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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

The Real Dirt on Growing with Salts [Front Row Pt. 1]

The Real Dirt on Growing with Salts [Front Row Pt. 1]

Growing cannabis with salt fertilizers and powder nutrients

Powder nutrients, liquid nutrients, salts….what’s the difference? Probably not as much as you might think.

There’s no shortage of controversial debates among cannabis growers:

And the list goes on…

But a debate that has become more popular recently is one with a lot of misconceptions, and that debate is growing with salts vs anything else.

What are Salts?

Just like the word “organics” can cover a wide range of nutrients, micronutrients and other inputs, the word “salts” covers a wide range of naturally or synthetically derived minerals that are beneficial to cannabis cultivation. The name comes from the consistency of the product which can look like coarse or rounded salt.

The real difference between salts and liquid nutrients is, well, the liquid. That’s about it really.

Liquid nutrients are more or less salts that have been dissolved or mixed with water and bottled. In other words liquid nutrients are diluted salts.

For most salts and liquid nutrients, that’s where the differences end. So if that’s the case, which should you choose?

Front Row Ag and the benefits of Salts

Front Row Ag is a small-team nutrient company that created a 3-part line of salts that is easy to use, leading a lot of growers to make the switch from liquid nutrients. From application to impact, the difference with Front Row Ag nutrients is clear.

In Part 1 of The Real Dirt ft. Zach, Leland and Matt from Front Row Ag, Chip and the guys start scratching the surface of why Front Row went with a synthetic salt product, how they have become so popular over the last couple of years, the right and wrong ways to mix a reservoir and more.

Transcript

Chip:  Hey welcome once again to another fabulous episode of The Real Dirt. And today, it’s The Real Dirt with Front Row Ag. Hey man, you know, we sell tons of different products at Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC. Hey look, there’s somebody wanting to buy some products right now. Front Row Ag is one of our more popular dry soluble products. Man today I’ve got Matt: Zealand. It’s a team of Zach and Leland together, the sales team, the technical support team Zealand. No, Zach and Leland and Matt. These guys, Matt’s the product formulator for the company, Zach and Leland, they’re the product technical support sales staff. And man, we’re really excited about this product. At Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC, we have turned so many commercial and home growers onto this. It is such a great and easy product to use. And hey, man, thanks for you guys showing up here today.

 

Front Row:  Appreciate it. Thanks for having us.

 

Chip:  Alright. So yeah, man, what do we got here? Let’s uh, what kind of weeds did you guys bring? This import you got here? What’s, what’s going on? I hadn’t seen any other [inaudible 1:33] doughnuts. Did you, did you have any donuts

 

Zach:  I had some donut.

 

Chip:  Yeah, that’s gonna be my new Oklahoma strain called Donut.

 

Zach:  Donuts?

 

Matt:  Coffee and donuts.

 

Chip:  Coffee and donuts, because most people don’t, people don’t understand Oklahoma’s known for many things. Donut shops, independent donut shops all over Oklahoma. Massage parlors, and now, cannabis dispensaries. They’re everywhere. On every block in every corner, you’ll see those three things. 

 

Matt:  Interesting.

 

Chip:  And I’ll tell you, but I tell you what’s hard to find though, is weed that smells this good. Man, this is really, really, really great looking smelling ganja. Mmm, you know, I usually don’t smoke on my show. But I’m gonna ask you to pass a paper and a grinder over here and we’ll put it together. 

 

Matt:  You got it. It’s an honor.

 

Chip:  So yeah, Front Row, man. These guys have brought a great product to the market. It is market driven, what customers want, what commercial gardeners want. And today, we’re gonna tell you everything about it. And man, I’m just gonna go ahead and preface this, these guys did not pay at all for the advertisement on this. But this will be very much like an infomercial, because we’re gonna tell you exactly how to use this product or all of their products. A and B Bloom SI Bio – is it bioflow?

 

Leland:  Bioflow.

 

Chip:  Bioflow and Unleash. We’re gonna give you the technical details for outdoor, indoor greenhouse, in the ground, pots, drip, sprinklers. So sit back, roll the largest joint you can and join us for this episode of The Real Dirt. Alright, Zach: tell us about Front Row Ag, how you started and where we are today.

 

Zach:  So we started with Front Row Ag approximately two years ago, the product was developed by Matt: Karen, somewhere about seven years ago.

 

Matt:  Still can’t say my last name. 

 

Leland:  Yeah, started yeah, we started the product about five years ago. And I met Zach and the guys two years ago.

 

Zach:  Yep. So around two years ago, my business partner Patrick and I took over distribution of the products pretty much worldwide. And here we are today in Oklahoma, a few years later.

 

Chip:  Oklahoma clap.

 

Zach:  Oklahoma. There we go.

 

Chip:  You know, Matt, you said you’d been working on this project for a number of years. You’re, you’re in Michigan, is that right?

 

Matt:  No, I live in Northern Phoenix.

 

Chip:  You’re in, you’re in Arizona?

 

Matt:  Yep. Started growing in Colorado back in 2008, 2009 in Fort Collins and Loveland area. And then I’ve been cultivating for the better part of 10 or 11 years. And five years ago, you know, really had the idea for making the fertilizer well before that, but love growing. It’s really what I, what my passion was and always wanted to do. And so I stayed out of sales and making products and doing that business. At a certain point we saw a really, really high need for saving people money delivering a quality formulation. And so we just started making the idea a reality.

 

Chip:  Man so, you know, I’m always interested in that business spark and what brought you to it. What were,  what was kind of like the key reason that you wanted to develop this, this type of dry fertilizer product that’s for the cannabis industry?

 

Matt:  Well, from a community perspective, just saving people money and not taking advantage of them. With [inaudible 5:14], the straw that broke the camel’s back for me and deciding to start dedicating less time to cultivation management, consulting for other people’s businesses and making a fertilizer, was making fertilizer buy from scratch for five, five acre outdoor farm, and burning it, burning it down as a result of making the fertilizer wrong. And saying, “Well, if it’s as easy as picking up the wrong bag with the same font and letters and colors, and you can ruin millions of dollars worth of weed, it should be a lot easier than that. But you shouldn’t be forced to go to go and spend exuberant amount of amounts of money to make that happen either.” And so we decided we’re gonna start Front Row.

 

Chip:  So you know, many people they say this term like, all the time. “I’m on salts, I’m on salts, I’m on salts.” But it’s really like not exactly what’s going on, right? Like, what they mean is they’re on a dry soluble powder. Tell us kind of like, the difference between, you know, a cheap commercial like, cucumber fertilizer and Front Row.

 

Matt:  The quality of the inputs on any good agricultural fertilizer, you’re going to have a grade. And that grade is you know how well they filtered it, how many contaminants and other things that are going to be in it that you don’t expect. And then, there’s just the quality of the inputs, certain fertilizers are more soluble and less, less soluble than others. And generally, the more soluble they are,  and most cases they’re a better quality, but also more expensive. So a lot of companies can make choices to cut corners and still get you fertilizer in a bottle, but that they just use cheaper and lower quality inputs.

 

Chip:  One of the things that y’alls customers say and Leland, this probably a great like question for you is  ike, how much easier it’s kind of made their lives from using like a 14-part based formula. Because many of these people come from an indoor environment, an inside environment, and now they’re scaling, right?

 

Leland:  Yeah, definitely. We see a lot of people who are super happy with the transitions. I mean, it’s a pretty simple transition overall, there’s nothing to really be concerned about in terms of making the switch onto the salts. That being said, as far as the ease of use, it’s literally a three part blend is what you’re using most of the time. Now we’re nixing out all the Cal mag, any extra micronutrients that you might be adding, and just kind of rolling with an A and a B blend through veg, adding a bloom amendments, so basically a PK booster when you get in the flower. So it’s really, really simple to use. It’s even simpler when we mess the stock on straight, which we’ll get into later. But um, yeah, I got a lot of guys who open their bags, and they’ll either be pre-weighing it, so they can just add it right into a reservoir right away and not have to be messing with the scale. Or, they’re just dissolving it right away into warm water and adding into the reservoir, which compared to mixing multiple bottles, they’re trying to pay attention to weighing anything out exactly, it makes it a lot more streamlined.

 

Chip:  Man I’m sorry, I’m smoking this joint. It’s taste so good. I didn’t hear anything you just said.

 

Leland:  I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

 

Chip:  What were we, what were we talking about? 

 

Front Row  Nothing. Just water, man.

 

Chip:  No, it’s true. And you know, one of the misnomers that maybe non-cannabis industry people don’t realize is that it’s not all the same, right? That those big chunky salts that happened to be in you know, the cucumber food or in their tomato food, or you know that they get at their local feed and seed for 15 bucks for 20 pounds, it’s nothing like this product. Most because it’s the micronutrient. Hey Matt:, let’s, let’s talk about the micronutrients in your product and how it is different from, from, say, you know, I don’t know Jack’s, or Peters, or something like that.

 

Matt:  Well, I think on the micro side, when you start there with say calcium, magnesium is probably the biggest difference in our product, before we get into the the metals. But a lot of other products out in the market just from inclusion standpoint, you find two things, they either try to put too many products, ingredients are in one products. And then they can’t fit enough of the magnesium, the calcium in that bag. And so you end up buying a different additive or a different product they make. Or the industry throughout time has created such an importance on Piquet’s, calcium, magnesium, that they’ve made a belief almost that they have to come in separate bottles and you have to use them in addition. But really it’s just clever marketing or you know, preying on what people have been told over, and over, and over, versus our product because we separate out all the micronutrients and all the calcium into one product. We have a really high inclusion rate of magnesium and calcium, and you don’t have to go buy another product for that. And it’s, makes our product even easier to use as well.

 

Chip:  So you know, this is, the history of cannabis fertilizer is really fascinating to me, because you know, there’s this long agricultural history that’s associated with, with dry products that you mix in a large stock reservoir. You’re shipping around this dry product, but then at some point, I mean, Joe Hydro did this. And you know, did it for all of us, and it was great to some degree in the hydro industry, is they made these products in a liquid form, right? In the 70s, and, you know, that’s when they came out with this first three part 1976 or something like that. Like, that’s products been going on a long time. And y’alls technologies literally liked, developed 40 years later, or something, 30 years later. So you know, you think there’s a considerable amount of technological advancements that have happened in that time. There has been, but in our industry, it’s almost all until now been liquid-oriented, right? Like, you guys got any, I mean as salespeople, you guys got any theories on why we kept a hold of the liquid fertilizers for such a long time?

 

Zach:  I mean, I can speculate. I’ve been selling fertilizers, going into my 13th year, I started with Advanced Nutrients. So that’ll tell you back in the day, you know, selling the liquids and I would say at some level, you know, prior to that, Advanced Nutrients, actually one of their first products was all powder. You can go back and still look at GH, and you can see like even Maxi and all these other products that are still high-selling products in the market. I think that at one point what happened was, it was turned, it turned out to be like an ease of use thing. You know, it’s a hell of a lot easier. Most of the time to measure our mLs compared to grams, people mess that shit up all the time. But you think as –

 

Chip:  They took out liquid mLs.

 

Zach:  Yeah, liquid mLs compare, you know, you’d figure people by then would already figure out how to use some scales.

 

Matt:  Especially the small scale too. One of those, you know, one light, two lights, or four lights?

 

Chip:  Yeah, I mean, it’s two lighters. The two light guys definitely got a scale.

 

Matt:  I think at that level too, the cost don’t matter as much. It’s, you know, you’re a hobbyist and, and the amount that you’re probably going to get per gram or per pound, it’s going to be exuberant. And you’re not as concerned about the liquid fertilizer?

 

Zach:  Yeah, there’s an,  I think at some level too, it was one thing and I always like to put throw this out there too, especially when I’m talking to a larger scale of people that can see like, what’s going on in say, one of the hydro stores and they look at all the bottles. Me personally, I felt blessed to work for Advanced early on with all those bottles because you know, if you look back over 10 years ago, when Big Mike’s split up all those bottles, he taught a lot of growers how to grow. Like most guys, they had all these products in two or three, four bottles. Let’s say five bottles total. 

 

Chip:  Oh yeah.

 

Zach:  Well, he split them up. And yeah, it was a brilliant marketing idea. And it’s the reason why people can even sell liquid fertilizer at the price they do, is because of Big Mike but he split everything up. So people actually had to learn, “Oh, I’m, I’m deficient here or something else is going on here.” So in return, here’s another bottle yes, but here’s why you’re using this, and let me tell you all about it. So it was, it was genius in multiple ways but.

 

Chip:  Yeah, you know, there’s lots of bad feelings or emotions over Advanced Nutrients. But man, I’m gonna tell you what Big Mike really did for us, is he was the first company who’s like, “We’re growing weed bitches.” Right? Like, “This is for weed. This is the two pound plus formula.” Remember that?

 

Zach:  Dude, when I used to walk into a hydro store, I’m -no bullshit. If I start talking Advanced Nutrients, they’re like, “Hey, man, we got to keep us on the down”  I looked at him. I’d be like, “You don’t get my products.” I’m lying. I’m like, “I’m here to teach you how to do this.”

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely. Lots of people hated on those guys. And you know, man, honestly, I think they were hated on because they were so successful. And they were pioneers in the industry in so many ways. I mean, they pioneered the ultra expensive supplement, right? I mean, oh my god, they were the first people to have the most expensive supplements.

 

Leland:  They made it fun too.

 

Chip:  They made it fun, yeah.

 

Leland:  And I think that was the real draw to liquid nutrients, was that there was like, you know, if I add this, I might get better results than I did last time. If you keep doing that and getting different results, like –

 

Chip:  Everybody’s got something different to do. I get to be involved with my plant.

 

Leland:  The difference between adding humic acids or adding a, you know, like guanos or just running a product with nothing added to it like, and seeing the nuances that can develop, whether it’s from those products or not, you know, it might just be all placebo, but it works. I mean, it’s definitely a consumer experience to be adding those new things and seeing what’s around the corner.

 

Zach:  That’s a progression thing.

 

Leland:  I apologize.

 

Zach:  No go ahead, that’s kind of a progression thing, too, is like you know, somebody starts off with all these bottles, which is not a bad idea. And then they progress into hopefully they’ll land when they become pros at Front Row. So it’s like they can either become a be like, be a pro. But what’s really cool about our product too, is it’s extremely simplified to where somebody that is using those 15 bottles can understand, “Holy shit, I can use three.”

 

Matt:  Well a lot of growers do as they as they scale up. Even like myself from a couple [inaudible 14:58] to barns, to warehouses, to commercial grows. You have those bottles and you realize well, “I’m probably gonna end up using them all in about the same way throughout the edge, and the same way throughout flower every single time.” And it really doesn’t need to be this complicated or at least have this many steps to the process every single time. I mean originally back in 2010 and ’11, that’s when we’re either using Advanced Nutrients or like, even Neutraplus with a bunch of bags of salt or botanic airs like,  why are we, why we went measuring out every single one of these over, and over, and over again when we just use it the same way?

 

Chip:  Okay, okay. Well if you, if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while and 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 this manufacturer. All inside, we treat it like a bakery. We start out clean, we in clean, we clean up while we’re going through the day. We really try to take a great effort to put this quality product together. So the number one reason you should use Growers HP is man, it 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 the second reason that you should buy Growers HP is man, just the increased 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 or really dry high elevation area in Colorado. So it dries out really nicely and when it gets into 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 really a light a product, that the moisture is controlled in it specifically. Now, the fourth reason man, it’s a real easy one, man. It’s just ’cause 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. Hey guys, just a quick break to tell you about Cultivate OKC, Cultivate Colorado. You know, I got into the hydroponic supply business in 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. You know, I hadn’t opened up a retail shop and I 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, 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.

 

Chip:  Leland, you brought up a really good point. And Matt, also to talk about yours about this hobbyist level is like, you know, now we look on four lights or six lights as a hobbyist level. But for years like, those guys were like, the dope growers.

 

Matt:  Oh, crushing it.

 

Chip:  Right? And that was how big you got. And so you wouldn’t, the power company or your neighbor wouldn’t come on and knock on your door, right? It didn’t smell so much that like, it caused a problem in the neighborhood. And the power company, if they were looking at your power’s, like “Oh, he likes to be cold, oh, he likes to be warm.” It wasn’t that much power difference, right? But those hobbyists, they were making a lot of money, right? And you know, they were able to like, have great lifestyles and go on, snowboard and surf trips and start families and businesses, and all the crazy things we’ve all seen growers do. But it also gave them all this economy to invest in these expensive products. But they got to do something every day, because it doesn’t take much to grow four lights, right? But you want to be involved, right? And you guys, hey, man, there’s somebody out there who’s lying to all your friends, telling them how hard you’re working, and you only got four lights, but you’re doing pretty well for yourself. It’s cool, we know your secret. 

 

Zach:  Making it sound like a full time job.

 

Chip:  And you’re making it sound like, “No, I gotta go work in the garden.” And it’s just [inaudible 21:23]. What pearl snaps are in this season? 

 

Matt:  [inaudible 21:30].

 

Chip:  But now, my point is it really gave people something to do. And what’s happened now is that the industry changed, and there’s plenty of ganja growing to keep yourself busy, right? And you can’t be screwing around like, every week with like, a complex different formula. And like, and be having employees involved with that type of stuff. You know, even if they’re great employees, people make mistakes. man.

 

Matt:  Also a lot of variables.

 

Chip:  Lots of variables. So previously, when all the growers were entertaining themselves with their fertilizer program, because they didn’t have anything else to do. Now, they get to grow way more weed and they don’t need to think about the fertilizer program.

 

Matt:  We all used to enjoy spending an hour and a half mixing up our reservoirs.

 

Chip:  Oh man the techniques I’ve seen people. I have great little side topic, let’s talk about some reservoir mixing techniques.

 

Matt:  Alright, I’ve got 200 gallon, open reservoirs on the ground where we just have mondi pumps mixed on them.

 

Chip:  Oh, yeah, yeah. That’s, that is a common way, man.

 

Matt:  Standard. 

 

Chip:  Yep, standard, standard mix. The, the no mix is my favorite.

 

Matt:  Oh, man.

 

Chip:  Right?

 

Matt:  Let it go stagnant.

 

Chip:  Fill your reservoir, mix it up once and then –

 

Matt:  Use it all.

 

Chip:  And don’t use it, and it begins to like, create bio funk, you know.

 

Matt:  Oh yeah, it gets funky. One of the barriers we’ve seen though is having a pump that pulls off the bottom, and then pushes the water with an airbrake back in the top. And those recirculating pretty constantly or at least several hours a day.

 

Chip:  There’s several lines out there who say don’t pump the water, because it’s biological life, and it’s going to make it grow, right? That’s not actually the case. Well, we’ll go back, we’re serious now is with your product you don’t have to worry about that. It’s a synthetic soluble salt product, right? If you have clean water going in, then you can just pump to mix the nutrients and not pumping water in for biological life to grow, right? 

 

Matt:  Oh, yeah. I mean, when one unintended consequence when people used to switch over to our fertilizer would shock their systems or clean their lines, they’d call us and be like, “Well, suddenly, there’s a bunch of this residue at the bottom of my tank that wasn’t there before.” And we’re like, “Well, it’s definitely not from the fertilizer, it’s soluble. And you know, you probably made it right.” And then we’d realize though, that it was because there was nothing to feed what used to be in their lines anymore, it was just sloshing out in the bottom of their tanks. And we’re like, “Alright, well shock your system and clean it and it’ll go away and it won’t happen again.”

 

Chip:  Right. Absolutely. You know, we’ve also got Jacob walk into the room, he is head of our commercial sales in Denver and throughout the nation. How’s it going, Jacob?

 

Jacob:  Doing good, doing good. How you guys doing?

 

Chip:  You’re on, you’re sharing mics right here with –

 

Jacob:  I’ll just lean into Leland’s chest here.

 

Chip:  Yeah. He talks so softly. Yeah, no, here, let me get, let me go [inaudible 24:58].

 

Matt:  That’s multiple decibels higher than Leland even from a distance.

 

Chip:  Absolutely. Just turn the mic towards you. There we go. Speak into the mic. Hey, Jacob. You know, we’ve had so many people switch over to Front Row. I mean, I don’t know if this is true, but I guarantee you, we’re one of the world’s largest vendors, right? Of product. Tell me why people switch over, Jacob.

 

Jacob:  Honestly, I would say probably the number one reason people switch over is because of you guys. You guys do a really good job of going out and giving customers the support that a lot of other companies don’t honestly, you know? There’s only a few select companies, I would say, especially nutrient companies that are actively on the ground. You can call them, you can ask a question , you know? A lot of people just kind of buy what’s being sold, you guys buy what works and people, you know, hear about that, they know about it, they hear about it from other growers. It’s more of like a word of mouth, you know what clearly does work, because other people are buying it because of the results they see. Yeah, and the other main reason for people switching over it, I mean, one would be the ease of use. I mean, simple three products, it’s really hard to mess up. You don’t have a bunch of people mixing and matching bottles, it’s also colored. And so you know, why would you ever put in blue twice, just wouldn’t happen. The cost, everyone’s trying to cut costs, but they don’t want to cut quality. You see, the quality still lives up to a lot of the other more expensive nutrient brands. And then just for employment, all of your employees that are at a basic entry level, they don’t really need to know all the intricacies of the product. Like I heard mentioned earlier, you can pre-weigh it out for every reservoir so you can have that control, when you just say, “Hey, put it in bag, A, B, C. Let it mix, move along with your day,” you know? Which I think is very valuable, especially as people scale up.

 

Chip:  Yeah, everybody like, like Ziploc and vacuum seal out some packs for their reservoir so their employees can handle it that way or..?

 

Matt:  Yeah. And one thing Jacob: brought up that’s super important is our customer service. Like I don’t think it could be understated as our team, they have real cultivation experience. Whether it’s years and years in their own, in their own gardens, or actual commercial facilities. And then the owners of the, of the company as well are commercial, commercial growers. And so any day of the week, you can call us and reach out and we’ll talk to you about your gardens, what’s going on in it, whether it’s fertilizer or not, IPM-related, you’re building systems, anything and everything. And we really just try to be there to support you increase the knowledge base and share what we’ve learned throughout the years.

 

Leland:  Like Matt said, we’re all growers ourselves. So I’ve been doing this every day for 10 to 12 years now, I grew up in greenhouses. My parents were [inaudible 27:11] growers. And yeah, the passion goes for the plant and what we’re doing and yeah. It’s just nice to wake up every day and be able to help everybody. You know, that’s what we live for, for sure. We’re all very, very happy with what we do. And we got your back 100%. It’s pretty much why we wanted to do this in the first place.

 

Chip: Yeah, you know, interesting, the customer service bleeds right over in to the ease of use, though, because you guys got some great like, b-charts.

 

Zach:  For me going, and going, going into that. But for us, Patrick and I that’s one thing that we really wanted to focus on, early on in our companies, was that the amount of customer service, it’s got to be unmatched out there in the industry. Like, not only on the store level, but the end user level, that’s where our main focus is. I mean, in reality, our main focus is making sure that the end user is getting the experience with the products that they deserve and they need, whether they buy it through the store or however they get it, it’s our responsibility to make sure that the end user has the best experience with the products.

 

Matt:  And part of the experience sometimes is the environment and a lot of other things that aren’t necessarily the product they’re buying. And so we’re trying to help them through that experience and make sure they get exactly what they expect.

 

Zach:  100%.

 

Jacob:  I’ve been to multiple grows with Leland on consultations, or just like, to give an overview of Front Row Ag, and he’s solved plenty of other problems right off the bat right  when he walked in. Not even trying to sell nutrients just like, you know, trying to actually help growers which is extremely valuable, especially.

 

Matt:  I’m sure Leland has that conversation regularly is, “Hey, you can use any fertilizer, really. But it’s, these are the things that you need to do right now that we’re seeing that we could be most impactful with and help you. And you know, Front Row is gonna help you get there as well. But here’s, here’s the thing. If we’re doing our jobs right, then the fertilizer’s a secondary conversation. Now that’s, that’s the goal is like, to not have to think about fertilizer anymore, and let’s see where else we can level up. And one of the advantages of being where we’re at is that we get to chat, it’s part of our job to chat with everybody else in the industry has got cool shit. So you know, we get to see the best LEDs, we get to see who makes the best soil shout out to Chip, and –

 

Chip:  Growers Soil, growerscoco.com. 

 

Matt:  And, yeah, we like to make sure that all of our friends who share the same kind of passion and vision that we do are, are all on the same team. And we’re all speaking the same language.

 

Zach:  You know, the technical support for us is, is the main key. We feel like we have one of the best products on the market. In order for that product to work properly, like Matt: said earlier, is that we have to have their proper environment. So one of the things that we’ve always focused on with the growers is being in these grows and in allowing the space, and being comfortable enough with our partners that we can point out the different forms of variables that they have that are causing adverse effects down the road, which is really important. That’s what we love to do, is we’re not ever trying to go into a grow and point out, you know, miscomings, or bad habits or whatever, but it’s the idea that if we can move past some of these small variables that are keeping them behind, the product’s gonna shine itself. So.

 

Chip:  Yeah, absolutely. There is a lot of emotion that goes into growing cannabis. And it’s always this like, dance. You have to play a little bit with people’s cultivation facilities, and maybe even their egos, because we all put a lot into what we do, and we’re proud of it. But the easy ones are when you go into a room, and you’re like, “Oh, well, you just got my soil, for instance, but I can see you have everything to adjust your environment, right. You’re just not doing it right. But hey, look up a VPD chart here, check this out, right? Follow this, right?” And like, you know, they change that, they use my soil, and they immediately do better, right? Now, it’s this whole combination of things that go on, but it’s like, what you guys bring to the table. Well, we all bring to the table, Jacob: brings to the table is like, it’s product support, right? We’re here to help you do whatever you’re doing better, right? You’re on, you got your own style. Everyone does, right? I’m sure you guys have people that use your nutrients not off the feed chart? Correct me, of course, right?

 

Zach:  That’s a, that’s a guideline anyways. It’s a, it’s a basic starting point anyways, right?

 

Matt:  A lot of time when people figured out something that works for them in terms of schedule, or strength, and we make that recommendation, I’ll just say, “Anything that has fertilizer in it, stop using it and use Front Row.” But coming to a similar EC or ppm, you know, start from there. And that might not be exactly what the feed chart always says either.

 

Chip:  Yeah, there’s a varying water quality throughout Oklahoma and the country for sure. So, you know, people have figured out, you know, ways to use fertilizers within their water quality limitations, right? And that’s one of the major things we see here in Oklahoma is a base, you know, a ppm of 400 all throughout the state. In some places, it’s 1200.

 

Matt:  Yeah, if people aren’t using RO, we do offer actually a hard water formulation.

 

Chip:  Yeah. Oh, absolutely. So, so many people in Oklahoma are using RO. I know, we’re all on it, we suggest people to get on. It helps up so much less, man, let’s talk about the RO formulation.

 

Matt:  Yeah, what about it?

 

Chip:  Yeah. Why should I mean, if I’m using RO, why should I use it?

 

Matt:  So yeah, there’s a, I guess there’s probably a misconception. And maybe a better way to explain why do we have a hard water formula, is out there in the world, one thing we help customers from a customer service standpoint is we take their water out of their well, the spicket, or even their RO system just to really verify it’s working and test it. And a lot of time in water, there’s ions or attributes of it that are really, really good, but forever and ever just like, walking into kind of a hydro store and buying one product for one solution, people have always been told that they have to use RO systems.

 

Chip:  And it makes zero.

 

Matt:  It makes zero. But there might be fertilizer or bicarbonates in the water that are unbelievably helpful. And then water out of a well or the ground also has good dissolved oxygen and good energy. Our RO filter is a sodium filter. So the moment you run that water through it, you strip all the energy out of it along with all the ions you just took out of it. So from there, you should condition the water, the RO water. Either circulate it to give it energy, use something to put energy back into it, and then also add dissolved oxygen back into that water. And then it’s good quality irrigation water. But RO water that’s not conditioned properly, time and time over, it can be worse than someone’s just general water.

 

Chip:  If you have these high ppms that we, people do in throughout Oklahoma and you’re not using RO, what’s a really good way to use your product? How, which one of these products of yours should I use, I use the hard water product?

 

Matt:  Well reach out to us first and the first thing we do is bottle your water up and then we we’ll tell you. We’ll say it’s either gonna be a combination of these products, or it’s all the hard water formulation or all the regular formulation.

 

Chip:  And people just call you guys up and ask this all the time?

 

Matt:  All day every day.

 

Chip:  Alright, alright everybody, put your joint down. And pull your phone out and I want you to like, log on to all of this information. Alright, let’s start with like, the best way to like, get in touch with you guys.

 

Leland:  Well, multiple ways. We have, you can go online and request it. You can call directly. You can find us on our Instagram pages. 

 

Chip:  What’s the,  let’s start with the Instagram. What’s the Instagram?

 

Zach:  It would be front row, so it’d be front underscore row underscore AG, on Instagram.

 

Chip:  And they can message you guys that way?

 

Zach:  You can get us there and then, in each territory, all of the team members have individual tags. So that they can also go there depending on which area you’re in. But initially, if you wanted to reach out direct, you can go right to the website, www.frontrow.com,  put your information in there and somebody can reach out pretty quick to you.

 

Matt:  But the Instagram and then this since [inaudible 35:14] are our distributor and partner and all that, they have, each of their handles are like, Soulstice or Farmer John, Soulstice Leland: or whatever. Leland:, what’s your handle?

 

Chip:  Soulstice.colorado.

 

Matt:  There you go.

 

Chip:  There you go. So, when people call up, when people message, they’re going to be talking to you guys, though?

 

Matt:  They talk to us.

 

Chip:  They talk to you, one of you three, may be somebody else, right?

 

Zach:  They’re talking directly to us, we don’t pass it on. Whether they’re asking questions about lights, or fertigation, or mediums or –

 

Matt: 18444206883.

 

Leland:  My bad. Sorry, that’s the call-in number. If you want to go on the website and go down to the customer service section and fill out an account, that’s always the easiest way. That’ll send an email straight to me, or one of my guys, or one of the rest of the team rather, sorry. And yeah, we’ll, we’ll definitely be reaching out ASAP.

 

Zach:  We are your guys. Team. 

 

Matt:  If you’re using RO water, it’s pretty straightforward. We recommend the regular formulation. And then we’ll talk to you about the, how to treat the RO and make sure you’re getting the most out of the money you’re spending on the, on the system. And process, if you’re going to try to use your well water, city water very quickly in the process, we have you bottle it up and we test it for you.

 

Chip:  That makes it great, man. And you know, this, this old school like, approach, you know, the vendors and the grow shops, we were all the original, quote unquote, “consultants.” And we were really product support people. But, but we were the people who were the front lines that helped people grow for years before there were consultants. And now so many – and I do have a consultant company, Greener Group Consulting. 

 

Matt:  You can check them out on Instagram.

 

Chip:  Yeah, yeah, yeah. I have so many consultants now. But you can really cut to the chase. Most farmers, they can call people like you guys, right? They can call Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC and literally get all the product support that many consultants charge them for. And all they have to do is buy the products, they just buy the fertilizer, they just buy some lights or something. Or you don’t even have to do that at the grow store, you can just come in and ask some questions and we’d love to chat with you, right? And, and that’s the customer support, the technical support that we all started with, and that we’re offering to you all.

 

Zach:  And what’s good about that as well is the majority of us have been doing as long as we have, we have connections with all of the other companies, whether they’re the reps or the owners of these lighting companies or fertigation companies, we’re able to get the answers that are needed no matter what. But usually, I mean, you guys at the end, especially at your store’s level, you guys got the answers.

 

Chip:  Yeah, well, we see so many people come in. I mean, how many people we got, come in at the Denver stores there every week? Hundreds of people, commercial growers. 

 

Zach:  A thousand.

 

Chip:  Yeah, a week, hundreds for sure. And that’s not counting all the deliveries or all the conversations with the growers that we have all over the country. And our ability to hear what everybody’s doing and how everybody’s progressing, I mean, it’s this great like, experiment on our part. Because Jacob gets to sell all these people you know, your product. And then we end up talking to them they’re like, “Oh, dude, this is going great man. Oh, I love Michigan. Oh man, I Maryland. Oh, it’s great. Oh man, in New York’s great. I love it. Man, we’re down in Florida.” But you know and it’s awesome that we get to see people from all over the country like, use the product and hear all this feedback on how they do it. And the learning curve on that is incredible. And chances are we’ve seen a grow that’s been super successful just like yours, just like the one you’re in right now that maybe you’re having problems with, or that maybe you think you’re crushing at, or maybe you’re legitimately crushing at it. Like, we have seen people just like, destroy the yields and quality in the very same type of room that you’re growing in. So if you want to give us a call it at Cultivate Colorado, Cultivate OKC, cultivateokc.com, stop in the store. Man, we’d love to chat with you about your grow room and help you achieve the best you absolutely can.