Coot's Mix No Till Soil Help

leadsled

GrowRU
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i did a little research on the kelp meal and rock dust in the WG. they're actually kelplex and elemite. i suppose both could be considered a rd. http://www.wormgold.com/faq-2
Im actually leaning toward not putting any rd in and doing 2-6x the basalt more inline to the current mix. The breakdown from nature's footprint basalt looked nice(they have it on their amazon page)... tho it has a 2/1 cal/mag ratio and the peat looks mag heavy as is... decisions... lol.
Both contain Iron, so you are covered w Iron. No need to add more by adding basalt. That is correct that peat will have the Mg.

oyster shell flour...dolomitic lime...take your pick...idk though this is getting down to an exact science here...lol...i just say hmmm...worm poop!
Incorrect. Dolomite is not recommended. Coot mix recommendation is oyster shell flour and gypsum.
In addition to Calcium, Dolomite Lime also contains Magnesium.
Ag Lime or Oyster shell flour are Calcium carbonate.
Ag Gypsum is Calcium sulfate.


 
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Both contain Iron, so you are covered w Iron. No need to add more by adding basalt. That is correct that peat will have the Mg.


Incorrect. Dolomite is not recommended. Coot mix recommendation is oyster shell flour and gypsum.
In addition to Calcium, Dolomite Lime also contains Magnesium.
Ag Lime or Oyster shell flour are Calcium carbonate.
Ag Gypsum is Calcium sulfate.

Coot's original recipe utilized dolomitic lime. v1

In no till revisited he updated his recipe substituting oyster shell. He emphasizes the fact that as long as you're close you're good. However if using dolomitic lime it is recommended to add an extra 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup per ft3.

Someone asked coots about the change. I need to go back and read what his response was. I'm thinking it's because oyster shell flour provides more available calcium at a faster rate or maybe it's because coots was all about knowing his sourcing and he liked the all natural route. He had access to a good source possibly...

He does state substitutions can be made on certain amendments as long as they follow the basic recipe. I quote him in saying "or whatever you have lying around". The whole basis is simplicity. After things get going and your beds are established it's a touch and go. More like a freestyle.

Perlite however is no good for perlite. After about a year or 2 it turns into concrete. Most people go with a mix of lava rock/pumice and rice hulls. I do a mix of pumice and uncharged biochar.

i don't understand why this would cause an issue? magnesium abundance or calcium deficiency? His recipe provides more than enough micronutes for multiple grows. Kelp, Alfalfa, etc will only add on.

However most recommend a rock dust (i like glacial rock dust) over azomite. Azomite is a silica based clay and can cause soil compaction if used repeatedly.


Please correct me if I'm wrong. This is only my understanding. It's not how much is in the soil in carbonate form. It's how much you allow to be made available to the plant. Coots bible is like the real bible. It can be interpreted many ways.
 
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leadsled

GrowRU
2,117
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Maybe dolomite was recommended and then at a later time he learned about balance of cations.
Your advice could lead to unbalanced soil with an excess of magnesium. Especially with a peat mix.

An excess of magnesium is not desired.
Magnesium raises ph 1.6 times more than other cations.
Magnesium tightens and Calcium flocculates.
Magnesium stays put in the soil, not as easy to leech like an excess of K or Na.
Dolomite lime is used everywhere.
Sometimes using dolomite garden lime is warranted, but the truth is it often makes things worse, sometimes just a little, and sometimes a lot. Let’s look at why…

What Is Dolomite Lime?
Dolomitic lime is an attractive rock. It’s calcium magnesium carbonate. It has about 50% calcium carbonate and 40% magnesium carbonate, giving approximately 22% calcium and at least 11% magnesium.

When you buy garden lime, it has been ground into granules that can be coarse or very fine, or it could be turned into a prill.

Dolomite lime fertilizer is certainly allowed in organic gardening. It is not inherently bad, but how it is used in the garden is often detrimental.

Here’s The Important Part
The main point I want to make is that even if minerals are leaching from your soil, it doesn’t make sense to blindly go back adding just two of them (the calcium and magnesium in dolomitic lime) without knowing you need them. You might already have too much of one of them. We need to grow smarter when organic gardening.

Many biological and organic soil consultants would say your soil needs a calcium to magnesium ratio of somewhere between 7:1 (sandier soils) and 10:1 (clayier soils). Outside of this range, your soil will often have drainage problems, your plants will often have health problems and insect and disease problems, and you will have weed problems.

One of your most important goals in the garden is to add specific mineral fertilizers to move the calcium to magnesium ratio towards this range.

Of course not everyone agrees that this is the ratio to go for, but it’s what has worked for me and most of my mentors.

The problem with dolomite lime? It has a calcium to magnesium ratio of 2:1. That’s way too much magnesium for most soils. Magnesium is certainly an essential mineral. Too much of it, however, causes many problems, compaction being one of the most common, but also pest and weed problems.

So if you add dolomitic lime to your lawn every year, chances are you’re just causing more compaction and weed problems.

When Should You Use Dolomitic Lime?
You should only use garden lime when you have a soil test showing a huge deficiency of magnesium in your soil.

Even then, calcium carbonate (calcitic lime) is generally the way to go because it has a small amount of magnesium and often a calcium to magnesium ratio of about 6:1, with a calcium content of 30% to 40% or more.

Instead of dolomitic lime, I use calcium carbonate regularly in my garden, but even then, only when I need it. A soil test is a main way to find out if you need it.

Hope that helps you understand.


 

leadsled

GrowRU
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Cootz mix usually does not contain micronutrients in proper proportions either. There is a fix. Amend with the trace minerals.

Excess magnesium and sodium can and will make your soil compacted. Not good in a no till situation.

Azomite could add an excess of aluminum to say it is going to compact your soil is false.

Cootz mix usually an overdose of iron and lacking trace minerals. Why? The type of rock dust and the amount used.

Here are test results of a coots mix. I modified the amount of compost to make the cootz mix more balanced. Otherwise would have been a huge excess of potassium and sodium. Worse than there already it.

PH is high, Cations are in excess. Sulfur is high, Sodium is high. (Ideally sodium is 1.5% or less)
Lacking Boron, Manganese, Copper, Zinc, Cobalt, Molybdenum.

Look at the desired value and then value found. See how the levels are higher than desired?

coots_mix_2014.png
 
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Cootz mix usually does not contain micronutrients in proper proportions either. There is a fix. Amend with the trace minerals.

Excess magnesium and sodium can and will make your soil compacted. Not good in a no till situation.

Azomite could add an excess of aluminum to say it is going to compact your soil is false.

Cootz mix usually an overdose of iron and lacking trace minerals. Why? The type of rock dust and the amount used.

Here are test results of a coots mix. I modified the amount of compost to make the cootz mix more balanced. Otherwise would have been a huge excess of potassium and sodium. Worse than there already it.

PH is high, Cations are in excess. Sulfur is high, Sodium is high. (Ideally sodium is 1.5% or less)
Lacking Boron, Manganese, Copper, Zinc, Cobalt, Molybdenum.

Look at the desired value and then value found. See how the levels are higher than desired?

View attachment 703434
Where do you get these tests done? Pretty cool.

Also you make perfect sense. I like your approach. Basically you get it all calibrated and run the machine. I misworded in saying azomite causes compaction but due to its clay like consistency I've been told it ends up clumpy when it breaks down. I haven't experienced it but that's the best i can describe it.
 
Cootz mix usually does not contain micronutrients in proper proportions either. There is a fix. Amend with the trace minerals.
View attachment 703434
hmmmm. well now i'm conflicted... from my understanding of coot's way, he doesn't worry about nutrient ratios so much but primarilty about keeping the soil life happy like the Teaming with series talked about.. but albrecht ratios are what alot of the OG growers talk of, which are veritable ... So i do what i normally do, which is to do both! I'm gonna make up a pot with coot's revised no till then make up a pot with KIS ratios: 1 part compost 2 part aeration 3 part peat and have it tested. Put both on the same watering cycle with fulvic/agsil16/aloe, water and top dress. a no-till duel it shall be!
how do you like that wallastonite/calcium silicate?
 
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lmao i'm there with ya @DopeSnob because i'm trying to wrap my head around it. I was always under the impression the ratios weren't an exact science. As long as you have sufficient amounts of each amendment to sustain growth.

@leadsled has basically adjusted the system where deficiencies or abundances are almost impossible but here's where I'm stumped regarding this. People always raise hell when I mention the topic of "Sugar Signalling". Have you read up on it? Basically the plant would drop a sugar to feed the microbes therefore making nutrients available. these sugars are different complexes depending on what nutrient the plant is signalling for. They can even control uptake of cations.

This is why I'm almost tempted to get away from coots feed schedule. I've seen guys running no till water only kicking 1g per watt. I have also observed a lot of no till guys wanting to cut adding any external sources of sugar as we are starting to become more educated on sugar signalling. It causes an interruption in communication between the plant and the soil microbial life.

I could be totally off beat. I can tell you definitely know your shit sir. I am a sponge willing to further my understanding. You have a vast knowledge. Hell you perfected coots recipe. I also like your way of thinking as it's like mine. I don't just follow one handbook. I collect knowledge from different sources and research what the pros and cons are of each method and I'm almost trying to make my own personal handbook to follow. My best information comes from a very experienced grower, Joshua Steensland. Search him on youtube. All of his thinking you will find to be very logical. His "No Till Talks" are great and very informative. He actually utilizes NTG to grow medical marijuana commercially. I know some veteran growers are all against the WeedTube community but there is good info to be gained.
 

leadsled

GrowRU
2,117
263
Where do you get these tests done? Pretty cool.

Also you make perfect sense. I like your approach. Basically you get it all calibrated and run the machine. I misworded in saying azomite causes compaction but due to its clay like consistency I've been told it ends up clumpy when it breaks down. I haven't experienced it but that's the best i can describe it.
Logan labs soil test. Costs $25-30.00. good bang for your buck. I

hmmmm. well now i'm conflicted... from my understanding of coot's way, he doesn't worry about nutrient ratios so much but primarilty about keeping the soil life happy like the Teaming with series talked about.. but albrecht ratios are what alot of the OG growers talk of, which are veritable ... So i do what i normally do, which is to do both! I'm gonna make up a pot with coot's revised no till then make up a pot with KIS ratios: 1 part compost 2 part aeration 3 part peat and have it tested. Put both on the same watering cycle with fulvic/agsil16/aloe, water and top dress. a no-till duel it shall be!
how do you like that wallastonite/calcium silicate?
No reason to be conflicted. If you do not want to end up with a mix that is unbalanced. Than make a few small changes.
Use ag lime/oystershell flour and gypsum not dolomite. Use 1lb or less rock dust. Cut the compost down to 10% or less. Then use EWC to make up the difference. Cut the neem rate in half. Add trace minerals. Then you got a mix that will perform better than one that has excess potassium, elevated ph and a lack of exchangeable hydrogen.

Good idea to test both in your environment.
Both coot mix and KIS are shooting the same ratios of nutrients (Albrecht) but different ratios of peat compost and aeration. KIS uses a lab to test and then amend the soil with the appropriate minerals.


Balanced soil is the proper home for the soil food web. Higher uptake of nutrients, higher levels of pest and disease resistance. All the things living organic soil should be.
Using excessive amounts of amendments is not mimicking the soil food web. Excess nitrogen prevent a healthy plant from achieving higher brix levels. The runoff can harm the earth.

Unfortunately coot throws the soil out after each run, he is not a no till grower.

I am liking the wollastonite so far. Also testing DE and silica dioxide.
Happy Growing
 
3,556
263
Logan labs soil test. Costs $25-30.00. good bang for your buck. I


No reason to be conflicted. If you do not want to end up with a mix that is unbalanced. Than make a few small changes.
Use ag lime/oystershell flour and gypsum not dolomite. Use 1lb or less rock dust. Cut the compost down to 10% or less. Then use EWC to make up the difference. Cut the neem rate in half. Add trace minerals. Then you got a mix that will perform better than one that has excess potassium, elevated ph and a lack of exchangeable hydrogen.

Good idea to test both in your environment.
Both coot mix and KIS are shooting the same ratios of nutrients (Albrecht) but different ratios of peat compost and aeration. KIS uses a lab to test and then amend the soil with the appropriate minerals.


Balanced soil is the proper home for the soil food web. Higher uptake of nutrients, higher levels of pest and disease resistance. All the things living organic soil should be.
Using excessive amounts of amendments is not mimicking the soil food web. Excess nitrogen prevent a healthy plant from achieving higher brix levels. The runoff can harm the earth.

Unfortunately coot throws the soil out after each run, he is not a no till grower.

I am liking the wollastonite so far. Also testing DE and silica dioxide.
Happy Growing
Well i think you have me sold bud. Do you have a specific recipe written up? I am about to lay down two 72 x 36 x 14 geopots and i want your recipe!!! Hope it's not a secret family recipe lol. I know you're telling me substitute this and that but I working on a GED education here lol. You should sell your recipe to build a soil...haha.

I was also looking into DE as a calcium source. Much cheaper than oyster shell flour...where I am anyway...no local sources.
 
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leadsled

GrowRU
2,117
263
lmao i'm there with ya @DopeSnob because i'm trying to wrap my head around it. I was always under the impression the ratios weren't an exact science. As long as you have sufficient amounts of each amendment to sustain growth.

@leadsled has basically adjusted the system where deficiencies or abundances are almost impossible but here's where I'm stumped regarding this. People always raise hell when I mention the topic of "Sugar Signalling". Have you read up on it? Basically the plant would drop a sugar to feed the microbes therefore making nutrients available. these sugars are different complexes depending on what nutrient the plant is signalling for. They can even control uptake of cations.

This is why I'm almost tempted to get away from coots feed schedule. I've seen guys running no till water only kicking 1g per watt. I have also observed a lot of no till guys wanting to cut adding any external sources of sugar as we are starting to become more educated on sugar signalling. It causes an interruption in communication between the plant and the soil microbial life.

I could be totally off beat. I can tell you definitely know your shit sir. I am a sponge willing to further my understanding. You have a vast knowledge. Hell you perfected coots recipe. I also like your way of thinking as it's like mine. I don't just follow one handbook. I collect knowledge from different sources and research what the pros and cons are of each method and I'm almost trying to make my own personal handbook to follow. My best information comes from a very experienced grower, Joshua Steensland. Search him on youtube. All of his thinking you will find to be very logical. His "No Till Talks" are great and very informative. He actually utilizes NTG to grow medical marijuana commercially. I know some veteran growers are all against the WeedTube community but there is good info to be gained.
I am just trying to help improve upon what has been shared. I mentioned all the same things to coot when I met him. O

Foliar sprays help plants to exude more sugars (exudates) via the roots.

The roots produce sugars called exudates. The increased levels of exudates help to feed the microbial life and there fore helps with the uptake of microbial metabolites.

You can do water only and do excellent. Many times less is more. In nature there is not large amounts meals or powdered malted barley in the soil. There is not any coconut water rain in nature either!!

You are on track. Good job. Try things and test what works for you. Many growers do well with water only. Many times I see growers cause more harm by overfeeding rather than letting the plant and soil food web do there job.

Josh Steensland. Very cool, He gives good advice and grows nice looking plants. He is nice to people and helps.

Happy to see people helping and sharing in a positive way.
 
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I am just trying to help improve upon what has been shared. I mentioned all the same things to coot when I met him. O

Foliar sprays help plants to exude more sugars (exudates) via the roots.

The roots produce sugars called exudates. The increased levels of exudates help to feed the microbial life and there fore helps with the uptake of microbial metabolites.

You can do water only and do excellent. Many times less is more. In nature there is not large amounts meals or powdered malted barley in the soil. There is not any coconut water rain in nature either!!

You are on track. Good job. Try things and test what works for you. Many growers do well with water only. Many times I see growers cause more harm by overfeeding rather than letting the plant and soil food web do there job.

Josh Steensland. Very cool, He gives good advice and grows nice looking plants. He is nice to people and helps.

Happy to see people helping and sharing in a positive way.
Well you are definitely doing the same and I see your passion in NTG on the minimalist level. You enjoy teaching and I can definitely see when someone has a far greater knowledge than myself. That's when my mouth shuts and my ears open. Josh is a great guy. Very humble. He even cussed people out for being assholes to one another in his comments section. "We're growing plants here, not egos." Lol he's awesome

We need more guys like you and him who don't just focus their responses on pointing out lack of knowledge but more filling in the gaps.

You also used my own argument against me lol. "In nature who's out there feeding target nutrients to the plants and putting sugar water on them." Josh even points out that 99% of problems are caused by humans being humans and Having to alter nature. These plants have been here long before humans and I think they've done a good job surviving. Lol
 
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Foliar sprays help plants to exude more sugars (exudates) via the roots.
The roots produce sugars called exudates. The increased levels of exudates help to feed the microbial life and there fore helps with the uptake of microbial metabolites.
What kind of foliar sprays? You mean basically any botanical feed?
 

jumpincactus

Premium Member
Supporter
11,636
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Logan labs soil test. Costs $25-30.00. good bang for your buck. I


No reason to be conflicted. If you do not want to end up with a mix that is unbalanced. Than make a few small changes.
Use ag lime/oystershell flour and gypsum not dolomite. Use 1lb or less rock dust. Cut the compost down to 10% or less. Then use EWC to make up the difference. Cut the neem rate in half. Add trace minerals. Then you got a mix that will perform better than one that has excess potassium, elevated ph and a lack of exchangeable hydrogen.

Good idea to test both in your environment.
Both coot mix and KIS are shooting the same ratios of nutrients (Albrecht) but different ratios of peat compost and aeration. KIS uses a lab to test and then amend the soil with the appropriate minerals.


Balanced soil is the proper home for the soil food web. Higher uptake of nutrients, higher levels of pest and disease resistance. All the things living organic soil should be.
Using excessive amounts of amendments is not mimicking the soil food web. Excess nitrogen prevent a healthy plant from achieving higher brix levels. The runoff can harm the earth.

Unfortunately coot throws the soil out after each run, he is not a no till grower.

I am liking the wollastonite so far. Also testing DE and silica dioxide.
Happy Growing
As @leadsled will agree, the most important thing you can do in developing a killer soil mix is get your bulk soil tested before amending!!!! There is a balance in the biology of soil and how it all works. Without a soil test you are just adding a bunch of minerals and such that you may not even need. But hell it sure sounds good to say I put xy&z into my mix even though I am overdosing the soil with excess minerals.

Always test first!!!
 
No reason to be conflicted. If you do not want to end up with a mix that is unbalanced. Than make a few small changes.
Use ag lime/oystershell flour and gypsum not dolomite. Use 1lb or less rock dust. Cut the compost down to 10% or less. Then use EWC to make up the difference. Cut the neem rate in half. Add trace minerals. Then you got a mix that will perform better than one that has excess potassium, elevated ph and a lack of exchangeable hydrogen.

Good idea to test both in your environment.
Both coot mix and KIS are shooting the same ratios of nutrients (Albrecht) but different ratios of peat compost and aeration. KIS uses a lab to test and then amend the soil with the appropriate minerals.


Balanced soil is the proper home for the soil food web. Higher uptake of nutrients, higher levels of pest and disease resistance. All the things living organic soil should be.
Using excessive amounts of amendments is not mimicking the soil food web. Excess nitrogen prevent a healthy plant from achieving higher brix levels. The runoff can harm the earth.

Unfortunately coot throws the soil out after each run, he is not a no till grower.

I am liking the wollastonite so far. Also testing DE and silica dioxide.
Happy Growing
HE THROWS THE SOIL OUT WITH EACH RUN??!?!? Where did you hear that? on the GC thread he states repeatedly things like "Now for al the reasons previously stated your soil is becoming richer and richer as the water and nutrient retaining ability of your soil improves over time. By the 3rd cycle the plants may already be showing signs that you could back off on the above watering schedule and that can be done any number of ways to best suit your situation." or "I run 15s, 20s & 45s all ranging between 13-18 cycles. I haven't made a new batch of soil in at least three years with one exception and that's also a topic of discussion here shortly."
Now im getting really conflicting info! I'm just trying to wrap my head around it!

edit: Im not trying to be the devil's advocate, its just those are very different reports on the same method! Im on page 60 or so and i remember him saying something to effect of "trying to amend every cycle to keep perfect nutrient ratios is a fool's errand" Now im not sold on ether variant of methodology. The getting the proper ratios is what i've always leaned toward but i wouldn't even be talking to-till, recycled soil if it wasnt for coot. am i just totally lost here? drawing wrong conclusions?
 
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@leadsled and when you say 1lb of rock dust you mean total in the mix for 8 cu.ft? well ill prob just mix the base ie: peat aeration humus and have it tested... 1-2 malibu to ewc fits your suggested humus but still at a total of a 1/3 base? do you run a living cover crop?
 
HE THROWS THE SOIL OUT WITH EACH RUN??!?!? Where did you hear that? on the GC thread he states repeatedly things like "Now for al the reasons previously stated your soil is becoming richer and richer as the water and nutrient retaining ability of your soil improves over time. By the 3rd cycle the plants may already be showing signs that you could back off on the above watering schedule and that can be done any number of ways to best suit your situation." or "I run 15s, 20s & 45s all ranging between 13-18 cycles. I haven't made a new batch of soil in at least three years with one exception and that's also a topic of discussion here shortly."
Now im getting really conflicting info! I'm just trying to wrap my head around it!

edit: Im not trying to be the devil's advocate, its just those are very different reports on the same method! Im on page 60 or so and i remember him saying something to effect of "trying to amend every cycle to keep perfect nutrient ratios is a fool's errand" Now im not sold on ether variant of methodology. The getting the proper ratios is what i've always leaned toward but i wouldn't even be talking to-till, recycled soil if it wasnt for coot. am i just totally lost here? drawing wrong conclusions?
i am fairly certain coot doesnt throw his soil away. he has a smaller garden and recycles his soil instead of no till due to space, at least thats my understanding. Bluejay is the no till man, the no till thread at GC is priceless. it changed the way i grow for sure
 
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Hey all, didn't feel like starting a new thread since this title works.

This is my 2nd season in my cold frame with raised beds open to the clay ground below using a coots mix. Red wigglers and other rolly pollys and crawly creatures have taken over the rhizosphere and or the directly under my mulch layer. The worms survived the winter in the beds which was suprising since we get well below zero F here. Then I also add vermicompost from my bins every so often that has a bunch of eggs and baby worms. So these worms have gone to town, and when I stick my fingers down in the soil it seems like it is almost all vermicompost. I can't really find rice hulls in abundance and I used perlite instead of humice. I'm comcerned that my plants are going to suffer without the proper aeration.

Question 1. After this season, how much damage would I cause by tilling up my soil and adding pumice and more rice hulls? Should I just let it be? I would assume the cover crop's roots help with aeration and same with all the worms and other bugs so it may not be required.

Question 2. Since these worms thrived so much in my raised beds outside the worm bin I decided to put a layer of half-finished compost down then a layer of straw on top to keep the half finished compost wet. I figured this would keep the red wiggler population healthy. I have read that mixing unfinished compost in with your soil will take away N to help break down the organic matter, stealing N from your plants. My thought was that I will not be heating up this compost like a standard pile mixing it in, but rather just feeding worms in the upper layer. Will this still have a chance of stealing N from my plants? It really didn't seem much different than top dressing with say kelp meal, that is not composted at the time it is given to the soil.

Just two things that have been on my mind that I can't seem to locate an answer for right now by searching the internets.
 
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