Thoughts on my 2nd grow medium/nutrient selection

Hello again ILGM,

So I am in the process of starting my 2nd grow currently switching up quite a bit from my 1st grow. To begin with, I opted for coco coir this time around after so many incredible growers i’ve been watching. Drawing inspiration from a specific grow that i’ve been watching I opted to give dry amendments a shot this go round as well. So I bought a couple Plantonix coco bricks and broke down 1 of them for my 3 gallon pot. In addition to this I added about 1/2 cup Dr. Earth grow/bloom dry amendments directly into the coco with probably 10% MG perlite added to the medium as well. Taking this into consideration i’ve lost two seeds in this soil already, one essentially popped a taproot and not much else, the other broke the surface of the soil but the root structure/taproot growth of the sprout just seemed frozen after over a week after popping the surface of the medium. After some time I noticed by pushing on the top of the medium near the sprout that it really did not seem to be building any solid root structure to speak of. Stumped and quickly growing to hate the germination stage at this point I began to think something had to be wrong here. I was hitting the sprout daily with tap water with a pH around 6.8. Eventually after thinking through the process I realized some cases where growers would flush the coco thoroughly prior to the grow due to excessive salts from the manufacturer with some brands of coco. This got me thinking so I ended up taking a PPM reading with my EC pen of the runoff from this pot with the seemingly frozen in time seedling that refuses to grow and low and behold the runoff was over 1800 ppm. So I ended up pulling another possibly destroyed seed out of the medium and flushed the crap out of it until I got a runoff around 300 ppm. I really don’t think I washed all of the dry amendments out with the flush but I know it changed the composition of the medium to some degree so i’ll probably need to top dress sooner possibly due to this. Moving forward i’m just waiting to see if this seedling that just barely popped it’s taproot that I dug up is going to be a loss or if it will persevere.

Coco grows are usually at a ph of 5.8 and no ammendments are typically added. Coco is used so the grower has complete control but not wanting to do hydro.

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I thought that was the case for the most part originally but basically watching a specific grow on a YouTube channel I follow this grower added the dry amendments directly to the coco and gets amazing autos with monster nugs. The grower adds the dry amendments directly to the coco day one and essentially just waters with tap water at 6.8 pH. He then would top dress every couple weeks and seemed like the rest of the grow is pretty much on auto pilot. I like this aspect of simplicity. This grow i’m essentially trying to replicate this process, however I will take that into consideration. If I lose another seed I may switch back up to the liquid nutes I was using my last grow.


@renzore101 yes nice work,mr cunucks grow does the same dry ferts only every 2 or 3 weeks added to the top of the medium,then just waters for ever.great idea i thought aswell for soil,an he seems to get pretty much the same veg an flower times as coco but he does start them under a cfl for a few weeks,but still would like to see this in action myself,let us know how you go :slight_smile:

@aussie123556 thanks for the feedback! You are correct, mr canucks is the grow specifically i’ve drawn this inspiration from :slight_smile:. I’ve got my pot back in my tent with the seedling with the questionable chance of survival under my 600w LED so we’ll see how it goes! I’ll document the process once I can actually get her going off to a proper start.

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I might suggest that this is a more advanced technique and you would be best served to master the fundamentals first.

Coco is a great medium but you basically turned it into soil with the amendments you added. Unfortunately not a well balanced soil. So; if doing media, treat like media and not soil.

I have grown some plants in it and like it. Done correctly I believe it exceeds soil for yields.

When starting seedlings, even autos, I would advise germinating in a custard cup of distilled water with a few drops of 3% peroxide, placed in a warm dark place. I put mine on the cable box. Once you have sprouts, put them in a solo cup of straight coco with numerous holes poked/melted into the cup. Use red or blue to keep the roots in the dark. A clear dome should be placed over the cup and distilled water misted on the inside of the dome for moisture for the plant. Remember that the seedling derives most of it’s water from the leaves until it forms a taproot. No real point to watering the media but I usually give it a teaspoon or so morning and evening. NO NUTES for at least 2 weeks. When you get to that point reach out to one of us and we’ll get you squared away right.



@Myfriendis410 Thanks for the warm welcome! I just germinated another purple kush auto seed and popped it in a small solo cup to start. I’ll be sure to keep everyone in the loop once I can manage to get another sprout off the ground.

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@Myfriendis410 @aussie123556 @Familyman

Okay so the most recent seed I popped is a lost cause as well it appears. Take a look at these pictures I just took after ripping the seedling out that was doing absolutely nothing for over a week:

In reviewing my process this most recent time around I used the cup of water with a couple drops of 3% peroxide to germinate this seed, which popped with a small taproot after about 2 - 3 days.After it popped I transplanted it directly into a small container about the size of a solo cup with drainage. The medium is still my coco with the added dry amendments and about 10% or so perilite added. This medium was also flushed after the fact after my last germinated seed essentially did the same thing as this sprout ended up doing. After testing the PPM’s before the flush it was around 1800 PPM so I flushed it thuroughly and managed to bring the runoff down to around 300 PPM, which I figured would be okay for the seedling, however maybe this is still too high? Any other glaringly obvious reason these pictures are screaming at anyone as to the cause of my failed root development? I was also considering looking into some rooting hormone or other beneficial bacteria to help with healthy root development, however I don’t want to go crazy if I am missing something stupid.

Edit: Just for clarity, I ran another test of the ppm of that runoff of the small container this seed was planted in and it was just below 400 PPM. I had thought I read some folks suggesting no more than 500 PPM for seedlings so I am still thinking this may not be the root cause, however feel free to let me know what you think.

It looks like they damped off which is caused by too wet of soil. Also, I feel the ppms are too high. I start my seeds in cutting soil which has no nutes.

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Yeah I know it looks pretty wet because I just sprayed it recently in these pictures, however it did seem like the coco was drying out pretty quickly under my light and 90 F temp and 60% RH tent so I watered everyday. I think the coco may have been staying damp deeper down under the surface though, trying to figure that out.

It was definitly over watered. It happens. I did it a week ago to a sour diesel sprout.

I’ll take your word on that. Back to the syringe drips of water the first few days again.

I would also make sure there are as little nutes as possible in the water and soil too.

Dude! Do something different! Lol.

Pick up some starting soil specific to seedlings. Use only distilled water and spray a clear dome twice daily that is placed over the seedling. 90F is too hot. Remember that the seedling is getting most of it’s water from the air as it has no roots.


@Familyman I think you were right on the money, i’ve definitely been damping them off. I’ve got a couple bag seed sprouts that seem to be responding better to me chilling out with the water:

Think I should leave my makeshift humidity dome on top of this one at this point?

Closer shot of the oldest sprout.

Youngest out of the bunch.

Should open up in a couple hours.

And the last sprout.

No signs of yellowing as of yet this time around. Going to hone my skills at this stage before wasting more expensive seeds.

As a test the three starter containers above have different PPM. The container with the oldest sprout (cardboard covered bottle) PPMs are around 150. The two other containers are around 350 PPM, so i’ll see if that has a negative impact on the other two seedlings.

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lookin good :slight_smile:

Off to the races:

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I am setting this to watching i am very curious to see how you do with adding dry amendments to coco. I have always heard it is just soil less growing (basically hydro with coco and not rock wool)

@renzore101 i got 5 to win on the 1 on the left :slight_smile: nice work


I’m still here guys! Sorry for the lack of recent updates! So the three sprouts pictured above are still going strong! Check out this pic I took today:

These sprouted abouit a month and a week ago now, however I was having some severe nute burn issues earlier on that I believe were also severely stunting the plants. After checking my PPM’s I was still getting really high readings over 1500PPM or thereabouts, so I flushed the crap out of them with several gallons of water and top dressed for the first time and MAN, they blew up! I was about to throw the towel in with this coco organic idea but i’m going to continue to pursue this as I have a feeling this is going to work out well! I’ll be sure to post another update soon.

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