Catch fine cannabis roots in gardening seive

New section: Ask Percy! Can I recycle the contents of a hempy bucket?

Over the last few years quite a few questions have been asked via the comments throughout the site.  I thought it’d be nice to collate a few of the best in their own section. So without further ado I’m happy to announce the launch of “Ask Percy”!

First we have a question from Frederik.

Hey mister, thank you for the awesome website.

I have one question: After a cycle of growing, do I need to throw out all the contents of the bucket and refill it again with new material or can I keep the contents but just add new nutrients?

I really appreciate this! Thank you so much.


Hi Frederik

Many thanks for the kind words.

Good question. I have recycled the contents of a hydro bucket (perlite and vermiculite mix) and things went fine on the second grow. I assume that you did a good flush at the end of the previous grow so that the nutrients have been washed out well.

Last years hempy bucket mix
Last years hempy bucket mix


If you have a gardening sieve it would be a good idea to pass the perlite etc through it to remove the fine roots of the old plants.

Catch fine cannabis roots in gardening seive
Catch fine cannabis roots in gardening seive


Fine cannabis roots in wire mesh

Root free perlite and vermiculite mix
Root free perlite and vermiculite mix, ready to rinse.


Then it would not hurt to rinse it through again with water. In case you have an issue with algae you could rinse with a little hydrogen peroxide (well diluted). It will evaporate away. I hope this helps.

All the best.


In case you have a question you’d like answering please go ahead and ask in the comments.

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12 thoughts on “New section: Ask Percy! Can I recycle the contents of a hempy bucket?”

  1. Hi Percy

    Please tell me should you flush your weed if you have an aquaponic system?

    And how good is the weed that come from aquaponic systems?

    Andrew Mossop

    1. Hi Andrew, to be honest aquaponics is not a system that I’ve had experience with nor have I knowingly smoked any aquaponically grown weed. As far as I know if you are using supplemental fertilizers then you must flush. From what I gather aquaponics is all natural (fish poop) so I imagine flushing is not necessary. Normally fish don’t have to flush after they poop! Joking aside, given my lack of experience in this topic I would advise you ask around a little more. I imagine not, but maybe so. If it were so it would just mean changing the water supply to pure water for the final 2 weeks of the plants live as per hydroponics (for hydro you would phase to pure water for smaller plants until it is pure for the final 3 days or switch directly for larger, stronger plants). I hope this is some kind of help. Good luck with it all it’s a fascinating growing technique! All the best Percy

  2. Hi Percy

    I’m looking to do my first attempt and will be using autoflowers in my conservatory. Can you please advise which strain is best that won’t pong the house out?


    1. Hi there, you’ll find most plants smell when it comes to flowering, for the final few weeks especially. They will smell when you dry them too so this is also worth bearing in mind. However, some smell more than others so it’s a case of finding those that don’t smell quite so much – if you get what I mean. This is an excellent question, I’d like to answer fully in the next “Ask Percy” article. I’m gonna contact a few contacts I have in the industry and see what they suggest. So please watch this space. All the best, Percy

  3. Hi, while transplanting my sprout, I accidentally broke off the bottom of the taproot. about an inch. The root is pretty long though so I was wondering if my plant could still survive or should I just start over?

    Hopes of saving my plant’s life!

    Thanks in advance for your reply!

    1. Hi there, sorry to hear about your accident. I guess you know by now whether it survived or not. I’m guessing not! The roots are very fragile when they start to grow and the main tap root will form the basis of the rest of the roots to follow. If I ever damage a seedling I plant up as per normal and see what happens but usually pop another seed for backup. They don’t usually survive such damage. Even if the one with the broken root survived it’d surely take a while to recover which would lengthen the time to grow it out. All the best, Percy

    1. Hi Jeff

      All content on the site is under creative commons license. You are welcome to use but please credit

      All the best


  4. Dear Percy

    I’ve decided to give it a go and try growing.

    I have limited space and facilities (a small flat with two windows that let in minimal light) but I think that I can do it.

    Is it possible to grow windowsill weed under minimal window light / artificial room light starting September? (I live in a city in the south).

    If so what type of Autoflowering seeds would you recommend?

    Are there any strains that don’t smell as much as others that I should be aware of?

    Also I’m not bothered yield, the more the merrier but I understanding the limitations I face.

    I’m very laid back as to how to this experiment will turn out but I know that I would really appreciate being able to cultivate cannabis safely and rewardingly in my own home during winter months.

    I looking forward to attempting to grow some interesting Indica plant that you have recommended if it is possible.

    Thank You


    1. Hi TJ, good on you for giving it a go! Not sure if you are in south US or UK. If in the UK maybe best to wait until at least next April to start and get the most of the light. The sun will be a lot lower in the sky in the coming months so light is gonna be even less. One autoflowering I seem to get consistently good results with is AutoMazar from Dutch Passion. As for the smell, I’m afraid that all plants are a bit stinky, given your growing conditions I would say not to worry so much as the end result will probably be quite small. I asked a contact at Dutch Passion as to his least stinky strain and he said Think Different, though it still smells! I’m gonna give it a try next season. Also, good to hear that your laid back about the results, that’s the way to be :) Each time you go you will improve so you’ve just gotta do it!. Best of luck with it all! Percy

  5. Smell.

    Hi Percy, it’s me again. Recently I started a thread in a forum about the smell. You know, since it’s window sill growing then I was just planning to grow some auto low smell varieties and have some odor control gel or something but people say that it will stink the apartment and even the neighbors will notice, just for 2 plants, they say the smell of a flourishing marijuana is like skunks mating no matter if they are low odor varieties and that a tent with fans and filter is the only way to control the smell.

    What’s your experience on this?

    1. I must admit the smell is pretty potent. I’ve been lucky enough to grow in houses and put the plants at the top floor. Still the smell can be smelt at the ground floor when they are in full bloom. When I was in an apartment the two neighbours were both old ladies who would not know the smell so I had no problem. I just went ahead and grew on the balcony, you could smell it as you came in the front door of the apartment!

      Are your neighbours likely to recognise the smell? If they did, would they tell the police? If the police found out are you in a location that would get you arrested for one plant? If the answer to all those questions is yes then maybe you are best either not growing at all or sticking it in a tent with a carbon filter on the extractor fan. But then you have to weigh up what it will cost you for growing just two plants – lights, electricity, extractor fan, ballast etc… honestly, if you are renting, it may work out cheaper to move apartment.

      If you are of a daring disposition go for it and see how stinky it gets. If it’s too bad, chop it down and reassess the situation for the next grow. Maybe there is a way you could hook up an extractor on the window to help things out? Or build a wooden frame and staple plastic over to help stop the smell, you could attach a carbon filter to such a thing with the outlet coming inside in the apartment. Gaffer tape could be used stop any other smell leaks. Hope these ideas help. If you’re first time growing and you’re not sure if there is enough light in the window in the first place, masking the smell may not be your biggest concern. I’d still say go for it and deal with the smell when the problem arrives (provided the legal risk is not too great). All the best Percy

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