Living organic soil from start through recycling

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schwagg

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


Ain't rocket science......

CC


any opinions of the basalt dust? i recycle over and over and never get the chance to play with new soils. besides when i recycle...
 
schwagg

The 'rock dust' term I used should have included an explanation, i.e. it's a mix I had made and bagged:

4x - Glacial Rock Dust - Canadian Glacial (Gaia Green label)
1x - Bentonite - from the pottery supply store in PDX
1x - Oyster Shell Powder - the standard product from San Francisco Bay
1x - Basalt - from Redmond, Oregon (new product at Concentrates - about $18.00)

No Dolomite Lime, Greensand or SRP was used. Or Azomite.

LOL

CC
 

Gascanastan

Gone but NOT forgotten...
Coot...
Dolomite......
I would like to believe that the bond between magnesium and calcium will eventually be broken when recycling soil for a # of years.....???
What is the deal with dolomite?..why doesn't it make sense and why does it work as a liming agent....only when WET.....?????
 

DARC MIND

Member
Coot...
What is the deal with dolomite?..why doesn't it make sense and why does it work as a liming agent....only when WET.....?????
it works best for peat based mixes & imo has to do with soil CEC
http://www.soilminerals.com/Cation_Exchange_Simplified.htm

Soil particles and organic matter have negative charges on their surfaces. Mineral cations can adsorb to the negative surface charges or the inorganic and organic soil particles.

Once adsorbed, these minerals are not easily lost when the soil is leached by water and they also provide a nutrient reserve available to plant roots.
These minerals can then be replaced or exchanged by other cations (i.e., cation exchange)​

concentrations of cations in soil solution helps determine the degree of adsorption.
Very acid soils will have high concentrations of H+ and Al3+. In neutral to moderately alkaline soils, Ca2+ and Mg2+ dominate.
 

Gascanastan

Gone but NOT forgotten...
it works best for peat based mixes & imo has to do with soil CEC
http://www.soilminerals.com/Cation_Exchange_Simplified.htm

Soil particles and organic matter have negative charges on their surfaces. Mineral cations can adsorb to the negative surface charges or the inorganic and organic soil particles.

Once adsorbed, these minerals are not easily lost when the soil is leached by water and they also provide a nutrient reserve available to plant roots.
These minerals can then be replaced or exchanged by other cations (i.e., cation exchange)​

concentrations of cations in soil solution helps determine the degree of adsorption.
Very acid soils will have high concentrations of H+ and Al3+. In neutral to moderately alkaline soils, Ca2+ and Mg2+ dominate.

Thanks Darc...I believe/ed it to be related to CEC as well...hence why it only works when wet,water is a conductor no....

.....of course we still wanna hear what Coot says... ..;)
 
Let's try this from another angle - To what end are you adding a 'liming agent'?

And by the question I mean specifically what Element are you wanting available in the soil to do whatever it is you're wanting or hoping for.

Let's see how this one plays out - LOL

CC
 

DARC MIND

Member
yea gas
hydrogen ions release nutrient cations into soil solution where they can be taken up by the adsorptive surfaces of roots and soil organisms...
 
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hydrogen ions release nutrient cations into soil solution where they can be taken up by the adsorptive surfaces of roots and soil organisms...
DM

Correct. Now factor in that the root hairs release Hydrogen (H+) ions as a 'form of payment' for that cation exchange.

Next up is why you don't ever want to have elevated levels of Magnesium (Mg) and once you figure that out then 80% of the Dolomite Lime question is answered.
 

Scrappy4

senior member
Let's try this from another angle - To what end are you adding a 'liming agent'?

And by the question I mean specifically what Element are you wanting available in the soil to do whatever it is you're wanting or hoping for.

Let's see how this one plays out - LOL

CC

I'll take your bait. I want calcium and magnesium. I want my peat based medium to be ph balanced.

But I want a lot more too. I want slow medium and fast calcium. I want plant based compounds, along with lots of elements. I want sources that attract bug eating bacteria. I want bug and disease control.....that's quite a wish list, èh? Scrappy
 

Gascanastan

Gone but NOT forgotten...
There's plenty of Magnesium in kelp to keep up with the entire life cycle of the plant...realistically.

I do the sul-po-mag for shits and giggles on the mag end....more for the sulfur.

Greensand...over it. Where might I score some 'dankdom'??...who makes that?

"Next up is why you don't want to ever have elevated levels of Magnesium (Mg) and once you figure that out then 80% of the Dolomite Lime question is answered."

I do not know....if I wasn't such a stoner I'd have thought to respond with what scrappy did....
 
I'll take your bait. I want calcium and magnesium. I want my peat based medium to be ph balanced.

But I want a lot more too. I want slow medium and fast calcium. I want plant based compounds, along with lots of elements. I want sources that attract bug eating bacteria. I want bug and disease control.....that's quite a wish list, èh? Scrappy
Scrappy

Okay - the first goals of wanting Calcium & Magnesium are good we'll stipulate. Whether or not you need a mineral amendment to achieve that will be put aside.

Dolomite Lime is used in 'the real world' when a complete soil analysis has been done and now you have a complete overview of the element levels, CeC, etc. and it's been established that lower levels exist for the long term on the Magnesium percentage. Even then, DL is applied maybe once every 4 or 5 years. The Magnesium in DL arrives as Magnesium Carbonate (MgCO3) but it's a bit more complicated than that.

The reason that it is 'slow acting' is the molecular structure and if you were to hit even WikiPedia and looked at the molecular formula you can easily understand why this material is as slow acting as it is.

If in fact you need a Magnesium jolt then you'd be far better off using a mined mineral compound like Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate) or Sul-Po-Mag (Sulphur, Potassium & Magnesium). The Magnesium in Epsom Salts is in its elemental form like Sul-Po-Mag.

The main straight liming agents, Limestone, Calcite (aka Agricultural Lime), Oyster shell powder and Crab meal are sources for Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3). All are pure Calcium Carbonate with the exception of Limestone which can have a Mg level between 2 - 3% depending on the specific mine, country of origin, etc.

When looking at the numbers on a Calcium Carbonate source you have to multiply the CaCO3 percentage by 0.375% and now you will have the elemental Calcium (Ca++) numbers.

Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) is the preferred 'liming' agent in the PNW due to the acidic soils we deal with (the west side). That has to do with the adulteration of the clay platelets which no longer carry a pure negative charge (-) on the edges which bind along its edge with the center of adjacent clay particles and now you have clay compaction. All the Rototilling isn't going to change that - ever.

So back to Dolomite Lime and why it's used in commercial potting soils - certainly not used by professional nurseries other than for specific growing schedules like 3 - 5 years in containers. Even then, DL is part of a 'liming mix' that will include Gypsum (Calcium & Sulphur), Limestone or one of the shells meals. Bottom line is the DL is the least expensive because Calcium Carbonate is widely used in animal & human supplements - next time you're in a store selling vitamins and supplements look at the label on the Calcium products - Calcium Carbonate.

Same for livestock and poultry. Calcium is a necessary part of their feed and DL isn't part of that. DL has several industrial, manufacturing, etc. uses - it's not the big deal in agriculture or horticulture like it is in the cannabis hobby gardening paradigm.

All of this assumes of course that the potting soil that you make is deficient in Calcium or Magnesium. It would be highly unlikely that given the compost and EWC you produce that you need additional Magnesium or Calcium. EWC are covered with a slime which is Calcium Carbonate from the worm's digestive tract.

Calcium is not this elusive element that Goober wants you to believe it is

CC
 

Gascanastan

Gone but NOT forgotten...
Scrappy

Okay - the first goals of wanting Calcium & Magnesium are good we'll stipulate. Whether or not you need a mineral amendment to achieve that will be put aside.

Dolomite Lime is used in 'the real world' when a complete soil analysis has been done and now you have a complete overview of the element levels, CeC, etc. Even then, DL is applied maybe every 4 or 5 years. The Magnesium in DL arrives as Magnesium Carbonate (MgCO3) but it's a bit more complicated than that.

The reason that it is 'slow acting' is the molecular structure and if you were to hit even WikiPedia and looked at the molecular formula you can easily understand why this material is as slow acting as it is.

If in fact you need a Magnesium jolt then you'd be far better off using a mined mineral compound like Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate) or Sul-Po-Mag (Sulphur, Potassium & Magnesium). The Magnesium in Epsom Salts is in its elemental form like Sul-Po-Mag.

The main straight liming agents, Limestone, Calcite (aka Agricultural Lime), Oyster shell powder and Crab meal are sources for Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3). All are pure Calcium Carbonate with the exception of Limestone which can have a Mg level between 2 - 3% depending on the specific mine, country of origin, etc.

When looking at the numbers on a Calcium Carbonate source you have to multiply the CaCO3 percentage by 0.375% and now you will have the elemental Calcium (Ca++) numbers.

So back to Dolomite Lime and why it's used in commercial potting soils - certainly not used by professional nurseries other than for specific growing schedules like 3 - 5 years in containers. Even then, DL is part of a 'liming mix' that will include Gypsum (Calcium & Sulphur), Limestone or one of the shells meals. Bottom line is the DL is the least expensive because Calcium Carbonate is widely used in animal & human supplements - next time you're in a store selling vitamins and supplements look at the label on the Calcium products - Calcium Carbonate.

Same for livestock and poultry. Calcium is a necessary part of their feed and DL isn't part of that. DL has several industrial, manufacturing, etc. uses - it's not the big deal in agriculture or horticulture like it is in the cannabis hobby gardening paradigm.

All of this assumes of course that the potting soil that you make is deficient in Calcium or Magnesium. It would be highly unlikely that given the compost and EWC you produce that you need additional Magnesium or Calcium. EWC are covered with a slime which is Calcium Carbonate from the worm's digestive tract.

Calcium is not this elusive element that Goober wants you to believe it is

CC

One of the best posts ever ^^^..
(I knew he'd do it..;)...)...still far above my pay scale~
 
V

vonforne

One of the best posts ever ^^^..
(I knew he'd do it..;)...)...still far above my pay scale~



yeahthatsign.gif
 
S

SeaMaiden

It's the carbonates that can present a problem, or a solution, IME.

I used DL extensively in my hardwater or saltwater aquaria because it's more conscientious than using crushed coral, it keeps the water column pH buffered upward (alkalinity), and with specific regard to corals and other hermatypic (reef-building) organisms it provides the basic Ca building blocks they need to make their skeletons.

So! *If* DL can do that in water (keep pH buffered upward and offer Ca, Mg isn't a big issue for hermatypic photosynthetic inverts), that causes me to question the conventional 'wisdom' of its availability, or lack thereof, in soils.

That has nothing to do with whether or not it's a preferred form of Ca and Mg, but those carbonates (the CO3 portion of the molecule) can present a problem if acidic levels of soil pH are what you're after. No?

What I don't know is how, in soils, plants and/or microbes utilize each portion of the molecule. In water the CO3 is keeping water stable and buffered upward, the Ca is used by the inverts (which means that, after a certain period of time you either need to add more DL/CC {CC=crushed coral} OR you need to dose the Ca. Most reefkeepers use something called kalkwasser, German for calcium water). What happens in moist soils?

I've already done the experiments that confirm to me that at least some amount of DL is soluble in a sufficiently acid water column (it actually doesn't need to be 'acid', just not above 8 for best results), which suggests that there is at least some availability early after application.

It is sometimes difficult to move from water to earth.
 
I've already done the experiments that confirm to me that at least some amount of DL is soluble

Calcium (Ca) and Magnesium (Mg) are metallic elements but you're claiming that they're water soluble?

This is the first component of the Cal-Mag Lockout Mythology, i.e that somehow aqueous suspension = solubility.

The other part of this myth is the silliest of the two - that somehow the application of elemental Calcium (Ca) causes a 'chemical reaction' in the soil resulting in this magical 'perfect pH' - as if it's like adding Acetic acid to Sodium Bicarbonate. That is not how pH (Probable Hydrogen) is maintained in the soil - even Dr. William Albrecht understood this over 70 years ago.

CC
 
S

SeaMaiden

At *least* Ca becomes available in the water column, yes. And by available I mean available for uptake by hermatypic organisms, as explained above. Reefkeepers are, or can be, pretty anal about water parameters.
 
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