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I have a friend in Colorado he uses medicinal "herbs" i was telling him about ap wondering if others have seen or done this in their system if so how did it work as far as nutes and all ?

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So true!  Colorado says it's legal but that makes no diff to the Feds.  My drug of choice is home brew beer - pretty darn strong but so much better than the commercial stuff! A little dab will do ya! 

I hear you TC - I was thinking the same thing!! 

TCLynx said:

Just because your state says it is legal doesn't mean the feds won't come after you.

LOL, what is funny is when I ready medicinal plants I was sitting here thinking about my aloe and my violets and plantain and all the other what I think of as "normal" medicinal herbs and food.

Ahhh the taboo subject! I recall sylvia starting a thread on the medicinal subject soon after I joined this site, but I didn't see it on a search, so chances are it was removed or I am mistaken. It is certainly illegal as far as the Feds go, however the present Obama administration has gone on record that they would not enforce Fed policy over state, for now that is. Still, I'd be careful about going on record, because laws change.

I live in Santa Cruz, CA, so pretty much everyone grows or directly knows someone who does. Choppers regularly buzz my greenhouse, which wouldn't bother me except they get dangerously close. All my friends and family report the same surveillance. Don't think that it is all cool here in Cali and Colorado, just because we are leading the trend on medicinal law. The DEA does make regular busts on ANY deviation from law. A couple years ago the local news said they raided 23 grows in one notable valley, and 22 if them were in excess of legal limits.

Cali law states a MIN allowance of 6 plants budding and 12 veging, and 1/2 lb product per card holder. Individual counties can allow LESS restrictive laws if they choose. Santa Cruz allows 99 budding, 199 veg, and 3 lbs in possession. That's because everyone here grows, like I said, including local gov. A buddy of mine flies chopper for CAMP, and was on duty when a certain mayor's private plot was found. Trinity county used to have a 20 lb possession limit. 20 lbs! They recently changed it back to the Cali standard, I believe.

Perhaps a code name is in order, like wild raspberries or Humboldt hops. Hypothetically, of course, flowering nutes can be added in moderation to some salt-tolerant fish systems. There are some you-tube videos of an AP grower who injects nutes into the roots zone of specific plants at night without the system in circulation. By morning some salts have been used, and the rest dilute harmlessly. That's his story, anyway, I haven't tried it. I have a hard enough time keeping my fish happy without another vector of trouble.

Hi Jon, Back in the early eighties, I use to live in Felton so I know what you mean. In fact, that, I believe, is one of the reasons I grow such fantastic tomatoes. We use to have an extraordinary op out on Mt Bitchin that was located up in the canopies. If you can grow one, you can grow the other. They have almost identical needs.

NEVER trust the feds! Oh -bee boy (Obama) lies through his teeth. The war is very much still on.

I'll have to check out those you-tube videos...Her's an idea though. Right now I have 3 Habenero's and 2 Hungarian Hot Wax pepeprs set up in a "dual root zone" scenerio...

Check it out, you take a 'large'-ish net pot (mine are only 13cm for the peppers but you just use a size that you think you'd need). fill the bottom half of the net pots with hydroton, fill the top half with a 1/3 cocco coir, 1/3 perlite, 1/3 vermiculaite (you can add to that mix 10% worm castings and a bit of zeolite as I've done if you wish). In between those two layers, I've placed a thin layer of rockwool to act as a filter (to keep the upper layer from falling into the hydroton. The bottom layer of the net pot sits in a reservoir of just water, no nutes. The top layer is absorbant (you need to test how much water your particular set-up will hold before water drips down into the hydroton, so that you know how much solution to feed without contaminating the reservoir). I'm feeding home made nutes in solution into the top portion only. I only add as much solution as the top layer can absorb. This keeps the nutes from contaminating the water reservoir. (or an AP system). It might be a good way to add 'flowering' or any other nutes without those things getting into your AP system. (As well as some other potential benefits, the idea here being  that plants in nature tend to have specialized sets of roots, top roots seeking nutrients, while bottom roots seek out moisture blabla...) Just a thought?

Fascinating, Vlad. I saw mention of dual root zone in another post of yours, but didn't have time to ask what you meant. I'd love to pick your brain on your homemade nutes. Salt based or organic blend? I have been considering using CRF's, as in controlled release fertilizer. They are granular pellets designed to be mixed into compost or top-dressed on soil. Each time you water, some ferts dissolve into surrounding soil, like licking a lollipop. I've considered adding some pellets to the media, but I'm chicken. I don't have any fish that I don't mind losing. But this dual root zone thing may be the trick. You could add some CRF's to the coco blend you use, and place the bottom of the net-pot right at the water line of a flood and drain media bed. Each time water touches the coco, capillary attraction would keep it wet, and I doubt any coco water would leach downward. Top roots would feed in coco and bloom nutes, bottom roots would feed in AP water and nitrates. Hmmmm. Plus, the watering would be part of the AP automation, meaning you can go on vacation without worrying about top feeding. The CRF's are very cheap, last 3 months, and you could always add a sprinkle to select plants that need something without treating your whole system. I just bought some CRF's with extra iron and micros. I like it. Could probably even grow potatoes and such this way.
O -bee boy! That's dang funny, Carey. Felton is about the same as when you were there in the 80's I bet. I'm in the Soquel hills, a bit to the south. Small world. If you ever find yourself visiting this way again I'll buy you a beer and talk fish and mountain life with you. Cheers.

I like it Vlad- that's a really good idea.  Jon, I had osmocote get into my mix several years ago (it's a long story. . .) and the little plastic coatings take forever to decompose.  I found that they end up getting all through the system and end up being a pain in the butt.  If there was a way to keep them completely separate though- that might work.  I think Vlad is onto something- if you could section your root zone into a low salt and a high salt area and use liquid fertilizer directly on the upper, high salt zone you could do flood and drain, or constant flow or whatever you wanted really and just irrigate the upper portion as much as you need for nutrient delivery while using the AP water below to keep your plant from drying out. . . hmmmm.  very interesting idea.  It might be a way to deliver concentrated nutrients during reproductive stages without impacting the baseline health of your AP system. . 

Yes Vlad, I too am interested in how things turn out for you. I do a similar thing with my wick bed system in that I top water only so the top layer of compost/ mulch gets moist enough to breakdown further. 

*Beware of sulfur and metals like copper in your time release nutes.

Exactly, Nate. And osmocote is the Maker of most CRF's no matter which brand you purchase. I just now mixed some in a smart pot of coco and compost, and placed it on the media at the water line. I don't see how the pellets could migrate through coco and a smart pot, so I don't see a repeat of your scenario, and thanks for the heads up there. I was actually going to add some to the media yesterday but got lazy. Lucky there.

I only suggested the CRF's because I'm nervous about top watering making it's way into the system, and I'm lazy, don't want to add another routine to the garden, or another system to monitor.

Carey, since you've got some experience in the wicking combo here, am I safe to assume that the CRF's would stay put in the coco using only wicking and no top water?

Vlad, is there an air space between your water level and the bottom if your net pots? I'll have to look at your pictures. This whole concept is pretty big, and new to me, thanks. If you don't have smart pots there in Serbia, you can make your own with tyvek, or line a net pot with fabric. I had an outdoor plant in a smart-pot sitting on the soil last year that anchored massive roots into the ground. It performed better than potted plants or soil plants, best of both worlds.

Jon...In one of the two set-ups there is an 'air layer' of relatively high humidity (kind of like the updated Gericke system) and the water line should never be higher than your rockwool 'barrier' (lower even, it seems to wick pretty well). If you have some fine screen material, you could line the net pot to further help keep "contaminants" from getting out. I've avoided CRF's and opted for using Zeolite (though in an AP this may or may not be 'worse' than CRF's I have no idea, mine is a really fine granular affair...powder realy and I doubt even the screen mesh would keep it out?) Zeolite, it is believed, should act as a 'magnet' for certain ionic elements, thereby holding them there for plant ready accessibility. That's the idea anyway. And besides, it's ("natrual-ness" was more appealing than CRF's...yeah I know, mining the Earth is not really "natrual" but still)...I'd like to get a couple tons for the garden/fields...Even if it dents your compost/fertilizer needs by 25% for the next 10 years (like some studies would indicate) it would be worth the little investment many times over..? And your elemental input potion would still be up to you, in terms of what/how (organic/mineral/chemical) you were to supply the land...Which is a plus over some CRF's...

Particularly like Cary says in terms of metals. Though a nitrogen sequestering substance probably poses it's own set of problems in an AP system...IDK

Are 'smart-pots' the same (in principal at least) as Jim Fah's auto-pots? ...sub irrigation with float valve i.e 'smart-valve'? I'm guessing that it's not because of the tyvek/fabric/wicking, but heck yeah, I'd probably build  one (at least :) if you show me how...At the moment the whole NASA Star-Treky atmosphere of aeroponics has me intrigued. Simple enough with classic hydoponics, though not so much with organic hydro and I'm guessing AP. And I'd really like it to be an AP aeroponic set-up...but with fine mist (well relatively)...I 'think' I may have something worked out that should put an end to clogging issues of these spray misters without the need for fine micron filtration...Wont really know til I get some damn fish though and put it through the wringer...

No, nothing that fancy. Smart Pot just a brand name of felt-like fabric grow bags. Better than hard containers because they allow gas transfer on all sides, stay cool in the sun, cannot overwater, and roots go right thru, of course air-pruning on the sides, so no root-bound issues. I mentioned them because they would physically contain media better than a net pot, and tend to be squat and stable, especially one roots anchor in the media below. I re-read your post describing dual root zone, somehow missed the part of hydroton and rockwool. I had already been thinking about using CRF's, and my mind skipped right to a full bag of coco and or compost setting right on my gravel beds. So anyway, an experiment of that fashion is already started in my grow, we'll see.

Nate, when your CFR's got loose in your fish tank, were the fish adversely affected?

No, not that I could tell.  They ate some of the pellets but it didn't seem to bother them.  : )

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