Recipe to making home made soil

ianquiksilver

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well the title pretty much says it all :p i thought i'd have a start at experimenting by making my own soil, to make sure its not over ferts-ed if at all and to compensate for all tap water's deficiencies and excesses in elements composition (Mg, Fe, "Ph", etc..).
but i have no clue what growing soil is made of exactly.
the first ingredient i thought of was a minimum of guano, pref. bat to get the best natural/org. fert, but thats as far as i get in my recipe :p

thnx to all who'd be kind enough to fill in the blanks PS: will dont answer by "get some potting/normal soil, add ferts and voila" :p i was hoping to skip the first part and make the soil from scratch.
 

ianquiksilver

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thnx a lot, that was exactly what i was looking for. only problem is i'm gonna need you guys to explain to me what the following ingredients are :

Bale sunshine mix #2 or promix
Bone Meal
Blood Meal
dolomite lime --> i know what lime is, what does 'dolomite' mean?
fritted trace elements
kelp meal
bag pure worm casting

real sorry, but in 16 years of speaking english fluently, i've never heard those words :p
i live in central europe, so if anyone knew the french equivalent to one of the words or more, that would be very helpful !

thnx a lot !
K
 

Hick

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OH my..this is a challenge...and I've been speaking fluent english for 50 years..:p

"Sunshine mix" is a brand name for "I believe" a Fox Farms product. Basically a bale of peat. This would be your base/foundation for your soil mix.

"bone meal"..is a plant fertilizer or soil ammendment derived from animal bones, high in phosphate
"blood meal"..derived from animal blood very high in nitrogen
"kelp meal"..derived from sea kelp/sea weed high in K (potash) also contains micro nutrirnts.
"dolomite lime"..horticultural lime(buffers ph and provides magnesium)
"worm castings"....the by-product of worms and or vermiculture.(worm feces) An excellent source of both 'macro' and 'micro' nutrients, and nitrogen.

this is from memory. They may also provide other essential items, but hope it clears a few things up for you.
 

Mutt

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be careful with "blood meal" that stuff can fry a plant quick. (yep, my dumb ass did it once).
 
S

Stoney Bud

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Here's a trick that I use many times every day:

Bring up the "Google" search page.

Type the words Define:Bone meal

and hit "enter" or click "Google Search"

You'll get a bunch of definations of what you've searched for.

Here's just one of the answers I got:

Bone Meal
[size=-1]Finely ground white or light gray bone. Adds nitrogen and phosphorous to the soil.[/size]




Good luck to you in all your grows.
 

GanjaGuru

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A note:
bone/blood and fish fertilizers are not recommended for outdoor grows, since animals tend to dig them up.
 

ianquiksilver

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hey !
for a 23L pot with 7-8 ph soil, how much lime juice should i use to bring ph down to 6.5?
some leaves have had a slight tendency of turning yellowish (too basic tap water, high levels of limestone present), and was wondering if it could be a Mg deficiency. thats solved by using epsom salt right? if yes, where does one find epsom salt?

thnx a bunch !
K
 

Hick

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I don't believe that you can actually "change" the ph of your soil at this stage. What you can do, is lower the ph of your nutrient solutions to counter the high soil ph. I would think by lowering your nute solution to around 6.0-6.2, it would lower your medium to an acceptable level.
Check the ph chart here..http://www.marijuanapassion.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1908
notice that the high ph may have your iron locked out. Which 'could' be what you are diagnosing as magnesium deff.

I "always" add 1 tablespoon of hydrated lime, per gallon of medium, to both buffer the ph and provide magnesium when mixing my soil.
 

Hick

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high levels of limestone present),
..oops.

found this in my notes.
"Sawdust, composted leaves, wood chips, cottonseed meal, leaf mold and especially peat moss, will lower the soil pH."
" sulfur may be used to lower the pH if it is available. To reduce the soil pH by 1.0 point, mix in 1.2 oz of ground rock sulfur per square yard if the soil is sandy, or 3.6 oz per square yard for all other soils. The sulfur should be thoroughly mixed into the soil before planting."

" Acids for pH adjustment

Nitric acid (HNO3) This is a strong acid & can result in dangerous fumes.
Sulfuric acid (H2SO4) (high grade)
Phosphoric acid (H3PO4)

Vinegar is 4-5% acetic acid (CH3COOH) & has a pH of 3. Different countries have different concentrations of vinegar, however, which need to be diluted. The effect of vinegar on the pH is temporary so daily adjustment is needed & stored solutions can not be made up. Vinegar is an organic or carbon containing material whose hydroponic use is controversial among some growers.

Citric acid (C6H8O7): This will not stabilize the pH as well as other acids but can be used. This is an organic material whose hydroponic use is controversial among some growers. "
 

ianquiksilver

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well i dont have a nutrient solution yet. i just give them tap water when the soil's dry and thats it. the soil mix i have is a 2/3 seedling&clone 15-9-15 npk perlite incl. soil (contains peat) and 1/3 14-16-18 npk soil which contains peat and bark.
chose that one cause it seemed particularly acid.
i put a tsp of lemon juice in 1.5L tap water today, will test it tomorrow with the soil tester see if its helped or not.

regarding NPK values, what element(s) should there be more of for Veg and FlowR respectively?
and when in growth process should i start using ferts? (considering the ones i had to start off with in my soil mix)

thnx a lot !
K

PS : what are the major pro (industrial) hemp movements worldwide?
 

ianquiksilver

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hey again !

but when should i start adding ferts to my water? isnt it between Veg and FlowR?

so heres the story. i planted nine germinated seeds in these tiny peat jiffy pots in the seedling/clone soil mentioned above. the soil tended to dry too fast and i might have given them too much water. anywho, they werent doing too good, so then i decided last wednesday to put them individually in 23L pots. since then they've been doing much better, and since the soil stays moist longer, i know i dont need to water more than every 2-3 days.
but, soil ph is too high. i've watered all once so far with 1 tsp of pressed lemon juice per 1.5L of tap water (remember tap water excessively basic - limestone).

and here are four pics of plants not doing too good. please look carefully at some of the leaves, they seem to be suffering from something. until now the soil present in all 9 pots is the same, with ph level of 7-8 (--> reading from soil tester which i've read were unreliable).

if someone cause diagnose my poor plants that'd be awesome ! :D

thnx a lot to everyone helping me and all those to come ;)

cheers !
K

PICT0003.jpg


PICT0004.jpg


PICT0006.jpg


PICT0007.jpg
 

ianquiksilver

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about the soil mix i'm using so far
the 15-9-15 NPK, perlite incl. soil has EC of 150µS/cm (ph: 5-6.5)
and the 14-16-18 NPK peat+bark incl. soil has EC of 400µS/cm (ph: 5.5-6.5)
remember i put two thirds of the first one and one third of the last one.
what's EC and what values should i look for?
 

Hick

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Not sure on the EC, but those are hi npk ratios. Too high for seedlings.
The seeds have stored nutrients sufficient to sustain the plants for 10-14 days before any nutrients are needed.
I am a li'l confused as to how your soils ph got to be 7-8, if the above list is true.(5.-6.5). What is ph of your tap water?..

more notes...
Check Your Water - Crusty faucets and shower heads mean your water is
"hard," usually due to too
many minerals. Tap water with a TDS (total dissolved solids) level of more
than around 200ppm (parts
per million) is "hard" and should be looked into, especially if your plants
have a chronic problem. Ask
your water company for an analysis listing, which will usually list the pH,
TDS, and mineral levels (as
well as the pollutants, carcinogens, etc) for the tap water in your area.
This is a common request,
especially in this day and age, so it shouldn't raise an eyebrow. Regular
water filters will not reduce a
high TDS level, but the costlier reverse-osmosis units, distillers, and
de-ionizers will. A digital TDS
meter (or EC = electrical conductivity meter) is an incredibly useful tool
for monitoring the nutrient
levels of nutrient solution, and will pay for itself before you know it.
They run about $40 and up.

For the veg. period try a N:p:K ratio of about 10:7:8 (which of
course is the same ratio as
20:14:16), and for flowering plants, 4:8:8. Check the pH after adding
nutrients. If you use a reservoir,
keep it circulating and change it every 2 weeks. A general guideline for
TDS levels is as follows:
seedlings = 50-150 ppm; unrooted clones = 100-350 ppm; small plants =
400-800 ppm; large plants =
900-1800 ppm; last week of flowering = taper off to plain water. These
numbers are just a guideline, and
many factors can change the actual level the plants will need. Certain
nutrients are "invisible" to TDS
meters, especially organics, so use TDS level only as an estimate of actual
nutrient levels. When in
doubt about a new fertilizer, follow the fertilizer's directions for
feeding tomatoes. Grow a few tomato or
radish plants nearby for comparison.

PH - The pH of water after adding any nutrients should be around 5.9-6.5
(in rockwool, 5.5-6.1) .
Generally speaking, the micro-nutrients (Fe, Zn, Mn, Cu) get locked out at
a high pH (alkaline) above
7.0, while the major nutrients (N, P, K, Mg) can be less available in
acidic soil or water (below 5.0). Tap
water is often too alkaline. Soils with lots of peat or other organic
matter in them tend to get too acidic,
which some dolomite lime will help fix. Soil test kits vary in accuracy,
and generally the more you pay
the better the accuracy. For the water, color-based pH test kits from
aquarium stores are inexpensive,
but inaccurate. Invest in a digital pH meter ($40-80), preferably a
waterproof one. You won't regret it.
 

ianquiksilver

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hey hick ! thnx for again for the help. but i dont get it cause it says on the bag for the 15-9-15 NPK (perlite incl) soil is especially made for seedling and clones, how can it then have too many ferts?

and as for the water, remember it has high levels of limestone, hence way too basic. which is the source of my problems. its the tap water that made me look into what seemed for aciditic soil and the reason for this whole thread :p

what do you recommend i do now? im almost broke (spent much more on the closet and stuff than expected) i seriously cant afford to continue buying stuff.
for the water, should i maybe buy mineral water in bottles? if so, i was thinking i should go for the least mineraled ones (cheapest ones).

cant wait to already be at my 3rd - 4rth harvest and able to say "ive got it all under control" :p
 

Hick

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quick..are you sure the soil isn't reading 1.5-.9-1[/b].[/b]5??

My thoughts would be "reverse osmosis" water. "Here" it is pretty common from vending machines around grocery stores(I think it's about 50- cents p/gal). Bottled drinking water in gallons or 2 liter bottles, maybe. Yes, I would use the most economical(cheap stuff) :)
 

ianquiksilver

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yeah, just checked again and it is indeed 15-9-15.
and last time i checked all the soils they had at the big gardening shop nearby, they didnt have one single soil that didnt contain ferts. im thinking of going back today, i'll try and make a list of all NPK's available.
i'll ask them about "reverse osmosis" water as well.
havent had a go at the home made soil yet. i was thinking i might keep it for a little longer till i have the situation at hand a little more under control :p

laterz!
K
 

Mutt

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Most of those gallon jugs of spring water are reverse osmosis. ;)
 

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