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Old 04-11-2019, 07:23 PM
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Soil Construction and Organic Growing

Below is the text of BurnOne’s initial post in Organics for Beginners; I have reformatted it for my own clarity, and otherwise have left it almost entirely alone:

Originally Posted by BurnOne View Post
Here are some tried and true recipes for getting started in organic growing. Pick one of the first two soiless mix recipes for your grow medium. Then, choose a nutrient recipe that will work best for what you have available.

Here are two very good organic soiless mixes...

LC's Mix is great for any stage of growth. You can germ seeds in it, grow mothers in it, root clones in it as well as veg and flower in it.

LC’s Soiless Mix #1:

5 parts Canadian Sphagnum Peat or Coir or Pro-Moss
3 parts perlite
2 parts worm castings or mushroom compost or home made compost
Powdered (NOT PELLETED) dolomite lime @ 2 tablespoons per gallon or 1 cup per cubic foot of the soiless mix.
...Wal-Mart now sells worm castings.

Or, if you use Pro Mix, Sunshine Mix or Fox Farm mixes...

LC's Soiless Mix #2:

6 parts Pro Mix BX or HP, Sunshine Mix (any flavor from #1 up), Fox Farm Ocean Forest or Light Warrior
2 parts perlite
2 parts earthworm castings
Powdered (NOT PELLETED) dolomite lime @ 2 tablespoons per gallon or 1 cup per cubic foot of the soiless mix.

If you use a 3 qt. saucepan as “parts” in the amounts given above, it equals about 1 cu. ft. of soiless mix and you can just dump in a cup of powdered dolomite lime. The dolomite lime is for Ca. and Mg. not just to adjust the PH of the soil.

But, a "part" can be anything from a tablespoon to a five gallon bucket. Just use the same item for all of the "parts".

Now for the plants organic food source

Choose one of these organic plant food recipes to add to LC's Soiless Mix.


If you want to use organic nutrients like Blood meal, Bone meal and Kelp meal...

1 TBSP Blood meal per gallon / 1/2 cup per cubic foot
2 TBSP Bone meal per gallon / 1 cup per cubic foot
1 TBSP kelp meal per gallon / 1/2 cup per cubic foot or Maxicrop 1-0-4 powdered kelp extract as directed

(OPTIONAL) 1 TBSP per gallon / 1/2 cup per cubic foot of Jersey Greensand to supplement the K (potasium) in the Kelp Meal and seaweed extract.

Mix all the dry nutrients into the soiless mix, mix well and wet it, but don't soak it. Use Liquid Karma and water @ 1 TBSP/gal. Stir and mix it a few times a week for a week or two so the bacteria can get oxygen and break down the nutrients and make it available.

And don't let the mix dry out, keep it moist and add water as needed. It'll also have time to get the humic acids in the Liquid Karma going and the dolomite lime will be better able to adjust the pH of a peat based mixture too.

With this recipe, all you need to do is add plain water until harvest.

When I'm working with seeds, I punch a hole in the bottom of 16 ounce cups and fill them with plain LC's Mix. Lightly wet the mix in the cups and germinate one seed in each cup. At the same time I mix enough LC's mix along with the blood/bone/kelp to fill all the 3 gallon flower pots I'm going to use for the grow. After about two weeks, the seedlings and the blood/bone/kelp mix are ready. I transplant the seedlings into the 3 gallon pots and just add water until harvest.

When you go to flower and pull up the males, save the mix in the pots. It is ready to be used again immediately. Just remove the root ball and transplant another seedling into it.


If you want to use guano in your soil mix...

Bongaloid's Guano Mix.
Use all these items combined with one gallon of soil mix.

1/3C hi N Guano (Mexican Bat Guano or Peruvian Seabird Guano (PSG))
1/2C hi P Guano (Jamaican or Indonesian Bat Guano)
1TBSP Kelp Meal

(OPTIONAL) 1TBSP Jersey Greensand

RECIPE #3 (My favorite)

If you want to use guano tea and kelp...

Guano Tea and Kelp:

Seedlings less than 1 month old nutrient tea mix

Mix 1 C earthworm castings into 5 gallons of water to make the tea.
Add 5 TSP Black Strap Molasses.

Use it to water your seedlings with every 2nd or 3rd watering.

Veg mix:
1/3 C Peruvian Seabird Guano (PSG)
1/3 C High N Bat Guano (Mexican)
1/3 C Earth Worm Castings (EWC)

(That makes the "dry mix". You can make all you want and save it to use later.)

Mix with water @ 1 cup of dry mix into 5 gallons of water to make the tea.

To that 5 gallons of tea add:
5 TBSP liquid seaweed (Maxicrop or Neptune's Harvest)
5 TSP Black Strap Molasses

Use it to water with every 3rd watering.

Flowering nute tea mix:
2/3 C Peruvian Seabird Guano
2/3 C Earth Worm Castings
2/3 C High P Guano (Indonesian or Jamaican)

(That makes the "dry mix". You can make all you want and save it to use later.)

Mix with water @ 2 C of dry mix into 5 gallons of water to make the tea.

To that 5 gallons of tea add:
5 TBSP liquid seaweed (Maxicrop or Neptune's Harvest)
5 TSP. Black Strap Molasses
Use it to water with EVERY watering.

You can use queen size knee high nylon stockings for tea bags. 3 pair for a dollar at the dollar store. Tell 'em you use them for paint strainers. Put the recommended tea in the stocking, tie a loop knot in it and hang it in your tea bucket. The tea should look like a mud puddle. Agitate the bag in the water vigorously. An aquarium pump and air stone will dissolve oxygen into the solution and keep the good bacteria (microherd) alive and thriving. Let it bubble a day or two before you use it. If you find you are making too much tea and having to throw it out, use 2 1/2 gallons of water and cut the nute amount by half.

Three Little Birds Method
40 gallons used soil
4 cups alfalfa meal
4 cups bone meal
4 cups kelp meal
4 cups powdered dolomite lime
30 pound bag of earthworm castings . . .
That’s the basic recipe, however we also like to use:
4 cups of Greensand
4 cups of Rock Phosphate
4 cups of diatomaceous earth

Fish and Seaweed (This is sooo easy)
1 capful is 1 TB or 15 ml.

For veg growth…
1 capful 5-1-1 Fish Emulsion
1 capful Neptune's Harvest 0-0-1 Seaweed or Maxicrop liquid
1 gallon H2O

For early flowering…
1 tbs. Neptune’s Harvest 2-3-1 Fish/Seaweed
1 gallon H2O

For mid to late flowering…
1 tbs. Neptune’s Harvest 2-4-1 Fish
1 gallon H2O

And now for some more good tips...

Seed Germination

First, you'll need some LC's Mix

I use Sunleaves Super Starter Plugs. They are pre-moistened. I drop one seed down in the hole. Gently push them to the bottom of the hole. No need to cover the hole.

I use a 5.5" X 5.5" square Kord pot or any 1 to 3 quart nursery pot and fill it full to the top with the LC's Mix. Don't pack it. Dig out enough soil mix to place one plug into one pot of mix about level with the top of the mix in the pot.
Set the seed in the plug in the mix in the pot aside in a 75 to 85 degree well lit space until the seedlings sprout.

Don't water it, sing to it, piss on it or anything else that will kill it with what you may think is kindness.

Listen up, this is important...
When the leaves of the seedlings are about one inch above the top of the plug, push the plug down into the LC's mix until the seedling leaves are just below the top of the pot. Now use some fresh LC's Mix and gently pack it around the stem of the seedling all the way up to the first leaves. When finished, the mix should be level across the top just below the bottom of the leaves a millimeter or two. Not all seeds will sprout at the same time so you will have to do this at different times. If you don't push the plugs down and support the stems with mix, they will fall over and die. If the stems continue to stretch you can push the plugs down further into the mix. These little suckers are robust below the surface of the mix. Don't be afraid of pushing them down gently.
The moisture in the mix should be plenty for several days. Don't let it completely dry out or soak it down with water. Add no nutes to the mix for about two weeks.

Your seedlings can stay in these pots for 2 to 4 weeks and then can be transplanted into a grow medium rich in organic food like blood/bone/kelp.
I hope this helps get you started. It's worked for me many hundreds of times.

Organic pH issues

I hear a lot of people asking or talking about the pH of their organic soil mix or organic nute solution and how they might correct or adjust it. pH in organics is not an issue like it is in synthetic growing.

The best place to settle the pH issues in organics is within the grow medium. A "living" medium rich in humates (humus) is the place to start. Humates and bacteria work to "buffer" the pH of organic mediums and the nutes you pour (or mix) into it.

Humates come from compost, worm castings and bottled humus. If you use a peat based medum, use dolomite lime to raise the pH of the acidic peat. Dolomite should be used in any soil or soiless medium to provide magnesium and calcium. But since we are talking about pH here, I'll mention dolomite lime's pH correction benefits.

A medium of coir has a pH near neutral (or 7.0). But humates are still neded to allow uptake of organic nutrients that are outside a near neutral pH range.
With an active medium rich in humates you can pour in nutes like fish, Earth Juice and guano teas way outside the optimum pH range without worry. The humus and bacteria will allow the nutes to be taken up through the roots, even at such an extreme pH reading.
So throw those pH meters away folks and enjoy the ease and safety of organic gardening.

Chlorine tap water

Just a word of caution for you organic heads out there...
If you are tapped onto a municipal water supply that uses chlorine to kill bacteria in the water, it'll do the same thing to the bacteria (microherd) in your organic food source.

ALWAYS bubble your municipal water in an open container (5 gallon bucket) for 24 hours before adding ANYTHING organic to it.


There is absolutely no reason to "flush" organic nute solutions from your soil mix. In an organic grow, the plants don't take up the organic nutes (guano, bone, blood or kelp). The bacteria eat the organic nutes and excrete food that the plant can feed off of. So the organic nutes don't need to be flushed because they never enter the plant. Besides, meals like kelp, bone and blood along with worm castings and dolomite can't be flushed from your soil mix anyway.

If you use guano and seaweed, try using plain water or worm casting tea for your last watering or two so the plant can use up what's left in the soil. But drowning your soil with water isn't necessary.

Originally Posted by “BurnOne”

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