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🍃 AMA with Eric Olsen of High Caliper Growing (AKA Smart Pots) Wednesday, June 26th at 11 AM PST

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This week we will be discussing all things growing with Eric Olsen of High Caliper Growing (manufacturers of the original Smart Pot). Eric has extensive cultivation experience growing in Southern California in a multitude of media, including aero, hydro, coco, soil, indoors and outdoors. All topics are welcome, but this one is for the fabric fans out there.

  • Who: Eric Olsen of High Caliper Growing
  • What: Container and raised bed gardening, indoors and outdoors; and everything under the sun
  • Where: The GNET private forum
  • When: Wednesday, June 26th at 11 AM PST

@smartpotseric is a very active GN community member with whom many of our community members have already had extensive conversations. We are delighted to bring him to the main stage for another Growers Network AMA. Get those questions cocked and loaded my friends. This one is going to be good!

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Cocked and loaded, ready to party! I’m looking forward to some good questions and discussions on the state of cannabis in SoCal, CA in general and Nationally. Smart Pot questions obviously get priority but anything cannabis related is welcome.

I’ve seen a lot, but always have an open mind for growth. Looking forward to this AMA! :v:t3::sunglasses:

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@memberdirectory :red_circle:[LIVE] in a few minutes… Start Asking Questions NOW

Enjoy

Thanks

Keith

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Ok then, I’ll fire this this thing off, since everyone seems ready to jam :metal:

Hey there @smartpotseric, thank for taking the time to be with our Growers Network community for an AMA!

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@smartpotseric, why should growers choose fabric over other containers?

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Hi Nick, and all who are live, or checking this out afterwards.
Smart Pots fabric containers are the best option over other containers for a few reasons:
1: Oxygen to the roots (try breathing through a plastic pot) :slight_smile:
2: Superior drainage- Especially if growers are using heavier mixes, Smart Pots will aid in keeping from “overwatering” which a lot of growers tend to do. Water will come out the bottom, and also out the sides, when the medium is fully saturated.
3: Air Pruning roots (proper root development)- When your primary roots hit the side wall of your plastic pot, it thinks it’s just going around a rock. So it grows around, and around and around… In a Smart Pot fabric pot, the tip grows into the fabric slightly and the air dries it out. This sends a hormone/ signal through the rest of the root that says, “ive gone as far as I’m going. Now branch out, and make the secondary, fine feeder roots” This is going to give you more roots overall, and especially more of the secondary feeder roots. More roots, more fruits/flowers/cannabis!!!

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I was highly skeptical of Smart Pots up until about 5 years ago, when I was given a 1 gal smart pot, and put a vine-like succulent in there. The mass of vegetation that I got growing off of my balcony from a 1 gal pot was about 10x what the root structure was. Started off the next season with a 20 gal Smart Pot growing cannabis outdoors. Where I live (huntington beach, CA) my plants were getting bombarded with caterpillars and I was never able to really make a good harvest (if anyones dealt w bud worms, you know my pain).

Last year I set up some moth traps and really took a dent out of the moth ecosystem in my area because my outdoor plants have been virtually untouched by caterpillars. I’m going to take a pic to show off… It’s my best outdoor run ever, and I’d attribute that to Smart Pots, Xtreme Gardening, NPK Industries RAW solubles, and a few other sauces :slight_smile:

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Interesting how Smart Pots found you as a grower. So how did you actually start working for Smart Pots?

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Not that these plants look small, but I’ve also been dealing with “May Grey” and “June Gloom”. I can’t wait for the next outdoor batch of July- Sept when we actually get SUN!

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I was working as the Sales Manager for NPK Industries for 5 years when I bumped into the Sales Manager for Smart Pots at an event for The Grow Biz in San Luis Obispo. He informed me that Helene, who was formerly the territory manager in the SW was moving on and asked me if I knew of anyone who was interested in applying.

I asked what the compensation was… and then asked if I could throw my hat in the ring!

A couple phone interviews later, and I’m hired. I already knew enough about Smart Pots and the industry that they didn’t need to train me on product or anything. I’m sure one of these days I’ll get out to tour the factory in OKC :slight_smile:

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BTW: These are grown from a “Herijuana” seed so the male father is unknown. These plants are currently in week 8 of flowering, being fed Enzymes, Amino Acids, Humic Acids, Yucca, to give the microbes a final push before chopping in a week or so.

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Since you worked for NPK, I use their cal mag powder, not sure how good it is do you think it’s a good source? I can’t really tell how well it works. Not sure if you can answer that.

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It’s certainly cost effective. I’d says that the one thing that it lacks compared to other popular CaMg products is Iron. Botanicare and others, add iron which NPK’s doesn’t have. However, if you are getting iron from another source, no big deal :slight_smile:

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Thanks a lot. Appreciate the answer.

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One thing that I’ve been doing the last year that’s helped tremendously is a technique called “chiro” as in Chiropractic adjustments. I used to break branches and then tape them up and re set them, in order to get larger branches. A friend, Mark from Canada, taught me to instead, twist every branch until you hear a slight pop, or snap. Then, leave it for a week or so. You get the same effect as low stress training, but then the branches are still strong enough to support itself, and it’s flowers. With this technique, bamboo stakes, trellis netting have been unneeded, making it easier to access my plants. Plus, those branches are BEASTS!

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What medium would you recommend using inside smart pots on an ebb and flow tray, and why?

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I’d say, the more frequent your waterings, the lighter your medium should be. I’ve seen growers use something like hydroton, growstones or perlite, but then you’re going to have to water (ebb flow, top feed, etc) more times per day to keep the roots from drying too much. Most growers doing ebb and flow w Smart Pots are probably doing a coco medium with or without perlite, which probably would be good with 2-3 waterings per day.

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That sounds like treating your coco like rockwool. I know a grower in AZ who does that and his plants are MONSTERS! What size SmartPots would you recommend for the cultivator who is growing like this? 3 gals? 5 gals?

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I met the owner of Key To Life nutrients and he showed me some pics of his plants growing in Smart Pots, in coco, getting top fed about once an hour or so. 6 lbs per light… I was skeptical, until he showed me the pics. Unless it was a deep fake, he was killing it!

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