Aeration Ammendment Diversity

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by Moonnugs, May 26, 2013.

  1. #1 Moonnugs, May 26, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2013
    I know that all the different aeration ammendments have their own charachteristics and that a diverse mix should be helpful to an organic soil. I'm interested in hearing what people use, what their ideal mix ratios are and why?

    Right now I've got 7 parts perlite in my mix. Since I want to try smartpots sips (constant moisture) I think good aeration will be more important than water retention. I'm thinking of adding 2 parts diatomaceous earth pellets (for silica and insect control, the auto oil cleanup stuff) and 1 part small lava rock (thinking diversity = better cec?). Won't be in time for this round but I'd like to add in rice hulls to my next soil mix.
  2. lava rock and rice hulls with some pumice.... i think thats it....
  3. Buckwheat hulls from Fedco - or wherever. I get them locally and inexpensively, and I'm not a fan of perlite.

  4. So what's better about those ammendments? And what ratios do you use them in? My current mix was built with what I had or could find in time locally (I went to a lot of places and made many calls). I'm definitely not opposed to ordering online to build an ideal mix for next time though so maybe some combination of...

    Diatomaceous earth- Silica, insect control, minerals
    Pumice- probably even better aeration than perlite, maybe minerals too?
    Lava rock- cheap, durable, more diversity
    Rice/buckwheat hulls- indicator of soil breakdown, nutrients? Is one better?
  5. I do it by feel, and i always try to add to my diversity when soil building. Basically 1/3 of your total mix should be aeration.
  6. Don't forget cocoa shells.
  7. Be as opposed to ordering online as you can. It gets expensive with not that much benefit. Always source locally if you can.
    I use mainly perlite and have for a bit over 40 years. It's inert, cheap (~$20/4cf bag), and available locally. Works fine.
    I recycle my mix, and no experience with the buckwheat hulls, the rice hulls tend to break down (unlike the perlite) and make the mix too heavy. No experience with the cocoa hulls either.
    Now, I pretty much avoid any aeration amendment that decomposes, just didn't work well in my situation.
    DE, I add to the mix, but not for aeration, mainly the silica.
    Pumice, Lava Rock, if I can snag some on sale at the end of the season I will and add it when I recycle my mix and need a 'bit' more aeration. Same with the charcoal dregs from the bottom of lump charcoal bags. Cheap bio char. I do a fair amount of meat smoking and end up with a decent amount.
    Diversity is great, just do it on the cheap, works just as well.
  8. What don't you like about perlite jerry? Is it the way it floats up or just that it doesn't really have any side benefits?

    Thanks wet. Mostly I read that people seem to like the way the grain hulls break down as it's a good indicator of when a mix needs reammending. I kinda wondered if that could cause problems as well and didn't add any to my new soil. Partially because I thought a more stable mix might be safer and partly because I couldn't find any in time.

    I also had my doubts about dte as an aeration ammendment as i know it's very absorbent but doesnt seen very airy or porous. Maybe I'll add in some extra lava or perlite to my mix to balance it out. How much of the dte do you use though? 5-10 gallons in 20 cf of soil ok?
  9. Dyna-Gro Dyna-Rok II --- high CEC and adds silica as it breaks down
    Hydrolite by Botanicare --- high CEC made of mostly silica
    ^^ both of these are probably a kind of zeolite
    growstones --- better water and air retention than perlite and made of recycled glass
  10. #10 BulbaStoned, May 29, 2013
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
    And cost a shit ton, pumice is your Cadillac followed by Hulls.

    Add a cup of Gypsum and bentonite clay to some lava rock, same shit no?

    Edit: i should have just put what tree said haha

    Sent from my HaGGarD ass phone......fap

  11. I also had my doubts about dte as an aeration ammendment as i know it's very absorbent but doesnt seen very airy or porous. Maybe I'll add in some extra lava or perlite to my mix to balance it out. How much of the dte do you use though? 5-10 gallons in 20 cf of soil ok?
    20cf of mix? 150 gallons?  Why?
    I mix up 2cf at a pop, a nice wheelbarrow full. 2 wheelbarrows full, = ~4cf (28+ gallons) fills up a 32 gallon rubbermaid trashcan nicely.
    Here's the thing, you can vary the mix/recipe for each 4cf and see how each works rather than commit 150 gallons of mix to something that may or may not be the best recipe for your situation.
    For the DE, I toss in a couple of handfuls/wheelbarrow ful.

    Yeah, I agree Mnm.. I wouldnt go out and spend a million dollas on all them. I was just suggesting for the sake of diversity. Soil mixes are always a work-in-progress.. 
  13. 20 cf? Why not? Well, besides the giant heaping mound of soil to turn, ugh. 16-24 5 gal. pots use a lot of soil. I'd like to have twice as much as I need so I can cycle half at a time plus I want some extra for my veggie garden and houseplants too. I definitely see the benifity of experimenting with small batches but it's done now and I figure that I can ammend the mix as I go if it seems to need some changes.
  14. BioChar
    Shredded Coconut Shells
    wood chips
  15. Any tips for sourcing some of theses materials? It seems like most of the grain hulls come from homebrew stores and I have one right down the street. What about Pumice? I can't seem to find it anywhere? Also where do y'all source small lava rock/scoria? I found some by the yard at a good price but I'd like a smaller grain size. Do pet suppliers sell big bags of the fine stuff sans dyes?
  16. Rice-Barley-Wheat hulls from brew store.

    Pumice from either amazon or Home Cheapo/Howles

    Lava rock, hammer plus bed sheet = smash it smaller.

    Sent from my HaGGarD ass phone......fap

  17. Currently, I'm just using perilite, sand, and vermiculite.  Not sure if I'd call sand an aeration amendment, but it helps drainage quite a bit, and I always include some in my mix.  I actually add the sand to the compost bin, as I like how it prevents clumping and makes it easier to turn.  I like some vermiculite (not much at all) because it seems to keep soil from getting compacted, as it expands and contracts with water.  In the past, I've used hydroton and charcoal as well.  Think I'm going to need to hunt down some grain hulls, as that sounds like a great idea.

Share This Page