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Cheap soil mix

  • by ElementGREEN
  • Apr 29 2012 10:04 PM
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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:04 PM

So I'm about to start my outdoor guerilla grow of kaya gold, but I'm totally broke right now. I'm getting 5 plants and have like $100 to spend in all on soil. So what's the cheapest yet still decent soil mix (without using native soil)? I was thinking mainly a topsoil/compost blend I can buy cheap, then 1 bag of ffof and a bone/blood meal mix per hole. Then finish that off with either perlite or vermilicule. Anything else cheap and highly recommended? Many people recommend peat moss, but it's expensive.
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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:54 AM

Hi elementgreen.

Ill give you my opinion. You can take from it what you will.

I would avoid any type of bone meal blood meal or other food crop organics because skunks and other critters will come along and dig up your plants to eat the soil theyre planted in.

I would avoid mixes. I mix soil, but it took me years to learn how and for now, if i were you, i would go with a standard product. STAY away from peat. Its far too acidic for cannabis and has to be modified with lime. Lime takes a while to work and its too late in the season really to try and modify it. This summer i will find a few new spots to grow and add lime. By next spring they should be ready.

Elementgreen, i dont do it much anymore becaus im so old, but for years and years i would head out into the bush and find a good steep southern facing hillside. I take a maddox and pick a hole out of the rubble/rock and pour in 1 $12 bag of Miracle grow. I grew many many lbs of weed that way.

Are there better soils than MG? yes, but they cost more and the Mg works fairly well. For $12 bucks you can pour the shit in the hole and plant. Ive had many plants produce a lb growing in nothing but plain old lowes Miracle grow.

Good luck with your efforts.

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:12 AM

Hey man, Promix b would be a really good option. I got at home depot two cubic feet for like $2.50 or something

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 01:37 PM

You can get premier sphagnum peat moss at lowes for about $12 for a 3 cubic ft bail, If you mix your soil and let it sit at your grow spot for a couple weeks critters wont bother it anymore, I would suggest 30% organic matter (animal manures, wormcastings, mushroom compost) 50% sphagnum peat moss, and 20% perlite. Adding ammendments really helps, careful blood meal is hot, add about a cup of garden lime, domolite lime per cubic ft of soil, if you cant find ammendments lowes also carries espoma plant tone and bio tone which rwally help. Mix your soil and let it sit at the plot for a while and by then the critters have moved on.

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:14 PM

I'd have to disagree clodhopper. I use peat and lime (5 cups per bale) directly on seedlings and they don't burn. I don't wait for a year. It can be used directly on seedlings with powdered dolomite lime just mixed in quickly. Promix is supposed to be good too but i don't have it for sale here. Have a good one.

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:25 PM

i use sunshine mix or pro mix. fix my holes a month to month and half in advance if they are not already last years and i also put lime in it when i prepare the holes.
i buy 3.8 cu ft compressed bales for $21 this is one of the best deals for soil out there. a bale loosened up will almost fill a bath tub, it doubles when uncompressed. it's a soiless mix and requires all ferts to be put in but it is realy easy to tailer it to your needs. i always recomend it when i worked in a greenhouse/nursury we used it for everything and never had issues.
if you can find some in your area buy 2 bales 3.8 cu ft compressed bales they will be plenty for 5 nice plants and you'll have cash left over for worm castings, lime, and a general organic fert (liquid) for vegging. if you've any more to spend a couple bags of compost will help your soil. for $6-8 you can buy 30lb bags. then start your own compost this summer so next year you have your own :)
then save some loot for bloom juices when they start to bloom
you have many options this is just some of my opinions and advice.

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 12:54 PM

Im devastated Corto! How could you?? Disagree with me?? With me??? Dear god what has become of the world????

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:31 PM

Lol, I've never had any trouble with peat and lime used on the spot. The peat I use is pH 3-4, I add 5 cups of powdered dolomite lime per bale of peat, and the plants are healthy and great. I don't have the choice as there is no promix, ffof or other soilless mix available here. So, yeah, nothing wrong with peat for my grows anyway. I don't know what's the big deal with peat and lime, it works, period, not much to debate or time to wait for it to work, it just works fine.

Edited by Corto Malteze, 02 May 2012 - 11:44 AM.


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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:43 PM

Corto the majority of what makes up pro mix and sunshine is just peat anyhow. i may be completly wrong about this but i believe the ph is 5.6 it has been balanced for regular potted plants.
besides peat the sunshine mix i have been using contains a little lime (i add a little more) calcium (not sure in what form) perlite and vermiculite. basicaly just a soiless peat based mix.
the pro mix is similiar but i haven't used it in 3 years the last batch my greenhouse i buy from had issues with weeds growing in it. it is supposed to be sterile. that year they sold me bales for $16 becouse of that. weeds didn't bother me any it was a good deal.

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 03:04 PM

kelloggs patio plus.......sold at homedepot...$5..i use a 50/50 mix...but the fox farms is out of your price range...so just focus on the kellogs

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 09:43 PM

Hi elementgreen.

Ill give you my opinion. You can take from it what you will.

I would avoid any type of bone meal blood meal or other food crop organics because skunks and other critters will come along and dig up your plants to eat the soil theyre planted in.

I would avoid mixes. I mix soil, but it took me years to learn how and for now, if i were you, i would go with a standard product. STAY away from peat. Its far too acidic for cannabis and has to be modified with lime. Lime takes a while to work and its too late in the season really to try and modify it. This summer i will find a few new spots to grow and add lime. By next spring they should be ready.

Elementgreen, i dont do it much anymore becaus im so old, but for years and years i would head out into the bush and find a good steep southern facing hillside. I take a maddox and pick a hole out of the rubble/rock and pour in 1 $12 bag of Miracle grow. I grew many many lbs of weed that way.

Are there better soils than MG? yes, but they cost more and the Mg works fairly well. For $12 bucks you can pour the shit in the hole and plant. Ive had many plants produce a lb growing in nothing but plain old lowes Miracle grow.

Good luck with your efforts.


Really? I always just kind of assumed to stay away from miracle gro with their big association with walmart and all. They are probably the cheapest though. So which soil do you use? The organic in-ground or the regular flowers and vegetables kind? Or the moisture retaining mix? Hmm. So many to choose from.
Thanks for all the answers guys. But with the increased price and all the arguing over whether or not to start with peat, I think I'll go with a cheap soil. It will really just help me get used to looking after my plants being my first grow and all. I'll definitely try some out next year though!

Edited by ElementGREEN, 01 May 2012 - 09:50 PM.


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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:23 PM

Really? I always just kind of assumed to stay away from miracle gro with their big association with walmart and all. They are probably the cheapest though. So which soil do you use? The organic in-ground or the regular flowers and vegetables kind? Or the moisture retaining mix? Hmm. So many to choose from.
Thanks for all the answers guys. But with the increased price and all the arguing over whether or not to start with peat, I think I'll go with a cheap soil. It will really just help me get used to looking after my plants being my first grow and all. I'll definitely try some out next year though!


I have never had a problem with mg. I don't use it any more cuz I have more money for the good stuff. I have one of my 12 plants in mg soil just to see if there is a difference.

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:28 PM

I use my friends compost mixed with some mg and it works fairly well.

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  • clodhopper
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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:23 AM

Really? I always just kind of assumed to stay away from miracle gro with their big association with walmart and all. They are probably the cheapest though. So which soil do you use? The organic in-ground or the regular flowers and vegetables kind? Or the moisture retaining mix? Hmm. So many to choose from.
Thanks for all the answers guys. But with the increased price and all the arguing over whether or not to start with peat, I think I'll go with a cheap soil. It will really just help me get used to looking after my plants being my first grow and all. I'll definitely try some out next year though!


Avoid the MG Organic Element. If you google, you'll finde side by side test results from a number of soiis that theyre organic soil is the worst of any brand which coincides with my short experience with the stuff. I use standard MG.

Mg works fine for those on a budget. It gaurantees a decent harvest, perhaps not the optimum harvest but ive pulled lb out of a bag of mg many times

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:29 AM

Just one more little point. MG isnt a bad soil mix but its crammed full of timed release nutes that can burn some seedlings and hinder some nute sensitive plants.

I buy my MG and lay it out behind my shed. It will sweat and lay wet in the bag for most of the summer and this winter it will freeze and refreeze while soaked repeatedly. Next spring however, when dumped out of the bag, dried and prepared for use, its about as good a soil as cheap money can buy. Much of the timed release nutes have been dilluted and the texture of the soil is improved by the freezing. I know it sounds odd, but treated in this manner, MG is top notch.

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:46 AM

MG is chemicals so leaves a bad taste and doesn't burn well like organics do according to many growers I know. Most growers growing for their own stash now grow organically, nothing to fuss about to make your own soil, it's really easy. Just mix it lol. As for chems, there are better ones, like Jack's or Yeld MAster if you can get your hands on them. I use what I have available here but saying that mixing soil is hard and takes years of experience is just completely wrong imo.

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:48 AM

Peat lime perlite castings for seedlings
same + stronger ferts like horse/chicken shit/kelp/high P bat guano etc... for the bigger plant. Done deal. Nothing mystical or difficult to acquire or mix.

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:19 PM

I was wondering why you were recommending mg clodhopper, the time release in mg will realease nitrogen all through bloom especially if your just starting now, this will delay bloom, cause airy buds, and lock in clorophil causing a grassy chem taste, plus the time release nitrogen often locks out other nutrients, it makes sense that clodhopper lets it sit all year before use, making your own soil is the best way to go, its as simple as 30% compost/organic matter, 50% sphagnum peatmoss, 20% perlite, add 3 TBS garden lime per gallon of mix if your worried about ph and soil ammendments are optional. Thats it like corto said nothing hard its not rocket science.

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 03:11 PM

ElementGREEN, you iniitated a decent thread on what soil mixes are best, economical, and easy to prepare. The replys you received are all good, and we know they must work for these individuals, otherwise they wouldn't have thrown them out there. True gorilla gardening (at least in my opinion) doesn't require Fox Farm, MG soil, or other soil mixes. After reading so much on this subject, it really comes down to one thing: how much time do you have in the area you are going to grow your plants to dig a hole, add soil ammendments, remove the plant from the container and place the plant in the hole, cover the roots and smooth the soil around it, then water it? Pressure is on the minute you get to your spot. Especially your first couple grows, you'll be sweating before the first hole is dug. And you mentioned that you don't want to spend a lot of dough on soil mixes. Take a little bit of the info you received from each of the replys, and then think about what is realistic for you to make it work (without getting caught). Start by checking the site you want to garden. Determine if the native soil is sufficient for growing. I live in the midwest where the soil is fertile, and I never have to use soil mixes. It helps to have some gardening experience to know what soil is best - start with edges of farm land. Top soil tends to accumulate along these areas. If the soil is poor (rocky or little top soil) you may then have to consider lugging in premixed soil to your spot. But if at all possible, stick to using native soil; you're not only saving money you are saving time and labor. While you're scouting the area for decent soil, determine how much sunlight will reach your spot. Like Clodhopper mentioned, a south facing slope is sweet. This reply is already too long and I'm sorry for that. Try not to overdo it with your first couple grows; start small, keep it simple, learn from it so you can improve upon it for the following year. Good luck.
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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:19 PM

I was thinking and I think peat doesn't work well with chemicals, that would explain some issues clodhopper mentioned with peat. However, with organics, there's no need to check the pH. All you need is peat perlite lime and a few manures to make it organic.


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