Originally Posted by mexweed
lots of variables, plant genetics will develop root systems that perform differently, some plants will be heavy feeders/fast drinkers, some will hold their moisture for a day or two longer than others during increased hot and dry conditions, anyone that has ever had AC malfunction during the summer knows there are the plants that look like nothing happened and the ones that almost die
the root structures interact with the microbes and available nutrients, in organic what you put into the soil isn't always what the plant uptakes, at least not as calculable of a NPK like hydro
if there is too much immediately available the microbes won't work as much on breaking down stuff to be available later, if something with too much immediately available gets mixed in an already good soil it can burn the plants, generally it's better to mix in stuff that will get broken down and become available as the base soil depletes
if something is too fine of a powder and someone is watering until there is a fair amount of runoff it will wash through the medium before getting broken down and used, fine powders can also wash down into the medium and clump together, this can inhibit moisture retention in the area which prevents nutrients in those spots from getting broken down as efficiently
the microbes present also play a major role, is there just some mycorrhizae or does it have a nice bacteria profile too
the top of the soil is what dries out first, the more mixed and distributed a nutrient source is throughout the medium the better balance of moisture and oxygen it will have, a primary feature of good soil is its moisture retention/aeration, it's important that the top layer is able to hold moisture
Great points! Understand the above and you will be a great organic living soil grower.
I would like to add that in order to keep the top soil moist most of the time, add some organic mulch like straw, wood chips, compostd shredded bark, etc. Becareful with straw and make sure it was not spray with any craps from the ag industry as those nasty pesticide will seep down into your soild and kill all the microbes.
Always add mulch! And don't let your soild dry out. I also never water until there is a huge run off. When I want to do some deep water, I water until I can feel some moisture by touching the pot ( I grow in fabric pot).
As for NPK, if you're not growing commercially, "good enough" is good enough. haha. Eventually, after a year or so of growing, you can just add stuff in the soil mix or top dressing by feel and intuition. And always use the same soil as all the good stuff that were broken down from the previous grow is still in there. Each grow will become better and better if one uses the same soil. Just re-ammend after each grow.