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Selective Genetics and Grow Room Designs [Front Row Ag Pt. 3]

Selective Genetics and Grow Room Designs [Front Row Ag Pt. 3]

The Real Dirt Podcast ft. Front Row Ag

Blue Dream, Green Crack, Gorilla Glue, Wedding Cake.

All of these strains had their time in the spotlight before fading away as more strains gained popularity. And the strains that are popular now will face a similar fate soon enough. Such is the process of cannabis breeding and selective genetics.

Dubbed “The Blue Dream Effect”, it is the process of a strain blowing up on the market to the point where everybody is growing it…until they aren’t. Maybe it is a new, better strain that uses the original as a parent, or an entirely different strain that doesn’t even compare. One way or another, a strain that sits at the top can’t sit there forever.

With demand for incredible, dank new cannabis strains constantly on the rise, it is on cannabis breeders to search for the best genetics to produce. This might be a small grower selecting from 6 seeds, or a large scale commercial operations sorting through thousands of plants just to find a handful of keepers. So how do they choose?

Some growers might just grow what they like and see success. They have an eye and nose for quality cannabis that people want, regardless of the strain. Other growers breed what the market trends indicate as the best to increase their chances of selling all their crop. Neither is the wrong approach.

However the equipment and design of your grow will always impact the quality of your cannabis.

In This Episode

In the final episode of The Real Dirt Podcast featuring Zach, Matt and Leland of Front Row Ag, the guys talk about selective genetics, The Blue Dream Effect and what profiles they all look for when they’re pheno hunting. They also talk about the importance of grow room design from HVAC to lighting, and the new trends that the guys at Front Row are starting to see take hold for the future.

Transcript

Chip:  And we’re back. I’m just rolling it up. What do we got here? Some Dosi, Dosidoe 22 from Jive. 

 

Leland: Got some Skittles over her.

 

Chip:  Got some Skittles over here from the Baker’s Ranch. What are you, what are you gonna puff on over there, Leland?

 

Leland:  I’ve got my Truth Serum.

 

Chip:  Truth Serum, Truth Serum. 

 

Leland:  It’s pretty good.

 

Chip:  Tell us about Truth Serum.

 

Leland:  So it’s a OG IBL and a Cookie backcross using Gorilla Glue. And it’s a strain that I started working on, working out over at a Dank by Pank in Colorado. Yeah, those guys grow some absolute fire. And this is just kind of a project that I’ve been watching grow for a long time and found this plant. And it’s just one of those ones that you know, really fall in love with pretty easy. And –

 

Chip:  Smells dank, man.

 

Leland:  Yeah, smokes good, smells good. You know, when, when we found it, we smoked through at least 20 different phenos and that one we smoked towards the end and I just remember it hitting harder than anything else. And that’s, that’s really the real way to –

 

Chip:  Laboratory tests only go so far. And we do love our laboratories, we love our purple scientific, we love our terpene results. We spend thousands of fucking dollars on this shit.

 

Leland:  Yeah. You got to look at what like, you can grow everything in the perfect condition and test it to absolutely like, you know, everything you possibly can.

 

Chip:  But if they don’t smoke good –

 

Leland:  Yeah, if it doesn’t don’t smoke good, and grows like shit, then you know. Yeah, like so testing. The ones that really impressed me are guys who haven’t updated their growth since 2008, who are growing, still growing the best weed and nothing has changed. And they just keep it as simple and consistent as they possibly can. And they’re not pursuing the you know, the top end like “Oh, like how hard can you push your plant? How much light can you give it? How much food can you give it? How much water can I give it?” And so we’re just, you know, learning a system and keeping up with it. And they don’t really need a whole lot to make it shine. And so when I see somebody who has everything fully dialed in, and his growing plants all look amazing, it’s definitely impressive. But I don’t think it speaks much to the genetic that it can perform in a perfect environment. I think it’s speaks much more to the genetic one, it smokes amazingly, even when it’s grown in a very like, you know, old way

 

Chip:  Yeah or with, you know, random care. Like, you know, the guy, the guy who grew this weed cares a lot about his weed. This is Freaux from Jive and have him on the podcast all the time, he’s great guy. But we were smoking weed recently, and he brought in like seven or eight flavors. And they were all grown the same because we both have this like, “Hey, I want to plant a bunch of seeds and pheno hunt,” attitude. And we’re literally looking for the best stuff, we’re not really breeding. And, you know, he brings over five or six different strains that were all grown the same. Different strains, flower the same amount of time, given the same fertilizers, and they all looked amazing. But when we went to smoke them, it was a different story, right? Oh man does this Chemdog cross was so much superior to everything else and the white ash that just like fell off of it. And he’s like, “Yeah, fed it the same thing I fed everything else,” right?  And it’s literally just like, how that plant digests the nutrients so much more efficiently. So you know, just and all, when we started talking about it, and they all had a unique characteristic that we saw through and contributed to either like, you know, a fertilizer application or environmental application that wasn’t unique to themselves. But man, that is difficult to do, is to grow large amounts of cannabis unique to each individual one.

 

Matt:  Now that’s very difficult, especially at scale. I think what Leland, Leland is saying too is really important and it’s finding a really good cultivar. I mean, when you’re pheno hunting, the only thing I ever wish is I had more seeds of the exact same thing I was looking for. And I was like,  wish I just had one more that had this slightly more unique characteristic or was easier to grow like, he mentions a lot of time, because some of the best stuff you find ends up being some of the most difficult stuff to grow as well.

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely. I take this approach to it, is as I make calls throughout the grow and as I’ve done this over the years, I’ve been doing this for years, like I’ll see plants that don’t grow the way I want them to, I just throw them away or give them away to other people. Now many people tell me this, “Oh man, that was the best plan I ever had. Oh, I love that genetic. I’ve been still growing it seven years, gave me a plant 10 years ago.” I hear this story all the time. But for me, I’m like, I’m really trying to get through it, and I can’t see it all. But what I want is, I want good growers, right? Specifically for me, I want like stretchers, I want ones that can take abuse and we try to abuse them specifically, right? Because if they can stand abuse, like we said and still grow great, awesome. I do tend towards a certain type of plant structure and nugget structure, but I can see the beauty of it all too. So I’m looking for like, plant growth first. So I’ll make these calls that are just like, and I try to plan it such a number that I can do it, right? And then after we grow the seed out, I don’t even usually take cuttings of first seeds. I just see if I want to. Right, it’s like, “Oh no, that turned out pretty good. Now let’s really plant it, right? And track it and see,” ’cause man, every strain doesn’t deserve it. Every pack of seeds are man, we try to pack by the 200, plant by the 200. So every 10 packs of seeds might not deserve like, a place in the clone room.

 

Leland:  Yeah, it just wasn’t right.

 

Chip:  Well, I didn’t like it, right?

 

Matt:  I’ve been doing a lot of breeding but I’ve done a lot of seed runs where we do like, you just said 200 or 500 at a time. And I don’t know the time over time over time, we don’t keep a single one out of 200.

 

Leland:  Yeah.

 

Matt:  It’s like you said, someone just did, as hard as it is after you spent the real estate. It’s just some of them don’t deserve it though. 

 

Chip:  Yeah, they don’t. We’ve lost a fair amount of genetics over well, man. I got these two friends who’ve kept everything. My buddy Collin and my buddy Fletch, like for 20 years they’ve kept every –

 

Matt:  I’ve got like, 5000 square foot grow with 93 varieties in it. 

 

Zach:  Well, well actually, like –

 

Leland:  Fletch is responsible, I’ve heard that name plenty of times.

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah.

 

Leland:  He’s responsible for getting the OG out to everyone in Colorado.

 

Chip:  Oh dude. Fletch has made it happen for so many people. But you know, they’ve been able to retain it and I was talking to him the other day. And he says he has all the strains that we’ve been smoking and talking about for 20 years. And, but he just used this catalogued. It’s not something that they often flower or you know, they randomly do but point being is no, mostly I planted out thousands of seeds and there’s not terribly many I kept. Right now, actually we have a, we have a Trainwreck backcross from Trainwreck seeds we made 10 years ago that’s in the stable. We have a Cookies and Cream that we picked out of like, a 10 pack search. We have a Granddaddy Dawg that we picked out of the same way. Everything else came either we made, or came to us via like a clone or a cell culture, right? Plant, we planted out thousands and thousands of seeds. Yeah, right.

 

Leland:  A thousand is the magic number to find something really special. And I know that just from the experience of you know, having popped 1000 ones but just going through them you know, 100, 200 at a time like every –

 

Chip:  ‘Cause you can something happen like that, right? Like, hey, I plant a hundred, plant a hundred –

 

Leland:  You’ll find some decent stuff in the 10th pop. You’re gonna find one the 10th time you do that, you’re gonna find a plant that’s like, “Oh, Jesus.”

 

Matt:  That was the one.

 

Leland:  That was the one. I have a buddy like you know every now and then it’s like a lotto. Like, I gave a friend of mine five seeds that he popped and then we found like an all strain, and there was like took five seeds that time it’s –

 

Matt:  Tuesday out of our commercial varieties and this goes to what Leland is saying is, probably over half if not a super majority of them are still really high-end varieties we paid for from people that sprouted 1000, 2000, 3000 seeds to find one winner.

 

Chip:  Or got lucky, man. You know that Purple Trainwreck that’s throughout Colorado. We planted out hundreds and hundreds for years of that same genetic, and didn’t find a keeper. A friend of ours in San Francisco planted out 10 seeds and found the keeper, right? And then we stopped planting out seeds and then that’s the Purple Trainwreck this in Colorado. Because we liked the weed but like, we just didn’t find the keeper and he just lucked that y’all did. So it can happen. You can plant one seed and get above and lucky, right? And we see that with all the great, with lots of the great strains out there.

 

Leland:  We did a Pandora’s Box backcross. We just had some seeds and we had a whole room that was only Pandora. And then whether it’s a light leak are something happens you know, you have some hermies here and there .And then we kept the, I mean it’s probably out of a 2000 square foot room, 100 seats or so total. And found a really, really nice one out of just only sprouting about 20 of them.

 

Chip:  You know, we get, we got this great job. And I kind of touched on this earlier is we get to see these grows all over the country and world, even, right? People invite us from places all over to come to their grow, their product support or just to like, show off or you know, just to smoke us out. And man, what are some of the like, the strains or strain trends you guys are seeing out there?

 

Leland:  Probably the most common stuff that’s being grown are all of the you know, Cake and Pie and Dessert plants, which I personally like, I see the reasoning behind is because it looks beautiful.

 

Chip:  They’re good growers.

 

Leland:  Huge potency, great yields, easy to grow.

 

Chip:  It’s the Blue Dream effect.

 

Leland:  Yes the Blue Dream effect except like, at least Blue Dream like had like a nice creamy positive vibe. Like, I’ve just haven’t been able to enjoy a stone off of any of those plants.

 

Matt:  Well, hopefully for you it will be, it’ll be a phase just like you know, the Gorilla Glue days and the –

 

Leland:  It reminds me a lot of the Gorilla Glue days. 

 

Chip:  Lava cake’s pretty good. No I’m ,  love to see the Wedding Cake grow, right? We’ve got plenty of cake crosses.

 

Leland:  Blast to grow. And like I said, I see why everybody likes to do it.

 

Chip:  Yeah, it’s pretty good. 

 

Leland:  But uhm yeah, it’s I guess –

 

Chip:  The customers like it too. Pretty in the garden means pretty in the dispensary, and you know, ate the weed. Customers like it too.

 

Chip:  Hey, this Dosidoe 22 is a perfect example. Like it doesn’t quite have the same look as maybe, you know, what do we got over here? The Hot Rod or the Cookies and cCeam? You know, it’s thinner calyx, it’s white, almost.

 

Leland:  Yeah. And for me, like I guess my, I’m a more, I’m more of a, I like the smells. So for me, I’ll pass on the looks if it smells amazing. And I follow my nose. I mean, we’re –

 

Chip:  Yep.

 

Matt:  I mean, when I do shop at a dispensary. It’s, I walk in and they’re like, “Well, do you want the most potent thing? ” I’m like, “No, I want, I want what’s going to be the most flavorful and smells good.”

 

Chip:  What tastes the best?

 

Matt:  Emphasis on flavor.

 

Leland:  That is nice.

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah, it is. But you know, it’s different, right? And we can appreciate it, you know. And many people buy it just because it’s Dosidoe 22 or whatnot, but it doesn’t quite look like what the, what the average Joe weed smoker considers good looking weed. It doesn’t look like that.

 

Leland:  No, that’s a, that’s fair. I mean, it’s like why do we say it’s a trend? I mean, people really like purple. They like frosty. So when you can get purple and frosty and hit over 25% THC, it’dbe like hitting the 30s mid-30s then yeah, people are gonna eat that up.

 

Chip:  So man, what do you think about like, what do you guys think about this like, this naming thing that’s happening right now with, with you know people just using like, candy bar names or, or, or, or candy names? And I mean the cakes and the pastry that type of thing comes in there too. But like, man something that I’ve always like, how does the, how does the rubber meet the road on it, right? Because like a great name doesn’t make a great strain, right? But man, call something Sugar Babies and it’s great. And you’re like, “Goddamn pass that Sugar Babies, you know?”

 

Matt:  I don’t know. Back in the day, all they do is add “diesel” to it and it would sell twice as much. 

 

Leland:  Yeah. 

 

Zach:  I don’t know. I don’t know. I missed that whole train. So I feel, I feel kind of like an old man looking at it confused. 

 

Chip:  What happened?

 

Zach:  Yeah, I know, like, you know, if people are doing that, they’re probably older than me. But it’s just like, it’s, it’s questionable for sure. I think it gives the industry a bad name overall, because like it gives the feds something to come after us over. It’s like, “Oh, well this is obviously marketed towards a child.” And it’s like, in a way it is, but uh you know.

 

Chip:  Weed definitely makes me feel childlike all the time. It’s something that I’m gonna constantly got to hold on to, but it’s not for children.

 

Leland:  Right yeah, it’s easy to take these contacts and distort them if you’re not stoned and having positive memories of going to the fridge at 2 AM to eat ice cream. And like yeah.

 

Matt:  Yeah but too, I mean, even if you’re breeding say poinsettias for instance, it’s up to the person that genuinely creates the that F1 to name it what they so choose. And whether it’s based on the genetic lineage or just some random, random thought or happening, that’s it is up to them. But much like Leland: said, I think too, there’s a, there should be some regard but out there for how you choose the name and respect and common sense maybe.

 

Chip:  Well, I’ve always preferred like, some type of genetic tree hint in the name. As opposed to calling something cornflakes or Sugar Babies or something like that, right? Like you know at least like, the cake stuff, you know, we’d be like, “Oh, it’s Dosi cake,” you know? Or you know, you hear like, you know what it is, you know? ut then I mean you got stuff like Race Fuel and Hot Rod and Rude Boy and All Gray OG crosses that have no like, name like, hint to their lineage but are great names.

 

Matt:  We have no idea what they are. Unless you, unless you really know you look into it. You remember, you know, you figure it out.

 

Chip:  Right? And you trust Leafly or whatever to tell you the correct information. ‘Cause often is, it’s not really correct. 

 

Leland:  Loogle.

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah. Right, right.

 

Leland:  It’s like Wikipedia, you can kind of say whatever you want. 

 

Chip: Man, we go in these rooms all the time. What about growth trends, man? I mean, you know, a big trend that’s been trending hard for a number of years is LEDs. And now it’s like, double and triple stacked flower and veg of LEDS. And like, man, you know, let’s, let’s talk about that for a second. The rubber meets the road.

 

Chip:  We still help, we still help consulting on building quite a few grows out. And a lot of the time, I guess, the triple racking is extensive versus intensive, this conversation we have a lot of time. And then budget or and building too. So if you know, I guess where I would start, if I had a really small building, and my space was going to be limited, and I knew I could never expand, I might look at, you know, some multitier systems and you know, you know, like a pip racking system or something like that. But if you can build out a large amount of area and/or expand over time, the ergonomics in a single tier and a single plane, you’re going to grow better product at a cheaper price, because you can get to it, it’s more accessible. But I would say that those are definitely trends. And we still help people execute both of them. And there’s issues you have, you encounter with them both. I think LEDs for the first time in the last for the probably last two years, definitely, and maybe three years have been a suitable replacement for double ended lights. 

 

Leland:  If you, if you’re growing at a large enough scale, you can anticipate the ROI on them. Because it is still like, you know, three to five years of the firm pricing, but –

 

Chip:  You gotta want to do it.

 

Leland:  It’s worth it. Yeah, that’s your your, yeah, if you’re getting LEDs you’re planting like, you know, you’re gonna be running that spot for 15 years. It’s pretty much like, what like otherwise, if you, if you’re planning on popping it up and shutting it down, then maybe LEDs offer some versatility in terms of like, portability. Yeah, you’re better off throwing 1000 watts and getting that shelf life out on them, becaus an LED is built for 10 years, and they’ll hold that efficiency will hold up those standards aren’t going to change much past what we’ve already got. 

 

Leland:  No, yeah, you’re right. I mean, you know, we talked to this about people all the time is like, you know, periods of growroom construction. And you’ve got like the 90s, like pre-2009, the, you know, for, you know, 2014 we call it and then like, you know, modern stuff. Yeah. And the interesting thing is, if people do a couple of things right, then they’ve been able to like roll through all of this, right? And the one thing that people do if they do right is their environmental control, right? They do their environmental control, if they have a lighting plan that lights the room and associated with the lights they’re using and not just thoughts they have on how to put lights up, right? Then that’ll last a decade, right? There’s you know, and everything underneath those lights can change over that course a decade, because it will.

 

Matt:  The most important thing is mechanical system. Like you said, the HBSC, the heating, the cooling and dehumidification. One good point you brought up though generate, the the different generations or decades of growing. And I think it’s been lost over time. Because the people that originally built and designed the grows ran the grows And had to be responsible for the product produced on them.

 

Chip:  Yeah.

 

Matt:  And then today, you have tons of people that build and design facilities that have never operated them and never gonna show up after it’s done.

 

Chip:  And growers that have never built a system. And they’re like chefs, they’re like, “Give me the kitchen and I’ll cook in it. But I don’t know how to put in  a vent hood. ” Right? They’re not restaurateurs, who were like, “Oh, here, I’ll put that vent hood in myself, you know? After hours, so I wouldn’t have to deal with the permit, you know?

 

Matt:  Yeah, yeah. So I mean, the LED though, I think in multi-rack system is is a great choice. And then with some of your higher discharge LEDs, it’s a great choice for even your rolltop benches and your higher bay lighting situations. Where most people go wrong., and what we see still is just, they might install a really good control system, but they don’t quite understand the mechanical system or how to, you know, run the environment that they want to or need to.

 

Chip:  Man, contractors all over the world are putting their two cents in, which is great, that’s what’s getting Colorado where it’s at. But like a lot of them are kind of wrong. You know, they don’t have experience in it or they won’t call up the manufacturer and you know, it’s really –

 

Matt:  It’s weird dealing, having an argument with an engineer about why as logic his wrong, it’s very bizarre.

 

Chip:  Hey, guys, just quick break to tell you about Cultivate OKC, Cultivate Colorado. You know, I got into the hydroponic supply business 2009. I had wanted to open up a retail hydroponic store for years and I was already making potting soil at that point, maybe some fertilizers and some other stuff I was into. Yyou know, I hadn’t opened up a retail shop and I got this opportunity to open one up and California. Right as I was fixing open up down in Riverside, Colorado came along, ended up being better, bigger opportunity, opened up our Colorado stores. And you know, man, it’s just we’ve been off to the races ever since. Now we’re in Colorado and in Oklahoma. We ship all over the country and even the world, man. It’s amazing the people that call us contact us that needs, that need some equipment to grow their fine cannabis with. So if you need any help, any equipment, if you want to come to a great grow store where people don’t judge you, we’re not clique-oriented. We’re just there to help you grow. Man, come see us at cultivate. Cultivate Colorado. We’re on exit 206 i-25. We’re also on the Stapleton Monaco exit there on I-70. And down in Oklahoma City, our newest store and man probably like nicest showroom right now is we’re right on the corner of 10th in Meridian. So come check us out 1101 North Meridian. Yeah, man. Got any questions about growing no Matter if you’re big or small, just come on in. We’ll be glad to chat with you. Okay, okay. Well if you, if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while then you know that I like potting soil, make potting soil coco potting soil, specifically. And you know, I just wanted to talk to you about how much I love coco fiber and why you should use it and why your plants should be in coco fiber and they’re gonna love it too. One man, my new product Coco’s Growers HP is just an incredibly clean product and made for indoor cultivation. I mean you can use it anywhere but man, it is clean as you can get it. We try extremely hard to avoid all cross contamination. All bugs, weeds in seeds, we keep it all inside his manufacturer, all inside. We treat it like a bakery, we start out clean, we end clean, we clean up while we’re going through the day. We really try to try to take a great effort to put this quality product together. So the number one reason you should use Growers HP is man is clean. Number two reason you should use Growers HP is man, this product we have developed it man, almost specifically because we want to see like, just incredible root development and root growth, and that’s what this product does. You know, I used to be a diehard coco only guy, compost coco and I just saw the benefits of peat and so we started putting small amounts of peat in it. Man, the roots take off. Coco and peat just blend together so well. So there’s, there’s the second reason that you should buy Growers HP is man, just to increase root development. Now, the third reason you should buy Coco HP is because man, it’s a really a light potting soil. And when I mean light, I mean that like, you can most people can pick up four bags at once kind of no problem. It’s light like this, because of the way we make it, the way we can control how much water we put in it, we make it a really dry elevation in a really dry high elevation area in Colorado, so it dries out really nicely. And when it gets in the bag, man it’s as light it’s lighter than any potting soil of two cubic foot that you can get. So there’s the third reason man, is it’s a really light product that the moisture is controlled in it specifically. Now, the fourth reason is man, it’s real easy one, man. It’s just because your friend Chip asked you to go support him, support The Real Dirt and buy some Growers HP. So there you have it, man. Top four reasons why you should use Growers HP in your garden.

 

Chip:  There’s an HVAC conversation we have all the time with people, and you know that’s why at you know Greener Consulting Group, we have our own HVAC engineer. You’ll get an HVAC guy who’s like, ” Oh okay, I can design this and put it in.” And he might be a really good person to install equipment, but maybe not the best person to design your room. And if you get that which is most, honestly is most of the craftsmen in the world, right? They know how to do this one thing or two things. They don’t know how to do both sides of it. They can build a house, they can’t design it, right? But man sometimes they do design the house, and there’s something that’s just not right with it. And the same thing with HVAC guys. And that’s why it’s really important on your HVAC to like get it like, designed by a professional, the equipment supplied by the professional and get somebody else to install it if you can. Or just tell the HVAC guy, “Hey, this is what I want, and I don’t want your math.”

 

Matt:  The wonderful part about you having a professional in-house is that and it’s crazy to me is from project to project to project and having built 60 or 70 of them, though, is almost every time, it’s a brand new engineer,. And like you just said, they’re starting for over, they’ve never designed one of these spaces, and they can absolutely get the words right. And maybe, but it’s not, it’s not going to be a product that someone’s learned from generation to generation of different growing styles and equipment.

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, we, we do all of our stuff in-house here and as much as we can. But you’re right. On every single job, there’s a different contractor and a different plumber, and a different electrician that you have to talk to. And, you know, many of these operations don’t have to have like blue, blueprint, you know, quality electrical background. They end up being as good as the electrician is. The HVAC is, right?

 

Matt:  The over regulation out there allows electricians and other contractors to really, you know, put full investment so to speak into the work, like – 

 

Chip:  Colorado, they have like a history of it now, right? So you can call somebody up, he’s like, “Oh, man, I’ve never done that before. But this guy has, or my buddy has,” and he’ll tell me how to program or how you know. And so you get like, Colorado’s a premium place for it to happen. That you can call up any random HVAC guy, and 50/50 it’ll work out pretty good for you. The rest of the country is not as easy.

 

Matt: Yeah, they have 10 years of experience now, though. And they’ve forced each other to be super competitive.

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

 

Matt:  Which is a good thing.

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah. Yeah, man.

 

Matt:  I mean, in Arizona, we’re where I live, it’s a huge struggle versus somewhere like Denver to find quality craftsmen. For specifically the cannabis industry. I mean, if you want to build a custom house, or you want to you like you said –

 

Leland:  There’s specific contractors out there definitely.

 

Chip:  Yeah. I mean, there that’s why I started the Greener Consulting Group is because I had contacts and all these, you know, different groups of people, right? This huge network of people that could do it right. So I can just call up the engineer who I know has done it before, electrical engineer for plumbing or whatever irrigation guy and like, get him on the job. It’s a better scenario for us. But I tell you man, if you’re out there thinking about building the operation, just call somebody like me. You don’t have to call me. But like, you know, greenerconsultinggroup.com is a great place to start but call somebody who really knows what they’re doing. And don’t ask your brother in law, who may be a really cool guy – and I got a great brother in law, Scott Outlaw, yeah. But you know what I’m saying, you know, get like someone who’s had a history in building like, many of these things. And there are many, many people out there that have seen dozens, built dozens built hundreds. I mean, Cultivate Colorado, I don’t know how many grow rooms we’re helping people build right now.

 

Leland:  Thousands and thousands and thousands. 

 

Chip:  Yeah, man, I mean, 100%. And I mean, you guys have seen the same thing too. And we’ve all seen people scale from small to like, large. And you know, it’s really important to call people that absolutely have your interest in heart and don’t just want to like, sell you some stuff. And that’s everybody in this room, you know?

 

Matt:  I think a couple of the trends I’ve seen too, while we’re on the topic, is you brought it up where control systems. People going from using almost you know, thermostats on the wall, to you know, some really really simplistic controllers to now, a lot of people are investing quite a bit money in control systems. And then also dosing systems whether it’s the ones that, pretty sophisticated ones in medium to large scale grows.

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely man. I’ve just, I’ve used dositrons for years. I bought my first one at a police auction, nobody knew what it was. I got it for like, 10 bucks. 

 

Matt:  That’s killer.

 

Chip:  And I had worked with one when I was a kid.

 

Matt:  That was my first experience was as a kid using the old,  the old D-12.

 

Chip:  Yeah, this was probably a D-12 even. I grew tons of weed with that thing, those things are bulletproof man. And I hadn’t, and I’d kind of gotten away from it for a long time. But now we’re here in Oklahoma such huge scale, you have to, right?

 

Matt:  Absolutely. I mean, it seems whether any of those types of systems, especially the like, Dositron type system, the labor savings on a daily basis from non mixing out and weighing it, looking at it, it’s you know, precision injection, and it’s gonna be pretty accurate every single time.

 

Chip:  Right yeah, absolutely., man. 

 

Matt:  Hours.

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely. And you know, there’s some limitations to the dosers. But like, there’s just tons of applications, people use them for years. I actually we started using again a couple years ago for our pest control methods, right? And we mixed up a stock solution, I’ve got like a portable cart with my doser on it, my sprayer on it. And you know, the whole unit just goes down to whatever section of the garden I got 100 foot hose, we spray everything down the way we want and then just move it to the next section. But we put quick connects on it all and so it just, you know, pops in and out of place and really easy to make. We strapped it all in on a dolly, you know?

 

Matt:  We started using them for even cleaning products.

 

Chip:  Oh, yeah, absolutely.

 

Matt:  Who knows how wasteful people are just even measuring out, you know, $3 gallon bleach. Or, you know, 30 to 50 dollar gallon of biosafe products, which are wonderful. But you start to see the mismeasurement of them. And the savings, and the return on that, it’s I mean, it’s quick.

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely. So we’re on, we’re on trends. Man out, you guys got outdoor indoor, like, mmm, it’s always a big conversation with this,. Like, you know, how big the outdoor market, you know? How bad is it?

 

Matt:  We’re having this cool fusion now, like, the coolest trend, I think I’ve seen has been the new greenhouses that are getting built, the high wall hardtop. They’re really making a good case for efficiency, in terms of just like, yield per square foot amount of turnover. And the amount of power it takes to run it and keep it stable through all four seasons. So you know, it’s a pretty high investment, when you’re looking at basically spending as much money building a greenhouse as you are building an indoor facility potentially more. Like in the upwards of like, 3 to 350 a square foot, but you’re building a building that’s going to grow weed anywhere in the world, or grow any crop anywhere in the world, and be able to create any environment that you want around, it’s pretty phenomenal. So yeah, I’ve seen these systems running in like, places where they’re dealing with a 20 degree winter, sometimes dipping into the negatives, and then having to combat 100 degrees summer. Everything stays stable, they don’t skip a beat on their production, it’s pretty incredible to see.

 

Chip:  Yeah, you know, the use of thermodynamics is, you know, as a, as a natural source that we all have is incredible. And these greenhouses really like, show it. And we use it in our business all the time for you know, just moving air around, right? And we see it in grows all the time. But um, you know, these high wall greenhouses, you’re able to really separate the heat from your greenhouse, you can, you know, there’s many ways people do it. But like, you know, passive roofs or roofs that are open or roofs that vent, or, you know, circulating air from the roof down into the inside of, you know, when it’s cold like, I mean, it’s, it’s really exciting on what’s going on in greenhouse efficiency develop. And, and man, like, all the types of like, natural heating and cooling technologies that are going on right now. Water glycol, like, you know, radiant floor, and geothermal, like, there’s just so many great options.

 

Matt:  Yeah, it’s, it’s pretty cool. It’s been wonderful. I mean, the one thing the cannabis space is afforded from a price per pound that we get is investing in some of the best technologies that are available. So it’s great, you get to see all that stuff.

 

Chip:  Yeah, they get to afford too and, you know, man, I take cannabis growers, man, you guys like, I just love how excited you get about the next thing, because I get excited. Right?

 

Matt:  One thing, I gotta say that I’m total nerd for, like, you know, waste potential. And just know the stuff we throw away that we view as trash. And like, the ways, the things that we’re going to figure out to, you know, incinerate and re-capture and concentrate that and turn it into something that’s usable. Whether it’s more plastic, whether it’s compost, you know, there’s, there’s a lot of potential on the horizon to clean up our mess and make an industry out of it. And those are the cool things that I see. So you know, I choose to have potential for the future and the outcomes, and the science that’s being applied to the situations that we’re in that we contribute to every single day, because in my opinion, like there’s never anything short of potential in every situation, so.

 

Chip:  Yeah, it’s important for us to be stewards of the land, of the world, of our community, of each other and that means you know, like really thinking about your impact and and you know, how you can benefit the most from it and eliminate, limit it the most, you know? It’s this constant, constant battle, but it’s something all business should think about. Blowing off, you know, environmental concerns, man, you might be able to save like, you know, 20 or 30% on your waste removal if you contact your you know, manufacturers or vendors alone, and say, “Hey, don’t send the plastic. Don’t send the cardboard. Don’t wrap it to me.” I mean, there’s all kinds of like conversations you can have with people and many vendors, they’ll still, “Oh, yeah, sure. You know, I won’t put a pallet topper on it for you, you know, I’ll only wrap it twice for you.” And that’s like better for you, because you’re putting 20% less into waste disposal. And, you know, that’s just one thing way to think about, you know, our environmentalism, and how there’s a return on investment and the smart business people, they try to hustle that all the time.

 

Matt:  And even, yeah. I mean, even at Front Row, I mean, using a dry soluble fertilizer, that you’re not buying excessive amounts of liquid bottles and putting that burden on the environment. I mean, people will look at it differently., but when you use something that goes the furthest and has the highest usage, you’re –

 

Chip:  Give me a stat on that. How many one bag of Front Row, which is uh, 25 pound bags?25pound bag, and it’s like, I don’t know, it’s 20 inches, 24 inches by like 16 inches, that’s how big the bag is, right?

 

Matt:  17 gallons, depending on the part.

 

Chip:  So that’s 12 to 17 gallons. So that would mean you know, you know, you would have 71 one gallon containers. Okay, your –

 

Matt:  Your 25 pound bag.

 

Chip:  Yeah, you know, 125 pound bag. Oh, use five gallon containers. Whoa, man, you’d still have four? You know, if you have 17 gallons, ’cause like your two and a half gallons gotta come from somewhere.

 

Matt:  And the density of those materials from injection molded bottles, whatever it is. That’s what’s crazy.

 

Chip:  Yeah, exactly. So you know, that we should all think about it, man, that’s for sure. No Matter what it is in our business, right? Hey, man, we’re already kind of into the future, dude. Let’s, let me, let me hear some predictions. What’s, what’s going on next? What’s happening next in cannabis?

 

Leland:  Oh, boy. That’s a lot.

 

Matt:  Yeah, that’s a lot. 

 

Chip:  Just pick, just pick one.

 

Leland:  Um, I would I would like to think, you know, we’re talking about the greenhouses. There would be some more efficiency from that standpoint. Hopefully some more investment into stewardship. You know, as we run into problems, we’ve always been problem solvers. We like to throw ourselves at problems and make things better. And I think that’s one of the coolest things like, going back to one of our first conversations we had about the liquid nutrients and like making it fun. Like, how else do we keep making this fun? And so I think being able to, like, you know, think beyond just the grow and like how we’re taking care of ourselves in the backend, I think that’s a trend that’s developing. And as a community forms and network forms, and we get consumers and we get direct consumer feedback. And now we hear from people and dollars are speaking on a legal,  on a legal basis every day. So I think that’s one trend that’s developed pretty quickly. And then, yeah, another one would probably just be the weeds getting danker. 

 

Matt:  Weed’s getting danker. [inaudible 37: 59] watch out , yep.

 

Chip:  [inaudible 38:05]. 50 percenters. You guys remember Cheech and Chong? One of the things that they made this joke is like it was a grow joke. It was like , ” I want the Afghan that don’t stink,” rtight? You know, the joke there is you don’t want anybody to smell it , ecause you’re growing it or you’re like, transporting across the country or in the airport. You don’t want to get caught. But like now, it’s a different story, right? Yo, Afghan gotta stank.

 

Matt:  It’s got a stank, yeah. I think on the flipside, from, you know, the future and what I’ve been seeing it definitely from a trend is especially, in limited license states where you’re say, you’re like in Maryland, or Arizona or states that don’t just have you know, like, 900 growers like Colorado, for instance. The most successful operators in those states have started consolidating some of the businesses in those states and then also going out and becoming more and more often, what we refer to as multi-state operators as well. So just from a general trend, and what’s you know, continues to happen in the future. I found that interesting as well.

 

Chip:  Yeah, no you right MSOs are that’s a new buzzword 2021, right? That’s for sure is gonna continue, man. We got some new markets coming too. I’m excited about that. And, you know, we’ve, we have, we’ve been a part of the green rush, you know for my whole life really. And, you know, late 90s, we ran to California when they legalized it over there and it’s like popped all around California, and Colorado, and now Oklahoma. And been into so many different states and like –

 

Matt:  The southern states coming up too.

 

Chip:  Hey, that’s the interesting thing to see is now it’s going to all you know, like different climates, different people, different applications. A lot of the southern states is just like, “Oh, it’s gonna be 5% THC.” So that’s gonna be different, like, you know, requirements of like cultivation, different requirements of extraction, different products. Then like what’s happening in Colorado, you know, which is like this awesome high quality, you know, product coming to the marketplace, cream rising to the top. And that excites me to see ’cause that’s really of the market developing, because it’s not just one way. There’s so many different ways to like, work with this plant.

 

Leland:  Yeah, definitely. That’s a big part of the potential in it that’s untapped is the, our markets are still developing on the smokeable flower side, but we haven’t even like, we’re still ground floor. It’s doubling in size the market once all the states are legal. So it’s, there’s that extend for as well as the industrial applications. You know, the potential for this crop to really change the way that we farm is pretty incredible. It’s it’s awesome. 

 

Leland:  And I think one thing for the future that we didn’t, we don’t really touch on as well. And I found important and maybe in the stewardship, stewardship side of it is the footprint of the industry, the focus on greenhouse and outdoor and states that are really well equipped for that. And being able to grow at a more expensive level. And those I think that’s going to be good for the future. You know, some of the southwestern states where it’s dry and temporary, during certain parts of the year are going to be great for growing outdoor and in greenhouse climates.

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely, man.

 

Leland:  And then you won’t have to have these mega facilities that have you know, powered and man’s multiple times more than data centers, and then hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them.

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely, man. It’s, you know, weed has grown all over the planet in so many different ways. But the commercial aspect of smokable flower has been concentrated in kind of the northern latitudes in northern Western latitudes, specifically in the US. But like Canada, Washington, Oregon, California, you know, those have been major, major major producers for years and years and years. And now like, there’s all these local regional producers, they all are following trends and making their own all at the same time, man, right?  Damn, guys, man, this has been such an awesome Real Dirt episode. We’ve been trying me and Leland: have been trying to put this together for two years. I haven’t made enough time for it. And then there was this weird international like, thing happened. Right, you know, I wish we could have just like, you know, just, you know, you know, it’s almost like getting held back a year, right?

 

Zach:  Well, [inaudible 42:37]. No way.

 

Chip:  Yeah. Well, you know what happens when you get held back a year? Then you’re bigger than everybody else in your class. No, it is positivity. It’s been in the cannabis industry, like it’s proven great in so many different ways. You know, but unemployed people smoke more weed. Hmm, stressed out people like to smoke more weed. There’s more legal weed, more different environments. It’s given people a chance to prove it and use it. There’s like, drug testing that hasn’t gone on and you know, as we were like, “Oh, man, well, I’m not going back to work for six months.” I might as well puffy puff puff. 

 

Zach:  I’m working from home, yup.

 

Chip:  And you know, in Colorado like, consumption didn’t drop at all but tourism almost stopped. All the locals are like puff, puff, puff. 50% of the business came from tourism. 

 

Zach:  Crazy. 

 

Chip:  Right? And so everybody just [inaudible 43:39].

 

Leland:  Yeah, I remember that. Every state were involved in cultivating. We’ve seen usage during during COVID go up?

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And, and our industry is going to continue to grow and rise and hey, man, if you guys got any questions, I want you to reach out to Front Row on their Instagram site, on their website, their phone number, which is what’s the phone number?  

 

Matt:  Put me on the spot again.

 

Chip:  I know right? Yeah, let’s call Leland: –

 

Matt:  You can get us on, uh, on the website, under the customer service section is just a form to fill out. Fill out that form real quick. And, you know, either me or one of the other guys on the team will get with you ASAP. We’re really, really good about responding that way. That goes straight to our emails we get notifications and, you know, everybody’s everybody loves doing it through email. That way, we can just keep the conversation kind of recorded and go back, because it gets overwhelming if you’re going to call us. And just keep calling then especially through the 1-800 number then we really have no recollection or record of the conversation. 

 

Zach:  Go to www.frontrowag.com. and fill out the form. That’s the way.

 

Chip:  Right.

 

Zach:  And so I’ll tell him tell him that you are listening to podcasts and I will hook you up for sure.

 

Chip:  Yeah, tell him Chip sent you .So, “Hey man. I listen to Chip’s podcasts all the time.”

 

Chip:  I can hear his voice in the back [inaudible 45:17]. No people say that to me all the time, man. And that’s really what the purpose of this is, is I want people to have better experience, to do better. I’m interested in what people like you guys are doing in the industry. And I truly want to like, convey actual knowledge to the people that want to get into the cannabis industry  or are already here. Right? Because you guys are the future growers, the future business people, the current business people. And man like we’re all together here. So we’re here for support. Call Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC. Cultivateokc.com, you can order almost anything you want there. You can sign up for a commercial account. You got any questions, just stop in any one of the stores or give us a call and we’d be glad to help you out. If you loved this episode, please go to iTunes and Spotify and subscribe to The Real Dirt podcast. The more of you that subscribe the better off we are. Man, if you want to just download the episode off our website man that’s awesome too. Go to therealdirt.com. Man and always enjoy that next joint and yeah, man, think about think about better things. Real Dirt.

Breaking Down Salt Nutrients with Front Row Ag (Pt. 2)

Breaking Down Salt Nutrients with Front Row Ag (Pt. 2)

Front Row Ag nutrients review and interview

When someone first sees a bag of Front Row Ag nutrients, the first question they might have is “what is it?”

Front Row starts with a simple Part A that is packed with nitrogen, calcium and chelated micronutrients, followed by Part B, full of magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. The Part B also has surfactin, which is a natural antibiotic produced by Bacillus subtilis to help strengthen plant immunity against disease. And that’s the base.

No Grow A&B followed by Bloom A&B. Just Part A and B for growth, and Bloom for flower. Three bags total. The flower nutrient from Front Row is more than just a PK booster too. The biggest benefit to Front Row Bloom is the inclusion of sulfur and magnesium included in the bag. This helps make significant changes to calcium and magnesium ratios throughout the flower process, which is extremely useful in greenhouse and outdoor applications.

Ease of use and affordability

Silicic acid has become a hot commodity for growers, but the price point has been too high for many to commit. Front Row decided to create a mono-silicic acid that is just as effective and more affordable. While some silicic acid products may be designed with propylene glycol as the carrying agent, Front Row uses an alcohol-based sugar carrying agent that the plant can metabolize and use for more energy.

And the affordability carries on throughout the full Front Row Ag line up. Additionally the application rates are simplified to avoid over measuring or over feeding. The entire growth cycle can be completed with the base line; A, B and Bloom. However growers looking to increase their rhizosphere and take a more biosynthetic approach have more options that Front Row offers.

This Week’s Episode

In Part 2 of the Front Row Ag interview, Chip, Matt, Zach and Leland dive into what makes up their products, how they differ from the competition in their composition, application and effectiveness. They also talk about the debate over fertilizer injectors, stock solutions and more as the gang dives into the rabbit hole of irrigation and cultivation.

If you missed Part 1 of this interview, you can catch up right here. To hear more Real Dirt Podcast episodes, subscribe and follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts to get over 100 episodes instantly!

Transcript

Chip:  And we’re back. Oh man, you know we always have people do like, you know, feats of strength so to speak while we’re, while we’re on break. And I was just amazed. That was like, the largest dab I’ve ever seen anybody do, Leland:. That must have been like, a three and a half gram chunk, and you didn’t cough once, and you don’t even seem like you’re high, man.

 

Leland:  You know that they say I have callous lungs.

 

Chip:  Callous lungs, that that that’s it. 

 

Leland:  Part of the [inaudible 00:45].

 

Chip:  Yeah, you know, some people can handle that stuff. I can’t. I really love extract, we were just talking about extract. And I love what it’s done to the cannabis industry.

 

Leland:  Yeah, absolutely. Not, it’s, it’s changed the game.

 

Chip:  So yeah, here we are, it’s The Real Dirt. I’m talking to Matt, Zach and Leland, also known as Zeeland. And this is Front Row Ag we’re fixing to get into the nitty gritty. All the questions that my guys out there at Tribe Collective have been asking, and want to know about, we’re fixing to talk about all of the products. We’re going to talk about the technical details on how to use it, indoor, outdoor, greenhouse, in the ground, in pots. We’re going to talk about how to put it in a mixing tank, how to put it in a stock solution. Oh man, get your, put your joints down, pick your pens up, get your notepads ready, and, and, and here we go. So, let’s start from the beginning. What are, what are these products?

 

Matt:  Yeah, so we have the Front Row offering starts with Part F. It’s basically all of our nitrogen, all of our calcium and a really, really healthy micro package. So you have all the essential micronutrients in there chelated. We typically use two different chelates, EDTA, and EDDHA. And it just helps with really high availability in a wide, wide pH range, then our part B, the bulk of our magnesium, a lot, a good amount of potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen in there as well. And then, the cool part about our part B is that there’s a surfactant in there. And then there’s also a small amount of inclusion rate of citric acid. It acts, once the fertilizer goes into the solution, whether you’re injecting on the fly or putting it in a reservoir, however you want to feed, it just, it helps the chelates to be more active. And in the fertilizer world, we call kind of a preservative, it helps keeps things in solution as well. But a little bit of added value there.

 

Chip:  So that’s an A, and a B, and that’s your major MPK. That’s where it all comes from.

 

Matt:  That’s the, that’s probably the, if you’re going to refer to a base for like, the base of any other nutrient, whether you’re looking like cannis A, B from back in the day, the GH or even any of our competitors on the dry side, the A and the B is what you’re going to use start to finish, whether it’s veg or in flower And then in flower, we have our third product, which is Bloom. Traditionally, the bloom when you look at the the guaranteed analysis, it looks like it’s a PK booster, which it absolutely is and it serves as that. But one of the biggest benefits of it is the sulfur and the magnesium that we include in our bloom. So it allows us to make really significant and meaningful changes to the calcium, the magnesium ratio throughout flower, which is tremendously needed for greenhouses and outdoor. And we’ll talk about is a good amount of sulfur at the beginning of the flowering process as well. So more so than just being a PK booster, I’d say its contributions to sulfur and magnesium are, can’t be understated. In the fertilizer world, there’s a lot of other value added products that do offer great benefits depending on the situation. And that’s, that’s something we’re always wanting to talk about. But another product that Front Row really stands behind and created to help growers out there from a value standpoint is our silicic acid, so we offer a 10% monosilicic acid as well.

 

Chip:  That’s the SI, right?

 

Matt:  Yep, the Front Row SI, yep. And so the reason –

 

Chip:  Huge value in that project- product, man. I mean you know, other SI products or the other silica based type products we sell in liquid form are just so expensive, like, like –

 

Matt:  Oh, yeah. And that’s you really, when when we were, when we were looking at the opportunity repetitively, we were just told that. We were, so we were told that a lot of these other specifically mono and disilicic acid products, they’re great. They work awesome, they do exactly what the people say they do, but we can’t afford to use them, was the the recurring feedback we would get. And we said, “Okay, well, we know that’s a benefit from strengthening the cell wall, adding some weight, helping with the resistance of different bugs and diseases and things like that. But we need to make it affordable.” And something that’s a no brainer for the cultivator and a commercial grower, and that was really our aim there was just help them out. But with that though I mean, it’s a tremendously high quality monosilicic acid. And then a big difference too is a lot of the products you’ll buy if they are monosilicic acid will use a propylene glycol , a arrying agent to help keep the solulized. We actually use an alcohol based sugar that the plant metabolizes and uses. But then yeah, and then Leland:’s gonna talk about two of our other products as well.

 

Chip:  I’m gonna, I’m gonna pause you here. So it’s, it’s, core of this is this a B product that you guys use as the base product from start to finish. And then they’re just used at different ratios for the week or the phase of growth. And then there’s a bloom enhancer, that’s a separate product from the A and B, right – and that’s bloom, right?

 

Matt:  Yeah. And that’s important actually, um, ease of use we talked about earlier. When we designed this product, the A and the B, you talked about how they get used. When you make them into a liquid concentrate, which is kind of where we saw the industry going, people buying dosers, injection skids, things of that nature, even making concentrates at their house. The product is used at AMB or always used at equal dilution rates. And so at milliliter per gallon, the you know, if you use one at 14 mLs, the other one gets used to 14 mLs, and that’s veg through flower.

 

Chip:  Traditionally speaking in liquid products, right?

 

Matt:  Whenever you use an injection equipment or make our product into a liquid, and then from a dry, yeah, they’re used at different gram rates per gallon. Because from a design of a fertilizer, you have to choose whether when it’s made into a concentrate or stays dry, if it’s going to be even mapped on, on which side of that.

 

Chip:  So the core products is A and B, the Bloom and the SI. That’s ,that’s the base product line, right? That’s what most commercial people are buying. But there’s these other two products, you got the Bioflow and the Unleash.

 

Leland:  Yep. And so that’s for people who are taking, you know, a biosynthetic approach where they’re wanting to encourage that rhizosphere development, and have more health to the root zone, and like, avoiding more pathogens. So when people are looking for that solution, we have the Unleash. It’s NPK mobilizing microbe, and it’s designed mainly to supply nitrogen to the plant, mobilize any nitrogen that may be fixed and locked out in the medium, as well as doing the same thing with phosphates. And converting those phosphates into plant uptake will forms as well. There’s also some other microbes in there that are helping with general disease resistance, as well as making sugars and different enzymes that the plant can use, facilitating more of an organic process on top of just the traditional synthetic ion exchange. The other product that we’re offering is the Bioflow. So that one’s actually really, really cool. And we’ve seen a lot of killer results with that across the board. It’s made to, or it’s designed as a irrigation mine soap. So as part of a treatment that you’re using in your, your irrigation system. It’s all microbial, so it’s plant-friendly. So what we’re recommending is that people are using it overnight or for like, a minimum of four hours in the lines. That way, it’s breaking down any biofilm that’s building up, any kind of nutrient scale, and making it into a flowable form that in most situations isn’t going to affect the plant in a negative way. The worst thing you might see from it, if you got really nasty lines, there might be some chunky stuff that’s coming out the first time you use it.

 

Matt:  That’s what you want.

 

Leland:  And that’s what you want, or it’s gonna have a really low pH, which is also you know, a sign that it’s working. But I’ve seen, I’ve seen that take care of some of the gnarliest irrigation line problems where people wanted to throw, throw their whole system away.

 

Chip:  Right. Wow, that’s great. I can’t wait to get into that a little bit more. So these are the core products and, and people use these type of products in all different ways. But the man, that the most exciting way or the, I should say the most conversation we have is with fertilizer injectors. And I kind of like to go right into that on how to learn stock solutions, fertilizer injections, and, and let’s, let’s hop down that rabbit hole as they like to say.

 

Leland:  Absolutely.

 

Matt:  Definitely. Yeah, and they’re, I would say that’s what our product is designed for specifically. It’s great for going direct in the res, it works awesome for that. But from original intent, the math behind it, we really saw it being a you know, great for injection systems. And so the products themselves are pretty easy. We have some videos now that you can look up whether it’s on Instagram, [inaudible 9:30] as well. And some other resources in terms of just watching it happen. But there’s a pound or gram per gallon that you use to make the stock concentrate. You mix it up and and then you start injecting at a really, really high level. And we, our instructions are so simple, where if you’re saying you’re making 55 gallon drums, we tell you to put X amount of 25 pound bags into the 55 gallon drum while you’re filling it up, top it off and then give you instructions to test it to make sure it’s accurate and correct. And then you’re off to the races from there.

 

Chip:  So when you have these stock solutions, you have to constantly mix these things up?

 

Matt:  No, no.

 

Chip:  Okay. 

 

Matt:  Well yeah –

 

Chip:  We’ve got customers out on you know, farmland that are, have like totes and large 40 gallon a minute type dosers, you know what I’m talking about. So yes, totally fine for this just to dump the product in the reservoir, let it sit there, you don’t have to mix it up after it’s mixed.

 

Matt:  Or after it’s mixed. Leland:’s looking at me sideways here. Yeah. The, once yeah, so as you’re, as you’re putting the, the dry powder in the water to make the stock concentrate for the first time, there needs to be agitation and it needs to be mixing.

 

Chip:  Like a paddle or, or you know, a pump, or like –

 

Matt:  Our recommendation is, is the the weaker the agitation, the longer you need to mix it. If it’s mixing vigorously, you’ll watch it. I mean, within minutes to seconds, it’s in there. But much like mixing salt and water, that’s gonna get it all to come off the bottom and look like it’s swirling around. You need to keep mixing it beyond that for some time just to make sure it’s all homogenized and in solution. But everything in it still water-soluble, you follow the instructions, it’s going to dissolve. So if you find that there’s something at the bottom or something isn’t mixed, it’s probably because you added it too fast. Or, you know, hit the bottom, or it didn’t have water in there first. We see a variety of different things, but uh –

 

Chip:  Right, absolutely. What’s the best way to mix this product up? If you’re telling you know, me, Chip: at the Baker Ranch, like hey, how do I, how do you mix it up to 55 gallons? How do you do it?

 

Matt:  So yeah, in 55 gallons?

 

Chip:  No man, let’s say a tote, let’s say a tote.

 

Matt:  So the best way is to like, Mixer Directs Company. You can get it online and they make really high quality industrial mixers that actually go right on top of 250 gallon totes. Or they size them for cone bottoms, or even barrels, they have barrel –

 

Chip:  What’s that, what’s that brand again?

 

Matt:  Mixer Directs, I think they’re out of Kentucky. 

 

Chip:  Mixer Direct. Okay.

 

Matt:  But that’s what we’ve used for gosh, for almost a decade to buy our impellers. But they make them for 55 gallon drums, totes, and huge vats, if you want to.

 

Chip:  Okay.

 

Matt:  But, I would say ideally, you buy an impeller from them that size for your container, they’ll help you out with that. And then you would fill up the, whatever the container is, a drum, a tote halfway up with water, start to get it mixing slowly with that impeller and the water moving, and then start to add the salt. You’ll see the water volume come up. Keep it mixing, add the bags of salt and then top it off to the volume that is your target,  and then check the solution.

 

Chip:  Man you make it, you make it sound so easy. And the math is on your websites, right?

 

Matt:  Oh, it’s on our mixing charts, our websites everywhere. It’s right on the front of the bag actually, in the instructions right on the bag. Yep.

 

Chip:  So, so I can just look up the feed chart for my totes which are these large like, how do you guys I mean, they come in all sizes. How do you guys say the size, 200 gallon or 275?

 

Matt:  I just say it’s a 250 to [inaudible 12:57].

 

Chip:  However many gallons they want in it to stabilize the – alright. So like, we have 275 and we call them two hundreds and we fill it to the 200 one, right?

 

Matt:  And so one time, whether you’re a new customer, or as you call us, like you call Leland or you read the instructions, which is very clear, you would have 200 gallons you’d like, okay, well, in a 50 gallon drum, I put in three bags. So in a 200 gallon tote, I’m gonna put three times four is 12 bags. And that’s it, you know, fill it up to 100 gallons or so, and your 200 gallon tote. Slowly start adding the 12 bags while it’s mixing, maybe a little bit of water as you with that to displacement. And then –

 

Chip:  Cold water? I can use –

 

Matt:  Right so two things here, there’s a little bit of –

 

Chip:  Those be out on the farm, man, you know –

 

Matt:  Room temperature or hot. But if –

 

Chip:  It’s better.

 

Matt:  Yeah, if it’s warm, it’s going to mix better. If it’s –

 

Chip:  Alright, what if it’s coming right out of the ground? ‘Cause that, many of these people you know, and myself, we have to come right out of the ground into like, our water store area.

 

Matt:  Ideally above 65 or 66. But the lower the temperature is, you’re gonna have to mix it longer. 

 

Leland:  [inaudible 14:04] solution, longer mixing, yep.

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I just got to put some time into mixing it.

 

Matt:  Yeah, I mean, if you’re using a 58 degree water, trust me, it’ll go in, but you’re going to spend two or three hours mixing that.

 

Chip:  Right, right. And with this, with the, with the agitating mixer you were talking about, you just turn it on and walk away.

 

Matt:  Yeah, I mean, and we don’t recommend this but we’ve, were at a grow doing a site visit in Washington a couple weeks ago. And the guy had an impeller on the end of a cordless drill. 

 

Chip:  Sure.

 

Matt:  30 seconds to a minute, we sat there. And it was definitely mixed in the solution. And then we came back about every five minutes and mixed it for 15 minutes, and called it good after, I mean after about 15, 20 minutes.

 

Chip:  Oh, right.

 

Matt:  Then it got mixed three or four times and it was good to go. I told him I would say you know, I would definitely mix it longer. But it validated, it checked out and that’s the tools you had on hand. So yeah.

 

Chip:  Alright, right. I mean, you could use a paddle you just, you know might have to like, you know –

 

Leland:  You’ll sit there for a while.

 

Chip:  Yeah, l mean that’s how we used to make ice cream right?

 

Matt:  People use Monde pumps in the bottom, I mean, but it’s, like Leland: said,  it just lower agitation, longer mixing time, lower temperature, longer mixing time.

 

Leland:  You can let it sit and mix overnight, or you can heat up your water overnight and mix into warm water. You know, there’s, there’s a couple different ways to solve it. Yeah, generally the recommendation, just because I like things easy is to try and get the water hot. So if I know that I’m going to have temperature issues, mixing my stock tanks, then I’ll plan for it, it’s something you only have to do every month or two.

 

Chip:  Dump all my water out of the well into the stock tanks one day, come back the day later, and it’s gonna be –

 

Leland:  Another yeah. Another note is that you’d want to use RO water if you’re gonna be mixing stock concentrates, just because the carbonates and other minerals that you’ll find in the well are gonna interact with the mix, it’s a concentrated mixture.

 

Chip:  So you just spend some time and get the RO on the stock tank –

 

Leland:  Only on the concentrates.

 

Chip:  Yeah, only on the concentrates.

 

Matt:  And remember, a really good point though is we do find to which is interesting,  people will mix smaller volumes for some reason. And once it’s mixed in solution, I mean, whether it’s weeks or months, unless you’re sitting on a freezing cold floor outside or something crazy, it’s going to stay in solution for an incredibly long period of time. So mix something that lasts you several weeks to a month, a month and a half. Not something every other day.

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely. So we’ve got our, we’ve got our stock tank, we have our totes, they’re out on the farm, they’re on the back 40. Literally, that’s what we call it, the back 40. We’re on the back 40 –

 

Matt:  Thought this was someone else. 

 

Chip:  And, quote unquote. Nothing for sale here, everything’s legal.

 

Zach:  You know, and then we’re taking our injectors of choice, you know, dose trying and kind of sets the standard in the game.

 

Chip:  We’ve used it all. That’s what we use currently. We sell them every single day at Cultivate Colorado, we’re probably one of their largest vendors for it so.

 

Zach:  You have set up many happy customers with those trumps, I have seen that.

 

Matt:  Yeah, I think we’re, what we’re talking about today it’s the, a good injection ranges anywhere from 0.2% up to the 2%. injectors, which is like the [inaudible 17:12].

 

Leland:  Yep. Yeah, the MC-2.

 

Matt:  Yeah, exactly, yeah.

 

Leland:  That’s a great, great little workhorse. But uh, yeah, so as far as injection goes, and if you’re following our instructions, you’re injecting at around 1:250 ratio. So that’s sitting you anywhere between, you know, like around 20 to 22 milliliters per gallon in veg, if you want to feel like you would typical liquid nutrients. All the way to like, if you’re using all three parts in flower, we’d be closer to 10 to 15 milliliters. So it’s got a little bit of a range. And mixing in no liquid makes it easier to make those adjustments if you wanted to, if you’re looking to be hitting a target EC. After everything’s mixed, it’s all being used at a one to one ratio. So you know, if you’re using 14 mLs of A, using 14 of B, 14 in Bloom.

 

Chip:  So you know, you just mentioned something many of our customers do use Dositrons and they’re great, you know, siphoning injection system. There’s many other types. And one of the types that we frequently see customers come in, they have like a high rate of 1  to 1 hundredth, or just a set rate of 1 to 100 when they come in. How do you use your product that way?

 

Matt:  Well, Leland actually – and the only reason I was interrupting was because he helped build some of the sheets for our fixed injection rates. 

 

Chip:  Great. Yeah, yeah, yeah. This comes up every day, because quite, question almost every day.

 

Leland:  Yeah. So assuming that you’re mixing our formula to our instructions on this coming  at around a 1 to 250, maybe 1 to 200 ratio. So you’re literally just going to be cutting our application rates in half. If you have a fixed injection rate of 1 to 100. Or if it’s a 1 to 350, which is pretty common too, then you can mix our concentrates even worse, even more concentrated. But we’re only at about 20 to 30% of our maximum solubility. So you can mix it even stronger if you want, it’s going to be…

 

Chip:  If it’s a 1 to 100 hundredth injector, how do you mix it?

 

Leland:  So you’re going to take our recommended rates and just cut that in half. So for recommending for a 55 gallon drum, and you’re adding four bags of A to mix your stock concentrate, you’re just going to add two bags of A. Now one thing, one thing to note, if you’re going to be doing that and mixing at a lower concentration, is that you’re probably only going to have about two weeks to a month of usage rate out of that concentrate. Since it’s at that lower rate, it’s –

 

Zach:  It’s going to eat it up.

 

Leland:  Stuff can, stuff can start growing in there a little easier, yeah. 

 

Matt:  Yeah. I think what Leland’s trying to say too, is it’s probably smarter too, than go through it faster. Because it’s, because it’s so diluted, but you’re injecting twice as much. 

 

Chip:  Oh, right. Because it’s, I see, I see. Conservative issue associated with all the product too, so there’s more water in it and right.

 

Leland:  Yeah, and in our typical concentrate, you can put it in a clear, in a clear jug and nothing will grow in it. Because the pH is so low and there’s so much fertilizer in it. Now you start cutting it and it’s a prime area for anything to grow in a petri dish.

 

Chip:  Okay, so that’s how we make stock concentrates for reservoirs. What if I want to make a gallon stock concentrate to be, to be used out? Is it the same way?

 

Leland:  Same way.

 

Chip:  Same way.

 

Matt:  Sorry – no, I was just gonna say our five pound instructions for either smaller commercial facilities or hobbyists, it’s the same instruction sheet that we have. You know, instead of being in a, in a 55 or 50 gallon drum, it’s in a five gallon bucket and or, you know, what, or one of the old liquid nutrient five gallons you’ve kept people make them in that all the time.

 

Chip:  Yeah, those are great, because then you can just – well, the two and a halves are great, because you can shake it up. Shake it up.

 

Matt:  And in our instructions too now are, we try to avoid using a scale to make this stock concentrate because it’s easier and faster. We say, X amount of bags for X amount of gallons and then check it. And it’s either if it’s too strong, cut it a little bit. 

 

Chip:  On the smaller scale, you have to weigh it out.

 

Matt:  Yeah, well, yeah. And you can , you can.

 

Chip:  You can. Right, right, right, right. And then they had that stock gallon or two and a half gallon, and they take that and there’s instructions also on your website on how to use that stock solution by the tablespoon or the milliliter reservoir.

 

Leland:  Yeah, same way we’re used to do it.

 

Chip:  Right. Same way you’re used to. Alright, so you’re basically making your own fertilizer, right? At home or at your you know, at your grow, you bring in dry powder, which is easier to get in, which is more cost effective, it’s better for the world. You’re making your own stock concentrate that you’re keeping in your own one gallon, two and a half gallon, five gallon, 55 Gallon, 200 gallon. And then you get to use it you know, at will. You can use it with a injection system at varying injection rates, or by the milliliter or tablespoon per gallon in a traditional reservoir.

 

Matt:  You can go right out of the bag dry, right into your reservoirs as well.

 

Chip:  Yeah, let man, let because you don’t have to make a stock concentrate.

 

Matt:  No, you do not. And I would say –

 

Chip:  Most people don’t.

 

Matt:  Exactly. As much as I want people to, to inject and make our stock concentrate and enjoy that, I would say a super majority of our customers actually go right out of the bag into a reservoir like we all did. One thing I wanted to mention on shipping costs that’s kind of mind boggling is on a pallet of liquid product, you can fit 200 gallons on that pallet. We get, or 250 if you order a tote, where you can put the equivalent in dry of 2000 gallons of stock concentrate, that fits on that same palette. And then also typically our shipping costs instead of shipping that weight of water, and then because the units, it’s about five to 10 times cheaper in shipping as well.

 

Chip:  Shipping it’s, it’s such an economic cost and environmental cost, man. There’s more than one way to care about the environment than just growing organically and it’s shipping and packaging, you know movement of people in materials over space and time. Man, we really got to think about that as an industry and as businesses. One, It makes us more money the more effective we are with it., but it’s better for the world.

 

Matt:  Keep telling Zach to stop flying his private jet everywhere.

 

Chip:  Oh, Zach, what kind of jet you got?

 

Zach:  I can’t tell you. We’ll go, leading off of that, and I guess this is something that I like to focus on a lot is that us compared to some of our competitors to reach a desired outcome of your EC, a lot of these other companies that are powdered, dry fertilizers, you’re having to hit numbers, sometimes double the amount of the input that you can reach a high or desired EC than with ours. So let’s just say by chance, you know, it’s competitor A or whatever it is, to reach 2.0 EC are using let’s just say, 4 grams across the board each of ours. So you’d have to use 6 or 8, even, even more grams per gallon to reach that 2.0 EC. So, not only are you having a savings originally when you buy our product not only from dry to dry, but also dry a liquid. But then on top of it, the savings comes in from the amount that you use grams per gallon or mLs per gallon to equal your desired EC.

 

Matt:  And we do, we hear that all the time as well. I had to use this product at 30 EC and I want to use yours at a 24 or 25, and you’ll compare the product and it’s well at 2.4, we have the same ppm of nitrogen and potassium phosphorus and meaningful things. But in order to achieve those same rates of micros or even macros, they have to use substantially more conductivity to get the same amount of, same amount of product that we offer.

 

Chip:  Hey guys, just a quick break to tell you about Cultivate OKC, Cultivate Colorado. You know, I got into the hydroponic supply business 2009. I had wanted to open up a retail hydroponic store for years and I was already making potting so at that point, maybe some fertilizers and some other stuff I was into. You know, I hadn’t opened up a retail shop and got this opportunity to open one up in California. Right as I was fixing open up down in Riverside, Colorado came along. Ended up being better bigger opportunity. Opened up our Colorado stores and you know, man is just we’ve been off to the races ever since. Now, we’re in Colorado and in Oklahoma, we ship all over the country and even the world, man. It’s amazing the people that call us, contact us that needs, that need some, some, some equipment to grow their fine cannabis with. So if you need any help, any equipment, you want to come to a great grow store where people don’t judge you, we’re not clique-oriented, we’re just there to help you grow. Man, come see us at Cultivate. Cultivate Colorado, we’re on exit 206 I-25. We’re also on the Stapleton Monaco exit there on I-70. And down in Oklahoma City, our newest store and man probably our nicest showroom right now is we’re right on the corner of 10th in Meridian. So come check us out, 1101 North Meridian. Yeah, man. Got any questions about growing no matter if you’re big or small, just come on in. We’ll be glad to chat with you. Hey, guys, I know everyone who’s listening. We all love The Real Dirt. I mean, I love The Real Dirt. But you know what I love even more than The Real Dirt is actually growing in dirt. That’s right, Growers high porosity coco formula, that’s my potting soil. Man, I’ve gone through so much trouble and research to build the cleanest, most effective potting soil for growing cannabis. Man, we built all this stuff inside. I break all the pallets, all the raw materials down on, on the morning. I push it through our machine, we use a series of conveyor belts, there’s no cross contamination, everything’s machine mixed. It’s all made and mixed by volume. It goes directly into bag. By the end of the day, everything that we started at the start of the day, all the raw materials, they’ve turned into bagged product that’s all stored inside. Now, the importance of this is many, many other, every other potting soil company, they don’t do it like that. Here’s how they do it. They take their raw materials, whether it’s coco, peat, perlite, pumice, compost, sand, whatever they got, and they make a huge pile of it outside with big industrial equipment. They use tons of diesel to do this, tons of diesel fuel on the grinders, on the screeners, on the loaders. And they leave the huge piles out that’s just like, the petri dish for cross contamination from weed seeds, bugs, whatever, whatever is capable of living in it. And it does and it will, and then they take these piles and they bring them into another facility that’s probably also not indoors, very few of them are. They’re usually covered tin sheds or something like that. And they, they bag up the potting soil, they wrap it up, pallet it up, clean it off nice and pretty. And then when it gets shipped to you, you think it’s this great product, but in reality, it’s just like some dirt on the ground that people have shoveled up and put it in a nice plastic bag. And the potential for it to be full with everything from root aphids to fungus gnats to contaminants., it is just, it’s mind- boggling actually. At how bad it could be and it’s really not that bad comparatively, but our product is so clean. We go through so much trouble from the RO water to the clean cement, to the way that we move all this product around with conveyor belts instead of using big loaders. I mean, I’ve been making potting soil most of my adult life and I’m now using 1/10th of the petroleum products to make this potting soil. 1/10th. And that’s almost all in diesel fuel, all in propane with forklifts. Because of the way that we’ve situated our plant and made it this really great, environmentally friendly weed-bug-seed-free product. So check it out man, growerscoco.com. Hop on your computer right now. Go to growerscoco.com. Check out our website. If we’re not in your community., ask your local grow store. He can get it in if you’re in Colorado or an Oklahoma, man, come to some Cultivates and we definitely got it. Thanks guys and let’s get back to the episode.

 

Chip:  So we get the stock tank solution question all the time, we get this question of do I have to make a stock tank. No, you can go right from the powder into your reservoir. Man, the other like, like thing people talk to us about especially here in Oklahoma but also with hemp growers throughout the US is like, how to use it outdoors in the ground, right?

 

Matt:  That’s a great question. Part of, kind of like our water testing, one thing that we do or we look at and we offer and one of the partners at Front Rows is [inaudible 30:26], is we read and analyze your soil tests. Any farmer that’s going to grow outside or cultivator that’s going to grow outside and wants to put their plants in the ground, the first thing we recommend as hiring a company like like Waypoint, for instance, testing your soil. Just taking a standard soil test and going out there and figuring out, “Okay, what’s my [inaudible 30:45], my pH, my organic composition, my pounds of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, everything out there. And then we’ll actually look at that with the farmer or the grower. And we’ll say, “Okay, well, you already have this amount of nutrients in the field based on how much the crop is going to use from and the length of your crop. This is what you’ll need to start amending with our product at some point.” And same thing again, though, they can make into a liquid concentrate and inject it in their drip system, they can put it in giant reservoirs, and you know, using on sprinkler heads, whether it’s a center pivot or actual heads. At that point, we see a variety of different things. But we always start with them on a soil test because they might have no food in their, in their field, and need a you know, fertilizer from all of our products. Or they might only need one of our products for two weeks at the end, because the field is super rich in fertilizer already.

 

Leland:  Another point to add to that is, a lot of people like to kind of give salts a bad name, wrecking the earth and polluting the water with nitrates and phosphates.

 

Chip:  ‘Cause that used to be the case, they used to have inferior quality fertilizer.

 

Leland:  Absolutely.

 

Chip:  That’s not what you guys have.

 

Leland:  No, this isn’t an ammonia based fertilizer. Um, you know, like we do, we do rely on some synthetic nitrates, that’s the majority of products out there, even if they’re claiming to be organic, there’s not a lot of soluble forms of calcium out there that don’t include a nitrate with them. So that being said, we’re delivering about 20% less nitrogen to a field as a conventional farmer would recommend. And doing that with the most practical, responsible forms of irrigation possible. So like, we’ll always be recommending is, drip system to be going into a field. That way, we can deliver precise amounts of irrigation, know exactly what the roots are getting in terms of the fertilizer and not just trying to do a broad application, even though it will work in conventional systems. And I’d rather somebody be doing that than throwing, I’d rather somebody use 250 pounds of Front rRw per acre than, and spend a little bit more money versus throwing 200 pounds of ammonium nitrate on a field and hoping for the best. So you’re going to get as much nitrogen out of our system, with our drip system or subterranean system delivering water directly to the root zone. And I mean, there’s guys who conventional corn farmers and wheat farmers who have watched hemp growers row crop and do really, really well with plastic mulch in a drip system, to the point where they’ve gone through and done in the next year for their heirloom strains and hit record yields out of their fields. It’s something that, it’s on the forefront of agriculture, if you don’t see, if you see it as a problem, look at it as a solution to a problem, and to transition into a more responsible way to farm.

 

Chip:  ROI comes in so many different ways on a farm.

 

Leland:  Exactly.

 

Chip:  That’s for sure. And you know, one of the ways we see many organizations have problems, cultivations, they’ll reorganize their facility, they’ll bring somebody in as a manager, a CFO, and the first thing he wants to do, the easiest thing he wants to do to make himself look good. Hey, you guys are in this position, either don’t do it or recognize it, it’s happened, the first thing they do is like, we’re gonna cut our production costs, and we’re gonna get the cheaper shit. And man, you know, there’s one thing and getting the same thing, the exact same product at a better discount from a vendor. But like when you, when you say you’re going to get a cheaper product, there’s outcomes that you pay for, right? And that cheap product, you know, you will lose out in time and wait, right? Time, the most crucial part of it, right? But by using these these higher quality cannabis specific dry soluble fertilizers, just like Front Row Ag, man, that ROI comes back immediately within 90 days, as soon as you harvest, you know, especially on large scale, it comes back.

 

Matt:  If you’re spending less than 1% of the gross revenue that your product brings in on fertilizer, then you’re exactly where you need to be. And I would say we’re well below that. And so there are products you should spend money on though, is what I’m getting at.

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah.

 

Matt:  Like Leland brought up in terms of fertilizers you shouldn’t spend your money on as well. 

 

Chip:  Yeah. So we’re talking outdoor in the ground. What about outdoor and pots?

 

Matt:  Yeah, same thing. We [inaudible 34:58], I mean, I run some pretty large outdoor grows and pots, yeah.

 

Chip:  Oh yeah, I’m a container grower. I love it, man. I love it.

 

Matt:  You get 45 and 50 gallon pots, we use 12 foot metal stakes, we drive into the ground, put up a shade ourselves and then run trails and it’s kind of like growing an indoor plant huge outside. It’s eight foot by six foot centers.

 

Chip:  Oh wow and 40 gallon pot. So you’re like, you’re like feeding it, feeding it constantly with Front Row.

 

Matt:  Yeah, beginning, well, beginning of the season, we like to definitely let our plants dry down in terms of letting the roots spread promoting oxygen in the soil, at the sites that we’re running. But, uh, yeah, I mean, the plant goes in typically coming out of a one gallon into that one large pot, and it’s going to dry down for several weeks, between its first irrigation and watering, and its second one. And then pretty rapidly, the irrigation events get quicker and quicker and quicker and quicker. And at some point in flower, we’re watering, you know, sometimes every day to every couple days, and those giant pots, still. I mean, you have some plants that are easily six to eight feet tall and [inaudible 35:57] out if not still 10 feet tall.

 

Chip:  I love containers of all size. But you know the thing, the great thing outside about like that 30, 45 gallon container is, you know, you really get to feed it like an indoor plant. You know, you can get them huge, but I like the smaller plants. And we’ve even run like four plants and a 440 gallon pot, you know, four foot tall, and it just be this. I mean, the some of the highest weight we’ve ever seen, honestly, you know, it’s basically out of a pot. But it far be the just single huge monster plant out of it. But yeah, we, so small containers, big containers, it doesn’t matter, you can, you can use the same, same fertilizer rates as you would indoors.

 

Matt:  Well I mean, and this is important actually, internally, we’ve been talking about this as how to address different feed charts and pot sizes and things of that nature. And without going down a giant rabbit hole, generally, the larger and larger and larger the pot gets, and the longer of time you have between an irrigation event, you need to increase the EC pretty proportionately too. You know, so if you’re in a 5 gallon to a 25 gallon, there needs to be a substantial increase in the conductivity you’re feeding in the start of that schedule and how it tapers down. And then the other thing is, is when there’s a large amount of time between irrigating and you’re using a high quality fertilizer that’s acidic, the pH is going to drive down as well. So you need to actually feed at a higher pH as well.

 

Chip:  Higher pH meaning?

 

Matt:  Well as you know, so a lot of times, you know, if you’re feeding it say  a 2.0 and a 6,0 pH, the 2.0 you see and a 6.0, and you’re in a three gallon. Let’s say then you step it up even into a five gallon and you’re feeding at 24, you already should be feeding at maybe like a 6.2 or 6.3. And then if you’re transplanting and when we transplant into five gallons, or even seven gallons, we’ll feed as high as 2.8, 3.0 UC. And at that point, our pH is you know, 6.5 to 6.7. And then but still, we’ll watch it dry down for 20 some days between that, that really heavy irrigation and sticking in the clone. And you’ll get the runoff and it’ll be in the low to mid fives actually by the time we would irrigate again. And that’s how far it’s come down. But if you fed that plant in at 6.0, I mean, the pH would be in the really, really low fives to high fours, and the plant wouldn’t look good. Like drafting proportionally, somebody’s gonna make the graph someday, of you know the drawback of given media’s coco, rock or peat moss, even probably different soil blends uhm, showing as they dry back X amount of percent, 10%, the EC is going to go up by 10% as well. And the pH is going to decrease by X amount of percent depending on the components, the fertilizer. So as your media dries out, and the plant leaves some of those ions on the table that are registering a charge, the water becomes more concentrated, so to speak. So if you’re going in to, like Matt said, by the time the plant’s ready for another drink, there’s probably a lot of unused fertilizers still left in that source water or stuff that’s been displaced and exchanged with the media, that you’re either going to be rinsing out or rehydrating with the plant uptake.

 

Matt:  A misconception too and in growing, potted liner is I guess from – I’m using the ag term – anything that’s in a container, whether it’s a one gallon to 200 gallon. It’s been a misconception in the cannabis industry that there’s no other plant that’s grown this way, in a potted liner or you’ll open a book that tells you to grow it this way which is start off at a lighter, a lighter feed solution and increase it as the plant gets more mature and drinks faster. Every plant that’s going to contain a potted liner would be recommended from a peer reviewed source to be watered in a way that when the dry down is longer, and the, let the roots spread fastest and the plant to grow at the fastest rate, you want to be the highest availability of food when a drink, when there’s the longest amount of time between irrigating. Then, as the plant starts to drink faster and faster and faster and faster, and you water more and more often, you cut the feed solution so you don’t burn your crop. And that would be how any period read source would actually tell you to grow rhododendrons or roses or chrysanthemums.

 

Chip:  So opposite of the way the cannabis industry does which is like, start it off soft and then jacket, right? Jack it and then go soft.

 

Leland:  And you’ll see our feed chart as well. Our feed chart, whether it’s a two gallon or a three gallon feed chat, or we’re telling you to grow in a large pot, it’s going to start off at a high conductivity and taper off as you irrigate more rapidly.

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah, no, I have noticed that on your, your formulation. And I’ve had people ask me about it. And I’m like, I don’t know, just follow the chart. Everybody does it, it works. Right? 

 

Leland:  Good answer. 

 

Chip:  It’s a good answer. And, you know, I mean, you know, I’ve been, I’ve been involved in agriculture my whole life. And though I almost had this really inquisitive phase, where I wanted to know reasons for everything, and there’s just too much question in the world. And so I’ve had to, like, reduce, like, where I want my brain power to be, right? And sometimes I just like, I don’t know how it works, I don’t care, right? Because I got my brain power on something else, to me might be more important. And I don’t necessarily want to, like know, like everything about, you know, a bug or a fertilizer. Even though I’m interested in all that –

 

Leland:  Yeah you wish you could, but you gotta move past it.

 

Chip:  Yeah, you just gotta, gotta move past it. For instance, you know, people ask me all the time about, “Hey, can you identify this bug?” And I’m like, “No, but I can tell you what can take care of it,” right? You know, because it’s also solution-oriented. And that’s back to the like, follow the feed chart. Everybody says it works. Just do what they say, right? So outdoor, in the ground, outdoor in the pots, you know, greenhouse in the pot, same as outdoor in the pots, right?

 

Matt:  I mean, greenhouse, indoor, outdoor, I mean, a lot of containers, a lot of for us is understanding your environment too. Like, we’ll talk to you when you, when you call Leland or Farmer John or any of the guys, myself included, we’ll be, we’ll talk to you about, well what’s your lighting intensity? How dry it is, how humid it is, you know, what’s going on in the space? And the pot size, the media you’re growing in. And we’ll talk about all these different things and have a discussion instead of just you know, being your normal consultant that says, “Here’s what you have to do. And you got to do it now,” and never listens to you.

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, man, when we’re done with this, we’ll go next door and you can tell us how to do it, man. My wife has a clone nursery dispensary just right next door. It’s Baker’s Medical, it’s in OKC. We’ll go over there next you guys could check me. Yeah, you saw it earlier. That’s right, Matt. We’ll go over there and you guys can give me like a detailed on what we’re doing. We got some like, random things, you know, we’re just like, “Oh, the plants don’t look healthy, change this or that.” We’ll look and see what the mills of everything are currently. And you guys can give me some idea, right? The technical advice has been incredible here. We’ve talked about stocks, tanks, we talked about reservoirs, indoor, outdoor greenhouse, man. And we’ve talked about pH significantly. But I really want to talk about this, because this is something that confuses people. And like, here in Oklahoma, the pH out of the, out of the ground or out of the tab is like 8.5 often. And you know, like what’s the best way to deal with PH in your product? And or some of the ways that are the best ways to accomplish this?

 

Leland:  In terms of pH in the product, when you’re using it?

 

Chip:  pH in the product, you’re using or if you’re in a situation that’s like, a large scale outside where you can’t necessarily pH it or how do you deal with it?

 

Matt:  Well, we’d check your ppm. So if you’re, if you’re historically , if you have a high pH in your source water, and when I mean a high pH , it’s above 8, there’s a lot of carbonate and bicarbonate in the water, about 50% of the water is going to be carbonate bicarbonate. So if you have 400 parts per million water, 200 parts per million of that 8 to 8.5 or 9 pH is going to be carbonate bicarbonate. And that’s important though, because that’s easy to get rid of. You can put in holding tanks and actually just use acid and precipitate off all that bicarbonate, and that’s filtering your water through acid injection basically. And then the other thing is, is understanding what the remainder of that water is. If it’s calcium or magnesium –

 

Chip:  What kind of acid?

 

Leland:  You could use phosphoric acid, sulfuric acid.

 

Zach:  And you can get lysergic if you have enough of it.

 

Chip:  Oh, excellent, that’s my choice.

 

Leland:  But yeah, you can go –

 

Chip:  But you don’t want that to go down.

 

Leland:  if you’re concerned about clogs –

 

Zach:  You’d be using like, four grams a gallon. Not very cost effective.

 

Leland:  But no yeah, and if you’re concerned about cost, sulfuric acid spray probably the cheapest.

 

Chip:  Yeah, it’s, sulfuric acid is common in the agriculture industry, right?

 

Leland:  Oh, all the time.

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

 

Matt:  They  take up in a lot of places. That’s what I would I would look at first is what is what’s, what’s my water? You know, what is that 400 or, or 800 part per million? Because a lot of the time it’s not a big deal. You can get rid of you know, half of the bad things in it with acid and then you use some of the remainder of it, you can probably use.

 

Chip:  Right. And so you just like, have a big holding tank, drop the pH with sulfuric acid, and the bicarbonate drops out of solution. 

 

Leland:  It actually turns into CO2 and off gases.

 

Chip:  Okay, excellent. So you don’t even have any reservoir sediment at the bottom of your tank.

 

Leland:  No, no. And then –

 

Chip:  And do you have to drop your pH at any level for that? Or just…

 

Leland:  Around, below five is recommended. That’s a really loose recommendation, because say someone who’s using RO water, which is not part of this conversation, it would take such a small amount to get it to be that go down. But in high pH water, I would say get it below five, and then check it often, about every hour to three hours, if you check it, you’ll start to watch the pH drift upward. And that’s your acid actually working and precipitating off of the carbonate. But if it keeps drifting up, it means that there’s not enough in there. So you want it to hold pH actually. 

 

Chip:  Okay. So you drop it to 5, and then it holds pH at..?

 

Leland:  It should stay around 5, but you’ll watch it go up and then add a little more so that you can get it to stay there.

 

Chip:  I see. And then when you reuse it in your reservoir, you just add, you just the new, you increase the pH or the fertilizer..?

 

Leland:  I would keep track of how much you use the first couple times, because then you’ll probably use about that same amount of acid every single time. And then at that point, if there’s not, if you haven’t used an excessive amount, run it in your injectors, and then use pH up to correct it. You’ll have added enough acid to precipitate off the bicarbonate, but there won’t be a lot left over to ruin the water quality. So then, just run it in your injectors and use pH up would be my recommendation. And at that point, we recommend potassium carbonate for the pH.

 

Chip:  Oh, okay. Sure. Sure,.

 

Leland:  Just like tables.

 

Chip:  You’re mixing them immediately with the Dositrons.

 

Leland:  Yeah, if you’re doing that, or if you’re going into a reservoir, pump it into a giant reservoir, throw in the fertilizer, and then adjust the pH just like you would with anything else. But ideally, ideally, if you’re you know, if you’re on a well, and you’re having to condition your water beforehand, you can get it to where you’ve got the perfect ratio of bicarbonate. That way, you don’t have to pH anymore, and you can kind of set it and adjust based on how heavy you’re going to be feeding and no, I’m adding less acidity later on in my cycle, so I’m going to need a little bit more aggressive of a pH. 

 

Chip:  That’s a great tip. I was trying to get to that earlier. So like you know, the best thing to do is to drop it down to 5 initially and get it to go up to 6.

 

Leland:  Yeah, if you’re anticipating it’s gonna rise by 10% or so. Um, you know, if that’s what you’ve seen is everybody’s gonna have a different experience. Water is pretty fickle. 

 

Matt:  I’m gonna say though the fertilizer takes about 80 to 120 parts per million bicarbonate carbonate to pH it like he said. To about you know, and that’s if you’re feeding anywhere from 1.6 up to 2.5. It’ll take between 80 and 120 parts per million. But if you leave some amount in there, then you won’t need pH up. It’ll just come out and then adjust itself.

 

Chip:  Sure. Sure. Now, I get it, man. Oh, man, that’s a great tip for so many people’s watering  at home, man.

 

Matt:  Yeah, ’cause that would be about right., somewhere in like the, you would want it to drift up to like the mid 6s.

 

Chip:  Mhm. Okay, okay. 

 

Leland:  I have the lucky water. I had Front Row at like 2.2, EC. My water goes down to about 5.9. And it’ll usually be resting at about 6.3, which for me is perfect watering daily in coco. 

 

Chip:  So many growers in Oklahoma are going to just rewind this past eight minutes and listen to this pH thing. This is such a crucial issue here. Because the water quality and then the bug pressure, right? And as soon as you get you know, off pH you know the bug pressure comes in, the mold comes in and it’s you know, your yields are going down and your water consumption;s changing. It’s like pH is just so crucial. And it’s often misunderstood. So many people don’t think you need to adjust the pH, especially if you’re using organic ingredients. And maybe there’s some argument for that. But most people that’s not the case at all. You have to control your pH no matter what your fertilizer source, right? In some way, it’s got to balance each other out, right? Acidity and alkalinity or you have to force the balance.

 

Matt:  Yeah. Soil’s got to control the pH , the water’s got to control the pH, but one of them has to.

 

Chip:  Yeah, one of them have to. You have to know what it is. It’s one of the most important things about growing cannabis.

 

Zach:  And we can also like you said, if they keep rewinding, and we can, if they just go on to the website, and leave their information, put an email in there. Matt, I’m sure can write up a candid email about this and then be able to send it off. So people have that as well.

 

Leland:  All of this conversation all day, that was, that was eight minutes of my life right there. Guys, reach out.

 

Matt:  Yeah. And then back to using your water, I think to be clear, the worst water contaminant that we’re looking for is sodium usually. I mean, we look for heavy metals, but they’re rare. We’ll look for nitrates, because they’re not good for people. But when we, when Leland: and I get a water report nine times out of 10, we’re looking for sodium. And we check out the calcium magnesium rates. But if your water starts to get above 30, 40 parts per million sodium, that’s going to, no matter what you’re using, it’s going to start affecting your quality in some shape or form. But if it’s not there and it’s bicarbonates and calcium, and magnesium, and other things, it’s very usable water.

 

Chip:  Right. Yeah, absolutely. Well man, I think it’s the perfect time to take a break. This has been The – and is, this is The Real Dirt. And today, it’s The Real Dirt with Front Row Ag. Hey, roll up another fat one. Look up one of my websites called cultivatecolorado.com, realdirt.com, growerscoco.com or hey, man, we’re talking about Front Row Ag, look up frontro2

Grower to Grower with Little Hill Cultivators

Grower to Grower with Little Hill Cultivators

The Real Dirt is known for interviewing some pretty great cannabis growers. But this episode isn’t really an interview.

Jeff from Little Hill Cultivators has been an almost regular guest on The Real Dirt, and one of our most reliable sources of insight into the current California cannabis industry. As a long time medical cultivator, Jeff transitioned into the recreational industry as well after legalization in California.

With any new legal cannabis industry there is bound to be some red tape, but California just about takes the cake, and wraps it up in red tape. Comparatively, Oklahoma has just about none.

Barriers to entry for cannabis growers

We can all agree that there needs to be some barriers to entry for cannabis growers in a legal industry. But each state varies on how many barriers they set up.

Oklahoma legalized medical cannabis in 2018, with sales taking off without a hitch in 2019, faster and with more growth than any other state. This is because they had almost no barriers to entry, and even made it easier for out of state cannabis growers to come in and get started.

Up until the end of August 2019, any potential cannabis entrepreneur could move to Oklahoma, live there for 30 days, get residency and pursue state licensing. Now (post August) anybody trying to enter the Oklahoma medical cannabis industry from out of state must live in-state for two years before getting residency.

California on the other hand restricted anybody from getting a recreational cannabis license that didn’t already have a medical cannabis license and operation. On top of that, the application fees were insanely high, with additional charges for obtaining the license after approval.

Talking grower to grower

Talking about growing cannabis with somebody who just started or even has been doing it for a few years is nothing like two veteran Northern California cannabis growers getting together. There’s no beating around the bush, just Chip and Jeff talking about each others’ grows, what they each do differently and why.

We all know some growers that think they got the best set up, grow the best ganja and won’t hear a word that says otherwise. It takes years of learning, seeing other grows and assessing your own problems that you can really sit down and talk, grower to grower.

And this episode is just part one.

Stay tuned for part two

In part two of Grower on Grower with Little Hill Cultivators, Chip and Jeff continue their conversation about California’s strict regulations, Oklahoma’s growing industry, drip irrigation, industry predictions and more.

Follow us on Instagram (@therealdirtpodcast) and Facebook (@therealdirt) to stay updated on the next episode’s release and get fun cannabis content in the meantime.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

The Story Behind The Real Dirt Podcast

The Story Behind The Real Dirt Podcast

It started as a time killer between business ventures. Now it’s one of the most popular cannabis podcasts out there.

I had just sold Royal Gold, my first soil company. I was in the planning stages for Grower Soil, but still had a lot of free time. As a serial entrepreneur, I couldn’t just hang out, I had to do something.

I asked my friends Hollis and Michael for ideas, and they brought up the concept of hosting a cannabis podcast. All I had to do was try and talk about cannabis for about an hour. Like I even had to try.

Tony Don’t Smoke OG

In early 2016, I had no idea how to host a podcast. I didn’t have any of the gear. So I did what anybody would do and went to Google and YouTube. I found the best gear everybody was using, and it turned out to be pretty basic. Once I had the gear, I had to test it out.

While the first recordings I ever made are lost to time, my first real attempt at making a podcast would end up being released as Tony Don’t Smoke OG. I brought my gear over to my friend Tony’s house, and just started having a conversation with Tony over a joint.

As other friends would swing by, we would rope them into the smoke circle and ask them some questions. None of them ever reached a full episode’s length, but it was the beginning of The Real Dirt.

The Real Dirt Podcast

Once the end of 2016 rolled around, I had gotten a little more organized, built out a makeshift studio to dampen the outside noises and released the first episode with Christian Sederberg. It was a blast. We talked about the cannabis laws in Colorado, business compliance, and getting stoned.

It was the beginning of an incredible journey. Over the next couple years I would toke up with some of the biggest names in the industry from the team at Vicente Sederberg, Fletcher Watson of Archive Seed Bank and Mr Soul of Brothers Grimm Seeds, to the founders of Heavy 16 and Botanicare, and the creator of Green Dot Labs, Dave Malone.

Now it’s 2019, and from new episodes to re-releases, The Real Dirt has put out over 70 episodes. I know it ain’t a 3 hours episode every day like Joe Rogan and the other big guys, but that’s what makes The Real Dirt unique.

Next on The Real Dirt Podcast

There’s a lot coming down the pipeline for The Real Dirt, so don’t start getting sad that it might be over, ‘cus it isn’t. The Real Dirt has been in the same studio, which has been in the basement of my house in Denver, since the beginning. But Denver ain’t the only cannabis hub anymore.

Oklahoma’s medical cannabis market is about to explode, and I’m diving into it head-first. I got a new Cultivate shop opening in OKC, plus a bunch of other businesses in the works that I can’t wait to start talking about on the podcast. But of course that’s not all that’s new.

There will be a new Real Dirt studio soon, and I’ll be having more awesome guests on from all over the country. From growing it, to building a business around it, to financing it and staying ahead of the competition, The Real Dirt is going to keep bringing a wide range of expert guests from all realms of the cannabis industry.

From California to Maryland, up and down the coasts and everywhere in between, The Real Dirt will continue to bring you the latest industry news, trends and classic smoke stories. Whether you’re in the grow, driving home or just lounging with a joint, The Real Dirt has an episode for you.

Check out all of our episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to your podcasts now.

Connecting to Your Cannabis: Tony Don’t Smoke OG

Connecting to Your Cannabis: Tony Don’t Smoke OG

It can get stressful in the garden. Believe it or not, your plants can feel that stress too, and it can impact their health.

Just like how science has proven that plants will react to various genres of music differently, the energy or vibrations your body can give off to its surroundings may have a similar effect. Obviously this isn’t as scientifically proven, but if you’ve been growing for a long time, you know.

Throwback Episode

In this week’s episode of Tony Don’t Smoke OG, Chip, Tony and I225 talk about how they relax in the garden when they get stressed. I225 has utilized meditation in his grow to help cope with stress. He believes it also helps him connect with his plants, feel how they are feeling and vice versa.

Then the crew talks about the 2016 election, which candidates they were for and against during the race, and why there hasn’t been a president that has really been good for cannabis yet.

Another short and sweet Tony Don’t Smoke OG episode for your enjoyment.

Looking for something a little longer? Listen to last week’s episode about finding work in the fastest growing industry in the country.