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DIY Organic Potting Mix's for Grass - Ace Spicoli

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    Best safety practices for handling fungi
    While culturing indigenous fungi may often be safe, it can be important
    to take precautions when handling these organisms, because humans
    can be adversely affected by contact with fungal spores and the
    mycotoxins that fungi can produce. This is especially important for
    children, the elderly, immunologically compromised individuals, and
    people who have allergies, asthma, sinusitis, and similar respiratory
    problems. Take the following precautions when gathering spores,
    mixing ingredients, and applying a fungi-based soil amendment.
    Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after
    handling fungal materials. Do not touch your mouth, nose, or eyes
    when handling fungi; do not use your hands to smoke or eat.
    Work with fungi in an open-air environment, never in small, enclosed
    Wear disposable gloves when handling fungi, and throw them
    out when done. Do not use your bare hands to handle fungal
    materials if you have a cut or open wound.
    Wear eye protection and a disposable N95 respirator mask when
    handling fungi.
    Do not move tools and other supplies that have been in contact with
    fungi to other areas of the farm or home unless they have been
    washed with soap and water.
    "if" the biggest small word in the dictionary


      Collecting microorganisms from the environment

      When is the best time to collect microorganisms?
      Microorganisms (microbes) may be cultured at any time
      of the year; however, avoid wet, rainy seasons. Excessive
      moisture in the environment promotes growth of fungi
      that are less desirable for the intended uses.
      How time-consuming is it to collect these
      The collection process takes approximately 4–5 days in
      cooler weather (about 68°F, 20°C) and 3–4 days under
      warmer conditions (> 68°F, 20°C).
      Where are the best places to collect
      Beneficial microbes are highly concentrated under undisturbed
      forests or other vegetated areas. Combining
      microbes collected from multiple sites will likely result
      in a more robust culture.

      What collection supplies will I need?

      Collection materials are relatively inexpensive and readily obtainable.
      • a small wooden box, 12 x 12 x 4 inches deep, preferably
      made of cedar
      • steamed white rice
      • white paper towels, enough to cover the wooden box
      • two to four large rubber bands
      • a sheet of clear plastic, large enough to completely
      cover the wooden box
      • 1?4-inch mesh wire screen large enough to completely
      cover the wooden box.

      How are collection supplies assembled?

      Fill the wooden box with 3 inches of steamed rice.
      Cover the box with white paper towel, being careful
      not to let the towel touch the rice. There should
      be an inch or so of air space between the rice the paper
      towel. Use rubber bands around the top of the box to
      secure the paper towel in place.
      Cover the top of the box with wire screen to
      prevent animals from tampering with the rice. Top the
      wire with a sheet of clear plastic to protect the box from
      rain, and place it under trees or in another secluded area.
      The box should not be in direct sunlight.
      Partially bury the box in the soil . It should
      be buried at least 2 inches deep for best results.
      Cover the box with fallen leaves from the harvest location.
      Anchor the plastic sheet on all sides with
      small rocks to prevent it from being dislodged by wind.
      Leave the box undisturbed for a minimum of 4–5
      days. After that time, check to see whether the moist rice
      is covered with white mold. If mold growth is sparse,
      re-cover the box and wait an additional 2–3 days before
      re-checking. If the mold is a color other than white (other
      colors indicate growth of less effective fungi) or if rain
      has entered the box, the contents should be discarded
      and the process repeated.

      Culturing the microorganisms

      Once the desired microbes have been collected, the next
      step is to increase their numbers.
      What materials are necessary for culturing?
      The basic supplies for microbe culturing are
      • a clean clay pot (hard-fired, glazed, or terra cotta)
      • a wooden spoon
      • white paper towels
      • rubber bands
      • a large clear bowl, big enough to hold contents of rice
      • a small food scale
      • a straw mat
      • a shovel
      • a composting thermometer
      • raw, granulated brown sugar
      • wheat mill run* or, if available, mushroom growth
      medium waste.

      *Wheat mill run (WMR), also called “wheat midds” or
      “middlings,” is the materials remaining after flour, or
      semolina, is extracted from wheat or durum during milling.
      WMR generally includes ground screenings from
      cleaning; remnant particles of bran, germ, and flour; and
      other offal from the milling process.

      How are the materials assembled to cultivate microbes?

      1) Weigh and record the weight of the large bowl.
      2) Use the wooden spoon to move the molded rice from
      the wooden box into the bowl. Weigh the
      filled bowl and calculate the weight of the rice mass
      by subtracting the weight of the empty bowl from the
      filled bowl.
      3) Gradually add an amount of granulated brown sugar
      equal to the weight of the rice mass. Handknead
      the sugar and rice until the material has the
      consistency of gooey molasses. Protective
      gloves are suggested.
      4) Fill the clean clay pot two-thirds full with the rice/
      sugar mixture. Cover it with paper
      towel secured in place with rubber bands.
      5) Store the pot in a cool area away from direct sunlight
      for 7 days. This will allow the mixture to ferment.
      6) Working in a shaded area, add a small
      amount of water to the fermented rice mixture in
      a 1:500 ratio. Then, slowly blend in wheat mill run
      (or used mushroom medium) until mixture is of
      semi-moist but not wet consistency (roughly 65–70%
      moisture) .
      7) Place a mound of the mixture on a soil surface and
      cover it with the straw mat or leaves, protecting it from
      sunlight. Allow the microbes to propagate
      for 7 days. Periodically examine the external surface
      of the pile for white mold growth, monitor internal
      temperature of the pile with a composting thermometer
      so as not to exceed 122°F (50°C), and turn the
      pile with a shovel (a minimum of three to four times
      during the week) to keep fermentation temperatures
      from getting too high.
      8) When the fermentation process is finished, internal
      temperature will stabilize, indicating cultivation is
      finished. Your culture of naturally occurring microorganisms
      is now ready for use


      What do I do with the fermented mixture?
      Dilute the final product (1 to 1 by volume) with soil and
      incorporate this mixture into the surface soil as a topdressing
      for crop production, or add it to your compost
      pile. This biological soil amendment is expected to enhance
      soil microorganism activity.

      Last edited by acespicoli; 02-10-2021, 05:42.
      "if" the biggest small word in the dictionary


        latest news - no soil mix indoor / outdoor potted plants

        keep it simple recipe
        1/2 vermiculite ((Mg,Fe2+,Fe3+)3[(Al,Si)4O10](OH)2·4H2O) - (CEC) at 100–150
        1/2 peat moss (CEC) of 100-200
        tomato tone (feather meal, poultry manure, bone meal, alfalfa meal, greensand, sulfate of potash, and gypsum also contains 1% leonardite and bene microbes)

        note: wetting peat moss is not a issue with coarse vermiculite added
        this mix will readily and evenly absorb water

        Soil Preparation:
        • Single plants: Mix 3 tablespoons of Tomato-tone into the soil when planting.
        • For Potted Plants: 2 cups of Tomato-tone per cubic foot of soil (1.5 tbsp. of Tomato-tone for every 1 qt. of soil).

        • Single Plants : 3 tablespoons per plant.
        • Potted Plants: Apply 1.5 teaspoons per 4 inch of pot diameter (1.5 tablespoon per 12 inch pot diameter).

        produces great - its a minimalist mix thats effective

        Pros of Peat Moss:
        • Free of weed seeds, pests and pathogens.
        • Can absorb up to 20 times its weight in water.
        • Contains beneficial microorganisms.
        • Acidic pH (a "pro" in my opinion because you can add highly alkaline amendments to it).
        • Contains a variety of elements, especially sulfur, which helps with proper terpene expression.
        • Excellent habitat for beneficial microorganisms.
        • Harvested in North America, which reduces the fossil fuel impact to get it to the United States.
        • Holds 10x to 20x its dry weight in water.
        • Better C:N ratio than coco coir.
        • Cation exchange capacity (CEC) of 100-200.

        blumat low pressure water system and saucers for plants with airpots fabric containers

        if this article was helpful please feel free to add your experience and tweaks
        Last edited by acespicoli; 06-08-2020, 02:13.
        "if" the biggest small word in the dictionary



          Originally posted by acespicoli View Post
          Cannabis Root Size

          View Image

          View Image

          View Image

          Note: larger surface area for potting medium is a huge advantage!
          I see no references listed for this diagram .

          I am uncertain of this as I have observed various strains seem to be preferential in their growth pattern to container size,ie. I placed Thai seedling in two different containers one 20 gal. fabric one in 10 gallon plastic pot the one in plastic is finishing somewhat smaller but faster the one in fabric is larger but slower also these are 2 different phenos, but I observe same behavior with cloned ones thus far.


            Tuning the soil for an outdoor grow is an arduous task at times especially if you live in a region where soil is poor in nutrients.
            You can put a lot of money into it and still get minimal results .
            I like your aspect of local sourcing and a KISS principle of soil building it is DIY, but sometimes a prepared commercial mix is only sure road to success.


              OOps I see this is indoor grow section All i can say is stay away from sand for indoors it is too heavy and dense.


                Originally posted by djav59 View Post
                OOps I see this is indoor grow section All i can say is stay away from sand for indoors it is too heavy and dense.
                thank you!
                agreed too much sand not good,
                "if" the biggest small word in the dictionary


                  Bmac1 recipe

                  Last edited by acespicoli; 01-17-2021, 03:06.
                  "if" the biggest small word in the dictionary


                    Resource link to dank.frank recipes



                    got a recipe or link that works drop it here ! thx

                    Last edited by acespicoli; 03-16-2021, 02:45.
                    "if" the biggest small word in the dictionary


                      Rearing nematodes: Do-it-yourself guide (copied from MSU links hopefully disabled google it if you need application instructions great guide)

                      Heidi Wollaeger, and Fred Warner, MSU Diagnostic Services, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences - October 28, 2013

                      Rearing nematodes in wax worms may be a cheaper source to provide fungus gnat and shore fly control in the greenhouse.
                      Species of entomopathogenic nematodes, or round worms, have been shown to be beneficial for controlling many types of greenhouse pests, including fungus gnats, shore flies, and some control of western flower thrips. In the nursery, nematodes can provide some control of root weevils, wireworms, cutworms, and spotty control of Japanese beetle grubs. In the same manner that these nematodes invade their soil-borne hosts, nematodes can be bred in Galleria mellonella wax worms. Rearing them yourself can save you money and prevent repeat ordering with your supplier.
                      What you will need:
                      • 2 and 3.5-inch Petri dishes
                      • Filter paper
                      • G. mellonella wax worms from your local bait and tackle shop
                      • De-ionized water or boiled tap water
                      • Aquarium with bubbler or numerous shallow live culture flasks
                      • Microscope

                      Numerous species of entomopathogenic nematodes can be reared with Galleria wax worms, including Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, Steinernema carpocapsae, Steinernema feltiae and Steinernema riobrave. First, place five live wax worms in a Petri dish with approximately 100 live nematodes, or 20 nematodes per host worm, with a few drops (0.5 mL) of de-ionized or boiled tap water. The juvenile nematodes will enter and infect insects through their natural openings. Endosymbiotic bacteria carried within the nematodes are released after they penetrate their hosts. Toxins produced by the bacteria cause blood poisoning of the insects usually resulting in their death within 72 hours. The nematodes consume the bacteria and complete one to three generations before they emerge from the dead insects seeking other hosts.
                      Store Petri dishes for six days in a dark place at room temperature. After six days, check worms for infection. The cadavers of the wax worms successfully infected will appear beige to dark red, depending on the species of nematode used for infection (Photos 1-2).

                      Photos 1-2. (Left) Wax worms post-infection from S. carpocapsae. Successfully infected wax worms will be beige in color. (Right) Wax worms post-infection from H. bacteriophora.Successfully infected wax worms will appear brick red. Photo credit: Heidi Wollaeger, MSU Extension. Special thanks to MSU’s Matt Grieship and Joe Tourtios for specimens.

                      Upon successful infection, place Petri dish containing nematodes, worms and filter paper within another larger Petri dish. Fill the outer Petri dish halfway with de-ionized or boiled tap water and cover with an opaque lid for three weeks. Infective juvenile nematodes will emerge from the host and swim into the water within one to three weeks. Verify that the nematodes are still alive – wiggling and swimming – under a dissecting microscope. Dead nematodes will be straight and still.
                      Add solution that contains nematodes to a live culture flask, a shallow dish or an aquarium with an air bubbler. Nematodes can be stored in darkness in a container that provides a sufficient amount of air to nematodes by using shallow containers or an air bubbler for approximately one month.
                      Michigan State University Extension recommends that a minimum of a half of a million nematodes be applied to every square meter in the greenhouse to provide fungus gnat and shore fly larvae control. In the nursery or field, concentrations should be at least double of that in the greenhouse. A mixture of species of nematodes may prove to be beneficial since nematodes of different species are more effective on some greenhouse pests than others. S. feltiae infects fungus gnat larvae while S. carpocapsae infects shore fly larvae.
                      To learn more about the nematode lifecycle and how to apply them in the greenhouse or the nursery, visit the University of Massachusetts biological control websites: Biological Control: Using Beneficial Nematodes and Beneficial Nematodes.

                      This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit extension. msu. edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit extension. msu.
                      "if" the biggest small word in the dictionary


                        May try this as comparison with epsoma tomato tone boosting the K in the NPK with some langbenite

                        All Purpose 4-6-2

                        All Purpose 4-6-2 Available in 4 sizes
                        1LB Box, 5LB Box, 25LB Bag, 50LB

                        TOTAL NITROGEN (N) 4.0%
                        0.4% Water Soluble Nitrogen
                        3.6% Water Insoluble Nitrogen
                        AVAILABLE PHOSPHATE (P2O5) 6.0%
                        SOLUBLE POTASH (K2O) 2.0%
                        CALCIUM (Ca) 10.0%
                        MAGNESIUM (Mg) 1.0%
                        SULFUR (S) 2.0%

                        Derived from:
                        Fish Bone Meal, Blood Meal, Feather Meal, Alfalfa Meal, Rock Phosphate, Langbeinite and Kelp Meal

                        2.5% Humic Acids derived from Leonardite
                        Listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for use in organic production.

                        Listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute for use in organic production.

                        Building up the brix:
                        As a measurement of the sugar content in the sap, brix is an important indicator of both a healthy plant and a flavorful, nutrient-dense crop. Here’s how to boost the brix to grow the best of the best.

                        The best organic farmers often boast about growing nutrient-dense, high-brix plants. But brix is still a foreign concept to many indoor growers. Brix is a measurement of the sugar content in the sap, expressed as a percentage. Generally speaking, the higher the brix, the healthier the plant. In fact, some organic gardeners claim that if you can achieve a brix level of 12% or higher, sucking insects won’t even recognize the plant as food! Furthermore, there is a direct proportional relationship between brix and the quality of the finished produce. High-brix plants are healthier, tastier and higher in nutrients than low-brix plants, and brix offers an objective measurement of how well your plants are doing. So if you want to consistently grow the best of the best, taking regular brix readings will help you reach your goal.

                        Brix measurements are taken with the aid of a brix refractometer. The more sugars and dissolved solids in a sap sample, the more the mixture bends the light that passes through it. A brix refractometer reads how much the light bends (refracts), and displays the results as a percentage of sugars in the sap. And it’s easy to use—just take a leaf sample, roll it into a ball and squeeze a couple of drops onto the glass slide of the refractometer. Then look through the hand-held device towards a light source, and read the brix number on a graduated scale. If you want an even more accurate measurement, digital refractometers are also available.
                        The more efficiently your plants take up water and nutrients, the higher the brix. Since organic biostimulants improve the uptake of minerals, the judicious use of additives such as amino acids, humic and fulvic acids, and seaweed extracts can help improve brix. The proper balance of minerals in the nutrient solution can also have a positive effect, particularly the potassium-to-nitrate ratio. Here are some suggestions for improving the brix of your favorite crops.

                        Increase the Potassium-to-nitrate Ratio
                        Taking a brix measurement is standard operating procedure for hydroponic crop advisors in Europe. For example, if a leaf sample in a hydroponic tomato greenhouse shows low brix, often the first thing the consultant will recommend is raising the potassium-to-nitrate ratio until the brix reaches the target level. That way, nutrient problems can be avoided before the first signs of deficiency appear. Once visual nutrient deficiencies appear, the plant is already suffering and may not ever be able to reach its true genetic potential. Taking brix readings and making adjustments will help prevent problems before they happen.

                        Excessive nitrates burn carbohydrates and reduce brix. In fact, nearly 30% of the energy of photosynthesis is used just to assimilate the nitrates. So to ensure high brix, don’t give plants more nitrates than they need. Excessive nitrates produce large cells with thin cell walls, making them a target for pests and diseases. And since the sugars are burned to produce more top growth, root growth can become restricted and fruit and flower production can be delayed. A brix refractometer can show the signs of excess nitrates before it’s too late.

                        If nitrates are adequate but brix is still too low, it may be beneficial to increase the potassium levels. Potassium is a catalyst for carbohydrate metabolism, helping to increase brix. A grower has three choices for increasing the potassium-to-nitrate ratio: lower the nitrates, increase the potassium or do a little of both. Once you find the sweet spot, no pun intended, the brix should start to improve.

                        Use Humic and Fulvic Acids
                        Humic and fulvic acids are intermediate chelators, helping plants take up important trace elements. Since trace elements activate enzymes in the plant, the plant is able to do more chemical reactions per second, resulting in higher brix. Iron uptake is especially important. In nature, humic and fulvic acids hold onto iron ions like a claw and make them more available to the plant. Iron is a catalyst for chlorophyll synthesis, the green pigment in plants that actually manufactures sugars during photosynthesis. In fact, if iron availability is at optimal levels, plant genes will be activated to produce more chloroplasts to hold the extra chlorophyll, turning the plant into a more efficient sugar-making machine. The result? Higher brix.

                        Fulvic acid can be used as a foliar spray. The fulvic acid molecules transport the iron and other trace elements through the cell membranes, and release them inside the cell where they are needed the most. The carbon skeletons can then be metabolized by the plant. For best results, use a natural surfactant such as yucca extracts when using fulvic acid as a foliar feed. The surfactant prevents water from beading up on the waxy leaf surfaces, so the foliar spray spreads out in a thin film for better absorption by the leaf. Better absorption of iron results in higher brix.

                        Use Amino Acid Blends
                        Amino acids are also intermediate chelators, improving the uptake of minerals. In particular, amino acids improve the uptake of calcium. Certain amino acids stimulate root cells to open up calcium ion channels, allowing calcium to be taken up many times faster than simple osmosis. Calcium strengthens the stems and vascular system of the plant, allowing water and minerals to be taken up more efficiently. The more efficiently water and minerals are assimilated by the plant, the higher the brix.

                        I discovered the relationship between amino acids and brix when growing romaine lettuce one summer in an outdoor NFT system. I had just purchased my first brix refractometer, and I was taking brix tests on everything I could get my hands on and comparing the readings with brix charts. Brix charts indicate quality, either low, medium or premium quality, depending on how high the brix is. After I started using amino acids in my nutrient solution, the brix in the leaf tissue of my lettuce was off the charts. In fact, the brix level was so far above premium quality that statistically I’d have to create a new category for it. Every store and every restaurant that tasted the produce bought it at 20% above premium cost. We also went through three hard frosts without losing a single leaf. I found out later that for every 1% increase in brix, there is a half-degree lower freezing temperature. So the improved calcium uptake provided by the amino acid blend resulted in higher brix, better flavors, longer shelf life and higher sales prices.

                        Use Seaweed Extracts
                        Seaweed extracts also have a positive effect on brix. Seaweed extracts include mannitol, a natural sugar that chelates micronutrients and makes them more available to the plant. Seaweed extracts are also loaded with natural plant growth hormones that stimulate cell division. When used at the root zone, seaweed extracts stimulate cell division of root cells, resulting in more lateral root growth and greater root mass. Improved root growth creates more surface area for the uptake of water and minerals, further improving the brix of the plant. Seaweed extracts are synergistic with other organic biostimulants, so using a combination of additives is better than using any single additive alone.

                        Remember, plant growth is part of a complex system with many variables, so don’t expect a magic bullet to increase your brix overnight. Instead, use your refractometer along with other management tools in your garden. Light levels, air flow, pH, electrical conductivity and nutrient balance all affect brix in one way or another, and continuous improvement is the goal. I suggest you start by testing the brix of your healthiest, most productive plants and using the reading as a gold standard. Then take small steps to see if you can raise the brix in subsequent crops. As your brix goes up, you will soon see the relationship between brix and quality, and you will better enjoy the fruits of your labors.
                        Last edited by acespicoli; 02-03-2021, 05:14.
                        "if" the biggest small word in the dictionary


                          TWEAK NOTES FEEDING MAINTAINING PH IN SOIL: 2021
                          Humic acid is a group of molecules that bind to, and help plant roots receive, water and nutrients. High humic acid levels can dramatically increase yields. Humic acid deficiency can prevent farmers and gardeners from growing crops with optimum nutrition.

                          Thorvin Icelandic Geothermal Kelp is excellent for a range of applications from custom blends (e.g. seed start mix) to value‐add blended fertilizers.
                          • Add as inoculant at 5-10 lbs. per cubic yard.
                          • Mix in with final compost at 25-50 lbs. per cubic yard.
                          • Include in fertilizer blends as a trace mineral value-add ingredient at ½ to 2% of the mix.

                          Like all Thorvin fertilizer ingredients, this product is valued for its complex trace mineral and phytonutrient profile. It is harvested sustainably from the mineral‐rich waters of a pristine Icelandic fjord and then carefully dried and handled to preserve biological values.

                          Powder or Granules

                          Made from dried and ground Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed, Organic Kelp Meal is an excellent source of micronutrients and beneficial plant growth promoters. Contains over 60 naturally-chelated minerals and essential elements that the fast-growing sea plant absorbs from the cold, nutrient-rich waters of the North Atlantic.
                          Fish Bone Meal 4-12-0 is a marine-based alternative to traditional terrestrial bone meal options and is a great source of organic phosphorus and calcium.

                          As one of the three big nutrients for plants, phosphorous plays a role in both root and bloom development, which helps produce high-quality fruit and flowers. Phosphorus helps plants take to new soil by boosting root development. Strong root development means plants will grow faster and be healthier because they can absorb more water and nutrients from the soil. You will have larger carrots and potatoes, and flowers will produce bigger blossoms.

                          DTE Fish Bone Meal 4-12-0 also contains a small amount of organic nitrogen and is an ideal fertilizer for new garden beds, perennials and bulbs.
                          Langbeinite 0-0-22 is a naturally mined crystalline mineral that supplies the water-soluble sulfate form of three vital plant nutrients: potassium, magnesium and sulfurs. It’s maximum chlorine content is less than 3.0 percent, minimizing the potential for fertilizer “burn,” and it’s neutral pH does not alter soil activity.

                          Potassium contributes strongly to overall plant health by regulating internal processes. Since potassium makes up part of the fluid of the plant, it is found throughout plant tissue, meaning plants need a strong source of potassium as they grow. Potassium deficiencies lead to weak stalks and immature roots, leaving the plant susceptible to insects.

                          DTE Langbeinite 0-0-22 is widely used on sensitive vegetables and fruit crops that require high fertilization rates but do not tolerate high levels of chlorine or soluble salts. This standard grade langbeinite has a typical SGN of 95 and is an excellent source of readily available sulfur, potassium and magnesium.

                          Chelated iron fertilizers, in which the iron is combined with an organic chemical called a chelate that helps keep the iron in a plant-available form, are most appropriate for application to the soil. Fertilizing high pH soils with non-chelated iron fertilizers such as ferrous sulfate (FeSO4.2H2O) is not recommended because this iron will not be available to plants.
                          Last edited by acespicoli; 03-16-2021, 02:35.
                          "if" the biggest small word in the dictionary