The Importance of Water Quality and Water Testing
Water is life. Not only is it essential for all living things, the polar molecule, H2O, is one of the most important variables in your garden. Yes, many folks overlook testing it or incorrectly assume their water is safe or good for their plants. Depending on your water source, it can even change throughout the year. Because of this it is important to test your water in both the wet and dry season for the first two years of any new cultivation project. Water tests can feel daunting at first. How do I take a sample? Is it going to be...
A Dichotomous Key for Understanding Nutrient Deficiencies
One of the most important skills any grower can have is the ability to visually identify a deficiency or issue with their crop. Proper scouting and early identification of nutrient or IPM issues is critical to staying on target with your harvest goals. This can be confusing for newer growers and can take decades to learn, requiring constant repetition. This is especially true for cannabis growers with few scientifically backed representative images available due to prohibition. We are all familiar with the old nutrient deficiency posters that did little despite their best intentions to help growers determine nutrient issues. Where many vegetable...
Why Cover Crops Don't Belong in Indoor Gardens
I’d like to start by saying cover crops are amazing and have a ton of benefits. They are one of the best ways to improve soil health in agricultural soils. Cover crops can be used to increase organic matter, effectively raising cation exchange capacity in soils where it’s impractical to bring in compost or mulches. Certain cover crops like radishes help with compacted soil by breaking through tough layers of subsoil, making it easier for your main crop to increase it’s rooting depth. Having a cover crop protects the soil from erosion due to wind or heavy rains, and also...
Measuring the yield of Cannabis sativa as a response to either automated irrigation systems or traditional hand watering methods in a controlled agriculture environment.
NOTE: If you are interested in supporting KIS Organics and seeing more of this research or want help utilizing a data-driven Blumat design in your garden, you can click here for help with a custom Blumat design. Ben Higgins†§ and Tad Hussey† § - Gold Leaf Gardens, Lacey WA † - KIS Organics, Redmond WA Corresponding author: Ben Higgins – email@example.com Tad Hussey: firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract: Background The cultivation of Cannabis sativa is expanding all over the globe. However, the existence of differing laws and regulations have made it challenging to study the plant. Given the lack of scientific...
Mixing Your Own Soil Using The KIS Nutrient Pack
DISCLAIMER: This is a detailed walkthrough created by one of our clients for small and indoor garden enthusiasts. While we cannot take responsibility for the results of following the methods contained within this document, we think it's an excellent guide for new growers mixing their own soil. More from KIS Organics: This does seem to us to be the most thorough mix guide we’ve seen for small home gardens. The concepts and methods are solid and following these instructions should result in a thriving organic living soil (OLS) that can be used for most crops. INTRODUCTION: Recently I’ve become aware of a...
Plant growth comparison of Cannabis sativa when grown in isolated containers vs communal bed systems
To download the .pdf click here Plant growth comparison of Cannabis sativa when grown in isolated containers versus communal bed systems. Dr. Ben Higgins and Tad Hussey 16 June, 2019 Introduction The decision that all farms are faced with in choosing which containers (if any) to use for their crop(s) has both biological and financial implications. Not surprisingly, these implications are not mutually exclusive, as the type of containers used (e.g., hydroponics, potted soil, raised beds, ground-planted, etc.) inherently will express differences in ecosystem biodiversity. Furthermore, this decision as to which type of growing method used (e.g.,...
A COMPARISON OF LIVING SOIL METHODOLOGIES IN RELATION TO PLANT HEALTH AND YIELD IN A CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT FOR CANNABIS
Download a pdf version Abstract: There currently exists many different methodologies for growing cannabis in controlled environments, however there is very little published research on the subject in regards to cannabis cultivation. Conventional approaches using bottled nutrients have a higher cost of production, which has become a challenge cultivators as the market price of cannabis has dropped dramatically. With an estimated revenue of 9 billion in legal cannabis sales in 2017 and estimated revenue of 11 billion for 2018, the emerging market is growing rapidly. Many of the current methods involving hydroponic cultivation have a large carbon footprint and negative...
A COST ANALYSIS OF KIS ORGANICS SOIL OVER A 3 YEAR PERIOD
Download a pdf version Abstract: There currently exists many different methodologies for growing cannabis in controlled environments. Many of the current methods involving hydroponic cultivation have a large carbon footprint and negative environmental impact due to the use of fossil fuels. These methodologies only allow for the media to be used one or two times before being disposed of, which contributes to leaching of phosphates and other nutrients into our groundwater. An additional factor with cannabis cultivation is cost of production. The current market in WA and OR has driven the value of cannabis to record lows, resulting in many...
How to Re-Amend Your Soil
Most growers love the idea of re-using their soil, but it can be a bit daunting for a variety of reasons. In this blog post, I'm going to review what the advantages and disadvantages are, as well as lay out a simple plan you can follow. Advantages: The advantages of re-using your soil are numerous. You have a lower cost of production by not having to purchase new soil. It costs a fraction of what new potting soil costs to re-use soil. You also have a lower environmental impact, less labor, and better soil ecology over time leading to healthier...
7 Important Things When Building a Living Soil
There are many recipes out there for mixing your own potting soil. I've tried a bunch over the years, including most of the commercially produced soils on the market like Ocean Forest or Pro Mix. I'm convinced that with a little bit of work, you can produce your own soil using many local products and not only save money but make a much better soil for your plants. Let me give a little history on our soils and how I started the process of learning about mixing soils. It started back in 2005 when I met a man in Portland...
Containers vs Raised Beds, What are the Pros and Cons?
I get this question a lot. Why would someone want to choose one growing container over another and how does it affect work flows and plant growth? Here's a quick comparison of the two options in an easy to read format. Containers: Pros: Easy to move around Easy to transplant out of into another container Better for isolating or culling a plant Typically uses less soil per plant Easier to deal with pests and disease problems (soil can be removed) Easier to sanitize room for indoor environments Cons: Less space for root growth, which can be a limiting factor Potential...
Vegan Soil Amendments
There's a ton of reasons to consider Vegan amendments for your soil and fertilizer needs. For some, it's a life choice based on the food they put in their body, for others it may be a desire to not support the current meat industry and slaughterhouses. That's definitely something I can get behind. Now just to be clear, I don't personally believe Veganic or Vegan-grown vegetables/cannabis to be inherently better than other methods of gardening. At the end of the day, the plant doesn't know if the nitrogen came from a plant or animal source. In a forest environment, you...
The Ultimate Compost Tea Guide
I’ve written this guide to help give an overview of how to make aerated compost teas properly using information that has been researched and microscope-tested, and based on my 10 years of knowledge in this industry. You can download a .pdf version by clicking here. What Is Aerated Compost Tea? AACT or ACT is a process that involves taking water, compost, and a food source in a container and adding oxygen via an air pump. The reason we make ACT is to increase the diversity and biomass of beneficial aerobic microorganisms in the soil and on the leaf surface of...
The Top 5 Mistakes Growers Make
The Top 5 Mistakes Growers Make You name it, and I’ve probably done it. I’ve killed a lot of plants in my lifetime, but each one has taught me a powerful lesson and improved my gardening. You can learn a lot from your mistakes, but below is a list of most common mistakes I see in being made by growers. 1. Letting the Soil Dry Out I've definitely heard this in the past. That it's best to let the plant experience wet/dry cycles and you want to let the pot dry out before you water again. With organic soils, it is...
How to maximize your Mammoth P application
Historically I have discouraged people from using specific microbial inoculants when growing, as many of these microorganisms can be found in greater concentrations and diversity in a properly made aerated compost tea (ACT). In fact, many of the "instant compost tea" or "microbes in a bottle" products I've looked at under the microscope over the past 10 years tend to be dead or completely dormant. When I met Colin, the founder of Mammoth P, at Cannacon I was initially quite skeptical. However, he was able to answer all of my questions to my satisfaction and got me interested in the...
Is "no till" really the best way to grow plants?
I'm hearing of more and more growers moving to "no-till" setups for their greenhouses, raised beds, and indoor gardens. The concept is simple, by not disturbing the soil, we are allowing for the microbes to establish soil structure and improve soil quality over time. There are many benefits to "no till," but I don't think we are truly comparing apples to apples when discussing our raised beds and indoor gardens. So for starters, let's differentiate between using an actual rototiller and just digging our indoor pots and beds. 2 totally different situations. Yes, tilling can be quite damaging to soil...
Bridging the Gap: From Hydro Shops to Horticulture
Bridging the gap: From Hydro Shops to Horticulture. Cannabis is no longer exclusively grown in basements and hidden greenhouses. As cultivation moves into the public sector, we can also begin to move away from some of the myths and misinformation that has vexed the industry for decades. I will give you proven principles from the horticulture world that will improve your overall plant’s health, increase yield, and reduce nutrient costs. Transcript below: Now before I get started, I want you to take a moment and remember the first time you saw a cannabis plant. Remember how powerful and mystical the...
Advanced Nutrient Schedule with KIS Organics Soil
While Water Only Soils are convenient and can save time, many gardeners I find want to add more to their regimen and push plants to their limit in regards to growth and yield. Here's a few ways to maximize your plant's potential growth and yield. I've loosely organized these by the order in which I would prioritize them based on a cost/benefit analysis. Mycorrhizal Fungi - Mycorrhizal fungi is a "must have" for me and works well with our soil mixes. It's a one time application early in the plant's life, directly to the root zone. Mycorrhizal fungi will help with...
Is your container contaminating your crop? The hidden risk of plastic containers.
As a long time organic grower, I've always been very careful about what products end up in my garden. If I'm growing an edible crop, I want to keep it as clean and free of chemicals and contaminants as possible. Until recently, the idea that my container could possibly be contaminating my plants by leaching dangerous metals or chemicals was not something I even considered as a possibility. Personally, I've chosen to use fabric pots for most of my container growing needs. As you may already know, fabric pots offer a myriad of benefits to container growers. Fabric pots offer...
What's In Your Soil? A Breakdown of KIS Organics Soil Ingredients
People ask me all the time what makes the KIS Organics Soil Mix and KIS Organics Nutrient Pack so unique. It's hard to explain in a quick sentence all the time, research, and lab testing that went into perfecting the mix or the high ratios of ingredients we use compared to all the other soils on the market. I wanted to create an article though that explained in more detail the importance of all the soil amendments and minerals and why we put them in our mix. Ingredients: Biochar - Raises carbon levels and CEC (ability of the soil to retain...
Peat vs Coco Coir
This can be a hotly debated topic among growers as to what's the best media for growing plants. In this article, I'll weigh in with my opinion on the subject as there are Pros and Cons to both. "Sphagnum" is a genus of approximately 120 different species of mosses known as "peat moss." Sphagnum and the peat formed from it do not decay readily because of the phenolic compounds embedded in the moss's cell walls. Peat moss can also acidify its surroundings by taking up cations, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, and releasing hydrogen ions. Under the right conditions, peat can accumulate to a depth of many yards. These bogs are slowly...
How To Deal With Fungus Gnats Organically
Fungus gnats (Ofelia and Bradysia species) are tiny flies similar to mosquitoes in appearance, though smaller at only 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch long. You may notice fungus gnats when you disturbing the soil or flying around near your lights. Females lay eggs in the soil and the larvae have a shiny black head and a whitish/translucent body. While the adult fungus gnats don't damage plants or bite people, they can be annoying to find in your grow space and the larvae can be damaging the plant. Fungus gnat larvae consume organic matter, compost, fungi, and root hairs. *...
The Economics of 'Water Only' Soils
The Economics of Water Only Soils Note: The photo above is in soil that is over 2 years old. Many people are initially deterred by the cost of Water Only soils and this article is an attempt to look closer at the economics behind this growing method and how it will save you money. I’m going to look at this a few different ways, to address growers of different scale. Whether you have 6 plants or thousands of plants, I believe the numbers add up to considerable savings. So let’s take a look at the most basic example. Scenario #1 1...
What I wish I'd known when I first started gardening...
I remember when I first decided I wanted to plant a garden and grow my own food. It seemed like a daunting task and I was unsure where to start and was worried I was going to kill everything. Here's the top 10 pointers that I wish I had known when I first got started. 1. Start small. I decided I wanted to try making my front yard into an edible landscape one year. This because a massive project of sheet mulching my front lawn, bringing in compost and soil, planting a variety of fruit trees, berries, herbs, and vegetables. That...
Understanding Mycorrhizal Fungi: What you need to know.
I hear a lot of claims out there regarding mycorrhizal fungi. This article is an attempt to help growers weed through the misinformation and marketing hype to decide what product is best for their garden. It is based on the research I've done over on the subject over the past 8 years, but I am always learning new things and will update the article accordingly. So what is mycorrhizal fungi? It's a fungi that forms a symbiotic relationship with the roots of most plants. In a natural system, it is one of the primary ways the plant receives phosphorus, but it has...
Our Philosophy on Growing Plants
In 2002, we started an online gardening business with our main product being compost tea brewers. Since that time we’ve expanded our product lines and also our knowledge regarding organic gardening through both research and experience.
- aerated compost tea
- building soil
- cannabis irrigation
- clackamas coot
- companion planting
- Compost Tea
- Container gardening
- cover crops
- Fabric Pots
- Grow Your own
- How to use myco
- KIS Nutrient Pack
- living soil
- Mammoth P
- Mixing your soil
- mycorrhizal fungi
- Organic Soil
- Pumpkin Pro
- Ron Wallace Myco
- soil recipe
- Super soil
- Urban Farming
- Urban Gardening
- Water Only Soil
- WOW Pumpkin Pro