Soil preparation

My seedlings are 8 days old and I think i read somewhere that my seedling are ready for transplant to final pot when they have really good root development and i want to confirm that this is the right time to transplant.
Are there specific preparations neccessary for the new soil. Like should i prep it and leave it on the side till its time to transplant. I am going to be using either Happy Frog or bushdoctor coco loco, might even mix it up, possibly! I also have a lot of ocean forest left over from using only a small amout for these small 6" pots.
What i really would like to know is about soil preparation. There was something else i read about it taking 2 weeks for the soil to really have the availability of certain nutrients but only weeks after preparing. I think it had to do with worm casting tea and the availability of the benefits to the soil weeks after its first use. So basically if i add it to the plants soil today, the plants wont get the benifits till two weeks later. Does any of that make sense? :thinking: any and all advice and suggestions welcome.:pray: by the way these are the girls at 8 days old today. One of them have what looks like from what i hear all the time people do to the plants, chemical burns but that should be impossible because all the get from me is a bit of water with a worm casting tea i made diluted 50%. And i heard that its impossible to affect the plants negatively its so mild. And the other reason i think this happens for is to much light but that can’t be it either. Im guessing and hoping its nothing. What do you guys think :thinking:

I always forget to tag people! @The_Chef @Graysin @help me tag others if possible

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If you are using premade soil from the store, it’s usually already “ready.”

I know @JaneQP @MeEasy @Twelve1 and some others have used soil/some variation of “living soil” which is what it sounds like you’re talking about - needing to allow the ingredients to “cook” so to speak for a period of time before they’re organically broken down into nutrients the plant can utilize. I know Jane and MeEasy use Earth Dust. I think Twelve joined me on the Grow Dots bandwagon which departs a bit from the “organic” and “living soil” types of grows (but is also stupidly easy, so it’s quite appealing to me.)

If you’re using FFOF or FFHF, no real prep is needed. I’d dump the dirt into a pot, then dig out a hole the size & shape of your current pot, and sprinkle some microbes into the hole. I use Great White, Azos, Mykos, or sometimes if I’m feeling really wild, all three plus the other microbe products I’ve got. Mostly the plants I really really want to make it get the special treatment. Once you’ve added microbes, pop your baby out of the small pot and slip it into the hole you made for her in the new pot. Water a medium amount to get the microbes good and wet. Then you’re ready to rock.


Seriously I don’t know where you find the time! Spot on info tho.
I don’t do anything to happyfrog except add a bit of perlite


@Graysin thanks for your time answering, it’s much appreciated! When do you start introducing nutrients or and microbes. Is there a set specific time or is there something in particular that i have to look out for? Am i to stick with water only or is this worm casting tea i made not good for everyday thing while they are seedlings still?
I know that once they go into vegetarian period is has a lot to do with the12/12 schedule but when are they ready for that transition? Sorry for all the questions.

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That’s what i have in mind to add as well 20% perlite and then i heard to top off soil with worm casting.

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I’ve used Pot4Pot’s super soil mixture that needs a week or two to “cook”. On my current plants, I used Grow Dots and Recharge in Roots Organics Original premade soil that doesn’t need cooking, it’s “ready” as @Graysin pointed out. I had wanted to do organic amendments/top dressings, but also as Graysin said, I tried the Grow Dots to see if they are as simple and effective as claimed by the manufacturer and other growers, and I’ve found it to be true. I’m very happy with the ease and results.


This recharge you speak of, soneone suggested i buy so i did. They also suggested billions and fish shit. When do i implement that?

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I never used the castings but I know they’re good stuff. No pro but my thought is that the hf has plenty of nutes for the 1st few weeks so I would wait a couple weeks before I would add it…?..


I don’t either :joy: before I know it I’ve written a novela.

I introduce microbes on day 1 and once a week thereafter. Here’s a generic list of popular microbial products you’ll encounter here:
Recharge, Fish Shit, Billions, Tribus, Mammoth P, Hydroguard, photosynthesis plus (beware, this one is a legitimate stink trap), Orca, Great White, Azos, and perhaps Garden Friendly Fungicide (I use this but it hasn’t caught on yet :joy:)

I would be wary of worm casting tea - it’s nutrient rich and quite good for plants, but it’s also really quite high in nitrogen. That is, by far and away, the easiest nutrient to oversupply to cannabis.

They’re ready usually after around 6 weeks from seed. The question is when are you ready for that transition? It often depends on plant health and space to grow in. I have lots of space so I favor extended veg periods (I’ve got some plants I’ve had vegging since January). The trade off is the longer you veg, the bigger they get. A sativa generally grows 2-4x as large as it is in the veg state. An Indica will typically double in size but sometimes may get even larger.

Sativas tend to stretch skyward, while indicas will stretch a bit but they usually stay stout and bushy; they just get bigger around.

I’d add the Recharge when you water next. Then again when you transplant (or just when you transplant if you want to do that first) and again once a week for every day week thereafter. Recharge has microbial life plus a little molasses to keep the microbes happy.

My thoughts exactly. When we’re talking about fresh dirt, there’s often very little reason to add extra stuff. Microbes are the exception in my opinion.


@Graysin is it a bad idea to ditch the tent and grow out of the room my tent is in? What are the major concerns i need to think about other than adding reflective material on the walls. Is it much more complex than that? I know that i would be able to grow more than i could handle for sure but is it more complex than a grow tent or as easy to get it done as it is a tent set up? :thinking:

Is your room painted white? If so, don’t waste the time or money on Mylar. It’s not that much more benefit and is that much more money. I just use the white walls and have had success

Lighting. The bigger the area, the more lights you will need.

Airflow. The more space you take up, the more fans you want to keep the air moving. You may need a larger exhaust fan to pull in air from the rest of the house. You won’t have tent walls to be your guide as to when or if you’ve achieved negative pressure (which is important if you need odor control. I don’t, so it doesn’t matter much to me, but I am fortunate to live 2 houses away from a dispensary, so no one suspects me as the stink).

It is exactly the same in a lot of ways, just bigger. I have just under 2k watts of light running in my room, which is about 9x13 and about 5/8 full of weed (the rest is storage for nutrients etc, and my wife’s Betta fish). I have four desk fans blowing and a 6” exhaust fan hooked up and exhausting out the window of the room.

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@Graysin Its a small room 8x10x9 and own a hlg scorpion which does up to a 6x6. What light is need to fill up 2/3 of the rooms space with plants. I mean must the light need to be exactly the same thats beside my light. Whats the formula to help figure this out or do you know right off bat whats best?

I don’t have a real formula to be honest. I did a real rough estimate at 40 watts per square foot (because some lights are really at 30w per square foot like the HLG you have - it’s quality light, while others I have are 50w per square foot because they’re cheap Amazon crap - bloomspect and Vivosun specifically). 40 was a good average for me to estimate what I wanted.
Rough guess is I have about 60 square feet occupied. Meaning I want 2,400 watts of light to power my plants from edge to edge. I cut out a bit of that in wattage because A: I didn’t need lighting in the path where I walk, and B: I have a ceiling fan in the way of where I would hang the rest of the wattage, and I use the fan to circulate air, which is more value than the lights would be on the fringes of the Grow anyhow.

If you pretend you light up the room with a bunch of HLG Diablo boards, you could estimate the watts per square foot at 30w/sq ft and not be far off.
If I assume you’re filling up 2/3 of an 8x10, you’re at 1,600 watts of HLG quality lighting to grow well (a 6x7.5 space)
Honestly 2 Scorpion diablos or 2 blackbirds or a scorpion Diablo and a blackbird or whatever combination like that would likely perform quite well if you can space them appropriately.

I recommend checking your ceiling with a stud Finder and making sure you’ve got enough studs up there to support that weight, though.

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If i understand this correctly wouldnt adding a blackbird mean that they will have to hang at different heights?
Btw i too have a ceiling fan in the room

Perhaps. I haven’t noticed an issue doing that in my room. Since it’s a slapdash assembly of the lights I already had assorted in a few different tents, only a few of them are the same (actually it’s just 2 - of the 6 lights I have hanging, only my 240 KingBrites are duplicates)

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I am a practical, get from point A to Point B, person. My suggestion is start small, grow a plant or two to learn what it is about. Mixing and combining a little of this and some of that sounds beneficial but in the end it just makes for more steps. Fox Farm soils are popular with a lot of information on there use. Ocean Forest is a “hotter” more nutrient rich soil than is Happy Frog. HF is a good seed starting medium and is used / blended with OF to transition seedlings.
Decide on nutrient regimen. Again try to keep it simple. Organic or not, liquid or dry, if dry - dissolve in water or add to soil?
In summary
use basic cannabis friendly soil.
use a basic and proven nutrient. Advanced Nutrients makes great organic liquid nutrients - expensive. Earth dust is a good dry soil additive. Jacks is a great dry soluble nutrient line. Fox Farm Trio is a popular liquid 3 part nutrient combo.
Microbes are beneficial but not critical. I use them.
Caution - just because something is reported to help or even proven to grow bigger, better plants etc etc it does not mean to have to have it or use it. You will drive yourself over the edge with so many options and alternatives.
Get started, learn and then expand as you gain experience and knowledge.


Keep it simple bro. If you have a tent , use it for your first time. Whatever FF soil you use it has enough nutes in it to get you through the first 4 to 6 weeks. You can do microbes with ph’d water in that time.
How many plants are you planning to run?

The one thing I did wrong at the very beginning is over think everything lol.

You have one of the best lights out there and it will produce big time. You’re right it will cover a 5x5 area but will do that better in a tent or similar space with reflective (white paint) walls.


Thx for the tag @Graysin

@THC73 You have received great advice from some outstanding growers.

I use a product called Earthdust. I had to find a less time consuming way to grow. Only three applications throughout the grow and water is all that is needed. The company has great customer service.

I don’t have to mix nutrients or measure pH and TDS any more. I just keep the soil moist and let the microbes do their work.

Most important is that you find a way to grow that fits your budget and available time.

Best to you!


@The_Chef, @Graysin , if i am using distilled water and i am about to give my seedling a 50%diluted recharge watering since the are thirsty right about now, how do i get a ph reading on the recharge that i preped with distilled water?

Distilled water is 7 0 right and when i do a ph reading its marking 8.0 together. I must balance this down to around 6.2 or 6.5 correct?? Making sure i dont screw this up its my first time. Thanks for the help, much appreciated!!

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Distilled water has 0 or close to 0 PPMs. That means there’s nothing in it to transmit a pH. Any reading you get on water with less than 100ppms, is not going to be an accurate reading.