my soil smell like ammonia

orangesunshine

Drama Free
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
3,794
Reaction score
276
mixed up bag soil with alfalfa meal, bone meal, worm castings, kelp meal, soybean meal, azomite, and perlite---what is causing my soil to smell like ammonia---i am thinking i need to add more bag soil---thanks for your input
 

ozzydiodude

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2008
Messages
9,143
Reaction score
4,328
Sound like you have a anaerobic(?) condition. I would stir it up real good and add some more perlite so that that is a better air movement thru the pile. When there is not enough oxygen in the soil anaerobic bacteria take over and they are the ones that give off the ammonia
 

orangesunshine

Drama Free
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
3,794
Reaction score
276
thanks ozzy---i was just reading up on it and what i am seeing in compost piles is that high nitrogen will give off this smell---but your diagnosis also makes sense because i did not smell it until i started digging into it---and it is HOT HOT HOT---i will go and take a quick pic for you to see why i think i need some more bagged soil---back in a minute
 

ozzydiodude

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2008
Messages
9,143
Reaction score
4,328
I think from looking at those pics that you diffently need to add some soil mix of some kind
 

orangesunshine

Drama Free
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
3,794
Reaction score
276
the pics don't show it---but you can see more of the above listed additives---hence---i am on my way to buy more bagged soil---:48:
 

HomieDaGrower

Hillbilly Emeritus
Joined
Jul 8, 2011
Messages
298
Reaction score
17
I just looked up the Nitrogen cycle, on Wikipedia, and found this.

"Ammonification

When a plant or animal dies, or an animal expels waste, the initial form of nitrogen is organic. Bacteria, or fungi in some cases, convert the organic nitrogen within the remains back into ammonium (NH4+), a process called ammonification or mineralization. Enzymes Involved:

GS: Gln Synthetase (Cytosolic & PLastid)
GOGAT: Glu 2-oxoglutarate aminotransferase (Ferredoxin & NADH dependent)
GDH: Glu Dehydrogenase:
Minor Role in ammonium assimilation.
Important in amino acid catabolism."

"Nitrification
Main article: Nitrification

The conversion of ammonium to nitrate is performed primarily by soil-living bacteria and other nitrifying bacteria. The primary stage of nitrification, the oxidation of ammonium (NH4+) is performed by bacteria such as the Nitrosomonas species, which converts ammonia to nitrites (NO2-). Other bacterial species, such as the Nitrobacter, are responsible for the oxidation of the nitrites into nitrates (NO3-).[2] It is important for the nitrites to be converted to nitrates because accumulated nitrites are toxic to plant life. "


hxxp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_cycle


What it appears to be is that your biomass in your soil mix is in the process of ammonification. I would add some more soil to the mix, and maybe an innoculation of microbeasties. Another alternative, is to let the soil cook for awhile, until the nitrogen cycle has done it's thing. But it would be a good Idea to turn your mix a couple of times a week to allow all of your mix to be exposed to oxygen.

I hope this helps.

HomieHogleg
 

BBFan

Days of Wine and....Roses
Joined
May 23, 2008
Messages
2,078
Reaction score
1,009
Good post HomieHogLeg.

It's called volitilization and is pretty common with high concentrations of nitrogen. You'll actually lose a lot of your nitrogen from it, though some of your sources take a while to break down so you may be ok.

Turn your mix. Water it thoroughly.

It is very unlikely that it is going anaerobic.
 

Locked

Music
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
16,527
Reaction score
3,742
I am not an organic grower but from my research into it and from talking to peeps like Nchef I was under the impression that making your own organic soil always causes it to go through an ammonia smelling phase while it cooks. I thought you mix and then let it sit for a month or so while it cooks and gives off the ammonia smell....it is one of the reasons I hve not made my own organic soil. I live in an association and it is not like I can just mix it up outside.

I cld be dead wrong though......
 

orangesunshine

Drama Free
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
3,794
Reaction score
276
thanks for all the input---this mix needs to be used today---just got back from the homeboy depot with some soil to add to the mix---hopefully this will calm down the hot mix i made---

good to see the HIE back on the scene
 

ozzydiodude

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2008
Messages
9,143
Reaction score
4,328
that mix is way too hot to put seedling in you need to let work/cook at least a month.
 

orangesunshine

Drama Free
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
3,794
Reaction score
276
no choice brother---gonna have to cool it down by adding yet more neutral bagged soil---off i go again
 

orangesunshine

Drama Free
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
3,794
Reaction score
276
got it---better yet---gonna use the new bag soil for the beans now and mix each pot separately with a little of the hot mix---use the rest for transplant later---gotta quit blazing the doobie with the morning coffee---:D ---maybe not---it's lunch time now anyway---:48:
 

orangesunshine

Drama Free
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
3,794
Reaction score
276
the experiment continues---HERO OR ZERO---soon to see---used the neutral mellow soil for most and did some 1/2 and 1/2---beans get dropped tonight---will be moving this over to the PP run thread in a bit---thank you all for your input---purple peace to all---:watchplant:
 

4u2sm0ke

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Messages
17,344
Reaction score
13,504
Great Thread


Mojo for the soil orangesunshine
 

nouvellechef

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
3,175
Reaction score
381
That's your $ going up in smoke, well in smell form :) That toxification smell is exactly why you should not use blood meal. It burns off up to 40% of available nitrogen down the road for your girls. Yellowing sets in fast and you then need to dump some more $ in bottled form to counter it. Not a huge deal. But it def raises your net cost per oz. Try hard to find soybean. Check the route for hxxp://www.down-to-earth.com

They have everything. All you need to do is ask where their nearest route drop off is, hopefully close. And you can buy it extremely cheap and not have to buy any amendments for years. Literally. :) GL
 

Wetdog

Old Droopy Dog
Joined
Jan 20, 2011
Messages
823
Reaction score
72
Well, that and alfalfa meal gets hot also. Really hot, hot enough to burn roots.

I've read about it and yadda yadda yaddy. Recently I mixed up some alfalfa meal, soybean meal and EWC for a top dress for some long term plants. Got dark, so I left it in the garage overnight. Good thing! The next day, I went to stir it up with my fingertips and YOWWWW. I let it sit for a few days till it cooled down some. Was 5 handfuls of soy, 3 of alfalfa and castings till it felt/looked 'right'.

BTW, alfalfa is great for kickstarting a compost pile.

If some of that mix is still 'cooking', you really ought to add some dolomite or garden lime. Will save you a lot of problems down the road AFA pH and cal/mag issues.

Wet
 

Latest posts

Top