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Old 09-21-2018, 10:35 PM #1
sativaking
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First time building a semi self sustaining soil mix opinions on Ingredients needed!

So these soil mix ingredients comes from a couple Icmagers. Does anyone have any ideas for substitutions or take aways. Im building my first Organic soil mix. Feel free to leave comments and suggestions.

This particular mix is meant to be used with just water but effective micro organisms can be added as well as compost teas.

peat moss

rice hulls

gallons worm casting

oyster shell flour

gypsum

azomite

basalt rock dust

bentonite

crab shell meal

high P bat guano

alfalfa meal

fish bone meal

kelp meal

granular humic acid

diatomaceous earth

3mm biochar

greensand

langbenite

cups lime

dry molasses

mykose

neem meal

bokashi


BASE SOIL…….?

Peat

Coco coir

Coco croutons

Builders sand

Lobster compost

Growstones
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Old 09-22-2018, 12:57 AM #2
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There's something to be said about keeping it simple. I would avoid loading the mix up with too much food at a time. It can potentially attract unwanted things to the soil and/or burn plants. Other than those long-acting things like green sand, you're probably best going with a more inert mix and adding in what you need as you go. Green sand specifically breaks down so slowly that you might not get anything out of it your first run unless you let the soil cook for quite some time. Castings, guano, and manures in general are the total opposite though.
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Old 09-22-2018, 01:47 AM #3
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It sounds good but be aware there are places that sell premixed organic fertilizers with many of the same ingredients. For soil beds/containers I think filtered compost tea is the way to go, not topdressing because it adds sludge to containers that doesn't drain. In the ground I try for roughly equal parts native clay, homemade compost, bulk compost/amendment mix, and some aeration. This round I mixed 2 bags of Royal Gold Tupur in each 3'x8'x15" bed along with azomite, andesite, gypsum, powdered ag lime (cal mag), Down To Earth Vegan Mix, Acid Mix, Bio-Fish. Seabird Guano (Mocha, Nitro Pellet, Vital Earth). Maybe 10-20 lbs of alfalfa pellets in each bed. Organic amendments, once they cook can be mixed pretty strong and will not burn plants. However this is all integrated into a sustainable farming model which will improve itself over time as it produces. This is no "recipe" for "how much?" guano to use per square foot I'm afraid, at least IMO. Because inevitably someone will want to finance the entire island of it and that goes against the small farmer and sustainability IMO. soil 2c /rant
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Old 09-22-2018, 01:55 AM #4
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Without actual amounts per cubic feet, that list of ingredients doesn't mean much.

Heres my mix.


NPK MACRO MEALS
[]1 Cup Kelp (1-0-2)
[]1/2 Cup Bone (4-10-0)
[]1/2 Cup Fishbone (4-18-0)
[]1/2 Cup Neem (4-3-2)
[]1/2 Cup Insect Frass (3-1-3)
[]1/3 Cup Alfalfa (3-1-2)
[]1/3 Cup Soymeal (7-2-2)

MINERAL
[]2 Cup Granite Grit (0-0-3)
[]1 Cup Diatomaceous Earth
[]1 Cup Glacial Rock Dust (0-0-1)
[]1/8 Cup Basalt (0-0-1)
[]1/8 Cup Azomite

CALCIUM
[]1/2 Cup Gypsum
[]1/4 Cup Dolomite

OTHER
[]1 Cup Dehydrated Molasses

BASE
1 CF = 8 LOOSE FILLED GALLON

5 Gallon Recycled Soil Mix
(33% Peat, 33% Organic Matter, 33% Perlite)

+
1 Gallon EWC
1/4 Gallon BioChar
1/2 Gallon Guinea/Horse Manure
1/2 Gallon Vermiculite
1/2 Gallon Expanded Clay
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:13 PM #5
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Simple, it is not.

I think I counted over 28 separate items in your list, but scrolling so much I can't be sure.

What I CAN tell you, from experience, is, I've been using the same basic mix (peat moss, perlite, pine bark fines, lime), for over 45 years, always making it myself.

The first 35 years or so it was always with Jack's Classic (Peters back then), and organic amendments the last 10 years or so. Works great no matter the nute source, it's a great base mix. Taught to me in 1972 by a since passed away, old grower.

Anyway, my first organic attempt was a simple Blood-Bone-Kelp deal (LC's #1), and went great.

Then, I started reading mj forums and my amendment list looked similar to yours. My grows went to shit. Long story short, it took several years to find out just what was needed and what wasn't. Now, my amendment list is between 5-7 items and usually stays under 10 items total including the components for the base mix.

The main thing I learned over the years is, start simple with a solid mix and only add 1 or 2 items and observe the effects. Way easier than having 15+ items and trying to figure out which one is causing problems. That's what I tried at first and just wasted time.

I can tell you this: The absolute #1 thing you can do for ANY sort of organic growing success is to start a worm bin! I would suggest this even before the soil mix, because your own fresh castings/VC is literally a game changer. Not to mention it takes a few months for the first ones to be ready.

I usually don't share my soil recipe, not out of secrecy or anything, but what works for me, in my grow zone (7A), and environment might not work as well in another and need a little tweaking, IDK. I will share it with that caveat. Your call.

Wet
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:41 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wetdog View Post
Simple, it is not.

I think I counted over 28 separate items in your list, but scrolling so much I can't be sure.

What I CAN tell you, from experience, is, I've been using the same basic mix (peat moss, perlite, pine bark fines, lime), for over 45 years, always making it myself.

The first 35 years or so it was always with Jack's Classic (Peters back then), and organic amendments the last 10 years or so. Works great no matter the nute source, it's a great base mix. Taught to me in 1972 by a since passed away, old grower.

Anyway, my first organic attempt was a simple Blood-Bone-Kelp deal (LC's #1), and went great.

Then, I started reading mj forums and my amendment list looked similar to yours. My grows went to shit. Long story short, it took several years to find out just what was needed and what wasn't. Now, my amendment list is between 5-7 items and usually stays under 10 items total including the components for the base mix.

The main thing I learned over the years is, start simple with a solid mix and only add 1 or 2 items and observe the effects. Way easier than having 15+ items and trying to figure out which one is causing problems. That's what I tried at first and just wasted time.

I can tell you this: The absolute #1 thing you can do for ANY sort of organic growing success is to start a worm bin! I would suggest this even before the soil mix, because your own fresh castings/VC is literally a game changer. Not to mention it takes a few months for the first ones to be ready.

I usually don't share my soil recipe, not out of secrecy or anything, but what works for me, in my grow zone (7A), and environment might not work as well in another and need a little tweaking, IDK. I will share it with that caveat. Your call.

Wet
Your post was very insightful thank you! It's funny because you describe exactly my situation that I am in starting off, which was with out any organic experience try to make the "ultimate" mix with as many amendments as possible. I am doing my first run with this one and I was thinking, if this doesn't work, I have no idea what the issue is and what to change. I mean I can dilute it, or do a soil test to see if its out of whack. I have noticed that compost teas would not make them take of anymore and infact cause some issues, various leaf tip burn and other spots. Which makes me think my mix is so rich, that I don't even need a compost tea to give it a boost, its making it go over the edge in fact. Please share your recipe, I just want to see what youve come up with after all your experience. Whats your theory on why too many things are bad? Your outdoor I assume because you mentioned your zone? How would all this apply to indoor if any different? cheers mang
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Old 09-22-2018, 06:53 PM #7
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I put about 6-7 lbs of vegan mix, 1 lb each acid mix and bio-fish, 8 lbs andesite, 15-20 lbs alfalfa pellets, 4-7 lbs guano and nearly 20% by volume nitrogen fixing cover crop compost in each garden bed. I originally intended to set them out earlier, but after cooking for a month or two with occasional watering it looks like they've digested well. Can't see the expanded alfalfa pellets anymore or much of the straw in the compost just sweet soil.

Last edited by Mengsk; 09-23-2018 at 01:06 AM..
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:58 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSchoolGrow View Post
This is why you should mix your base, (compost, perlite and peat) test it. Then amend what you need, test again, amend again.
Soil testing doesn't give you a complete picture since it only shows available nutrients. So relying on it 100% I think is not wise? Many growers get great results without ever doing a soil test, I would do one for shits and giggles after a few runs just to see what is starting to build up high and then avoid adding that in the next couple of amendment rounds.
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Old 09-22-2018, 08:43 PM #9
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Ill second starting a worm bin first.
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Old 09-23-2018, 02:53 AM #10
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Bingo. I've got a consult in Thailand coming up and the first things I do will be to source local ingredients and test test test.
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