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Damar

Don't Panic It's Organic

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Hello fellow OG'ers!

 

Im starting this thread precisely because I'm feeling overwhelmed by my dive into organics, but want this to tether me to the ground so I don't give up. Due to my current situation, I won't be growing any bud with my soil, but I would like this to be a learning thread for all novice organic growers who are learning to make a true living organic soil. I plan to grow some vegetables, and with help from our more experienced members we can get my soil to where it needs to be so I'm ready to get things going in 6-8 weeks.

 

So far, I made the jump and bought a bunch of amendments. I had my original list made up from some notes I took from The_Organic_Obsession's "first post" thread. A ton of info on there, but as I read other threads, it's clear there will never be unanimous consensus on how to go about doing this. Everyone's constructive comments are welcome, but what is not welcome is any arguing or bickering of any kind.

 

I know it's more than I need, but better to have it than not, so without further ado the following is what I've got so far:

 

For the soil:

5lb alfalfa meal

4lb crab meal

5lb kelp meal

5lb fish bone meal

2lb neem cake

5lb glacial rock dust

5lb rock phosphate

 

For foliar sprays/teas/etc..:

1gal molasses

1lb amino acids

1lb humid acid

1lb fulvic acid

8oz silica powder

4oz yucca extract

 

Now come the things I need to complete the soil. For the spaghnum peat moss component, I'm thinking a bag of 3.8 ft3 Promix High Porosity with Myco. Maybe I don't need Promix? Maybe generic Premier Canadian Spaghnum Peat Moss would do, for a third of the cost? That is Question#1, for reference. I'm shooting for about five 10-gal smart pots on my deck, tomatoes, peppers, that sorta thing (the deck, it faces south on the top of a big hill in WV so LOTS of sun, it's pretty beautiful).

 

Next, the Earthworm Castings. Question#2. I have my heart set on a worm compost bin in my basement, but the soil needs to start cooking pronto if I'm going to grow anything this summer, so in the meantime... Should I go with Build-A-Soil castings? UNCO's Worm Wiggler bags on Amazon? When I get this shit, literally, what's my window on not having the microbial life die before I mix it into the soil? (In your first hand experiences).

 

I already have a huge 4 ft3 bag of coarse perlite I used for some other "mind-melting" projects ;-) I have about 3 ft3 left, and feel like I'll probably use a decent part of it to get a nice fluffy soil.

 

Finally, let's agree I got all the soil and amendments (please notify me if you think I'm missing some critical components)... Should I err on the safe side and innoculate with some probiotics? Make my own, or buy a package like Modern Microbes? Hempyfan says that EM1 isn't an innoculant, but rather a food for the microbes? I am worried I will have all these great amendments in the soil, but no life to break them down. I mentioned in another thread my access to a good quantity of organic cow manure, but it's fresh, and I read that it wouldn't be a good additive until it's aged/composted. But maybe a cow-pie's worth would be enough to get me some microbes, but not too much to cause problems? I'd rather err on the side of caution.

 

I'm relying on you all, the organic experts (by my account), to help me, and so I thank you all tremendously in advance for helping me. Again, the goal is to learn the basics of these living organic soils, so that when my time comes to start growing great organic bud legally I can hit the ground running!!!

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Was just discussing organics with another member threw pm. Thanks for this thread ill be following along. Ready to learn organics

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Hi damar

I also use blood meal

Dolamite lime ( helps with ph )

 

Bat and sea bird gruno ( bird for bloom also good in teas )

Be carful not to make it to hot is is kinda like what I use ( modified sub cools supper soil mix ) I have burned a few girls that way

Also the soil mix will be good to make teas from

I will try to find a link to an organic artical which helped me out a lot on the journey into organics it's on icmag organics for beginners

Have fun with you garden

Papalag

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yo papa i would not worry to much with dolomite lime as its a fertilizer with proper carbon cycle ph will adjust accordingly

Dolomite lime is used as a soil sweetener its has been always considered that minerals are always leaching from the soil in most cases its not because of the amount of organic matter not enough will leach soils,, And trust me most new organic growers and

old ones ,, tend to put more then enough, organic matter to have proper CEC

And even if minerals are leaching blindly adding only 2 ??? Calcium and magnesium can and will cause you more harm then good

Because Calcium has very little mobile properties magnesium is mobile

But the real problem i mean marketing and what have you sold everyone on needing dolomite lime as a necessity TBH magnesium is very abundant in most soils and the ratio of dolomite lime is 2 - 1 which is to much Magnesium

So in all honesty Stay away from that crap :) unless you had a soil analysis done

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Hay bags

Thanks for the info I have always added it to my soil mix

Maybe not so much now

But as you know it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks lol

You know what's funny I have never used cal mag in all these years until now thought I was missing something all my grow buddies use it just bought some I always say less is better I just don't listen to my self lol

Papalag

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Well thanks for stopping by gentlemen! In my following posts I'm going to research what amendments do what, to better see what can be substituted with what, what overlaps, etc.

 

Still waiting on opinions on what materials should constitute the bulk of my substrate... any counters to the Promix? What about ordering compost and earth worm castings (EWC) online? I'm worried that the microbial life will suffer if I'm not using a fresh source...

 

Which brings me to the real reason for this post, and another reason why I'm learning to love West Virginia! A friend from work decided to go around our work yard today and salvage some old wood palettes with me, and then we went back to his tool filled garage to build a worm bin for me. I was pretty down today, and this was just the thing to pick me up. I can't believe we finished in just a couple hours. Luckily, he had everything we needed laying around.

 

Check it out!

 

First we made the frames for the two stackable trays:

gallery_9590_4320_546200.jpg

 

Then, we put some wire mesh on the bottoms, and built a "pan" tray for the bottom to catch leachate and loose droppings. Also added some guiding legs to the outsides of the trays, and handles:

gallery_9590_4320_17565.jpg

 

gallery_9590_4320_126647.jpg

 

The top is just a piece of plywood. This was 100% free to make, other than some wood glue, nails, and of course the tools from my friend! Big props to him!!

 

gallery_9590_4320_152918.jpg

 

I'm going to set it up in my basement, which should hold a perfect temperature this summer for making a whole bunch of castings! The box diameters are just under 2'x2' (I think it was about 22"x22") The imperfections of the box seems to make it perfect for providing some cracks for good aeration, but if need be I can drill some holes.

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In my area I get mushroom compost local stuff is the best I do use promix as well

I know from my own experience I tend to be the mad scientist and throw a bunch of stuff that overlaps so read up and knowledge is awesome

Have fun

Papalag

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cool worm hotel. i think as soon as it dries up some outside i plane on taking a trip to the wood dump pile out side of town with a hammer and a wonder bar.

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if you looking to add microbial life to your soil, look no further than this imo.

 

https://better-organix.myshopify.com/products/bio-media-pro-50g

 

i use it inside and outside on my vegtables

 

also mycorrhizae is also a must, better organix do a great mycorrhizae, infact paul stamets helped with the ratios of the mix in this.

 

other than that i'd make/buy a worm bin to get your own worm castings.

 

its hard to find good worm castings that are bought in a bag, most are really bad. gold label is the best for shop bought stuff imo.

 

also, if your near the sea, collect some sea water and feed your plants the sea water diluted to rain water at 1part sea water/30 parts water.

this gives your plants the perfect ratio of minerals, thus making your vegetables more nutritious and tastier :)

 

try it out if you can, you'll be amazed.

 

also, don't add fulvic acid or humic acid to your teas as it slows the rate of growth of bacteria and fungi. its great added as a drench though.

 

thanks BF

 

edit.. haha, totally missed the worm bin your making. looks decent brother

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Haha, im glad i read down to the end of your post. I was thinking to myself, "but, but, there are pictures!!" :-)

 

Thanks for the tip! Now I can proceed without needing a directly natural biologically active compost inoculate. I'll add my Sannies Mycos when I add plants, after the soil cooks.

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Food for thought:

Dolomite or oyster shells :http://buildasoil.com/products/oyster-shell-flour-replacement-for-dolomite-lime

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crushed crab shells get added to all my soil, it gets reused. and to the worm bin and the compost pile.

while it takes a good amount of time to break down enough for the calcium and other nutrients to be available to the plants, it immediately serves as a good food source for microbes. and the more microbes the better.

 

should make a bumper sticker 'happy microbes make life easy'.

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"happy microbes make better cannabinoids"

 

-Greetings from Rte 66, b/w Tulsa and OKC

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Update Time!

 

So, after the roadtrip, and a crazy, drug-filled memorial day weekend (drinking, smoking, dropping acid :dribble: ) ...

 

I finally had time to build my super soil.

 

I thought I would be clever and prepare my trash can for cooking, and drilled holes in it to help with some airflow for the composting microbes:

 

gallery_9590_4320_205529.jpg

 

However, I underestimated my volume of soil, especially after the sphagnum peat moss came OUT of compression in the bag.

 

gallery_9590_4320_177135.jpg

 

My recipe is as follows, and I just decided to go with it after doing the research I talked about above. Here's to hoping the internet didn't guide me completely astray...

 

Base Soil:

2 cu ft Sphagnum Peat Moss (a little over half the 3.8 cu ft bag)

2 cu ft Coarse Perlite (Horticultural Grade)

1.5 cu ft Used Mushroom Compost (i was breaking up little clumps of manure with my fingers, I think)

 

Additives:

5 cups Kelp Meal

5 cups Crustacean Meal (Chitin)

5 cups Glacial Rock Dust

3 cups Fishbone Meal

3 cups Alfalfa Meal

3 cups Neem Meal

3 cups Rock Phosphate

1/2 cups Gypsum

 

As you saw in the picture above, over the course of an hour or two, I slowly mixed the base soil together, and then the additives. I did this just by getting shoulder deep into the pile and moving it all around. Now I understand why a kiddy pool is perfect for this home project!!!

 

My original plan was to add 3 gallons of EM-1 infused water, but I ended up going with an extra gallon of clean water for the moisture content. I wanted the soil to feel heavy, but not soaking wet. I'm actually thinking I may not have added enough, or rather, that it will evaporate too quickly.

 

And so I added... a semi-cover:

 

gallery_9590_4320_244525.jpg

 

Anyways... My 1lb of Red Wigglers should arrive today or tomorrow, so my worm bedding/decomposing food can finally provide some nourmishment and get my worm bin really going!

 

Stay tuned, friends!

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I would add a large bag of worm casting to your mix. Make sure you "cook" by letting it sit, the soil for awhile. At least a week to a month generally good.

 

I see this only really good for veg as I do not see you addressing flowering and a bit of calmag aspects maybe a bit more.

 

To do this I would add some

  • Epsom salts 1/2 cup.
  • 1 c pulverized dolomite lime
  • Blood meal 3 cups
  • Bone meal 3 cups
  • Flowering fruit bat guano 3 cups.

I would ask someone how the gypsum would affect what I written. I have not used it in years so I am not experienced with it to use it accurately in a soil recipe.

 

It will affect the calmag aspect so with what I wrote I might have over dosed. So please get another opinion on what I wrote. I would have dont it a bit differently than you so I am not confident in my ratios but I think they are ok outside of my question on the gypsom and meals, epsom salts and lime.

 

Next time, I would water the soil in with a veg tea made from your EM1, alfalfa and casting. Em1 is good in the soil but is best used in foliar feeding in my view.

 

You just want to lightly water in, not soak. You do not have plants uptaking water if you water log the media it is not good and evaporation may not remove the unwanted extra wetness fast enough. You are just kicking off life in your media. A little dark humidity goes a long way.

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I agree with your recommendation on the need for a slight buffering additive, such as Dolomite Lime, to help the soil naturally protect itself from pH swings. However, after reading up on gypsum vs. dolomite lime, I feel that the two together will be a strong solution. The dolomite lime to buffer, but the calcium in gypsum is more mobile and a better source for plant uptake. It can also fight against aluminum toxicity in pH<5 soils, but I don't think I'll have an issue with that.

 

I disagree with what you said about a lack of flowering nutrients, as my Phosphorous is very strong in the fish bone meal (We'll see with the tomatoes and peppers I guess!)

 

Here are some notes I took on the various amendments:

 

Alfalfa Meal

N-P-K = 3-1-2

Potassium, Sulphur, Magnesium, Manganese, Selenium, Iron

Speeds up composting piles, not as nitrogen rich as blood meal, used for more delicate plants

 

Crab Meal

N-P-K = 2-3-0

Good source of calcium, a little magnesium, NITROGEN

Encourages growth of chitin-eating bacteria, which staves off pests and bad microbes

 

Kelp Meal

N-P-K = 1-0-2

Great source of Potassium & Trace Minerals

 

Rock Phosphate

N-P-K = 0-3-0

A good alternative to bat guano. Product is 20% total phosphate and 3% available phosphate. Organic phosphorus fertilizers come primarily from mineral sources, like rock dust or colloidal phosphate (also called “soft phosphate”), or from bone sources, such as steamed bone meal or fish bone meal.

 

Fish Bone Meal

N-P-K = 4-20-0

The bone meal has been pasteurized and infused with seven (7) strains of beneficial soil microbes. High in trace elements and pro-biotic soil microbes. Ocean-run bone meal. Has 20% slow-release calcium phosphate.

 

Glacial Rock Dust

N-P-K = N/A

A natural rock powder that is non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Will not burn plants or seedlings. Contains over 28 identified elements. Provides immediate and slow-release of trace elements such as: iron, copper, iodine, manganese, selenium, zinc, and many more...

 

Neem Cake Meal

N-P-K = 6-1-2

Kelp4Less had limited info on Neem Cake Meal, but from wikipedia and supported by other sources I've read:

Neem cake has an adequate quantity of micronutrients in organic form for plant growth. Being a totally botanical product it contains 100% natural NPK content and other essential micro nutrients such as N(Nitrogen 2.0% to 5.0%), P(Phosphorus 0.5% to 1.0%), K(Potassium 1.0% to 2.0%), Ca(Calcium 0.5% to 3.0%), Mg(Magnesium 0.3% to 1.0%), S(Sulphur 0.2% to 3.0%), Zn(Zinc 15 ppm to 60 ppm), Cu(Copper 4 ppm to 20 ppm), Fe (Iron 500 ppm to 1200 ppm), Mn (Manganese 20 ppm to 60 ppm). It is rich in both sulphur compounds and bitter limonoids.

Pest Control:

Neem cake is effective in the management of insects and pests. The bitter principles of the soil and cake have been reported to have seven types of activities (a.) Antifeedants (b.) attractant (c.) repellent (d.) insecticide (e.) Nematicide (f.) growth disruptor and (g.) antimicrobial.

 

I will definitely be using teas and foliars during this experiment, since I'd like to learn how to better use those to fine tune an organic grow. I like your idea about watering in the soil with a veg tea, not JUST the EM-1, although I think it will be sufficient for this first watering. I will need to get an airstone or something to bubble the tea for 24 hours.</p>

 

My plan right now is to water the soil once a week, and turn it after watering, for 3 weeks. I've read in various places that you should wait anywhere from 14 to 45 days for the soil to cook. But, I have extra peat moss and perlite, so I could possibly just create a small nutrient-poor space around the baby plants when I put them into the bigger 7 gallon smart-pots, and let them grow into the nutes.

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hempy, I used a lot of gypsum when I was in landscaping business.

I used it to soften clay soils so it would perk(take water) more easily.

I am sure it does nothing as far as increasing or decreasing the mineral values in the soil.

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I added another gallon of clean water to the soil pile today after getting home, and mixed it all up. I decided to do so because after reaching into my pile it just felt too dry (trust me, hempy, it's not waterlogged :D) I'm judging it kinda how I judge my soil when I'm growing - I wanted it to feel lightly moist, similar to how it feels usually before I water my plants.

 

I'm now going to leave it undisturbed for a few days and then shove my arm into the center to see if it's getting warmer.

Edited by Damar

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Just some quick, back of the notepad calculations... not sure if this is even how you're supposed to do it, but I added up the ratios of what I added and got the following:

 

3 x 3-1-2 = 9-3-6 Alfalfa Meal

5 x 2-3-0 = 10-15-0 Crab Meal

5 x 1-0-2 = 5-0-10 Kelp Meal

3 x 0-3-0 = 0-9-0 Rock Phosphate

3 x 4-20-0 = 12-60-0 Fish Bone Meal

3 x 6-1-2 = 18-3-6 Neem Cake Meal

 

Total 54-90-22

 

 

So, although it'll all break down slowly from the microbes, the Potassium may be lacking in the longterm? Maybe that's what you meant, Hempy, and if so I apologize.

 

I'm thinking how to remedy this. Supposedly, Greensand as an amendment is 0-0-3, but Kelp4Less doesn't carry it.

 

It could be just good to brew alfalfa + kelp teas late in flower, and water with those to supplement the potassium?

 

Ahhhhh, I'm so excited about using an organic soil! The learning curve seems a little steep at first, but the rewards of a no-hassle grow & harvest seem to be worth it :D

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Yes that is what I meant but I am not so well versed in the numbers to be cocky. It was more of I think I see that could be an issue and my advice is to ask for more knowledge on that as I am not qualified in that.

 

I would not use alfalfa in flower. I would just get some bat guano for flower but frankly I do not the ratio that would be ideal.

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Alright Hempy - we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Besides, this is all an experiment for now, and tomatoes will be my test subjects. If they get burned or die, it'll be for a greater ganja cause... a granjar cause.

 

In other news, the worms arrived! I plopped them into my wooden worm box, and covered them with some of the bedding/decomposing kitchen scraps:

 

gallery_9590_4320_223982.jpg

 

The bedding has been in there for almost 4 weeks now? And almost 2 weeks ago I mixed in my first batch of kitchen scrap compost, slightly watered with EM-1 microbial innoculant. I think that was more than enough time for the bedding to build up a microbial feast for the newly added worms. I'll be monitoring them closely, and will keep y'all posted. :popcorn:

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While trying to identify some nutrient deficiencies in the Bugs/Pests/Deficiencies forum, I came across this cool website by Robert Bergman with some cool tidbits of information on how to solve them. I'll just pull out the ones that apply to organic living soil gardening, for your reading and learning pleasure:

 

1 - Alfalfa and Cottonseed Meal

To correct nitrogen deficiencies in your marijuana garden, adding granulated products made from alfalfa and/or cottonseed to the soil provides protein which counteracts the deficiency. Pressed alfalfa hay and the remaining solids after cotton seeds have been pressed for oil act as slow-release nitrogen fertilizers when combined with the soil. Alfalfa meal or pellets are used as animal feed and is also used as a fertilizer to increase organic matter in the soil. Alfalfa contains trianconatol, which is a fatty acid stimulating growth. Cottonseed meal is high in nitrogen. However, due to the use of pesticides in cotton fields, it is imperative you use pesticide free products on your cannabis.

 

6 – Fish Emulsion and Fish Meal

Fish meal, which is the ground up inedible parts of fish into a powdery substance, and fish emulsion, which is the liquid remnant of fish after having been pressed for oil are effective additives available to the marijuana gardener as a correcting measure for nitrogen deficiency. The bonus with fish based treatments is the additional micronutrients they contain which aids in preventing additional nutritional inadequacies.

Both amenities are soil enhancements. Fish emulsion releases nitrogen to your cannabis quickly, while fish meal provides a slower, steady release. Consult your local garden center (discreetly) to see which option better serves your needs, based on symptoms.

 

7 – Granite Dust

Granite dust is a slow-release source of potassium and may contain other micronutrients that stabilize the alkaline levels in the soil. For it to be most effective, it is recommended to mix granite dust (rock dust) with a fifty percent mixture of compost. Till into the soil when preparing your cannabis bed. When added to the soil, rock dust stimulates the growth of organic matter which feeds the beneficial microorganisms. An added benefit to incorporating rock dust in your plant bed is it results in holding the soil in place and conserving water. Rock dust carries the benefit of revitalizing the soil with minerals.

 

8 -Greensand

Greensand is the result of crumbling sandstone, a soft rock form rich in potassium and iron. It derives its name from the color and is not ‘sand’ per se. Greensand forms in marine environments and are typically rich in clay minerals and marine fossils. This is a slow-release application benefiting cannabis in the flowering stage. It is most beneficial when mixed with compost. (Are you beginning to see a pattern here?)

 

9 – Guano

Guano is an effective fertilizer consisting of the feces and urine of seabirds or cave-dwelling bats. It is high in nitrogen, phosphorus and earth salts. Bird guano has a higher fertilizer value than bat guano. Be sure to read labels for the concentration of nutrients you need to correct a particular deficiency.

Guano has a much less pungent odor than animal manure, which makes it an attractive additive in correcting nutritional deficiencies in the soil. It can also be used as a compost activator. Guano can be applied as a foliar spray or soil drench by mixing one quarter cup guano per one gallon of water. Liquefying the manure allows the nutrients to be more readily absorbed by your marijuana plants. The product is available at garden centers or online.

 

10 – Gypsum

Gypsum is hydrated calcium sulfate, a naturally occurring mineral in most of the United States. It is used in agriculture to correct the sodium levels in soil. Gypsum, when added to the soil is a ready-made source of calcium and sulfur and reduces the aluminum toxicity, along with ammonia which may be present due to the application of certain fertilizers. Additionally, if your cannabis grow site has experienced soil crusting, adding gypsum to the surface will break it up, allowing the emergence of tender seedlings. If your crop is in an area with clay soil, applying gypsum before planting has been known to prevent crusting.

 

13 – Kelp Concentrates

Kelp, otherwise known as seaweed, is useful in treating potassium and copper deficiencies. It is available in granular or liquid form. Kelp contains more than seventy vitamins, minerals and enzymes providing a wealth of health to the soil. Adding kelp to the compost pile aids in the decomposition process. An added benefit is the deterrence of (unwanted) weeds in the marijuana bed. Kelp has been used for centuries as a soil amendment for all types of gardens. When using the liquid form, it is best to apply in early morning or early evening and to avoid application when the temperature exceeds eighty five degrees.

 

14 – Lime

Lime is a readily available (in store or online) compound used to adjust soil pH levels upward or to correct calcium and manganese deficiencies, due to its high alkaline properties. You should avoid fertilizing and liming simultaneously, as they will cancel each other out and cause an unfavorable reaction in the soil. Made from pulverized limestone or chalk, lime comes in several variations; choose the form that most suits the needs of your marijuana garden:

• Hydrated lime (slaked lime). Very small amounts are needed to correct the pH level of your soil, as it is the highest alkaline form suitable for gardening. The chemical name is calcium hydroxide – Ca(OH)2.

• Garden lime is crushed limestone or oyster shells. The main component is calcium carbonate – CaCO3, which is also found in eggshells. This may be why eggshells are recommended as a component when making homemade compost. It will raise the soil pH levels and is less alkaline, thus safer to use than hydrated lime.

• Dolomite lime is high in magnesium. Dolomite has a neutral pH level of 7.0, which when mixed with the soil, creates the optimum pH levels for cannabis growth. Dolomite lime is available at local garden centers.

• Liquid lime blends with the soil quicker than the powders. Both garden lime and dolomite are available in liquid form.

 

 

15 – Magnesium Sulfate

Otherwise known as Epsom salts, magnesium sulfate can quickly correct magnesium and sulfur deficits. In hydroponic gardens, add a solution of one teaspoon Epsom salts per gallon of water to the reservoir or use as a foliar spray. This recipe can be applied to outdoor cannabis gardens, as well. Epsom salt granules can also be mixed in with the soil when preparing the garden for planting. Magnesium is critical for seed germination and the production of chlorophyll in marijuana plants. It strengthens cell walls, which is one reason the use of Epsom salts (discovered in Epsom, England) is such a popular fertilizer for the organic gardener.

 

17 – Mycorrhizae

This strange word means ‘fungus roots’. So why are we including this in the controls section? Mycorrhizae are an important component of soil life in the relationship they build with plant roots. Essentially, Mycorrhizae fungi extract nutrients from microbes growing along the root surfaces and transport them to the roots. Mycorrhizae actually become an extension of the root system, working deep within the soil to provide nutrients and water to the roots, resulting in healthier marijuana plants. Mycorrhizae inoculants are available online.

 

19 – Rock Phosphate

Rock phosphate is a naturally mined mineral often used as a soil amendment. It offers a slow release of phosphate, which is the second most abundant macronutrient essential to well-balanced soil in your cannabis garden. Check your pH levels before applying rock phosphate. It is usually only necessary as a soil amendment in pH levels above 7.0, which is optimal for Mary Jane’s garden to thrive.

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Two topics covered in this post update, with some questions for you all!

 

Super Soil

So, I bought a few more amendments to even out what could be lacking in my soil, and here is some more info from the internet (various sources) to give you a better understanding of what it does (for those who don't know, and wanna know):

 

Epsom Salts -

  • Description: Magnesium sulfate a chemical compound.
  • Benefit: Soil balancer, magnesium sulfate is an essential element in the chlorophyll molecule.
  • Average analysis: 10 percent magnesium, 13 percent sulfur.
  • Application and amount for adequately fertile soil: Use 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt in a gallon of water as a foliar spray; 1 pound per 1,000 square feet.
  • Comments: Epsom salt is highly soluble and is not persistent and will not build up in the soil.

 

Green Sand -

Another amendment that supplies potassium is greensand, which is the powdered natural mineral iron potassium silicate, often called glauconite. Although this rock powder might contain about 20 percent potassium, much of it is locked up in its mineral structure, so only a small percentage is released each year. The rate of release depends on soil conditions, with increasing temperature, moisture, acidity, and organic matter all increasing the rate. This amendment is also valued for its micronutrients, which are elements necessary for plant health required in miniscule amounts.

 

Dolomite Lime -

This was discussed on the previous page, I think, but I just added this to my arsenal

 

My question is, given what I have in my super soil NOW, should I add a little bit of these amendments, and if so, in what quantities? Maybe 1/4 - 1/2 cup of each? This is a really trial and error process here. When I end up using this in a couple more weeks, I'm going to do one full strength 7 gallon bag, one with 2/3 super soil + 1/3 peat moss/perlite that hasn't cooked, and one with 1/3 super soil & 2/3 peat moss/perlite. So, maybe some tomatoes will burn and die, or some won't grow as quickly. I just figured I had to have some variety so that this experiment isn't for naught.

 

Worm Bin

 

So, it's been a week since I put the worms in my worm bin. Yesterday evening I noticed about 3-4 dead/dry worms had escaped the bin. Today it was about 5-6. I was wondering what could be causing it, and I decided that they were either 1) looking for more food or 2) escaping light that is coming in through cracks in the bin.

 

To fix this, I added some of the stinky decomposing kitchen scraps I've been keeping in a 5-gallon bucket, and surround the worm bin with some big cardboard boxes. (I store all the cardboard boxes of stuff we've bought, like a big screen tv, etc.) This way, the light coming through the window in the basement isn't directly hitting the worm bin.

 

FYI, for those getting into the worm composting, internet sources say that worms every 1lb of red wigglers will go through 3 1/2 lbs of kitchen scraps in a week. If I don't find any more worms exiting the worm bin, I'll let you all know that this was the issue and that hopefully it's resolved.

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As stated before I am not sure on the % with your make up as its different than what I know. Many ways to do it is all. Perhaps ask bagwell, The rose of darkness perhaps, very knowledgeable but I have not had much discussion regarding soils but would not surprise me if she had some good advice.

 

Any of the regular soil guys might be able to shed some good advice on it. I am not confident in my own on this one to be specific.

 

Hempyfan,

Jah Bless!

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