy smell of the flowers and the positive and uplifting effect were present in all plants; the mostly sativa pheno has sour citric hints, while the most indica shows sweet and sugary undertones.
Taking into account the short growth period and the small growing space available, the yield was very satisfactory and the quality of the harvest was surprising, with fruity tones - skunky, old school, that reminds us those outdoor crops from years ago, when the Skunk genetics (among others) dominated the international cannabis scene.