Soil will not dry out

I use tall (21") conical (14" D. bottom, 19" D top) pots, outside in SoCal (Orange Co.) coastal. After recharging I had sprouts die when placed in Jiffy cups of it, so I felt I had to treat All the soil. I tossed and bought new seedling soil and treated all such pots of it with H202 (1 quart in 2 gallons of water). They puffed up like a muffin in the oven. After turning this soil in the sun for 2 weeks I transplanted the first three successful sprouts in it last week and they are drooping. Probe shows though soil is dry on top, it is Wet from a few inches down. I’ve tried turning it around the imagined root zone to expose to the air but it will not dry out! I’m considering translpanting again. I’ve turned all other soil out in the sun several times a day and bought MORE Pumice and Perlite. I will remix the rest of the soil with this to lighten it up. My question is: Do I also transplant the first three again into the new “lighter” soil or wait to see if they dry out. Pics show (Can’t attach to this) happy light green plant the day of the transplant, and then the other two show them drooping with much greener color now several days later.

It is usual for soil to not dry out when there s not enough O2 in the soil. If soil compacts, the roots starve for oxygen which leads to death of plant. Sounds like you are doing the right thing…
Coco / Peat are excellent amendments to increase O2 levels in the soil as is perlite and pumice
H2O2 cause them to puff up…adds O2 to the soil
you can mechanically aerate the soil, pencils will work fine but be careful not to harm the roots
Meters - do not use a meter to determine moisture levels. Lift the container or stick your fingers in there…
Drooping - if overwatering…they droop as leaves get heavy from transpiring
If under watering, a feed of water will set the plant to the pray position in a few hours
If nutrition (in case nutrients have been flushed from soil), the a nutrient feeding will perk them up
Cal/Mag…make sure calcium and Mag is present, add molasses for soil building, kelp for root protection
Much greener = Nitrogen…be careful as seedling need little to no nutrients. Transplants need to be fed, as do any plant in shock
If you are willing to lose a plant, rather than chase it, especially if they are newbies, TRANSPLANT.
Not a bad idea to “some of this, some of that” as you have more than 1 and you can then determine which remedy was best
When a plant perks after h2o2, MOSTLY an O2 issue as peroxide floods the soil with oxygen but it could also be addressing a pathogen in the soil
This is a difficult one to call, from my opinion. If they get too stressed, they will runt and possibly not grow anyway. Sometimes the hard call is rescue or start over


Hey Mike, thanks for the advice. I did transplant last night after mixing up all new soil with lots of perlite and pumice (33%) and they responded overnight beautifully. I knew I’m a good transplanter from previous experience so I went for it. Now very glad I did. Pot prep was: screen over drainage holes held down with small rocks, covered with 6 -8" of Cactus/Succulent mix. Then the newly aerated soil with Perlite and Pumice to within 4" of full then a topping of “enriched soil”. Just a 1/2 cup of water for each and they are happy as can be today!


OH NO! One day looking healthy and back to drooping upper leaves which are very dark and light and low leaves turning yellow. Every sign of overwatering. Yet they have had only a couple of cups to seat the transplant. Since they were too wet before, I didn’t give much new water. They continue to measure WET in the root ball and close to it now a week later. The dry area around the root ball was given a ring of water for the roots to reach for. Just a few cups in a Large conical pots 20"Hx 18"top and 15" bottom. I’m used to transplanting just once from Jiffy cups to these and watering AROUND the plant until it “grows in” somewhat. Yet these will not dry out. Lost another today. Terrible year: 53 seeds used for four sick plants and four healthy sprouts (replacements) still in Jiffy cups. I changed the soil already adding more perlite and pumice to 30% of the total volume yet I’m still stuck with drowning plants I cannot revive! I aerate the soil around the root ball daily trying to dry the soil to no avail. Deflated…anybody want to pick up my leftover seedlings? I’m about to throw in the towel. I thought I knew what I was doing…NOT

no giving up…not allowed. We persevere to the end. If seeds are an issue, I will gladly send some over for you.
Aeration - I used chopsticks, pencils, garden staples (the ones I use for LST) to poke holes in my substrate. I also attached a straw to the end of my aerator hose at times and I plunge that into the soil to put air directly in to the root ball. You have to clear out the soil that enters the straw so air gets through.
Also, aerate the water you use to water/feed so O2 is always being given to the roots

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Like @Mrb53004 said no one gives up we are all here to help

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What are you growing in buckets or other kind

Are you used to growing hemp? If so, there is a slight learning curve to making a change. Otherwise, please ignore my question and have a great day!

Yes sir. I’ve aerated the soil about 3 times a day outside of the imagined root ball with a key hole saw. Just big enough to bring some of that wet soil to the surface. I’m outside so I don’t have an aerator but I did poke some holes into the root ball today with a pick to add some air and took soil away from around the root ball so air could get to it as well. (drastic I know, but desperate) Weather continues cool but dry (low 70’s days 60’s nights) yet sun from about 8 am, after the morning fog clears till sunset so they have plenty of sun. I’m thinking I need to dump ALL the soil I had as well as all that which I mixed with new. I dumped out all the first round of soil, and turned it in the sun with a rake for 10 days to kill any possible pathogens. This has unfortunately turned it to dust and no doubt waiting to make another anaerobic mud trap as soon as it’s watered even after adding in ANOTHER batch of perlite and pumice. I think now the heart of the problem in using old soil that has come from an organic grow with added mychorhizae is that the added bulk of the rhyzomes is what has made this soil too fine and too water retentive. A draw back of the “feed the soil” school I think. The root mass sticks together and is removed with the old dead plant but the fine roots and mostly the rhizomes stay behind and got ground up with the aerating for disinfecting. I hate wasting all that money spent on that soil and then the cost of replacing 100 gallons with new and it’s necessary enhancements as well. Yet it looks like this is a necessary cost of the “feed the soil, not the plant” school of thought. I thought the ground-up rhizomes would add food to the soil. Instead I think they destroyed it. I’ve done all I can. If they die now then so be it. It was just not my year and maybe this game has become too complicated for me. I’m just finishing my 70th lap around the sun and definitely feeling the years now. I don’t have the energy to start again, if these die, I’ll consider the message received. Thanks for all your thoughtful help.

Thank you Reed, please read my reply to Mike… It’s really directed to all those who lent a hand.

Read the previous… buckets are tall cylinders, 19" diameter at the top, 15" bottom and 21" tall. I decided on tall buckets due to the shape of pulled root balls from previous grows and pictures. They seem to WANT to go deep. This approach has been very successful for me in terms of production while the potency remains pedestrian. Did you want the Pheno’s?: Gorilla Bomb 3 from 20 started seeds, from Bomb Seeds and Godfather OG four from ten from Weedseedexpress and maybe one OG Kush from five (3 months old and 9" tall) from Growers Choice. ALL already transplanted into fresh new hyper aerated soil with tons of perlite (the big green bag) as well as pumice and vermiculite and dry sand yet it still is drowning all plants when almost NO water has been added since the last transplant. I can’t use the “feel the pot” method since for one 10 gallons of soil in such a tall pot weighs probably 60 pounds or so which got just a cup of water at transplant. Could you tell the difference in weight by ounces of 60 some pounds? I have enough trouble lifting it. I use a soil probe, two of them in fact to insure accuracy. They can get where my finger will not go and down there to the root ball and it is a swamp according to my meter. So one last shot for all of you generous men, then that’s it for me. It no longer makes monetary sense and the fun has gone.

I recognize you as having responded to my input before and I want to thank you for that. No I haven’t grown hemp. I am a CBD regular user and have noted lately flower for sale that is a cross of hemp and cannabis carrying it’s original cannabis name yet testing incredibly in the 20’s % CBD, twice the efficacy of hemp I’ve seen. With my apparent ineptness with cannabis, I don’t think I’ll try growing it. I derived much pleasure from growing my own medicine, but the pleasure has gone in the face of constant failure. My best results still required enhancement with it’s own keif to make it effective. Right now I can’t reconcile these facts into anything inspiring. Thanks again and good luck!

You are NOT a failure and you are meeting it head on, valiantly, and your intention is pure. I get upset when my plants aren’t well, too. Let’s literally take a step back.

When you are standing from afar, what is your first thought? The very first one, not the noises in the background. Close your eyes and “see.” Also, please don’t take my message on the surface, if at all possible and if I’m speaking another language altogether, please let me know and I appreciate your patience. :pray:

Sorry took so going to ask how many and what size drain hole are

Thanks for your kindness kmac. I’ve been “standing back” for several weeks now as my last attempts all failed and indeed the feeling remains…get out of this game, you’re no good at it. I don’t have enough time left on Earth for more heartbreak. Now finishing my 70th lap around the sun I’ll look back on my successes in other endeavors like “SAFE KIDS” where my efforts save lives and much suffering every hour and be happy with that. (Pressure Balanced plumbing valve enacted into the National Building Code shortly after my nationwide touring, speaking engagements stemming from my creation of The Safe Kids Bath exhibit (seen by almost 70 million) now saves 4.56 kids per hour 24-7 from 3rd degree scald burns and at least a life a day from preventing the slip/fall accidents caused by scalding water)

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Never put enough water in to get to the drain holes. These were seedlings, with only one transplant from Jiffy cups to 10 gallon pots. Only enough water added to moisten the soil directly around the planting hole, nothing further. Yet they still measure WET.

Ok i thought they were bigger

I can understand. What a wonderful thing to offer to the :earth_americas:. That’s really awesome!!! What a way to turn heartbreak into a Legacy of Healing, full of Great Energy. :dove::heart::pray::mountain_snow: Thank you for what you do!

back at kmac03; RE; SafeKidsBath: My business is gone, lost in the Great Recesson. Where the display sat after the nationwide tour is now another nail salon. I’d love to send you pics of the 5 page brochure. I let my website go so I can’t direct you somewhere to see it. Is there some way I could get it to you securely? If I don’t tell people about it, I’ll die with no one really knowing what my biggest contribution to society was, Yet in the time spent writing this about 4 kids (4.56 per hour) have been saved from scald burns and the disfigurement permanently left usually on the face and arms. Though I can’t prove this one I also believe by eliminating the scald burn I’m also saving the elderly who would have fallen from the scald burn that never happened. And Falls are the #1 accident among seniors that leads to death. (broken hip from fall in shower/stay in hosp./ catches pneumonia there and dies; cause of death listed as pneumonia when it was really the fall) Now if only I could learn to grow cannabis as my own medicine, (I have A.S.)…oh well Do you have kids? Just a few simple mods can really help prevent accidents. I wish my site was still up, you could find out more. Or I will coach you, someplace else we can communicate privately. Let me know if you want to share. I don’t see a “private message” button anywhere on the site. Thank you for your care and interest. It takes people like you to make the difference, all I can do is suggest. And good luck with your grow! Most sincerely, GDub

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Gary, I am building my website and would be honored to provide a “PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT” that would save lives, prevent harm and help…you got my email, PM me there