Confusion regarding Super Soil mix for 4x4 Shed LED grow (First grow).

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by jmasta111, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. #1 jmasta111, Feb 16, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2015
    Hello! My name is Julian and my girlfriend and I are going to be starting our first grow in a few days (just waiting on seeds now). I started another thread about a week ago concerning the specifics of the physical equipment for the grow (tent, lights, etc) and was helped tremendously by the information I learned (shoutout to IslandHippie and abedaprez for all the help). Here is a link to that thread (with pics) for anyone interested in the setup . 
    All of our equipment has arrived and our seeds are on the way (x2 Royal Medic, x1 Ladyburn 1974, x1 Tangerine Dream), so all that remains to get figured out is the grow medium. I was on the fence about whether or not I was going to go organic for my first grow but eventually decided in favor of going organic. I plan on composting my own super soil to have for subsequent grows, but considering how long the composting process takes I still need something in the meantime.I brought this up towards the end of the previous thread but quickly realized there wasn't a simple answer so it would be a good idea to make a new thread in the proper section of the forum. I got a lot of good information both from that thread and via research I did on my own, but was still unsure about several key factors. I will explain my current plan of attack that I am considering and ask a few questions, but also would also consider a completely different plan if someone can explain to me why it would be advantageous. I should mention that while the #1 priority is the yield and health of the plants, we are also on a reasonably tight budget and would like to save wherever makes sense.

    TL;DR I have a few important questions regarding a Super Soil mixture I am considering and am open to altering my current plan or going with something completely different if someone explains to me why one option is preferable to another. This is my first grow so please explain in as simple terms as possible.

    So, here's my current plan (unfinalized):
    1. Super Soil mix I found on Ebay\t
    2. Fox Farm's Happy Frog (currently being sold on sale for $15/2cf at a local store)\t
    3. Worm castings (unsure of this, i'll get into why below)
    I tried to follow this guide on but because I don't have any homemade super soil available yet, I went looking for an alternative. A quick search revealed this super soil mixture being sold on Ebay. After looking at the list of ingredients and comparing it to the various DIY super soil recipes I had read previously, it does indeed appear to have all of the ingredients that I am looking for (except for worm castings, which is an issue because the recipe calls for worm castings. More on that later).  While the Ebay seller does include instructions on how to use the soil, they are confusing at best and frustratingly ambiguous at worst.
    You can see the original instructions on the ebay page itself, but i've condensed them here for sake of convenience.The instructions go as follows:
    1) Add one scoop of the mix (not sure what a "scoop" qualifies as but whatever) for every gallon of potting soil in your container of use.
    2) Top dress with 1/2-1 scoop (again, not sure how much that is but I just go by 2-3" of soil on top when the plants need it)
    3) Mix worm castings (the one thing this super soil mix doesn't have) at a ratio of 3:1. So 3 gallons of soil (unsure whether by "soil" it means super soil+potting soil or just potting soil. I assume that it is super soil+potting soil but the difference is probably negligible).

    The issue is that even once I find answers for these small questions, I am still facing the issue of a contradiction between what the Ebay seller has listed as their instructions and what the guide from instructed me to do. The ebay instructions want me to mix the super soil evenly throughout potting soil while the guide says to fill a grow container 1/3 of the way with super soil and to fill the rest with something like Happy Frog or Roots Organic Soil. The guide claims that filling the bottom of the container with the super soil will provide the adult plant with plenty of nutrients while preventing the young plant or clone from betting burned. Based on what I know of gardening in a more general sense, the guide's method, while basic, seems to make the most sense (If this is wrong please explain why so that I understand going forward). One possible issue that could result from following the guide instead of the instructions from the Ebay seller is that while similar, the guide uses a somewhat different compost recipe than the one I am buying. 
    If I were to follow the guide, however, I would need to add Happy Frog to the remainder of the grow container. I know that Happy Frog contains many nurtients and fertilizers, including Worm Castings (which the super soil calls for). The issue is that I am unsure whether I should add additional worm castings or whether the amount supplied in the Happy Frog would be enough. If so, great! If not, how much should I add and in what fashion?

    On the other hand if I were to follow the instructions from the ebay seller, I figured that I should replace the Happy Frog with some Pro-Mix (or something similar) and simply add the worm castings as called for. A third option would be to use the Happy Frog but simply mix that in with the super soil instead of just leaving it at the bottom.

    I can honestly say that I have tried my best to figure this out on my own but just ended up with more questions than I started with. If anyone would chime in on what option they recommend (doesn't have to be listed here) and why I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Super soil lol. Why does every newb call it that?

    Don't layer the soil. Just mix up a banging ass soil and grow some marijuanas. See the thread titled easy organic soil mix for newbs
  3. Yeah but...
  4. U need something within the 3-4 weeks it will take to properly nutrient cycle? Fyi it's not composting. It's nutrient cycling.
  5. Unless you think that there is no pre-made alternative that will offer comparable results. The soil I was looking to buy from ebay is basically the same mixture outlined in that thread. While it is obviously a far better option to make your own for both value and control, I need to get this crop planted asap. I appreciate you directing me towards that thread although I did already read it through. I'm just trying to find the best and most cost effective way to get things rolling. Next grow I plan on putting an additional 300w light in my 4x4 tent in addition to buying a supplemental 8'x4' tent with an array of three 600w led grow lights. It would be very silly of me to not mix my own soil for that, but I just want something to get me started.
  6. #6 newhobbyfarmer, Feb 16, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2015
    I know you need specifics, but check out and forget eBay. You won't regret it. Jeremy over at BAS is very knowledgeable and never ambiguous.
    As Newhobbyfarmer stated above, this is a good (albeit expensive) option which uses the same quality ingredients that you will find most  organic gardeners here using in their own soil mixes. 
    Use this for now and in the meantime start mixing your own.
  8. Mix soil.

    Let sit for 3-4 weeks.

    During this time get seedlings started in a 'starter mix' in some plastic cups.

    Once plants are ready to be transplanted your soil will probably be ready to plant in.

    You could buy it from bas or you could just mix up a small batch of your own. I think a few people around here like to do something very similar to the normal soil recipe just with much less amendments, usually just lime and kelp.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS.
    I completely agree that this is the way to go. A newly made soil can be ready to plant into in as little as several weeks if you don't overdo the amendments.
    And the last thing that's necessary is the "layering" that I saw brought up above...
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I really would try to steer you away from supersoil on a first time organic grow, let alone a first grow, period.
    Waaay too many water soluble things in there to mess you up.
    If you want fast, and right now, go buy fox farm or vermifire and use it like it is bare, you will have great results. if you try to amend your bagged soil and try to layer it and all that BS on a FIRST grow, you will probably be discouraged.
    The BEST thing to do is make your own and age it correctly, you already said you cannot do that, so i'd use bagged soil for this run, and while you are flowering your plants the next soil batch will be aging perfectly, and if you do indeed use vermifire it lends itself very well to being re-used due to it's volcanic rock as the primary aeration.
  11. Okay well i'd like to preface this by saying that I am not someone who gets easily discouraged and have no problem putting in the work. Do you think that even if I followed the instructions to the T and continued to post periodically to consult issues with other growers that it is still a bad idea? What about what Instablaze recommended? If I buy some FFHP now to raise the young plants (which claims to be able to feed plants for 3-4 weeks) in and begin mixing my SS at the same time, wouldn't that work out? If I did that then I wouldn't have to worry about all these different variables as I would be able to follow the "Easy Organic Soil Mix" thread exactly.

    If I were to go with JUST Fox Farm's stuff like you suggested, how exactly should I go about doing that?
  12. Ok. So would Fox Farm's Happy Frog work during that initial 3-4 weeks? I have been told that HF will feed for 3-4 weeks on its own so that seems like it might work. Furthermore, is it alright to leave the plants in such a small container for the first month of their veg cycle?

    What would you say regarding what Greasemonkeyman said? I think it should be evident from the amount of work i've put into discussing my options on this forum that i'm not the kind of person who messes around. It's true that it's my first time so obviously something like a hydro scrog would be a bit extreme, but is this too much as well?

    I really, above all, want my plants to be happy and healthy so anything I can do to make that happen is what I want to do, regardless of the time commitment. I figured that since it was already a pretty big time investment getting into growing in the first place that I might as well do it right.
  13. I just dig soil out my neighbors yard and dilute my urine 10 to 1 for fertilizer.

  14. I've never used pre-bagged soils like that so I can't really help you out there.

    But don't let anyone discourage you from doing what you want. There's plenty of dumb stoners on this site growing pot, and if they can do it pretty much anyone else can.

    If you want your plants to be happy and healthy go look up a couple grow journals and see how the big boys start their seeds then try to come up with a process that would work for you. A couple of names that id recommend are BlueJay, Pakalolo, SG1, and Clackama's Coot (coot doesn't have a journal but he is an encyclopedia of soil biology). They've all been doing this for several years and have their processes down pat. And I'm sure they'd be happy to help you with any more specific questions.
  15. #15 Greasemonkeyman, Feb 17, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2015
    Let me clarify, first i'm not trying to discourage you, only saying that a first time organic soil grow can be done a bit easier.
    especially considering you cant age it like it needs to be.
    What is discouraging to most is putting time and effort and money into something and have it not reward you for your effort, which can be done easily with a soil grow that isn't dialed in just right. Things like aeration and CEC play a HUGE role in growing organically, not to mention the microbial activity..
    Nothing but love from me man, grow those bitches!
    Just don't think that's the recipe for a first timer, hell I don't think that's a good recipe, period but to each their own.
    Go with coots. can go wrong there.
    alfalfa, neem, fish bone, crab, and kelp meals. Done.
    Faaaar superior than blood meal, bat guano, bone meal etc.
    besides did anybody read what that guy on ebay was saying about his stuff... :hide:
  16. #16 Greasemonkeyman, Feb 17, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2015
    If you started your plants in bagged soil, and if you really wanted to use the supersoil, AND if you aged it for at LEAST a month it'd be probably ok, I just HATE all the water soluble nutrients it has.
    blood meal, bat guano, those are REALLY water soluble, so I have two problems with that, one it's hard to dictate where all those nutrients end up, typically at the bottom of your pot, making a sludgey mess for your roots.
    And Two, they won't last as long as you'd like.
    Slow release nutrients are where it's at man, and the ingredients I listed are perfect, trust me I've done a LOT of different recipes, don't let my 100 plus posts fool you..
    Kelp, neem, fish bone, crab, and alfalfa meals.
    I promise you those will absolutely outperform the recipe you were looking at. No doubt.
    Not to mention bovine products can be some potentially lethal stuff... they JUST found another case of BSE in Canada.
    That's mad cow disease ya know... bone meal is where prions are.
    Go look it up, scary shit.
    And BESIDES all that, bovine products just aren't as good as the nutrients I listed.
    Okay so considering that my seeds still have not showed up yet and I am playing the waiting game anyway, I think I have decided to go out and follow the "Easy Organic Soil Mix for Beginners" thread to reduce variables and keep things simple. While the soil cooks, I will go buy some FF Happy Frog to get things jumpstarted. Considering that I will need to wait 3-4 weeks before my soil is ready, what size container should I put my young plants in? 

    Unless i'm missing something, the process should go like this:
    1) Begin mixing organic soil immediately to allow for maximum cook time
    2) Keep things simple by not adding a bunch of nutritional amendments.
    3) Start the girls off in small containers with FF Happy Frog (which based on my research should have more than enough food for the first month)
    4) When the soil is done (and the plants are ready), transfer to 4-5 gallon container and follow the instructions on the Organic Soil Mix thread from then on out.
    5) Water
    6) ???
    7) Profit!

    If anything I have just said is wrong please let me know, otherwise i'll get to work! Thanks so much for all the help guys, I feel much more capable and equipped going forward!

    Grow journal coming soon!~
  18. Oh I in no way took anything you said as negative or discouraging, you've been incredibly helpful! Sorry if it came off that way, I was just trying to get as much information as possible. Really appreciated your help man, i'm sure it will be invaluable in the months to come :)
  19. no problem, Julian, I think you made the correct choice on this.
    One thing I may want to mention, you may want to use seedling starter mix for at least half of what you are germinating in, just in case.
    bagged soil can sometimes be hot, and I gather you are probably paying some good $ on genetics, so i'd germinate them in at least a 50/50 mix of foxfarm and seedling mix.
    Juuust to be safe.
    Personally i'd use a 75/25 mix of seedling starter to your bagged stuff. Or maybe even a 100% seed mix.
    Start them in party cups and transplant when they are about a month old. Depending on what light you are using and the genetics may be a lil earlier or later but i'd give em a month, that way your soil is nice and aged also.
    I'll say it again just to be really certain I make it clear.
    I will NEVER have another grow without neem meal, and kelp meal.
    Depending on what type of nitrogen source you want i'd suggest either alfalfa meal, or comfrey.

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