Originally Posted by Dday391
So I have a couple questions.. as I grew up in a completely different area that was mostly desert, I feel like I'm out of place somewhat in the woods. I'm trying to look for rich soil spots by observing the ground vegetation. Is there a method people use for this our am I crazy and over thinking this? I'm assuming the better spots would be where medium sized bushes/ growth is concentrated. Is there any good resources on here to identify these areas or is it just guesswork without lab tests on the soil? Also what are some good ways to identify weak/ dying trees. I had two fall in a late storm last year and destroyed a couple plants, while I know it coulda been a freak accident I'm just trying to give myself a good chance of success this season and I'm trying to learn. Any help is much appreciated
Hey Dday... I have never once checked the pH of soil in any area I have grown in, in the last 16 years. But I do live in Kentucky and we are blessed with the perfect natural medium here. However I know that not everywhere is "perfect", just a figure of speech.
Anyway what I do, and recommend you do is simply add dolomite lime to your grow holes. Most farm supply, feed stores, hardware stores, you can get 50lb bags of dolomite lime for as little as 9 to 12 bucks. This will help stabilize and buffer your pH. Gypsum is another option as well, but I prefer the dolomite.
Throw that in and mix it up real good while you are prepping your grounds, at least a few weeks before you plant. I usually add a cup or two per hole depending on the size of the hole I am working with. Now This is very important on how much pro mix you add to your holes, the more pro mix or peat based medium you put into your holes, the more you have to water. In California and such this is good as you can grow in your back yard and you can water whenever you please... But in a guerilla grow, you want a loose medium but you don't want a dominant loose medium. I always throw water polymer crystals in my mix as well, I dont pre charge them because they pull the moisture from the soil quickly and fill up within a couple days. One trick I have learned in the past, and my particular method is do your amending and dig up your holes real well. Do the water polymers as your final step. Once you got the holes dug out and mixed real good lay your water crystals on top of the soil... Come back in a couple of days and you will find that the morning dew has completely charged them. Then turn your soil, and mix it real well. Works every time.
I always measure out about 5 gallons worth of pro-mix, throw in a contractor trash bag, and haul that to each hole I dig. I make sure a lot of it is mixed more so in the center area of the hole rather then the outside, if I am planting small plants. This helps give the roots a lighter mix to grow out into, which will give you a faster start in early veg. That is what you want... Once the plant starts putting on little size and the roots get well established, then it will grow on into the heavier "native"/pro-mix" part of the hole.
I also like to walk around and scoop up the top 2 inches of the rich top layer of composted leaves/twigs/grass etc and throw into my holes as well. I love finding places with old logs and fallen trees that have decomposed and leaves that rich, moist, black material beneath them. That is some good stuff. I like to break it down as much as possible, and leave chunks too as these hold moisture very well.
If you do a 30 to 40% promix to 70 to 60% native earth mix, you will never have to water your plants unless you just wanna supplement them. As long as you are getting a few rains here and there, they will survive.
As far as the tree a falling go, just plant on the opposite side of where the tree is leaning?