GANJA OVER GUNS – the new mixtape hosted by CHRONIXX
GANJA OVER GUNS – the new mixtape hosted by CHRONIXX
Roots and Harmony has recently released 4 years of calendar mixtapes for free on mixcrate.com!
You can now download Ganja Anthems, Harvest Time, Root-ologist, and From the Herb Cellar FREE at this link:
The Growilla Way
or, Farming Naturally with the Mandro Method
by Silverback Gorilla
The Growilla method, also known as the Mandro method, is a based on a really simple concept: dirt, water, nutrients, & light. For this article, we’re going to assume you already have a suitable space setup with 600 or 1000 watt lights (1-2 per lbs of material you are hoping to yield), adequate air flow (a strong fan hooked up to a charcoal filter, suitable intake), and appropriate humidity (a dehumidifier if you need one in your area/season). Other than that, we need to discuss the dirt, water, and nutrients, which is the heart of the Roots & Harmony Mandro method.
‘Mandro’ is simply our term for man-powered hydroponic feeding, otherwise known as dumping the appropriate amount of nutrients in your water reservoir and then manually applying the water to the soil. As well, a big part of the Roots & Harmony philosophy involves heavy use of our Growilla Bud TM Flowering Formula top-dress. (Note: after months of requests, we’ve finally gone ahead and packaged a limited-edition first run of the stuff, available soon at www.rootsandharmony.com). By using a particulate food product (dry top dress), a time-release delivery medium (soil) and liquid nutrients (in small measure, in your water), we believe we are able to improve on the yields and quality of pure hydroponic growing while reducing the risks and potential harmful elements. In addition, the Growilla method relies on organic products and nutrients, ensuring the cleanest, healthiest smoke you can produce.
Before you can get started on any successful growing method, however, you need to have the right environment and space. Mites, funguses, mildews, and other unwanted stuff can be largely eliminated between rounds with a clean environment and proper setup.
Keep It Clean
Almost out of necessity, and regardless of your method, your space gets dirty between rounds, and that’s not good for your stuff. We want avoid adding foreign substances like sulfur powder and pesticides to our crop if we can, and the easiest way to do that is ensure the clean conditions of your environment.
Most important is having clean air with proper humidity. A filtered intake, filtered outtake, and a dehumidifier is the easiest way to stay on top of this… minimizing mites and particles that come in, cleaning them out of the air on the way out, and keeping the humidity low, so that your room is not a hospital environment for molds and mildews (like grey-mold and power mildew).
Make sure you constantly move and recycle the air in your small space. For most small spaces, a decent filter/fan setup, an oscillating fan 6-16″ in diameter (depending on the size of your room or closet), and a 6-16″ inch intake hole will do the job. Remember, in more casual setups, your intake can be the sum total of any source of air that is allowed into the room (basically, all the openings, cracks, holes, crevices, etc). In my personal closet, a small curtain blocks the light while the door is left slightly ajar to allow for an instant wealth of air intake. This works fine, because it’s a true indoor environment and I’ve learned through experience that I don’t have a lot of mites or spores coming in. You might find differently for your space, and need a separate, filtered intake.
Finally, it’s really important to do the actual surface cleaning whenever you can (i.e. between rounds). Indoor operations have tons of surface area for funk to collect in high concentrations, so giving the space a fresh start is crucial. Use a broom and vacuum to remove all the particulate matter, dust, dirt, remnants, and other funk left over. If you are using beds like we’ve built on the Roots & Harmony blog, or pre-fab water reservoirs, or anything else that has collected funk during your cycle, make sure you wipe it down as well and get it as clean and hygienic as possible. We recommend a solution of Hydrogen Peroxide (instead of bleach), at a ratio of about .5 oz to every 3-4 gallons of water for all your surface cleaning; beds, walls, ceiling, floor, etc.
Lightly dampen a clean rag with some of your cleaning solution (peroxide/water or bleach/water) and wipe down the in and outside of your light hoods, your fan blades, fan housing, and anything else that shouldn’t be sprayed but has exposed surface area. Wipe it dry with a dry, clean rag.
The essence of cleanliness is yield quality. We try to handle the presence of pests, mildews, molds, and anything else that disturbs your harvest the old-fashioned way… by keeping everything very clean.
Next, we are going to walk you through the most important distinction of the Mandro method… soil in pots, baby! That’s right! True hydroponics can work great if you are into that, but we here at Roots & Harmony love to experiment. New strains, new phenotypes, and new environments are what we are all about. In this kind of constantly changing scenario you need a reliable and safe growing medium that provides a necessary cushion so you can watch your babies react. So without any further ado, get some empty pots, roll up your jeans, and prepare to soil yourself!
Soil is Awesome
There are many methods to grow any plant, some more popular than others. Most pop-farmers today (I think I just coined a term) pretty much roll with the program… you buy $$$$ worth of hydro gear, you pay a heady electrician to set it all up, and you go on the grow-store prescription, constantly returning to the grow store for $$$ worth of nutrients every month or week or what have you.
Well, we here at Roots & Harmony are all about doing things our own way… we believe in the ecosystem, in natural and organic produce and foods, and low-footprint farming methods that recycle, reduce, and reuse. After over 20 years of farming various things various ways (we’ve tried all the techniques for growing anything from summer squash to sour diesel), we believe we’ve arrived right back at what nature intended… soil, water, food and light. Today I want to discuss some of the reasons why soil farming is the way to go, and maybe even (yeah right) convert some of you hydro-noobs out there, and get you off on the right foot.
Soil farming is eco-friendly. Soil ensures your plants use only the water and nutrients they need, thereby avoiding toxic or otherwise unseemly water waste. Soil also requires no constant electricity, so you are able to reduce the power footprint required by your setup.
In addition, soil has a slower uptake than hydro systems (it’s like eating a hamburger vs. injecting burger grease into your veins). Because of this, mistakes such as under-watering and overfeeding can be corrected easier and will not have as much of an impact on your plants or veggies. It also acts as a reservoir in it’s own right, so you have more lenience with watering and feeding, although we don’t recommend you use it… it’s just there when you need it.
Soil can also be the most productive medium. It depends on how you use it. Soil is its own ecosystem, it can harbor many beneficial microbes and fungi that hydro systems cannot. This ecosystem needs food though, so you need to adjust your feeding techniques appropriately. We believe that by using a reasonable amount of liquid nutrients and an organic soil top dress(like our Growilla Bud Flowering Formula) you can actually more effectively, safely, and efficiently feed your plants without need for expensive trips to the grow store.
So how should soil be done then? The key to good soil is using organic, nutrient rich soil that has a proper density and moisture level. Soils that are all dirt will hold on to too much water and make soggy plants. Soils that are all pearlite and wood chips will not hold enough water. We swear by one and only one soil product… Fox Farms Sea Forest. It has just the right density, structure, and nutrient content to make a perfect growing environment.
We begin by mixing 4 bags of Fox Farm with 8 ounces of Growilla Bud and 4 more ounces of pearlite. Blending it gently, we “ribbon” the feed and pearlite throughout the soil medium, not completing mixing it in, but making sure that the food is spread throughout the medium much like fudge in vanilla ice cream. Filling 7 gallon pots (essential for voluminous root growth), we leave about 2 inches of room at the top. Mix as much soil as necessary to fill all your pots, we get about 10 pots worth out of this recipe.
Transplant your babies from the 4-inch cups into these pots, making sure your babies are healthy, 6-10 inches tall, and otherwise ready for transplanting. You’re all set! You now have a healthy, natural home for your babies… and they are already loving it. Most of our colleagues report incredible vegetative growth during this first week after the transplants have begun partying in their new homes
We all need it, even our little babies. Well, especially our little babies. Watering properly is the single most effective thing you can do to ensure the health and yield of your crop. We’ve noticed out mingling that many many casual and personal farmers just water away, without really knowing what’s is going into their plants. Let’s discuss the four main aspects of your water; temperature, ph, nutrient content, and quantity, and why each are important to check and maintain.
#1 – Temperature
#2 – PH, or Acidity/Alkalinity
#3 – Nutrient Content
#4 – Quantity
So that’s the water rundown! Keep these four things in mind and your plants will love your water!