Living organic soil from start through recycling

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Gascanastan

Gone but NOT forgotten...
Here's the base mix I suggest to all humans in dry US gallons..

3 to 4 gallons regular peat moss with no additives...no need for fancy packages...(if the topsoil,compost,EWC in the recipe look like they might be muddy...use 4 gallons,if not use 3...or adjust accordingly)
1 gallon HIGH quality earthworm castings
1 gallon local HIGH quality topsoil screened for this potting mix
2 or more gallons small and/or medium sized pumice,perlite,or lava rock...consistencies vary,adjust accordingly.
1 gallon vermiculite
2 gallons coco husk..rinsed well and fully hydrated
1 gallon leaf litter or forest duff..screened for this potting mix
1 gallon HIGH quality compost
1/2 gallon screened clay or bentonite

1/2 cup this 3 part lime mix based off Steve Soloman's 3 -way lime mix..adjusted by Coot a few years ago.....for the peat moss..and a continued supply of mag,cal,and sulfur as you recycle.

Since the start of this thread we have since determined that dolomite is not necessary,but this lime mix still works for the peat moss ph regardless.

1 part powdered dolomite lime
1 part agricultural gypsum
2 parts powdered oyster shell

These dried commercially available amendments...

2 cups crab shell meal
4 cups acadian kelp meal
4 cups fish meal OR N. bat guano
4 cups fish bone meal
1 cup sul-po-mag...aka langbeinite
2 cups neem seed meal..or karanja seed meal
1 cup alfalfa

Mix all ingredients together WELL....then fill your pots with the dry and mixed base mix.

Now make enough Aerated Compost Tea following Microbe Man's instructions to saturate the mix in each pot until it is thoroughly moist.

Let this sit undisturbed for at least 3 to 4 weeks before planting.

Now...

..considering the type of cannabis grown,this will be fine as a water only,no ph'ing,no flush beginning organic soil mix INTENDED for recycling....there may be a need to topdress or supply another ACT in mid-flower..type of cannabis depending.

Some types of cannabis have larger root networks and can utilize more from the soil,some types are more sensitive to certain un-composted amendments like alfalfa and fish meal...but 3 or more weeks allowing this mix to 'cook' which actually means composting or breaking down of organic materials. This should be fine for almost anything considering you have assembled the components according to the variables of your material.

If you feel that 3 weeks may be pushing it before transplanting fresh cuts into....ease your mind and let it sit for 4 or more weeks..just make sure it remains moist. Moisture is critical for the microbial processing of organic matter.

If you lack one or more of the ingredients,look for suitable replacements...most replacements are fine.

I will talk more about re-amending as the thread progresses.:tiphat:
 
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V

vonforne

:biggrin:

So, when I ´cook´ my soil what temps do I use with the oven?

My base mix is-(I do all my mixes in 50 gallon lots)

Peat- either Premier from Home Depot or Pro mix from Menard´s
Perlit
Pumice (Natures footprint)
20% EWC (mine)
10% Compost (on the first mix I used Composted Steer Manure from my buddies farm)
Bio char (Royal Oak or Cowboy brand)

Lime mix-
Gypsum, Crushed Oyster shell (from feed store used as scratch), Coral calcium and Dolomite lime. Also added were Glacial rock dust and Azomite. Later when I cycled the soil I added Rock Phosphate in very small amounts.

Dried amendments-when I finish a cycle I re-amend with various mixes of these based on what I think the soil needs. Usually just by using handfuls. lol I know but it works for me.

Alfalfa (from feed store)
Kelp meal (from feed store)
N guano, fish meal, neem meal and Alfalfa
P guano, fish bone meal

When I used the larger containers I would add handfuls of worms from the bin and place a lid with holes in it. Set it off to the side and let them do their work adding ACT every so often making sure the soil was kept moist. I would also add shrimp and crab meal during this time.

V
 
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Gascanastan

Gone but NOT forgotten...
:biggrin:


So, when I ´cook´ my soil what temps do I use with the oven?

Hey V,where U bean??

475 degrees on 'bake'....not broil....for broiling you'll need BBQ sauce.

The term 'cook'...WTF????

I suppose 'composting' or 'breaking down of organic matter' would be some of the correct terms eh......


HEY OFC'ers....post your living organic recyclable base/starting mix here....Coot,Heady,Scrap,Darc,etc..
 
Equal parts of Sphagnum peat moss, some aeration deal (pumice, rice hulls, lava rock - whatever is sitting in the garage) and finally some mix of humus - my compost, worm castings some black leaf mold I bought from the local 'worm guy'

To each 1 c.f. of this mix I add the following:

1/2 cup organic Neem meal
1/2 cup organic Kelp meal
1/2 cup Crab meal (or Crustacean meal when available - it has Shrimp meal with the Crab meal. It's a local product from the fisheries on the Oregon & Washington Coasts)

4 cups of some minerals - rock dust

After the plant is in the final container I top-dress with my worm castings at 2" or so and then I hit it with Aloe vera juice and Comfrey extract. Or Borage. Or Stinging Nettle. Or Horsetail ferns. Whatever is ready.

That's it.

To recycle I've just been letting the root ball breakdown and I remove it. I dump the potting soil into an extra large SmartPot container (50 gallons) and add some new potting soil mix as above. I water it down with Kelp meal and Comfrey tea and let it sit until I need it.

Ain't rocket science......

CC
 

dank.frank

ef.yu.se.ka.e.em
ICMag Donor
I'm not sure where the term cook came from either honestly - compost is the correct term for certain...


dank.Frank
 

oldguy

Member
CC, This must be your recipe I got a little while back.
50% Organic Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss (Alaska Peat brand specifically)
25% Organic Parboiled Rice Hulls
25% Homegrown EWC

To each 1 c.f. of potting soil I add the following:
4 - 5 cups of Canadian Glacial Rock Dust
1.5 cups of a mix I make up that consists of equal parts of kelp, neem and crab meals (Measure by volume and not by weight.)

Water on most days with a weekly application of some botanical tea - Comfrey, Yarrow or Horsetail or a combination of 2 or all 3.

If it is it is working like a dream! Thanks! Cheers!
 

DARC MIND

Member
i use the term cure,
cook was used back in the OG days,when blood,bone,guano and all would heat up media as they break down..

i know sub use to claim mixing super hot soil as "composting 101" & he's an expert!
 

Scrappy4

senior member
Here is the mix that I'm currently using. It was mixed a year ago from May. I continue to use the same mix and on no till recycle I have added comfrey leaves, neem meal, crab meal in small amounts. I feed with mostly botanical based teas, or FPE's of comfrey, alfalfa meal, nettles, dandelion, borage, mullein, neem meal, kelp meal, and yarrow. And Like gascanstan said it just keeps getting better.

1 3 cf bag of premier mix ($9 at home depot, it is pro mix without any additives)
1 cf of used pro mix soil
2 cf of homemade thermo compost
.5 cf of perlite 2 -.5 cf bags of lava rock
6 cups of espoma brand bio tone starter plus
3 cups alfalfa meal
3 cups kelp meal
3 cups crab meal
2 cups of a 50/50 mix of neem cake and karanja cake
for minerals i mixed 1 cups of soft rock phosphate, 1 cup of oyster shell, 1 cup gypsum, 3/4 cup of sul po mag, 1 cup of azomite
 

Scrappy4

senior member
I think it is important to reintegrate the part Cootz touched on in another thread. When a lot of us simply say compost, thermo compost and earth worm castings, we do not mean store bought off the shelf materials. This is where we win in this game, and it all starts before a cutting or seedling hits the soil. Properly made ewc/compost equals some work, and takes some time. But it is time well spent IMHO.

Our organic grows are a direct result of our compost quality, no other way to put it. So I feel it is where you want to spend your time, efforts and resources. When you make great compost, the actual grow is almost a non event. Things just chug long when those microbes are happy........scrappy
 
I think it is important to reintegrate the part Cootz touched on in another thread. When a lot of us simply say compost, thermo compost and earth worm castings, we do not mean store bought off the shelf materials. This is where we win in this game, and it all starts before a cutting or seedling hits the soil. Properly made ewc/compost equals some work, and takes some time. But it is time well spent IMHO.

Our organic grows are a direct result of our compost quality, no other way to put it. So I feel it is where you want to spend your time, efforts and resources. When you make great compost, the actual grow is almost a non event. Things just chug long when those microbes are happy........scrappy
Thank you for that clarification - humus sources are not equal or even close

Commercial thermal compost operations are there to reduce biomass and nothing more.

CC
 
S

SeaMaiden

Sub-scribed...?

I need to have my husband set up another wifi hotspot for me so I can access all this information while I'm out in the garden.
 

Desert Dan

Well-known member
I think it is important to reintegrate the part Cootz touched on in another thread. When a lot of us simply say compost, thermo compost and earth worm castings, we do not mean store bought off the shelf materials. This is where we win in this game, and it all starts before a cutting or seedling hits the soil. Properly made ewc/compost equals some work, and takes some time. But it is time well spent IMHO.

Our organic grows are a direct result of our compost quality, no other way to put it. So I feel it is where you want to spend your time, efforts and resources. When you make great compost, the actual grow is almost a non event. Things just chug long when those microbes are happy........scrappy

Its funny you say this... Once upon a time I had a bunch of clones ready for transplant, but I had no soil! I remembered I had a trashcan full of old compost out back and proceeded to use straight compost for transplant. A couple organic teas and a harvest later I had pulled off my most trouble free grow ever!

DD
 

Gascanastan

Gone but NOT forgotten...
All excellent soil recipes that can be used and recycled forever.
I will definitely support making your own compost and EWC...as my compost is superior over ANY commercial brand. Not only do you get a superior end result,but you also pick up the local diversity of insects,bacteria's,and fungi.

I push my beginning soil mix coming from a noob's point of view...often they just don't get it or don't have the resources to compost or make their own castings....they look for amendments they can just go and purchase somewhere...anywhere really.

I can personally verify Coots mix as well. I received a gift of a plant that was some kind of monster in a smart pot full one of his mixes. The plant produced over 3000 seed with nothing but an EWC topdress in late flower..

I've pix of my own grows in 3 year old recycled soil that I can post also.
 

Gascanastan

Gone but NOT forgotten...
"Aloe vera" juice - a must have from my experience

I can personally attest to an aloe foliar spray being one of the things that changed the health of my plants in a matter of hours

Some things I've not mentioned that I have incorporated into the recycling/re-amending...

Dried and pulverized Horsetail @ 2 to 4 cups per cubic foot of soil

Dried and pulverized Comfrey @ 2 to 4 cups per cubic foot of soil

Sand...yes sand is critical for proper drainage and water retention.

Glacial rock dust....can work like a sand,but contains far more minerals than regular sand.

Azomite...montmorillonite clay....sort of like Bentonite

Pyrophyllite clay

When building soil with sands and clay it is important to understand soil types in order to have a medium that can support the functions of the micro-organisms and the plants.

Here is a typical soil chart.....what kind of soil do you have?

picture.php
 

Gascanastan

Gone but NOT forgotten...
Its funny you say this... Once upon a time I had a bunch of clones ready for transplant, but I had no soil! I remembered I had a trashcan full of old compost out back and proceeded to use straight compost for transplant. A couple organic teas and a harvest later I had pulled off my most trouble free grow ever!

DD

Compost is king!!! I have grown plants in just compost alone just to see if it worked..it does,yet some composts may not be an ideal medium for indoor container gardening.

Drainage and aeration can become problems,especially for noobs who haven't yet mastered watering skills.

Noobs often over-water .....and underwater once they've been told they are over watering.

Soil should never dry out completely,and the moisture needs to be evenly distributed throughout the medium. When watering make sure that it doesn't just run right trough the pot. It needs to be absorbed.

Understanding container and plant size is also pretty crucial for watering indoor container plants..Verdant Green has some posts about container and plant size.

Balance and discipline in watering must be obtained if you're going to grow some cannabis indoors in containers using living soil.

I like Von's description of watering he has often posted ...he's nailed it.
 
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