Best Veggies for Canna Growers, Watering Technique, and Easy Soil Mixes with Kyle from The Foop

Posted on March 6th, 2023 to Transcripts

Episode Links:
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6wn7UcJtnlacTY4BlAQjit
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im3W2kgbB8Q
iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/best-veggies-for-canna-growers-watering-technique-and/id1077793493?i=1000603036003

Jordan River 0:00
Greetings cultivators, worldwide. Jordan River here back at you with more GrowCast hot off the podcast presses. Today we have a brand new guest here to talk about vegetable gardening and growing with organic liquid nutrients and growing all sorts of different species of plants. Kyle from the FOOP is here and today’s episode is gonna knock your socks off. Kyle is a longtime second generation horticulturalist. He knows a lot about plants. And he’s going to blow your mind with a very entertaining and very educational episode today. Before we get into it with Kyle though shout out to AC Infinity, baby. acinfinity.com code GROWCAST15 to get your savings and keep the lights on here at GrowCast. We appreciate your support. And we love AC Infinity, they make the best grow tents around extra thick poles. They’ve got nice durable, thick siding. Now they have the new side ports. People have been asking for those in AC Infinity list and plus they’ve got everything else you need to grow. They’ve got lights, and pots and fans and their oscillating fans, the cloud race system, check out their humidifiers, the CloudForge. How nice is your humidifier, maybe it’s time to replace that. The cloud rays are my favorite oscillators on the market. And of course, their Cloud line series, what they got it all started with all those years ago when we were partners with AC infinity. All they made were those inline fans and they’re the best in the game. So shout out to the entire AC Infinity suite. They’ve got everything you need to get growing for fans to tense delights. Code GROWCAST15 works at acinfinity.com. You support us and you’re getting some badass durable growth gear while you’re doing it. So thank you to all your listeners using code GROWCAST15 and thank you to AC Infinity. We got some big giveaways coming up. So stay tuned, everybody. All right, let’s get into it with Kyle. Thank you for listening and enjoy the show.

Hello podcast listeners, you are now listening to GrowCast. I’m your host Jordan River and I want to thank you for tuning in again today. Before we get started, as always, I urge you to share this show, send this episode to a grower that you know, get someone growing for the first time. It’s the best way you can help us at GrowCast podcast. Share this episode. It’s going to be a dope one and see everything that we’re doing at growcastpodcast.com/action. That’s where you can find all the action, the membership the seeds, the classes and everything. So everyone today we are back on the show for an amazing episode all about other plants that will be growing, all about organic gardening and maximizing our yields and our sticky, sticky harvests using liquid organic nutrients. Today, as a first time guest we have from the FOOP, it’s Kyle! What’s up Kyle?

Kyle 1:42
Hey man, how are you? Hey, everybody. Thanks for having me.

Jordan River 1:42
I am doing excellent. Thank you for coming on the show, everyone. Kyle is an incredible grower. He grows a lot of plants, not just cannabis. Lots and lots and lots of plants. You can find him on Instagram at Green Ninja Growers and see everything he’s doing. He’s also good friends and working over at the FOUP, on their liquid organic nutrient lines. Kyle, it was dope meeting you man hanging out in Virginia. You are a deep well of knowledge when it comes to not just cultivating cannabis but cultivating a lot of different plants, man. You are showing me you’re growing flowers. You’re growing vegetables, you’re growing herbs. Can we start there? Can we start with your background? What brought you into horticulture? And what brought you into cannabis, as well?

Kyle 3:19
Yeah, so I am a second gen horticulturist. My mom was a plant person. She grew up in the industry. And actually later I found out even my grandmother grew African Violets on my father’s side for ribbon awards back in the day. So weirdly enough, I come from a background of plant people. My growing industry, I have been in the AG industry so production for Hazel’s flowers, shrubs, trees, a lot of production for garden centers. If you went to go buy plants at a store, I grew them so I grew I don’t know a few million plants a year overall. You know, million basil plants seasonally through COVID especially exploded. So we had a lot. Yeah, we have a lot of production happening. So when it comes to growing you know a lot of stuff, you know, my specialties in Woody’s which is trees and shrubs. But along with that with native perennials, you know, I’m one of those people that like always point out exactly what something is when you’re walking down the street and nobody cares about me. But I’ll tell you what the Latin is on the tree. So yeah.

Jordan River 4:33
Yeah, that is true. I did experience that firsthand. But that is really cool, man. So all the Home Depot’s, all the lows, these types of stores are nurseries, is that who you were slinging these millions of basil plants to?

Kyle 4:45
Yeah, the place I worked was had their own two retail stores and they did. They have a lot of production. We sold a lot of stuff to Virginia, Maryland. And then previous to that, I worked on a couple other tree farms and was a retail horticulturist day nursery. [So very cool.] My life has been plants. You know, I started getting into it a young age, I was raised a little free. So cannabis was a little bit more of a not so much of a faux pas in my family. So it was a little bit more of a casual growing experience when I was younger too. I did have a couple of plants in the garden and so forth through the years. So the growing just everything and anything for my whole life.

Jordan River 5:30
Jesus. So you’ve you’ve been growing cannabis for a long time too then, huh?

Kyle 5:34
Yeah, I mean, even through the years, yeah, pretty much my entire life. I tell people all the time, it’s just been a plant to me. You know, it’s just how I was raised, never hurt anybody. Never done anything wrong. Just kind of one of the plants. People don’t ask me questions when they see big grow lights in my house. They just assume I’m growing some weird.

Jordan River 5:55
Yeah, good call. You’re like, yeah, I got it. I got basil to grow, you know?

Kyle 5:58
Yeah. Well, the officer buys trees from me at the nursery, local nursery, they don’t ask questions.

Jordan River 6:05
Which trees were you after officer? [Yeah.] So just really quick before we get into the specifics of of your growing of all these different plants, when you’re when you’re doing those huge grows to sell to nurseries and hardware stores and stuff like that, are you popping from seed, you pop all those basil from seed and then sell them?

Kyle 6:22
Yeah, actually. So there’s a lot of ways you could do it. But the cheaper you know, the better, right? You’re always growing for pennies in AG industry. So you can get little plugs and little 500 plugs in one tray, which are very tiny. But what we got down to, are seeds. So we were seeding. Pretty much I was saving a few 100 trades a week, just sealing them. And a week or so later, about 10 days later, they were growing big enough and I would get them out to the stores. [Wow.] And then we also, on every year, once a year, we did a tomato sale, which was a to z. So it was a one tomato, at least one tomato for every letter of the alphabet. And I would seed it over 15,000 tomatoes with me and just a couple of ladies, my helpers and it was just three of us and I would be sitting there seeding from six, seven o’clock in the morning to seven o’clock eight o’clock at night with a headlamp with no headphones in just just seeding our feet tomato seeds. So yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of ways we do it. But I Yeah, we single handedly with a team of three or four would seed millions of plants.

Jordan River 7:26
That is wild dude, that is so cool. You know, that is a a big kind of trend in the cannabis industry that I’ve noticed, which is cannabis truly is a gateway drug but not how they say it is. It’s a gateway drug when you start growing it because you start growing cannabis. And then next thing you know you want to start growing everything else. It’s a trend that I’ve seen with home growers. And it’s something I want to kind of dive into here with you because you have experienced with all these different plants, you know, and not all these plants eat the same not all these plants act the same. So I’d like to ask to you, for those cannabis growers who are looking to expand into other plants, right maybe they had some successful harvest under their belt, and now they want to grow some vegetables. Maybe they want to grow some herbs. What would you recommend maybe like your top three plants to expand out into as a cannabis grower? Maybe something close nutritionally, something that we wouldn’t be too thrown off by growing

Kyle 8:21
First step, peppers. Pepper guys and girls out there are crazier than cannabis. You guys think you’re fancy with your, you know, mothballs? Hurrican mixed with Oreo banana pop. No, no, no, no, no. Pepper guys and girls out there. We’re talking people that love hot peppers, and have been crossbreeding and breeding peppers for competitions for years, and their own cannabis cups. But with peppers, you know. I met a guy back in the day, he used to come into the nursery I used to work at and he would bring these peppers. Well he would bring them in with rubber gloves on in three Ziploc bags and be like don’t touch them. But just slice them up and put them in a burger or something. It’d be great or salsa. And I’m like so I can’t touch it with my hands but you want me to put that inside. And he was like some Scorpion Trinidad like hybrid with a habanero. I mean he would come in and he had a curly mustache and everything, the long curl mustache and he was missing an air. I mean he was a really collected guys like this is why the pepper world right and these people love it. And there are so many varieties and people out there crossbreeding. If you’re out there breeding and cross pollinating cannabis, you’re literally doing the same thing for peppers, and it will almost feel like a rinse and repeat. Not only in the process, but also in the nutrition. Right. So like peppers are very heavy feeders. They need a lot of good iron. They’re very nitrogen heavy, because it takes has a lot to produce those peppers. Sure. So a lot of times what I end up doing is like if I’m growing peppers in my house I have for my whole life had been using what I would grow any cannabis with. Right, whatever that may be, right. So I do use heavier fertilizers or when I was growing production, I grew, you know, 60-70 varieties, and I would always mix that pot that makes the fertilizer a few hundred PPM heavier than everybody else. Right. So they were definitely heavy feeders but it will feel very homey and comfortable to cannabis growers, because they’re also small and you can easily grow them in a tent, which is huge.

Jordan River 10:38
Right. And so cannabis eats a lot, right? You’re talking about these heavier feeds, like compared to these other plants. Cannabis is a heavy feeder, and you’re saying peppers can kind of keep up with that cannabis regimen.

Kyle 10:48
Yeah, yeah. And a lot of ways I mean, you wouldn’t necessarily ever have to flip some like bloom fertilizer with heavier phosphorus. You know, really, what you’ll find is the whole growth through there really just nitrogen drinkers. [Sure.] You know, for tomatoes, tomatoes is the next one. You know, everybody knows tomatoes. A lot of cannabis growers do grow tomatoes. And one of the things is, is that you know, there’s a lot of crazy variety. There’s a lot of hybrid going on. You know, there’s tomatoes on websites like Baker Creek seeds, which are already out of stock for next spring. I’m not talking like two months. I’m talking like 2024 spring already sold.

Jordan River 11:25
I’ve noticed that. That’s crazy, dude.

Kyle 11:26
Yeah, so you guys, you know we think like all the next drop of a seed from a breeders big deal where like, your garden leaves have been worrying and stressing over this since magazines were how you ordered them. Right? Like this has been a thing. Yeah, a lot of us don’t realize it. So like, you know, I mean, I have a seed catalog that’s bigger than a phone book from one company. You know, there’s a couple of gig really massive companies out there. Seeds and genetics in the plant world is just a sought after. [Yeah, big deal.] Yeah, so you can get really nerdy into varieties of tomatoes. You could break that off of how you use them or what flavor you’re going for. And then you can also do peppers, which is basically like how spicy are you willing to torture yourself.

Jordan River 12:14
Hell yes. Yeah. Now we’re close. Now we’re close to Taco dinner. [Yeah] So I like both these ideas. I also like these plants because they’re plants that will keep producing, right, like if you grow, I grew a cherry tomato Bush, right? And if the thing got out of control, it got huge. It just kept growing and growing. I was feeding it cannabis nutrients, but it lived for so long. It just kept producing and producing and producing. If we stuck these in our Grow Tent, would we just be able to continually harvest kind of perpetually?

Kyle 12:41
Well, it depends on the variety. So with tomatoes, there’s indeterminate and determinants. So in determinants are tomatoes that will keep producing a staggered amount of fruit actively. They’re in their ending is not determined. Right. So it’s an indeterminate. So the other ones are like some tomatoes that’ll grow these big old honkin beef steaks, [yeah] And they’ll be a determinant, which means that bad boy is going to do everything it can to grow one crop of flower and fruit. And that’s it. Okay, so when you’re doing it, yes, you want 100% cherry tomatoes tend to be more in determined in determinant than determining, but there’s both things in both sections. [Wow!] So there are some like, as long as you’re like, hey, look, I want to repeat fi fruiter then you just make sure you’re getting an indeterminant tomato, and you’re fine. Wow. And with those and tomatoes, just like peppers, eating nitrogen tomatoes is a cow mag fit. So people get loss of Enron and they have this in the AG industry, they don’t give you count that there is no callback model in a garden center. Right. So I always laugh. This is something I always laughed about. And I was like, I didn’t know why but it just never was. What they give you is there’s a bottle that they would spray and it’s a cow mag spray. So you would spray this on your tomatoes and they won’t rot on the bottom they get a thing called blossom and rot, which is actually just a calcium deficiency, [right] because the skin of a tomato and everything is made there is super calcium baits. So they’re heavy, basically heavy flower feeders. So if you were feeding a veg bloom setup, those would actually take your bloom bottles over your veg which your your peppers could use. So in theory if you’ve got like an AB veg and bloom setup, you can take your veg od feed your pepper plants and your bloom AB and feed your tomato plants [That’s a killer! That is so cool!] and use them kind of in sync. Now again, you could always like if the tomato plants little and small use your veg, when it starts flowering, you’re not changing that it’s outside or it doesn’t automatically or there’s some time restraints on some plants just there’s photo sensitivities just like cannabis. But a lot of times once it starts flowering, then you would just move it to your bloom, just like a cannabis plant. [That is so cool, man.] So it’s very insane and there’s a lot of things you’ll end up doing you’re like, This is just like, you could just do one on the side and have fried tomatoes all year.

Jordan River 15:05
**** yes, that’s exactly what I’m encouraging people to do who are listening to this episode, before we continue on with with the third plant, I gotta take a little bit of a left turn and dive into something you said, which is, this idea of pest pressure being a symptom of calcium deficiency. This idea that calcium builds up that cellular wall and strengthens the resistance zone between the plant and and it’s rhizosphere. And it’s it’s its microbiome. And then things like molds, mildews, pathogens, water moulds, I am really starting to realize that, you know, that’s what we were talking to another guest, and they were saying the easiest sign of calcium deficiency is a fungal pathogen, it’s a disease pressure, because the plant isn’t showing a deficiency necessarily, but the cell wall isn’t as thick as it could be if you had loaded that calcium. Is that kind of what you’re saying with the tomatoes? That’s why they add the calcium to strengthen that cell wall and prevent a pathogen, a fungal pathogen.

Kyle 16:02
Yeah, I mean, that’s why the tomato in general, that’s what it uses for that step whole wall, that whole skin on the outside, okay, basically, all calcium, right? So, yeah, like in a lot of ways plants use things. But it wouldn’t even just be like saying, it’s just calcium will kind of close a lot of doors. Whereas like, silica, like silica is 100% based for cell wall strengthening. So if you use silica on foliage, or on a plant, or in the roots, or whatever, you’re actually building cell walls, which is protecting against wield to against heat, stress, temperature, stress, blood pressure, you know, any sort of disease pressure, when you look at mold growing on foliage, what it is a little Spore, and that spore sticks, this little tentacle out and kind of finds like a cell wall gap and tries to work its way in. So if those cells are really, you know, tight together, and they’re really thick, and they’re strong, you won’t have that like that breakdown, where there’s a moment where that molds can find penetration, [the breaking the armor.] Yeah. So right in the armor is what they’re looking for.

Jordan River 17:12
Exactly. And we were we were just talking with Dyslexic Stoner, he’s the he’s the microbe guy, you guys, I can’t think of his name, you’d listeners know who I’m talking about the pathogen specialist. And he showed this exact thing, a drawing of the cell wall and how the fungal tentacle like you said, slips in between those cells and through those cells. So just crazy that we’re thinking about, again, calcium, loading calcium, even if you don’t see a deficiency, providing ample calcium to your plants, as long as, as well as silica and others. [Yeah] Very, very cool. Man, super super..

Kyle 17:45
It’s about keeping a plant healthy, right. It’s just like, everybody knows, like, if you’re taking vitamins to supplement your lack of diet, if you don’t eat a lot of greens, and you know, you’re lacking in iron and all like you take a supplement like that keeps you healthy, right. So just as a we are, the more you keep the plant balanced with what it really wants available, the healthier that plant is going to be, the healthier that plant is going to be, the less it’s going to trigger for other insects and other pathogens to come out.

Jordan River 18:11
Right. That makes perfect sense. So back to this idea of veggie cannabis growers. Love the tomatoes and peppers. Those both make a lot of sense. I’ve had some good success with jalapenos, with cherry tomatoes, but I’m looking to go even bigger. What is your third top three veggies to grow?

Kyle 18:28
So a lot of people if you’re going like and I can’t say it’s necessarily at this point, it wouldn’t be as easy to do same tanks because of temperatures and all. You know, if you if you were gonna say hey, I’ve got this old bench turn, I don’t use it anymore. You know, what can I use it for I got this extra light, you can put a very easy lettuce room together. Which in a cool basement. Basically won’t need any heat or any cooling as long as you’re just using like an LED or T fives I mean with T five light bulbs if you did LED T fives like a fourth ball one of those four ball four foots, or something like that and attends, you can grow enough lettuce to feed a small family and it would be rotating like every couple of, every three weeks or three four weeks. Okay, you know, and you could you can get some colorful lettuce.

Jordan River 19:23
This is planting lettuce and harvesting, like you said, and then replanting?

Kyle 19:26
Yeah, and you could do soil. Everybody immediately jumps to like what they see on the internet now with all those like styrofoam tables and Hydros. You could do an ebb and flow table, you could do a hydro table, whatever your tech and you want but if you’re like hey I got an extra 10 and a T five life there cost me only 100 and something dollars. I’m gonna go ahead and grow some lettuce. You could do that in soil, in some pots, right in the tent with minimal effort.

Jordan River 19:52
Hmm. Oh tell us tell us what you would do. What size pots would you do there, how hot of a mixed you go grab some like, some like water only soil, you grabbed Purple Cow and use that or what?

Kyle 20:03
No, no, it’s even easier. So you would literally, you don’t even need to feed. So the thing about lettuces and all they’re kind of like insta grows. So when I was testing food back in the day, we were running it on all sorts of herbs and veggies. And what I found is that my lettuces like honestly, anything more than like 100 P pions it just kind of made it weird. So I was barely feeding. If at all, a little bit of organics in there, if you made my personal way of doing it, you would probably be able to reutilize your soil. I know your guys here are all like living soil people and you have a lot of like diverse soil people. You’re doing a healthy soil, you should be able to plant lettuce in and multiple times. And as long as you gotta keep your temperature, that’s the difference. You got to keep your cool temps that cannot get hot in there.

Jordan River 20:54
When do they not like it? Do they not like the high 70s even?

Kyle 20:57
Not even like it’s lower. It’s like 55 for some brack from shorts lettuces. And, yeah, so there’s it’s a little cooler. I mean, some of them can go up to 80. There is definitely some little bit of difference between the varieties you’ve got purple, green, all that stuff but they really like about 55 to 65 degree [wow that is literally] yeah so a lot of basements, a lot of fellars, if people are doing stuff in colder climates like you guys up north have a lot shorter you know, we’re kind of right below the short season, but like the North people everybody up there they’ve got a lot lot lot of time and doors and a lot of cold time. Yeah, so even so, you know, putting a little like there’s a lot of ways to do it, but little bit of lettuce is a really good crop you can fill your time with and produce a good amount. You know, [I ****ing love that] microgreens, microgreens a whole that’s a whole day of a talk.

Jordan River 21:59
Oh, we should do I would do an episode on microgreens, man, because I fell in love growing microgreens [and they’re easy] That’s so easy right? And you know in an inert medium they just bam you’re ready to go.

Kyle 22:09
And in a 4×4 tank you could make enough microgreens to literally not know what to do with. Yeah, yeah, that’s what everybody else does. I actually set up, I helped the lady look at her property and set some laughs up and did a whole thing and she um, she was running for chefs.

Jordan River 22:30
That is so cool. Yeah, locally grown, fresh harvested, baby.

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Man, that’s an awesome exploration of veggies because I know like I said, this is a really hot topic and maybe we’ll have to have you on for the members. We were going to do a veggie cast. And we were going to have a Farmer John up there and Mary Beth Sanchez Kyle, I’d love to invite you to do a GrowCast TV sometime and talk more vegetables. Yeah, anytime we’re free. It’s open invitation.

Kyle 24:27
Yeah, I would love to do that. I will talk growing plants of any type. So if anybody

Jordan River 24:32
trees started talking about shrubs, yeah. Let me tell you about the shrub. That’s killer man. absolutely killer. But let’s get into the cannabis side. You know you work with FOOP, certified organic nutrients a big supporter of this show. But I want to talk to you about this idea. You know, you said I grow all plants the same. I want to know what that means. I want to talk about your cultivation style because I saw your garden. It looks fucking beautiful. You do it in kinda like a pretty unique way. So what can you tell us about you know how you grow all these plants with different nutrient profiles and how you use the food?

Kyle 25:05
Yeah. So originally, I started working with FOOP about five, six years ago as a tester, the owner CEO came to our growing facility and said, Hey, we’re interested in having some testing done. Like sense, cannabis wasn’t illegal in a lot of the areas, especially around Maryland and Virginia, and all at that time. There was really no official testing he could get done other than like some guy on Instagram who said, Send me some free stuff, right? We all know how that usually ends up. So he was like, you know, he’s having a hard time getting real results, real like factual, like, here’s a real test done by someone who took the time to do it right. Because we, you know, he was trying to figure it out. So he found us. And then he was introduced to me and I started testing our FOOP garden, which was a product he had started working on early. And then he and I started working together. And I was using FOOP on everything from herbs and veggies. I was using it on perennials, but a lot of times we would use end up using salts, because it was just deeper for that end of the growing than organics, but for all my urban veggies, all of my tomatoes, all of my basil, it was all grown with the FOOP garden, which is a one bottle. And that is what we kind of ran and I would just kind of go off PPM and just schedule it out. You know, like we were saying earlier, tomatoes, peppers, heavier is easy. So they would go heavier basil, herbs and stuff like that more of a 200 or 300 lettuces about 100. You know, so yeah, very low. Well, when you talk to like, I was when my owner there was getting like kind of interested in the cannabis growing and like wanting to know more, and it was becoming more and more legal. Do you want to see he always asked, he goes, Uh, what are they feeling? And I would tell them, you know, the PPM and II see it, we you know, we use this inside of growing and they, they’re blown away. Because almost everything you’ve ever purchased has been grown with less than 500 ppm. Wow, fertilizer. So there’s a huge difference there. So that’s something that was looking at when we first started. Well, then I started working with Larry Moore. And he was like, hey, look like, since I know you can do the cannabis testing, why don’t you go ahead and do that. So I started working with cannabis testing on it. And that was a while ago. And so the reason the way I kind of, I do something a lot different. I’m not much of a nerdy, you know, grower where I’m in there every day, and really working on it and always trying to find new additives to add in. I grow a plant like a plant guy who doesn’t have time to grow plants. So, you know, like I’ve been watering plants. I mean, you talk to me about watering, people are like, Oh, I’m in there. You know, I was in my garden 15 hours this week, I used to water for 60 to 80 hours a week alone. So with few hoses, you know, you put headphones and you’d cycle your headphones wireless three and four times through a day. And it was just like all day you just be watering so that’s kind of you know, I do things a lot simpler. I’ve done complicated grows. I’ve done I do mostly experimental grows now. I’m always testing FOOP against new products. With new additives that hit the market, can’t get popular. I want to make sure they don’t do anything weird with FOOP. So a lot of my gardens nowadays are more experimental. [Wow] Yeah. So I’m always testing, I’m always running new ideas.

Jordan River 28:33
What about your medium? I want to know exactly how you grow what size pot, what medium? How are you watering? How often are you watering? What’s your pH schedule or strategy looking like?

Kyle 28:42
So I go two ways, right? So real soil mix. I’m a huge proponent of down to earth. A lot of you guys and girls will know it right? It is like one of the best products that has been around for me for 20 years or whatever I’ve been using it my entire life like before people thought oh you know it’s the best thing like this. It was a product forever. So I will go two ways back in the day and still to this day I will use PROMIX. If I’m making my own blend, I’ll start with a PROMIX case because it’s clean it’s easy. I know what I’m dealing with. I know what’s porosity rate. I know what it does. [Right.] So I work with PROMIX, it’s usually BX. I know people use HT now. It’s just you know I would add perlite to my BX and with HT, you don’t have to. So a little bit of a half a step.

Jordan River 29:29
The BX is like a it’s like a medium porosity with extra micro riser. Do I have that right?

Kyle 29:34
Yeah, bacillus. [Oh, that’s right.] That’s bacillus and all and yeah, let me know if you get a fresh, if you get like a good fresh like store of it. You’ll get a really good healthy bag, promix back soils anywhere. You always have to worry about where it’s been and how long it’s been sitting. Yeah, well, I get a good PROMIX space. I use down to earth on and on. Yeah, down Earth and I use bio live and azomite. Sometimes I’ll do a small amount of rankinite in there along with or there’s a product in the AG industry that we use for a long time called Biotone. It’s not as like fancy but I’ll tell you what for like a quarter of the price you’re getting a ton of bacteria.

Jordan River 30:14
Yeah, that’s right. That biotone, that’s up on the nurseries. [Yeah] What’s that brand? Yeah, Espoma. That’s exactly.

Kyle 30:21
I call it the rainbow wall. They have Holly tone, plankton, treeton calltone. They got all the tone.

Jordan River 30:28
Then the Biotone. Good call.

Kyle 30:30
Yeah, so Biotones one of those odd balls on that line. That actually is a one off really good product. The rest of them are like very, very barely changed between back right? Well like their Biotone. That’s a phenomenal product. I suggest that for anybody growing anything outside. It’s a really cool product, but that’s my base for my soils.

Jordan River 30:51
Do you use those down to earth products at recommended dosages?

Kyle 30:54
Yes, I do. I use BIO-LIFE in everything and recommended. Have I gone up and down? Sure. Have I done anything that’s made a life changing difference? No. I pretty much just stick with it so that you know you don’t mess it up. The other key about what I put in is a charged biochar. I am a huge proponent of biochar. Back in the day, I used to have to mix my soils and then I my mom and I would just like leave them in like wheelbarrows or whatever and we’d have to deal with it later, and you’d have to charge that Biochar. But now that there’s products like Biochar is out there that are blended like organic mechanics has a phenomenal biochar blend I suggest anyone that has the extra couple bucks, go check it out. It is not cheap, but it’s really good product. And even we are working on a charged biochar right now. We’re out of the bag. You will be able to add it to a mix and not wait for the delay. Hell, we’re just kind of doing we’re doing some finalized testing. I’m actually doing soil tests right now on that

Jordan River 31:55
I’m looking at a bucket of the fruit biochar right now that is an experimental batch that y’all sent me. So thank you for that and it sure feels nice.

Kyle 32:04
It’s going to be an interesting crop.

Jordan River 32:05
No biochar expert, but it looks fucking exciting to me. I’m very excited.

Kyle 32:09
Yeah, well, it’s 100% cedar. It’s an exclusive from a cedar farm that does only biochar from the cedar trees growing on that farm, because we’re very organic base, so it has to be Omri listable. So her farm happens to be Omri listable. So she’s one of the only army listable farms that we met. [Wow] So that was one of those right products even down to our simple biochar, its qualities it makes a huge difference.

Jordan River 32:35
That is very cool. So you run this what I would say is like a moderately, mineralized potting mix type solution right?

Kyle 32:44
Yeah, I mean, I will definitely like I will add some sort of compost the leaf grow or we use leaf grown in Maryland and that’s why I don’t bring compost up a lot. I always forget because like to me reef grow is just like automatic. But it’s a leaf compost manure that we use here that’s a local product for us. But like labs or compost, earthworm castings, both little bit of that in there as well. And then after that, yeah, I think a lot of people tend to over amend their initial soil because you would dry amendments and even like when you’re using liquid lines, right, like I use dry amendments as a starting point. You know, a lot of people want to run dry amendments all through, but it’s definitely tougher for you to work with. [Sure] You know, it’s a it’s a different rate that it goes in, you know, with a nice liquid feed and a lot of people who did dries because they wanted to be organic. Well now with FOOP, again is one of the it’s one of the only products that are based here in Maryland in the US that is a full organic. [Right] That is a liquid line you could use and you could say because that’s what I do. I use a dry amendments to start my soil. If I’m going to be lazy, I get a full full speed soil like ocean force or something like we all do it once in a while. But if I make my nice soil amendment, I will then just use FOOP liquid and I had no CaliMag and no nothing. It’s just that I do have a couple of little secrets that I add in. There’s one of them I will tell you is a B vitamin supplement. [Sure] I love B vitamins couple of weeks and veg couple of weeks in flower, but in a five or seven gallon pot. I want large vendors because I like to grow the plant. So I run long badges for to somewhere between six and eight weeks usually and then I flip and run a full flower and it runs beautiful big plants. I run five or seven gallons, the plants get about four by four and with a liquid feed with no extra amendments to the grow my base soil mix and then liquid feeding at this point FOOP is my my base for my my standard control. [If I call it my control for my testing] no CaliMag, no nothing. So you can scroll through in some of my old posts. I don’t post a lot, but some of my a couple grows ago. A lot of those are 100% FOOP only testing runs. Whereas I was literally not allowed to use additives, because that would ruin the testing. Yeah. And there’s an honor to it. So I try morally, I love to know that that product and that test was unscathed. Like no one touched it, no one could have screwed it up. If I put it in there is the only way it got in there.

Jordan River 35:34
Nice, man. That is really ****ing cool. Now, before we go on, what was your dosage with the FOOP? And how were you watering? Do you want her to run off? I know, we had a conversation about this, though. And I found pretty enlightening.

Kyle 35:47
So watering. So watering is very tricky, right? So it depends on your medium. However, a lot of people I find and I talked to like dozens of people a week, you know, customers of FOOP that are buying $10 bottles to $30,000. So big, large commercials we work with. And I can’t tell you like that people, the general consensus out there about how much the water is I really feel is a little drier than people should water. I mean, I think they need to really start having having their hand down on watering a little bit. Sure, and adding a little bit more. Because I have a lot of people say hey, with organics, I don’t want to do runoff at all. And I get that, like I’m not trying to tell people out there to flood their pots and fill buckets of runoff. We don’t want that. A) it’s wasteful. But B., you know, you don’t want to wash out good microbes, [Right] So but even with an organic, like having a little bit of runoff is really important because it’s the only way to know you’re fully saturating your soil and the saturation and your soil, you know, if there’s there’s grass, I mean, I’m this is something you could look at. And once you figure out your peroxy and start doing some soil science, and like mathematics on it, you know, there’s a lot of rates out there that have been, you know, studied by scientists for years that say, X amount of soil takes this much water to be fully saturated. [Right] Right? Now that depends on how much roots are in it. How big is the plant, you know, there’s a lot of like other variables. But you know, a lot of people were putting a quarter gallon to a half gallon into five gallon pots, you know, and three gallons. And that’s just not what you’re creating is these dry pockets. And even though you’re thinking you’re watering fully, you’re really not. You’re missing pockets that are like dry sponges, I call it the dry sponge effect. Because when you put a dry sponge in water, it kind of floats dry for a few [Right. Hydrophobic] right? It doesn’t it’s hydrophobic. And a lot of soils, what people don’t realize, especially when you’re making your own soils compared to when you’re buying a soil mix. They add wetting agents and a wetting agent, people stay away from that term. But a wetting agent can be a simple product that literally is just letting that soil re obtain water better. Yeah, so it’s something that we forget about when we make soils that some of them don’t, you’re not adding wetting agents. So if you let your soil dry really down hard one time for on purpose or accidental, then when you go to water again, you’re like, Oh, well, I only water X amount. Well, that first, that whole part of that goes away,

Jordan River 38:23
washes right off the top [washes right off the top] because of PETE’s ability to become hydrophobic. I forget the guests that said it. But PETE is so hydrophobic when you let it dry out. That yeah, South America, they use it as roof thatching to let the rain run off the top. That’s how hydrophobic it becomes. I think it was Josh was stealing who said that? But I was like, oh my god, it’s it really is an important point. And like you said, yeah, people adding wetting agents to the mix. Yeah, I think it’s interesting because you’re running, what you’re describing is you’re running like a, like a quasi mineralized soil or like moderately mineralized soil and then adding liquid organic nutrients. So the runoff question is like, well, in a traditional living soil, you don’t want a bunch of runoff, like you said, but in a traditional bottled nutrient line, you do want that runoff. It seems like you’re saying kind of shoot for the middle, like a little bit of runoff using the FOOP. Yeah, like

Kyle 39:11
I run with a little runoff. I mean runoff is important because not only is runoff important for a lot of reasons even with organics, you’re not worried about salt buildup, but what about just PPM buildup? Yeah, mineral times? Yeah, well, you want our house plant, right and you feed it really good. And then it just kind of sits and it doesn’t get really doesn’t dry out for a long time. And then you go in like water it really well, it will actually come out and look kinda like Coca Cola. And like a lot of times you’ll see that in all sorts of pot, no matter what products you’re using. And what that is, is there’s a lot of buildup of just excess things, right? And a lot of times that needs to be that needs to come out every once in a while. So watering is literally you know, I know we spoke beforehand about like things people do that they might screw up or but yeah is watering is like the toughest job of growing plants and I can’t say that enough.

Jordan River 40:08
I know I got complacent you know growing for like seven years or whatever. And then I got a moisture meter. And I was like, holy shit I can’t water people really say that like watering is this is one of the simplest acts of gardening but one of the hardest to master. As like a lifelong horticulturalists, do you agree with that statement?

Kyle 40:24
Oh, I have yet to approve anyone to trust in a weekend watering without me going into check behind them.

Jordan River 40:30
Even people have been there for years.

Kyle 40:32
I work seven days a week for years and years and years. I mean, I can’t tell you I went I’ve gone my whole life. I’ve never really had a vacation like a real one. And so like they, I will tell you, I wish one of those people on the ways could have watered right? But the reality is, is that you know, I got one person that almost got there right and she liked to go have some schooling had a kid and you know, whatever course my lock, I literally had, like, I always had like this idea of a degree that I would like print out and dumb and be like, you know, teary eyed because someone finally graduated my watering class. So 14 years of experience, you know, of them actually. It’s like, Finally, you’ve been here for 12 years, you have now watered enough, right? Like a true, but it’s really that hard. And it’s not like it’s not that it’s like confusing. It’s just that it’s a lot of details. And when you see me watering and walking through, you can kind of see like, you can always see me like picking pots up along the way. Right? Because I’m awake. Pick a water. Oh, you’re literally watering your lift? Yes, guy. Yeah, because when you’re walking greenhouses with thousands, and thousands of plants and every 10 feet, a different variety that needs a different watering type. You walk around and I honestly a unit you see me lift them, I’ll kick them. I know exactly how much of a, I know exactly how much of a bounce a one gallon pot that has a perennial in it has, if I kick it well often. And I can tell by that bounce how much water and how long it will be still a few hours to a day or about how long and so I need to make sure to water those plants. [Oh my goodness! So that’s fine.] That’s one of those things after 25 plus years of watering, like and it was the one thing I was always really obsessive about. That’s why my grows looks so good. And it’s because everybody is so worried about all these nutrient deficiencies and all, when I’m I’ll be honest, 80% of the people I talked to, they didn’t water enough. They were feeding fine. They went into a deficiency. Well, they saw a deficiency because the roots had food, but it had no drink. And people forget that roots have to be hydrated, to take in nutrients,

Jordan River 42:42
That water delivery split that molecule.

Kyle 42:45
It has to have it so people really need to start looking at how they water and really think ‘Am I really saturating this pot’, because I’ll be honest, in my five and seven gallon pots up until the last few days, like the last couple of weeks when they’re really rooted. I go in there every couple few days, I don’t walk in that room for two, three days, I will water a five gallon pot and walk away from was three days I’ll go in there the second night, just to make sure. But the reality is, is that’s how long you should be able to we know that soil is holding water and it slowly shrinks that tight roots fill in and the soil breaks down.

Jordan River 43:21
That’s a really interesting style man, I would love to like put together a PDF of this or something.

Kyle 43:26
It’s just kind of Yeah, it’s just kind of a very casual like, I I know what the plant wants, I know when it needs it, and I know how to give it to it. So with all of those things, I never walk in that room and expect a problem, you know, and if I go in that room and I see a problem, you know what’s going on. And if you don’t, it should, you know just take a moment of breaking it down. But like if there really is a problem, it’s probably because I’m doing an experiment. But the reality is is like you should know okay. I have a lot of people go Okay, call, Hey, look, I got FOOP, and I’m feeling it. And now I plan sufficient. So I need to feed more. Well, I can promise you you don’t because if you’re using the schedule, and you’re everything’s in line, then your feet your tent is getting enough FOOP. So now we need to figure out why it’s not getting enough FOOP and then it turns into a p it always ends up being a pH spike. They didn’t pay attention do sure or honestly underwatering. I had a guy who answered every question I asked properly. And the last thing he told me was I give it a half a gallon every time I water and I said well when do you increase that water and he goes never. Well, he was problem was every grow and week four, he was starting to have deficiencies and he couldn’t figure out why. Well that plant was so big and rooted. He just never increased his watering was the simplest mistake. He just never thought about it. So under over watering is crazy.

Jordan River 44:56
It’s so true. I see it all the time, man. So just really quickly, using FOOP at full strength, it’s gets pretty high that 60 milliliter per gallon, is that what you use in your mix at the height?

Kyle 45:06
So yes, but what I do is I’m I’ve played a lot of ways. So I’ve gone a lot of ways with FOOP. And in the testing, that’s been my job. At one point, Larry said, this, Ron, I want you to burn your plants. So I was speeding three, four and 5000 PPM trying to literally burn the plants. And he was like, it was like the loss was recoverable kind of thing. Like he was like trying to burn the plant. [Wow] And what I found is that the only thing that really ends up happening is you put yourself into a lockout, because it’s too heavy in the soil, which is just general knowledge, like anything, you could just overdo the soil. But more so it did nothing. And it was just wasteful. [Sure] So what I’ve kind of gotten people to and when you talk to me, like and people call me all the time, because I actually tuned a lot of grows in. And a lot of the growers that will talk to me over the months will hear me tell them like, hey, look, if you’re doing this type of grow, I’ve gotten a lot of growers doing that with a lot less usage. So like hydro people, I’m dropping their usage somewhere between 20 and 30%, sometimes more depending on how they’re growing. I got guys, every person in the world doing some type of hydro and every type of media, right, like so it’s the same water system, but every one of them have a different media, ones. rockwool ones, Coco ones, Coco, peat mix, once a soil blend, because they were crazy, you know, if there’s been all sorts of stuff, one guy was like, I make my own custom soil. Right. So there’s why he was having problems. So there’s a lot of things that like, people, you know, it happens, because a lot of things like that, yeah, that just kind of, you know, it puts a lot of media changes into it. So I have run FOOP at half strength, I’ve had strains love it. I’ve run through its full strength, and I’ve had strains not love it, right. So with any fertilizer in any product, it’s about tuning it in to you, your environment, your plants and your grow, you and that strain, and your soil are three people that need to know each other better than anything I can tell you.

Jordan River 47:22
That is a really good point, the different feeders, the cultivar dependency, and then like you said, environmental factors like heat and light saturation, right?

Kyle 47:31
I mean, some plants like a little warmer, some plants don’t. So it’s all about learning. But FOOP is so versatile that it does. I have tuned into so many types of grows, that I know at some level, and maybe I don’t have the answer right off the bat. But like if you kind of take my thinking, and you’re willing to try it and you tune it in and like shoot and tax and we work it usually I’ve yet to have something where we’ve just been like, you know what, man, just switch somewhere else, like try something to work for.

Jordan River 48:01
You can figure it out, man. I think a lot of people want that though. A lot of people are really attracted to that organic certification, man. And let me break it down for you, Kyle, because, like on this show, I have no masters, we pull no punches. Like one of the reasons I like working with Larry and you guys is I tell my sponsors, I’m allowed to say anything I want about your product, I’m allowed to say anything I want about competitors products. A lot of people don’t like that shit. Yeah, Larry was like, go, let’s do this. And that shows confidence in the product. Now that being said, let me break it down for you, I will tell you exactly what I think of this product and having been using it and for the audience give you a little bit of advice, which is the organic certification a lot of people are attracted to, there’s something about the aquatic microbes in the fish waste, that brings out excellent flavors, I love what it does to my plants. The fact that it’s a two part bottle line makes it very, very quick and easy. However, it’s probably its biggest weakness is also its greatest strength, which is it doesn’t have that chelation agent, right? We talked about EDTA. This acid, this chelator, that allows your plants to take up all sorts of different minerals. While it is a forever chemical, it’s in a bunch of the food weed gets into the water supplies. It’s not a great [not great] it’s not great. And so when you have a product like yours, like I said, the biggest weakness probably being its greatest strength, you have to get that pH on point stabilizing that pH is critical to the nutrient uptake because it doesn’t have this synthetic chelator to help buffer that. Is that an accurate statement? What do you have to say about that?

Kyle 49:28
Oh, yeah, I mean, 100% and, you know, with EDTA is what I actually you know, grew up learning was poison, right? EDTA meant poison like, it’s terrible. Well, I’ve learned a lot about it in the years and it’s not, it’s not just poison, right? It has a lot of normal usage. It does. Like you said it didn’t literally everything at this point, but you know, as an organic certified even we’re even CDFA so we’re organic in California, which is not easy. So you’re right I stress and I stress and people really push their lines on pH, in my opinion, my personal opinion, where they’re like, Oh, well, because we’re in cocoa and we’re doing this and that we’re running this and, you know, there’s these things, but at some point like plants and pH, you know, the percentage of nutrients that it can take up, is very all entwined. So I stress that people have to keep a pH, there, one of the biggest thing is, is when you do mix FOOP, or an organic or something that’s a living, I mean, once you mix food together, it’s a living brew at that point. [Right] So you literally are like, if you walk, if you mix it, and you’re like, Alright, I’m gonna go get pizza. And you go down, and you forget, and then you end up like, playing a couple rounds of Call of Duty and watching a movie. And like, you know, you go back up there, and you if you don’t go pH it again, it’s changed, right, it’s probably spikes way down. Because what happens is, the more microbes usage and the more microbial life, your pH drops with that. So you know, it’ll move in that couple hours. So I tell people, you know, if you’re doing organics, and you guys know this, you know, organics can be finicky. But once you get a groove, it’s like, less work. Right? Like that kind of idea. So and that’s what’s FOOP is, once you get down and you’re used to it, and your pH, and yet regularly, I mean, I can’t tell you, I could mix group in 30 seconds in a five gallon bucket, without even thinking, right and just be done. Whereas, you know, I’ve run every brand, I mean, I don’t have to name drop them. But I’ve run them all, I mean, I’ve run the big ones that have eight and 10 bottles I’ve bought, I’ve run other four bottle mixes. But one of those things is like we’ve all done it where you’re starting to put teaspoons or ounces in and you forget, when somebody calls you and you look away, and you look back and you’re like was at two or [you’re on Part Seven of 16] And then you’ve got one full one in your hand, you’re like this two or three, I don’t even know at this point. So one of those things that I found was FOOP is just like you just assume you need it and you pour it in you overdo it a little bit. But what’s nice is that versatility won’t kill. Whereas if you do that with some other products that are microbed companies like brand, where it’s like each bottle is very specific. If you overfeed one of those, you can literally crash a plant. [Fryer plant. Yeah] And there’s a lot of sensitivity issues. So and that’s kind of where FOOP runs into this like versatility. And even though it is specific, it does need to be you know, it cannot be kept on a system for long. You know, I have a lot of people running DWC’s and I talked to two GWP guys today. And a lot of them I’m just you know, the one thing is, I’ll be honest, it’s organics and you have to be up on your cleaning better. Yeah, you cannot just mix it and forget it. Like it’s not just you got to check in if you’re gonna leave that in there. You got to go pH check it daily. Just to keep up on it. This is what real growers do anyway, but when you’re coming from the salt world, you just kind of see it as a difficult or um, it’s a waste of time. Why should I hassle but you’re getting like you said a whole different world of terpenes out of organics that you will just not get with salts.

Jordan River 53:15
I think the Aquatics is a big part of it. And then something about the waste, something about that like rotting material in the carbon compost world. You know what I mean? It brings so much flavor but um, but before we close the subject, 6.2 is what you shoot for correct? What do we pH into if we’re in, if we’re in your style?

Kyle 53:32
I do 6.2 I do six to 6.2 is my boundary, I will never hold someone and say that 6.1 To kilter plans. So I’m a realistic human. So six to 6.2 is a hard cut off for that [perfect] 6.2 to six, four for flowers. Okay, okay. Now, with that being said, if you’re running at 6.4, and what that does is it over it lets more availability of phosphorus and pasture [the macro] what that does is it will cut down on your nitrogen uptake. So sometimes when people do this, and I suggested they start seeing the lighter green plants, well, that just means maybe you were on one feet or so at a 6.3 or 6.2. And you can adjust if you can crop steer with your pH because if you’re feeding the same thing every week, but you’re feeding a different pH is you’re actually letting your plant be more available as long as you’re having you know if your soils not holding wet and never changing. But in the general idea of you can tune your grow into where your pH being it does help your availability.

Jordan River 54:38
A 100% I see this with the other direction with micronutrient deficiencies, like you can correct this deficiency simply by swinging down that pH so really, really good point, man.

Kyle 54:47
Yeah, it’s a it’s a really good thing to think about and those pH uptake charts are very important to know.

Jordan River 54:52
Then, like I said, I would love to put together some sort of how to or like a PDF sheet. I like your style of growing. I like that it’s certified organic and you can just get this stuff from around you like super accessible. That’s what I’m focusing on with the course that I’m creating right now is like this ease, right? So I don’t know, man, this has been an awesome episode. You ****ing, you killed it. Super informative. I love the veggie talk your super simple mix along with the FOOP organic growing style, talking about over and under watering. We barely got to mistakes growers makes cultivars. We’re gonna have to have you back on, Kyle.

Kyle 55:23
Yeah, I mean, it’s crazy. Like, you know, I tell people all the time, I watch these newbies walk in and go crazy about stuff. It’s so simple to grow a plant. But I tell everyone learn how to grow a plant first. Don’t worry about growing cannabis. Great, just grow a plant to grow one just just grow it and figure it out, feel the soil, you might try a soil your parents swears by it might just not be how you like to grow. You may not have no life and want to be in there every day. You need cocoa, right? If you don’t if you want to walk in there once in a blue moon because you got four kids running around and two jobs and you want soil, right, so it’s a world of difference. [I love that attitude] I’d love to be back out and just kind of you know help people get into it and anything I can do.

Jordan River 56:12
That’s awesome. Shout out everybody, Kyle at the FOOP at Green Ninja growers. Give him a follow. Shoot him a DM let me know if you want to see Kyle back on the show. I know you do. This was a wonderful episode. Thank you again Kyle. Appreciate you buddy.

Kyle 56:18
Yeah, not a problem here. Reach out to me on any profile. I’ve also joined your guys discord. I’m rooting there. I might be hanging around. Yeah, just hit me up. DM me if you have any questions. I’m happy just to chat. And just help any way I can.

Jordan River 56:37
Hell yes. Shout out. Appreciate you guys all that support. It’s been incredible for the show. So thank you for tuning in. And stay tuned. We’ve got some awesome episodes as you know, find everything we’re doing at growcastpodcast.com/action. Join our green list email there, it’s free. Stay up to date on everything, everyone. Thank you. Thank you. We appreciate you here at GrowCast. And we hope you’re doing amazing things in your garden. This is Kyle from the FOOP and Jordan River signing off, saying to you out there be safe everybody and grow smarter.

That’s our show. Thank you so much everybody for tuning in. Thank you to Kyle for his first time appearance. And before we wrap it up, shout out to PhotonTek Lighting everybody, you can go to growcast podcast.com/photon. It’ll bring you right to the PhotonTek website. Code GROWCAST saves you 10% on your high performance LED lights. Now PhotonTek is dropping the x1000 watt Pro. This is the strongest light that PhotonTek made. This thing is way overpowered. You need co2 Just to keep up with this thing. Delivering 2,929 ╬╝mol/s with this magnetic bars that easily disassemble and reassemble. It is high efficiency, high power and you are gonna love the sexy red that PhotonTek comes in. Growcastpodcast.com/photon. Grab yourself the huge new X1000 Pro or check out the rest of their products the 465 which is perfect for a four by four. They’ve got the 600 Watt which is perfect for a five by five. They’ve got smaller ones whatever you need, find it at growcastpodcast.com/photon use code GROWCAST. Always at PhotonTek Lighting. Thank you PhotonTek for your amazing support. Okay, everyone, that’s all for this week. I hope you’re doing incredible things in your garden. GrowCast is moving along. We’re bigger than ever. And we got some amazing events coming up really dialing in this community aspect so you stay tuned. We got some updates coming at you. We got some good episodes coming at you. So don’t touch that dial. All right, everyone. We’ll see you next time. Have a good day. Bye bye!

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