Oh ya! got me some goodies

Discussion in 'Organic Growing' started by next, May 20, 2015.

  1. Jul 5, 2015 #61

    Droopy Dog

    Droopy Dog

    Droopy Dog

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    I used to, but don't anymore for a couple of reasons. Mainly complaints from my wife and her blender :angrywife: and second, just hand crunched is too coarse to break down in any sort of reasonable time frame. Like, less than a year. Whatever the source, it needs to be as fine as flour to actually work/be effective. The whole surface area thing.

    Since I now use a peat based bedding, adding pulverized Dolomite lime is easy, works like a champ, and keeps the wife happy. Keeps the peats pH right for the worms also. Straight peat is too acidic for them.

    Not silly, but a lot of effort when a bag of dolomite is only $4.50/40lbs.

    DD/Wet
     
  2. Jul 6, 2015 #62

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    Just checked the dirt out, mixed it around, added some more perlite that I had ran out of initially. Things have mellowed out, smells has prettty much gone away, i'd say its 20% as smelly as it was. The temperature has returned to normal.. maybe a few degree's over ambient temp.

    The texture is awesome.. its not pro-mix anymore.. it feels like happy rich dirt. I don't think you could "find" a piece of peat in there. Thanks again for the help
     
  3. Jul 6, 2015 #63

    Droopy Dog

    Droopy Dog

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    Now, you need to get a bale of Canadian Spagnum Peat Moss. Premier (the makers of ProMix), or Lambert, depending on your location.

    You have everything to make your own ProMix but the peat moss and it will be WAY cheaper. The hardest thing is the perlite and the 4cf bag solved that. Keep that source. LOL

    Wet
     
  4. Jul 8, 2015 #64

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    I can find those quite easily. I think I have half a bag here already.

    I will definitely be mixing my own soils from now on, lets just hope I get the results i'm looking for.

    How long do you figure until I can use the soil I have mixed?

    One last question.. to make some soil for seedlings / clones, could you use the same ratio's but cut it back to 1/4 amount? Full dose on the dolomite lime but less on the others?
     
  5. Jul 8, 2015 #65

    Droopy Dog

    Droopy Dog

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    For seedlings you really don't want or need any added amendments, just too easy to burn the seedlings and besides, they pack their own lunch.

    Depleted, used mix after a grow works well for seedlings and fresh clones. Just make sure it is well depleted. Most seedling mixes are just peat moss, a bit of vermiculite & perlite and dolomite for pH and that's it!

    Here is my own seedling mix:
    I use a 2 1/2 cup measuring cup as a *part*

    9 parts (18 cups), expanded peat moss (no clumps)
    2-2 1/2 parts (4-5 cups) Perlite Add last and eyeball for final amount
    1 part+ (2-3 cups) EWC
    1/4 part (1/2 cup) Kelp meal
    1/4 part (1/2 cup) dolomite lime

    That's it! Mix well and thoroughly moisten. No cooking required, but I usually let it sit for a day or 3 to let the microbes get going.

    Don't add any other amendments or get creative or you'll just repeat the mistakes I've already made working this out.

    AFA your other mix, at least 2 weeks after adding the alfalfa & neem, if not longer. The same as a regular 'cook'.

    Wet
     
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  6. Jul 9, 2015 #66

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    Awesome man, I will for sure be writing all this down on paper. Very kind of you to take the time to help me out.

    Ok, so I have "the" recipe to turn pro-mix into a "Living organic soil"

    And the recipe to make some nice seedling mix.

    Only thing left is how to make the LOS out of sphagnum moss instead of pro-mix.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is how?

    "LC’s Soiless Mix #1:
    5 parts Canadian Spaghnam Peat or Coir or Pro-Moss
    3 parts perlite
    2 parts wormcastings or mushroom compost or home made compost
    Powdered dolomite lime @ 2 tablespoons per gallon or 1 cup per cubic foot of the soiless mix. "

    Then add the kelp/neem/alfalfa/bone/blood/gypsum/azomite/rockdust/greensand. Add any extra dolomite lime or would the initial 2tbl/gal in the LC mix suffice? Also would you still use the ratio of 3-1-1. Using LC's soilless mix as (3), then add 1 part EWC and 1 part perlite?

    +9999 karma headed your way :vap-leafy_wave:

    *edit* 9 parts peat with a 2.5cup part is 22.5cups not 18, in your seedling mix.
     
  7. Jul 9, 2015 #67

    Droopy Dog

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    Pro Mix is basically just peat moss, perlite, and dolomite lime mixed at the plant rather than your backyard.

    Since you're going to be adding stuff and mixing anyway, paying extra for them to mix it is silly.

    Re: the seed mix. The measuring cup is 2 1/2 cups to the brim. Some scoops were to the brim, some were to the 2 cup line, some were below it. It averages out and nothing in organics is precise. That's for hydro and chems. It is way more about eyeballing and feel than measurements. 18 cups or 22.5, it's all good.

    LC's mix is where I started and is excellent. Where I am at now is closer to Vic's revised mix (post #3). Basically, LC's mix tweaked a bit.

    Really wish you could find some bark fines. Some seed meal would beeeee helpful too. Like soy meal, flax meal, canola meal, anything BUT cottonseed meal. NEVER cottonseed meal.

    Wet
     
  8. Jul 9, 2015 #68

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    I think I could find flax seeds at a health food store, then the ground up version is called flax meal? **My wife has a big bag of flax seed in the fridge**

    I have no idea why there are no bark fines in my area, what there is, has been colored with dye.

    I also have some crushed oyster shells and diatomaceous earth, thanks to the chickens. I see quite a few people using the crushed oyster shells. I just started reading True living organics.

    20150709_091600.jpg

    20150709_091640.jpg
     
  9. Jul 11, 2015 #69

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    Would coco coir sub for the bark shavings?

    I grabbed a handful of soil, added some R/o water, strained it and had a ph reading of 6.8. Read somewhere if the soil's ph is relatively neutral that it indicates its done cooking.

    I have two sick plants that needed repotted so I planted one of them into this soil. It is a bit shy of two weeks since I added the neem meal / alfalfa. But... I don't have much to loose if the plant doesn't like it. I added another 1/2 gallon of perlite to make up for the mushroom compost I added as well. Should mean I cut the mushroom compost with 70/30 perlite.
     
  10. Jul 12, 2015 #70

    Droopy Dog

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    A quicky NO to the coir. Also, a big NO to the crushed oyster shell. Save it for the chickens. I tried it years ago and it's just too coarse to be effective. I was still finding pieces 4 years after mixing it in.

    You can find lump or 'cowboy' charcoal I hope? This is NOT briquette charcoal. It's very light and in the shape of chunks of wood. Like tree limbs, sorta. The same size bag as 20lbs of briquettes might weigh just 7 or 8 lbs.

    Smushed up with a hammer into small pieces, it not only helps with aeration, but a good DIY Bio-Char. Decent replacement for the bark fines. Perhaps even better.

    IDK about the flax seed. What I use is soy meal intended as cattle feed. Like, $12-$15/40lb bag kinda stuff. It's the leftovers after the oil has been extracted. If that helps with the search any. Ask around where you get your chicken feed.

    Wet
     
  11. Jul 12, 2015 #71

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    found some bark nuggets at canadian tire..
     
  12. Jul 13, 2015 #72

    Droopy Dog

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    LOL! Of course! Everyone knows tires and bark nuggets go together like apple pie and ice cream. EH?

    Just yanking your crank, but I have found stuff in unexpected places.

    Now, what you want is about the size of the end of your pinky finger, to about end of thumb size. I usually have to sort that out then the larger stuff goes in the flower bed, or around a tree or wherever.

    The lump charcoal is a good thing IF you run across it, but not worth a special trip. I mainly just use the shake from when I'm smoking stuff since the lump charcoal is pretty much required for smoking meat, taste wise. Most grocery stores have it, but big box places like HD or Lowes, or Canadian tire (?), frequently have it on sale.

    Google Bio Char for a bit of research.

    Feed & Seed stores, or Tack Stores (Horse supplies), are your best bet for seed meals/cake.

    Wet
     
  13. Jul 13, 2015 #73

    Droopy Dog

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    Base amounts are using 5 gallon buckets.
    Amendments use a 2 1/2 cup measuring cup.

    .............. Base Mix............
    1 1/2 buckets (7 1/2 gallons), expanded Spagnum Peat Moss (no clumps)
    1 bucket (4-5 gallons), Perlite (eyeball amounts past 4 gallons)
    1/2 bucket +/- (2-3 gallons), Pine Bark fines
    1/2 bucket +/- (2-3 gallons), EWC
    2 1/2 CUPS Dolomite lime (*I* count the dolo as part of the base mix and not as an amendment)

    ................Amendments...............
    2 1/2 Cups, Azomite
    2 1/2 Cups, Neem Cake*
    2 1/2 Cups, Kelp Meal*
    2 1/2-4 Cups, Alfalfa Meal*
    5 Cups Soybean Meal, or similar
    4 Cups, Bone meal or similar*
    5 Cups, Granite meal or other rock dust
    2 Cups, Gypsum

    The stuff with the * is a "must have". The other stuff listed without the * is nice, but not a deal breaker.

    This makes ~18 gallons of mix. I mix everything dry, BUT, the perlite. The perlite gets added last, along with the water to moisten. It takes ~5-7 gallons of water to moisten. That's over 45lbs of water and it gets heavy. So, the dusty perlite gets wetted down last along with the dry mix. It then goes into a trash can, or individual 5 gal buckets (with drainage), to cook.

    HTH

    Wet
     
  14. Jul 14, 2015 #74

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    Thanks,

    Do you think this mix will be okay with R/O water and no additional cal/mag? I will check out the Bio Char, and probably make a batch of your mix here shortly.

    The only place I could find the pro-mix was canadian tire as well.. go figure eh.. :D
     
  15. Jul 14, 2015 #75

    Droopy Dog

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    Canadian tire sounds like a good "go to" kinda place.

    To me, RO water is 'dead' and really has no place in organics, unless you tap water is really bad, like over 200 PPM bad. Usually, if it's Ok to drink it's fine for plants. Is there anything super bad about your tap water that you must use RO?

    Have zero experience with any cal/mag other than dolomite lime. It's something else that has no place in organics. Hydro perhaps, but not organics.

    Wet
     
  16. Jul 14, 2015 #76

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    Tap is sitting just over 200ppm, slightly worried about chloramine or what ever it is that can be used in place of chlorine.
     
  17. Jul 15, 2015 #77

    Droopy Dog

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    The chloramine is really no concern. My tap has chloramine and I've been using it for going on 8 years with no issues.

    How about mixing your tap with the RO 50/50? you'll get the minerals you're missing with the RO and cut the PPM's down to ~100. A win-win.

    But, I'd bet even straight tap would have no issues.

    Wet
     
  18. Jul 20, 2015 #78

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    Plants are loving the soil Droopy, thankyou very very much for helping me. Tomato's like it too!
     
  19. Jul 24, 2015 #79

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    I got some Organicare granular grow and bloom. Cheap as dirt, 7$ for each.

    The grow is 6-6-5 + 8% calcium
    The bloom is 1-5-4 +6% calcium

    "Pure organic-based plant food is the base for the Organicare plant nutrient system. Contains only natural, organic ingredients. Slow release, carbon based, biologically enhanced granules feed beneficial soil microorganisms which, in turn, feed your plants. The end result is naturally superior, rapid, and vigorous growth. Combination of highly active organic acids including humic acid. Combine major growth promoters like fish meal and seaweed with composted poultry litter, alfalfa meal, sulfate of potash, macro and micro minerals, amino acids, proteins, and natural plant extracts to create a highly effective fertilizer and growth stimulator. Natural ingredients formula increase soil fertility and feed soil microorganisms while suppressing soil borne plant pathogens. Non-toxic to humans, animals and aquatic species. The slow release formula prevents ground water leaching and runoff. Salt or synthetic chemical fertilizers can harm soil microorganisms and reduce the effectiveness of soil fertilizer. Thoroughly composted, dried by thermal dehydration to 9 percent moisture content and contains no detectable pathogens."
     
  20. Jul 24, 2015 #80

    Droopy Dog

    Droopy Dog

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    Just wait till your worm bins are producing well. Takes a good 6 months or more for everything to get balanced out and really cranking, but when it does ... :farm::icon_smile:

    Wet
     

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