Legion Of Living Organic Soil

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muckhomor

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Hey, i'm running my first organic soil. Using the water only KIS organics biochar mix, veg has been about 4 weeks and they're almost ready to flower. I noticed signs of Cal deficiency, what would be some great organic methods to bump up Calcium? I'm just feeding with water and microbes, and recharge.
Hey brother, i know im a bit late but check out Roots Organic Seabird Guano, Super fast acting from my experience, if you top dress between runs and are reusing soil you shouldnt have any cal mag issues after your second or third round in the soil
 
Smoking Gun

Smoking Gun

Thanks for the the response bro.
I’m actually looking at a couple of options now. Trifolium repens is one. I see it has shallow roots and a creates a good cover. Woolly thyme is another option but sadly i couldnt find it near me. There are succulents like sedum sexangulare (or any other sedum) which can cover too, no nitrogen fixing tho. I think i’m going to cover with trifolium repens dominantly and add couple of things just for diversity like thymus citriodorus and couple of shallow rooting succulents. Well we’ll see. Still open for suggestions.
I wouldn’t use succulents for cover crops, particularly ones that are going to be watered daily or bi-daily. You could also try Oxalis, which makes a nice garnish or salad ingredient.
 
jumpincactus

jumpincactus

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You could try Thyme. It has lots of small leaves, has a tendency to spread as it grows, and lots of small leaves. Personally I would be more interested in using clover over basil or thyme. Clover is a legume, and legumes replace Nitrogen in the soil as they grow, whereas most other types of green plants will use nitrogen to grow, depleting the soil of the nitrogen necessary for plants to thrive. Another thing to keep in mind when companion planting is that not all plants like to play together. All plants give off exudates (waste) from their roots, those exudates may benefit or harm other plants in close proximity. While I am pretty sure neither basil nor thyme will negatively effect Cannabis I am not certain about that either. It’s worth it to do a bunch of research on companion planting before you just start putting plants together. While Cannabis exists in its own family of plants, it’s closest relative is hops (humulus lupulus) so it is probably worth taking a look at any companion plants growers are using with them.
You have a great grasp on the subject. You are correct that it would be best to use any of the legume family over woody herbs as you stated they would be depleting the available N. They would still help keeping the biodiversity in the soil going with the herd, but wouldn't help with building a N bank.
 
CrimsonEcho

CrimsonEcho

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I wouldn’t use succulents for cover crops, particularly ones that are going to be watered daily or bi-daily. You could also try Oxalis, which makes a nice garnish or salad ingredient.
Well i’m pretty certain i’m going to use trifolium repens (dutch clover) but i like to add diversity like thyme (thymus citriodorus) and a couple of edible succulents like sedum sexangulare.. probably.
 
CrimsonEcho

CrimsonEcho

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Here are but a few cover crops that work well. Some more than others.

Hairy Vetch

Annual Oats

Crimson Clover

Mustard

Buckwheat

Winter (Annual) Rye
Thanks for the suggestions, i’m sure people will benefit from them but in my case some of these might be hard to grow in containers. It seems buckwheat and winter rye, oats and stuff seems more like an outside thing. I actually need something that would act as a living mulch in pots.
Now crimson clover for the crimsonecho seems like a match made in heaven but i see it can grow up to 50cms which again wouldn’t be ideal in a 7-10 gal pot. But i’ll utilise those in my outside garden.
 
Smoking Gun

Smoking Gun

Thanks for the suggestions, i’m sure people will benefit from them but in my case some of these might be hard to grow in containers. It seems buckwheat and winter rye, oats and stuff seems more like an outside thing. I actually need something that would act as a living mulch in pots.
Now crimson clover for the crimsonecho seems like a match made in heaven but i see it can grow up to 50cms which again wouldn’t be ideal in a 7-10 gal pot. But i’ll utilise those in my outside garden.
You can keep the rye and even the clover down in size with regular trimming, like people do with wheatgrass.

@ thank you for the compliment. In my day to day life I am a landscape designer, but I fell into that job through my hobby of vegetable gardening. I am always researching concepts of companion planting and cover crops for both facets of my work.
 
CrimsonEcho

CrimsonEcho

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You can keep the rye and even the clover down in size with regular trimming, like people do with wheatgrass.

@ thank you for the compliment. In my day to day life I am a landscape designer, but I fell into that job through my hobby of vegetable gardening. I am always researching concepts of companion planting and cover crops for both facets of my work.
Definitely but i’m concerned about the root peneration. I dont really know how deep their roots go.
 
CrimsonEcho

CrimsonEcho

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I know the rye doesn't develop very deep roots. Mustard has shallow roots. You could also harvest the mustard as a micro-green so it will never develop much of a root system at that.
Good info. I’ll look into those too. More diverse the better imo.
 
JediHustle

JediHustle

Sweet, ill look into it. Appreciate it!

Hey brother, i know im a bit late but check out Roots Organic Seabird Guano, Super fast acting from my experience, if you top dress between runs and are reusing soil you shouldnt have any cal mag issues after your second or third round in the soil
 
OldSmokie76

OldSmokie76

Heres some root porn under mulch. Do you guys think a companion plant can create or maintain such humidity in the top soil to promote this kinda of root growth? I just like the soft, top soil so water can move in more freely.
I’m thinking of companion planting with basil next grow. Hear tomato growers like to pair these two to enhance natural flavors. If i go with basil than i may not be able to mulch so maybe a moss like plant or something with many small leaves that crawls on soil that would hold the moisture down or produce moisture thru respiration could replace the mulching next grow.

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I grew basil within my tomatoes last summer. Both plants did wonderful together. Rumor is basil enriches the tomatoes flavor. These were cherry tomatoes in the pic. They developed the size of ping pong balls. All organic.
Basil generally small roots, and you can top it many times to create a low thick canopy to block light and keep the soil moist.
 
CrimsonEcho

CrimsonEcho

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I grew basil within my tomatoes last summer. Both plants did wonderful together. Rumor is basil enriches the tomatoes flavor. These were cherry tomatoes in the pic. They developed the size of ping pong balls. All organic.
Basil generally small roots, and you can top it many times to create a low thick canopy to block light and keep the soil moist.
Yeah basil is a given. Besides that i also think about using trifolium repens and thyme just because i have them at hand. I want to create diversity as much as i can. I also dont want to overcrowd :) maybe chives could be in the mix too.
Those tomatoes look nice. I’ve dedicated half of my tent to starting seeds early and experimenting with tomatoes and cucumbers in small pots. Also got some artichokes and peppers. I just want to see how they’ll do. All organic too. I’ll post some pics if they ever get fruits (well if they ripen lets say):D
 
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milk103

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Soil Recipe per cubic foot.

Equal parts:
CSPM (Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss)
Aeration (Pumice/Lava rock)
Compost - Homemade is best but Malibus B/U is an excellent choice if it is available in your area.

Amended per cuF with:
1/2 - 1 cup Neem or Karanja meal
1/2 - 1 cup Kelp meal
1/2 - 1 cup Crab/Crustacean meal
1 cup MBP (Malted Barley Powder)

1/2 cup Gypsum (nice sulphur source)
4-6 cups Basalt dust
6-8 cups Biochar
1 cup lime (oyster shell flower, dolomite...)

***Small handful of worms per container***
Hello!
I have used subcools super soil before but plan on using this recipe soon with large beds and have a lot of questions.

1. The amount of P is low compared to other soil mixes - is this because more fungi = more P available?
Looking at N-P-K ratio of the ingredients Neem (6-1-2) Kelp (1-.1-2) Crab (4-3-0)

2. If re-using this soil, how do you go about re-amending it? Do you guys test your soil at a lab and replace nutrients based of that ? How do you mix it into the bed if doing a no-till approach - do you just top dress ?

3. When you guys say no-till - are you meaning that the bed of soil is just left from grow to grow only removing the root ball and transplanting a new plant in its place? The main purpose of doing this is to preserve the fungi that grows correct? I read the it can grow back quickly so is it really worth it to do that opposed to just remixing the soil every harvest to fluff it up and evenly mix in new amendments?

4. ***Small handful of worms per container*** are you saying the worms can live just fine in this soil and will continuously provide new EWC during the grow? I like this idea and it sounds really interesting I am wondering if anyone else has experimented with putting red wigglers in their actual growing container and what were the results.

5. On composting you said:
"home made worm casting are superior in every way. You can also feed them what you want to get a balanced nutrient load. If you do it right there is no need to add amendments. Basically just make a base soil with your castings and it's good to go!"
Does having the EWC digest the amendments instead of adding them directly to the soil mix really make that much of a difference even if you let the soil cook before using ?
" I sprinkle the aeration and then a little kelp meal, neem meal, rock dust, and crab meal (maybe a little malted barley if you have a large bag). Maybe a quarter cup of each amendment"
1/4 cup each amendment in EWC results in the same strength soil as just putting 1/2-1 cup in the base soil mix directly?

6. You also said:
"I start by filling the bottom 3" of a large 300g smart pot with compost that is ready and add worms. I then add a layer of leaf mold about 4" deep. I sprinkle the aeration and then a little kelp meal, neem meal, rock dust, and crab meal (maybe a little malted barley if you have a large bag)."
When you say "compost that is ready" what are you using exactly? Do you mean you use EWC you already have? Can you just use old soil from a previous grow as a substitute - basically turning your old dirt into EWC ?


Thanks in advance!
 
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milk103

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You have to charge biochar first or it will act as a sponge in the soil and adsorb nutrient in the soil.
In a rich nutrient tea for a week or so. Not microbe tea tho.
I couldn’t get biochar where i live went with activated carbon to make slow release fertilizer. Had some biobizz and homemade fpe around the house. So i mixed fish-mix, alg-a-mic, banana fpe, alfalfa fpe, re-veg fpe, molasses. Let the carbon soak as much as it can for a week.

Okay this is news to me! Why do you say "not microbe tea tho" I found this article https://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/how-charge-biochar that basically says to add EWC/compost tea and soil from the area you plan to grow in. I wonder if you can just mix in some of the original amendments in the soil too maybe ?
 
CrimsonEcho

CrimsonEcho

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Okay this is news to me! Why do you say "not microbe tea tho" I found this article https://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/how-charge-biochar that basically says to add EWC/compost tea and soil from the area you plan to grow in. I wonder if you can just mix in some of the original amendments in the soil too maybe ?
I meant you don’t need a microbe tea but my reasoning was and still is that, mostly, a nutrient rich tea will do the job and since you are gonna be soaking them for a week or so the tea will go bad.

Also, i don’t really buy the process that article tries to sell, couple of months in a compost pile or 12 hours in a tea? I play it safer and soak for a week because as said in the article equilibrium needs to occur before seeing the effects of carbon.

All the nutrients i add have microbes in it already. Microbes are everywhere and in the pots they will colonize on food sources anyway. Thats why i took this road and charged the carbon with nutrients and mixed it with my medium. Gave a good tea and let it cook for sometime (around a month).
 
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milk103

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I meant you don’t need a microbe tea but my reasoning was and still is that, mostly, a nutrient rich tea will do the job and since you are gonna be soaking them for a week or so the tea will go bad.

Also, i don’t really buy the process that article tries to sell, couple of months in a compost pile or 12 hours in a tea? I play it safer and soak for a week because as said in the article equilibrium needs to occur before seeing the effects of carbon.

All the nutrients i add have microbes in it already. Microbes are everywhere and in the pots they will colonize on food sources anyway. Thats why i took this road and charged the carbon with nutrients and mixed it with my medium. Gave a good tea and let it cook for sometime (around a month).
Okay cool - this is good to know! Now that I am reading more about this I am curious if "charging" biochar might make the soil too hot if done incorrectly. http://www.dc.delinat-institut.org/doc/english/biochar-activation.pdf see the underlined portion

C. Biochar with liquid fertilizers fertilizers
1. Calculate the amount of fertilizer you need for a given area. Mixing with biochar reduces leaching and outgassing of nutrients, so that
fertilizer efficiency increases significantly and a total of only half of the conventionally calculated amount is required.
2. Make sure that the fertilizer contains not only the main elements, N, P, K, Mg, but has a very high mineral diversity. In case of doubt, add some rock flour.
3. Dissolve the calculated amount of mineral fertilizer in sufficient water.
4. Give as much biochar in a period of 2 days to allow complete absorption of the added liquid.

Organic liquid fertilizer is preferably used for charging instead of NPK fertilizer. Liquid animal manure is an excellent example to use for charging biochar.

Variant C is not about microbial colonization. In this case this will take place in the soil. In organic farming, mineral fertilizer trade is prohibited.
 
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