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Improving Happy Frog Soil

Discussion in 'Organics' started by TaylorBoy22, May 29, 2009.


    TaylorBoy22 Member

    So I just got a 50lb bag of Happy Frog potting soil from Fox Farm and I've been going over some ways to improve it. I've heard that Happy Frog is too hot for youngins and burns them, but I've also heard that it is perfectly fine for all stages of growth. Regardless I'm going to improve the soil any way that I can.

    I know I need to add perlite for drainage and aeration. FF makes some "chunky" perlite which they say can be used to line the bottom of containers and mixed into soil for better drainage and what not. But it looks a little too big for me, but idk, has anyone ever used it?? I was thinking of using coarse horticulture grade perlite because its more fine and seems easier to mix but who knows.

    Anyhoo I was thinking of adding some Myco Maximum from Humboldt Nutrients to the HF soil to start off. Then I was going to add perlite to this improved HF soil until the mix is about 25% perlite.

    Then I was going to make a seedling/clone mixture that was around 30%-50% perlite and 70%-50% HF soil to fill in the top quarter of the containers(the top four inches or so). This way the seedlings will have to dig to get to the more fertile soil and by then they'll be older and wont be weak enough to get burnt, also their roots wont have to works as hard to spread down and out :)

    In addition I will line the bottom of the pots with lava rock/gravel for more drainage. Also I will start watering with Rhizotonic and 75-80 degree ph balanced chlorine free water only. I am trying to get a large healthy root mass started as soon as possible since im starting an Auto strain-Easy Ryder(AK-47 x Lowryder #2)- whos lifespan is only 11 weeks or so.

    Anyone have any suggestions on how I can further improve this Happy Frog soil??


    seph Active Member

    i used ocean's forest, but i was concerned about the same thing, so i just added a bit of light warrior. I've also heard some people say they prefer the chunky kind of perlite. i also transplanted them and when i transplanted them i used more ocean's forest than before.

    i've barely ever even fertilized them and they've been doing fine, as far as i can tell. but this is my first serious grow so maybe you would want somebody else's advice.

    morrisgreenberg Well-Known Member

    you dont need to add the myccorhizal, HF already has it inside, use water under 75F, aside from adding perlite, that soil is fine, too hot for my tatse but fox farms soil is excellent for a reason....it has everything you could possibly put in a mix. if you really want to tinker, then i advise you to add espoma's bio-ton starter plus for transplanting, all you need to do is mix it all up or like i do i sprinkle it inside the dug out hole for the new transplant, using the stuff you will not see any transplant shock, the plant wont skip a beat(the bio-tone has mycco in it too) and its like $5 for 4lb bag as opposed to like $20 for straight up mycco

    SmokeyMcpott Active Member

    I have used the FFOF for about 4 grows of auto hindu kush, and about 4 grows of auto AK-47 X Blueberry. The AK X blue is very very sensitive to nutes, and I find the soil alone will get them thru best. The hindu kush can take more nutes, but dont need it until they start flowering (14-20 days old), at that point I go light with big bloom for every other watering and light tiger bloom once weekly..... depending on how they look. I have started seeds in OF and added 2 TBSP of the starter (mycco and humic acid) per gallon, but I found it best to add the starter to the OF at transplant time.....it's just too much for sprouts. My new grow is in Happy Frog, wich I am hoping will solve the dilema of not having enough time to get the nutes and Mycco in with the autoflowers before they start flowering...since it's in there to start with. Hope this helps!

    dbo24242 New Member

    Hey, I got some happy frog and cut it with a load of perlite to make it fluffier.

    The general consensus seems to be people use Happy Frog for seedlings and cuttings and such and Ocean Forest for transplanting into in the more aggressive stages of growth. Reason being OF is more likely to burn your plants since it is a much hotter soil.

    From my experience I have a seedling in Happy Frog and it did turn a little bit yellow (looks a tad bit burned) but there was no necrotic damage and it looks to be doing pretty well. It is a strain I find to have higher tolerance for nutrients in DWC. I also added a little bit of a 'hot' mycorrhizae supplement and cut the HF with vermiculite and perlite, but yeah happy frog is certainly capable of burning your seedlings.

    danny12 New Member

    is mixing miraclegrow with happy frog soil better?

    puffntuff Well-Known Member

    I mix happy and ocean forest to keep the moms in and never have a prob

    kevin Well-Known Member

    why not just use straight miracle gro? a lot of people do with great results.


    phyzix Well-Known Member

    I have gone from seed to harvest in HF and OF without a problem. I do 1/3 - 1/2 Perlite mix depending on how often I will need to water later on.

    phyzix Well-Known Member

    From Organic Gardening Magazine, July/August 2000 Issue:

    Miracle-Gro is a synthetic fertilizer that contains ammonium phosphate and several other chemicals that can be toxic to your soil and plants. It is prohibited from use in certified-organic farming. Here’s what soil expert Robert Parnes, Ph.D., says in his book Fertile Soil: "[Ammonium fertilizer] acidifies the soil, and thus it is probably more harmful to soil organisms than any other nitrogen fertilizer . . . . The application has to be timed carefully and placed properly to avoid burning the leaves and roots . . . . In addition, ammonium tends to inhibit the release of . . . potassium . . . Ammonium fertilizers are deliberately manufactured to be spread at high application rates in order to obtain maximum yields with no regard to adverse effects on the soil. Probably nowhere is the conflict between the mass production of food to feed the world and the preservation of the soil more obvious than in the confrontation over the use of either ammonium fertilizers or liquid ammonia."

    And there’s more: long-term studies at the University of Wisconsin have shown that acidic chemical fertilizers are causing serious, permanent damage to our soils. Usually these fertilizers are also highly soluble, so they leach away and pollute our water systems, too. Soil fertility authority Garn Wallace, Ph.D., of Wallace Laboratories in El Segundo, California, points out that Miracle-Gro contains muriate of potash, which contains excess chlorine that will burn plants and inhibit the uptake of nitrogen. Dr. Wallace also warns that products such as Miracle-Gro often contain unsafe levels of zinc and copper that will be toxic to soil life.
    swedsteven likes this.

    hitdatshit21 Member

    LOLOLOL Someone with a backyard garden doesnt have to worry about polluting the worlds soil. Most all you guys who talk about MG soils and ferts are only repeating wat you have heard threw all the other goofballs that say the same thing. But then again i guess if all the BIG EXPENSIVE MJ fert companies didnt put out all this misguided info they wouldnt be able to sell there products for 100$ when you can get the same stuff for 5$. O and i suppose MG organic soil is horrible too...lol
    fir3dragon likes this.

    ROFLhacks Active Member

    dont use miracle gro it feeds for up to six months but you cant flush it.
    Uncle Ben

    Uncle Ben Well-Known Member

    As underlined, pure rubbish from the organic wackos - lies, half truths full of the usual FUD mongering. Instilling Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

    I'd like to see those "studies" and analyze the context.

    donmagicjuan Active Member

    h frog is blank of nutes just like light warrior. its just dirt rather than peat or whatever so it holds water longer without drying up

    MrDank007 Well-Known Member

    Both come with perlite, but I add about 10-15% more medium grade as they tend to really clump up and compress towards the end of flower. I also only use about 1/3-1/2 of the recommended Big Bloom as this seems to cause problems in higher doses

    Dingoboy5150 New Member

    I've been growing Herb since 1971..and believe Me..Miracle grow is a NO-No. As are most garden fertilizers sold in regular Garden Centers.
    The problems are various, but mainly, they are primarily ammonia-based...go ahead take the lid off a bottle of ammonia & sniff it...it will knock you on
    your arse.....Most contain Urea..again..NOT GOOD. Most of these are long lasting and as has already been stated....You can't flush them out!
    Ever smoke Herb that crackles and your joint won't stay lit, and when it does, it's harsh?....Bingo! Fertilizer ! I use Happy Frog & Black Gold. Black Gold was rare years ago..and us growers would have to drive for MILES to get some...and it sold out FAST. Now it's easy to get great soils that are designed to grow herb. The guys that make this stuff are pretty smart. Too smart to use that crap (MG).
    I've produced many many crops, and for the last 20 years have been using these soils with GREAT SUCCESS...forget about the fertilizer, until budding time, then GO EASY! and for the final three weeks NO NUTES!
    Flush the Hell out of them with PURE...UN Chlorinated water.. and check the PH of your water and adjust it to a ph around 6...then, cured properly, You will have some Bouquet Bud..to be proud of,and NOT be smoking Chemicals. Miracle Grow works fine for Petunias, but most of us don't smoke petunias.

    May11th Well-Known Member

    Coco and general organics. Love it. 20130605_222629.jpg

    whitey78 Well-Known Member

    Happy frog is a decent mix if you are going to use fox farms but it can be improved upon as the original poster asked/suggested... whatever...

    Anyhow... happy frog is a little light on the nutrient charge and is good for any stage of growth except seeds... I always start seeds in light warrior. 100% success every time unless theres a problem with the seeds.

    I dont run FF anymore aside from light warrior as stated above just because I run roots and make supersoil with it, but when I did I found the best mix to be gotten by mixing happy frog and ocean forest in a bag to bag ratio... happy frog is mainly peat based and ocean forest is more coco coir based, a good mix will have both, some will agree and others will disagree, not my issue... after mixing them bag to bag add roughly 10-15% perlite.... and the absolute most important thing that no one else mentioned here... worm castings... you have to add more castings to any organic soil mixture... 6-8 cups of castings per bag of soil is about the absolute least I would suggest adding but I'd go along the lines of 10-15% or more of the total mix if you can... The only problem with castings is that you have to add more perlite or else drainage wont be so great so make sure to add enough... I used to fill a 2 gallon bucket with perlite and then fill it with castings adding the same numbers of buckets of both... But nothing can substitute the castings or give you the kind of microbial life they do so make sure to add them..

    After that if you wanna add some lime or crushed oyster shell for some extra cal/mag... And or some other amendments but if you are going to add any other amendments including lime and crushed oyster shell... you should let your soil "cook" or compost for a couple weeks before using it or else your gonna burn the shit out of the roots of any plants you put in the mix... But perlite and worm castings added to bagged soil is more than fine to use as soon as you mix it but other amendments like blood meal, guanos and all that stuff should be given a little time to compost after wetting it a little bit... I used to add 1TBS each of all sorts of amendments and throw my plants right in it after mixing and would have all sorts of issues and couldnt figure out why... compost teas will help you out if you've done this... They will rapidly break down the amendments and help make them available to the plants quicker than just watering.

    I have started always keeping a dry all purpose organic fertilizer on hand to use rather than a bottled liquid product... Presently I'm using botanicare/organicare's "pure", which comes in both grow (5-5-5) and bloom (not sure of the NPK on the bloom, I think its 1-4-6) formulas but I mainly use the grow on clones going into their first pots.... I'll just throw a little soil in the bottom of the pot and toss in a couple table spoons and mix it up and then add the rest of my soil and insert the clone... Usually the soil mix is just bagged soil with additional worm castings and perlite along with the all purpose, its been working nicely for me...

    murdergrow Active Member

    I also use a 1:1 bag ratio of happy frog and ocean forest. I add about 20% earthworm castings to the mix, and then will add a decent amount of perlite(30-35%) when i actually move the soil to a container for plants. Otherwise i keep my soil mix in a giant trash can until it is ready to use.

    In case you didnt already know, FF Tiger Bloom is not organic. neither is grow big, although big bloom is. I used to use bottled nutes for my babies. strated with FF, then moved to roots organic. Now i am just using ro uprising dry nutrient mix and love the results(i add half strength dry nutes maybe once a month). I also supplement with a little oregonismXL or gh subculture at the start of my grow and when i change to flower. every once in a while I will add some ro trinity or a little go bioroot/bioweed if i can borrow any from a friend but have been having great results with just my soil and dry nute regiment.
    Uncle Ben

    Uncle Ben Well-Known Member

    Everything is a chemical......

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