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Old 01-06-2008, 04:47 AM   #1
screwdriver
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Default Reused soil in a bucket thread

This may be a boring thread, but I'll try to keep this updated with what I do to maintain my growing media. I thought this to be mainly organic so I posted here. I reuse my soil simply because I think it is easier than going out and buying new soil with each grow. So I thought each time I mess with my buckets I'll post it here.

My three buckets....Why three? Volume mainly, I may need four buckets soon.
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Bucket three is where I put the last harvested plant's soil, the larger stems, rootball and a little bit of dirt from the previous round of soil. I'll add a teaspoon of clearzyme and moisten with fish fertilizer water. Every few days stir with my big spoon, all the way to the bottom of the bucket.
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When things begin to break down it becomes easier to cut up the bigger pieces. We are just helping the process.
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Bucket two is where the fan leaves, small stems, the soil from bucket three before the next harvest. this is where I add a pinch of Mycorrhizal fungi to the mix and watch grow. Stir every few days to the bottom.
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Bucket one is where the nutes and perlite are mixed with the new reused soil. Not much going on in there right now, you'll just have to wait.
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Other things about this are watering when the soil needs it. I keep the lids on the buckets, but not snaped so there is free air movement. There is no smell other than from the fish fertilizer and that lasts only the day of use.

The general idea is to move some of the soil from bucket to bucket while the added organic material is breaking down.

How do I know the nute values of the soil? I don't. I just guess.

Last edited by screwdriver; 09-11-2008 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:20 PM   #2
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Hmm, sounds interesting. I'll follow along and see how it works for ya.
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:43 PM   #3
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is this soil for in door ooutdoor growing?
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:53 PM   #4
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Default How To Get Your Grow On

Yo screwdriver,
wouldn't an outdoors compost mound do you just as well and leave the odors outside ?

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Old 01-06-2008, 10:48 PM   #5
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Yes, this is for indoor growing. I've been doing it this way for couple of years.
And I don't have a compost pile in the back. I do get some from the city in warmer weather. It just seemed to be a good way to get rid of the stems and leaves without throwing in the trash. When I make teas I throw the solids in the buckets. There really isn't any smell or else I wouldn't be doing it inside. Worm castings from my mini worm farm goes into the mix also.

This is just an alternative to buying new soil with each grow.
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:40 PM   #6
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Sounds cool to me !!!

smoke in peace
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:02 AM   #7
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look forward to your updates

there is a few of us around that do the same thing as well as some great info on goodies to add to the soil.... cant wait to see what you add to bucket 1


thanks for take'n the time to post the info....I will be about watch'n


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Old 01-09-2008, 02:52 PM   #8
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Buckets have been just sitting there for awhile so I thought I should get in there to mix. The buckets are about half full. I tip the bucket and hold between my feet. Over turning the soil as I pull it from the bottom of the bucket. Then rotate the bucket and pull from the bottom. I spin the bucket 2,3,4 times until the soil that is dryer is mixed up with the wetter soil from the bottom.
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Here's bucket 2. All mixed up then I put some mycorrhizae inoculant into the mix. I wanted to see if I could grow some fungus.
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This is a close up of bucket three. It looks ready to use. When it starts to get difficult identifying whats in there it will be ready for me to use.
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:08 PM   #9
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I harvested a skunk and I touched the buckets so here it is.

All the excess trim and stems I am putting in bucket 3. I'm getting a new bucket which will be "4" where I will put some dirt from 3 and add it to 4 with the root mass and used soil from the last harvest. I don't know if any of that made sense? Oh well.
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I sprinkle some of this in there it supposed to be beneficial bacteria to breakdown organic material.
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In bucket 2, these are the only leaves I could find. Where did the rest go?
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Bucket 1 is lonely.
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:44 PM   #10
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OK, I did it again. I added a small stem to bucket 3, cut small stems into smaller pieces and chop at a few leaves with the snips, mixed both buckets by pulling the soil from the bottom. All this took less time than it takes to post in this thread.
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:04 PM   #11
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Nice!
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:51 PM   #12
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hey screwdriver,

Thanks for the updates as you go along with your compost

bout how much water and how often for you to keep the soil moist? or do just wing it like me and not really measure alot?

Kinda where I'm at now with my organics cross between living organics and tea's and try to read the plant and adjust where needed

look forward to the next update

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Old 01-14-2008, 12:16 AM   #13
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Screwdriver - great thread man. My next step is to go organic and recycle medium as you and HGB do.

I too will be keeping an eye on your soil treatments. Grow on man!

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Old 01-14-2008, 03:22 AM   #14
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Thanks for the comments and +.

How much water is a tough one for me to describe. And most of this is just winging it. I think the key is the texture. Seeing how much water your medium mix will hold before saturation. I hope as long as I keep it mixed and oxygen can get to the dirt in the bottom of the bucket nothing ugly grows in there. I really only water once, usually when I transfer and move dirt from bucket to bucket. Since this is in my basement office the water doesn't evaporate out very fast.

The one thing I hope is learned is that you don't have to do everything by the book and winging it ain't so bad.
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:42 AM   #15
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really interesting. kindda doing the same thing but a little less planned. how do you get a worm farm going and what are its benifits?i like the idea of organic. thats what im shooting for a little of this and a little of that from around the house. let us know what seems to work
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:13 AM   #16
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hello ps, I got the worm stuff from the DIY section here I think the biggest benefit is that its fun. I don't know if the plant likes it more than me.
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:58 PM   #17
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Now we got something going in bucket 1. There is about a half a bucket of soil in #2. I move about half of that to get about a quarter of bucket if soil in #1. I move a similar amount into #2 from #3(left). Made up some fish fertilizer water by adding about a tablespoon in about a half gallon of water. Sorry that everything is "about". I just imagine there is a tablespoon that filling up and stop at the top. Maybe I should blindfold myself and use a real tablespoon to see how accurate I think I am. I poured some of that into buckets #2 and #1, about 1/2 cup, and mix thoroughly.
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In preparation of my next grow I add some stuff into bucket #1(right). I actual use a teaspoon to scoop the stuff out, but everything is still just close not perfect. 2 teaspoons everything, blood meal, bone meal, epsoma plus, lime and a pinch of myco stuff, and pond zyme. I'll add some perlite later.
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:11 PM   #18
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Looks great man. Can't get any more natural than that man.
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:16 PM   #19
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Very Interesting there.. And the process..

But I just throw my water leaf and other cutting to my Goats and chickens LOL
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Old 01-18-2008, 02:29 PM   #20
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Thanks for commenting. It would be cool to have a goat, but city hall says no farm animals.

I touched my bucket. Mixed each bucket.
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