Help Me Build A Complete Organic Mix (Please) :-)

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by PeacePlants, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. Hello GC,

    I am currently working out an organic mix to use with my new found favorite medium, coco coir. I have hit a bit of speed bump in that I have two different types of guano's that I would like to mix into my soil and I am unsure of whether or not I can safely combine them. I have a 10-6-2 and a 3-10-1. Both are from Down To Earth. I would like to be able to mix all of my ingredients together into 3 gallon pots, no transplanting. I am wondering if this mix would be too hot for rooted cuttings. Also I really want to know what kind of ratio per gallon of soil I should use for both of these, and maybe the following amendments as well.

    As well as the guano I am planning on using:
    -Oyster shells
    -Kelp Meal
    -Hydrolyzed fish
    -Humic acid (not usre weather to use liquid or granular)?
    -Mycorhizae fungai

    Most of these products are from Down To Earth

    After mixing together these raw ingredients and letting them sit for over a week established cuttings will be transplanted and then about every two weeks I will inoculate with a tea. I plan on supplementing my plain watering schedule with hydrolyzed fish and kelp about every week or so.

    I think I have assembled a pretty complete list of ingredients to use in my soil but my main concern pertains to the use of my guano's. I know a lot of people use them in teas but I have been able to find far less information on people using them mixed dry into soil.

    Any suggestions or helpful hints in working with these materials or additions to my list would be very much appreciated.

  2. How's it going PeacePlants? Looks like a pretty legit mix you've got going on. I am just starting to mix my own organic soil so I don't have all too much experience to speak from but regarding the guano, one is high in nitrogen and one is high in phosphorus.

    I know subcools soil mix calls for for the high phosphorus guano which I assume is to help with flowering. Subcool's super soil mix also calls foe high nitrogen blood meal, which your mix is lacking, which I assume you could replace with high nitrogen bat guano. I have heard that the use of guano's makes for some tasty buds, but guanos, along with any other animal product, are not going to be broken down for or up taken by the plant as easily as nutrients from another plant source such as alfalfa meal,
    seed meal, or fermented plant extracts.

    There are a lot of good threads on the organic board right now about soil mixes if you look. The one that is called "What soil mix do you use?" (I believe) has some great info in there. Basically all the info you need, and feel free to ask questions.

    Here is a really good link about organic soil amendments/fertilizers from the University of Colorado that I found. It gives a pretty in depth analysis and overview of a lot of the common nutrients used.

    Good luck with everything. I hope to have helped.
  3. I would like to thank posters such as Lumperdawgz2, Chunk, Jerry and WeeDroid for all of the helpful information they have provided me and everyone else on these forums.

    So, here is the final mix I have settled on. It is currently been nutrient cycling for the past 3 weeks or so.

    I have made 20 gallons of soil with this mix and all of the amendments listed are as per the 20 gallon ratio.

    My basic soil consists of:
    -10 gal. - Coco
    -6 gal. -Perlite
    -4 gal. -EWC (wiggle worm soil builder brand) (1-0-0)

    I combined all of the following and then gradually mixed them into my basic soil mix:
    -2.5c -Oyster shells (pulverized)
    -2.5c -Granular Azomite
    -1.25c -Kelp Meal (1-0.1-2)
    -2.5c -Alfalfa Meal (2.5-1-1)
    -1c -Neem Seed Meal (NPK not stated on the box) could be (5-1-2)?
    -1.25c -(N)Bat Guano (10-6-2)
    -1.25c -(P)Bat Guano (0-7-0)
    -3 tbsp - BioAg TM7

    I watered all of this in with a dose of Drammatic "O" hydrolyzed fish.

    From what I have been reading this mix has the potential to perform very well. And trust me, I have been reading until my head explodes.

    My only concern at this point is the need of a liming agent, which I understand is most likely being taken care of by the oyster shell. From what I understand I I may not even need one at all. But upon further inspection of the oyster shell product that I am using it contains 36% Ca, which is elemental calcium as I understand it, and has no Calcium Carbonate in it, which is a liming agent. I found this info on Fertilizer Product Databaseso I am assuming the information is reliable. The product I use is from Down To Earth.

    After all of my reading about the different kinds of liming agents available I still cannot decide if I should try to source some Limestone or perhaps some gypsum because of its sulfer content as I am using Coco Coir.

    Any help in this matter would be appreciated.

    Thank you
  4. #4 WeeDroid, Dec 31, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2011
    Aw jeez, thanks for the compliment. :) I'm just a noob compared to someone like LD. Seriously. My only claim to fame is that I'm hyperactive and I post a lot.

    I would think about phasing out the bat guanos. I wouldn't worry about a liming agent either.

    I would use less coir and add some spanghum peat moss. It's cheaper and apparently better for your plants.
  5. No problem, you do provide great info.

    And I apologize in advance to you hardcore organic growers about my guano use but I just could not pass up putting something a little exotic in my soil. I read in one of your posts that you were going to phase them out slowly and I will probably think about it as well. I kind of just decided to add them in because of my lack of a good EWC source and no other real source of humus, a little bit more poo never hurt anyone.
  6. #6 WeeDroid, Dec 31, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2011
    Bat poo is a fine product, don't get me wrong there. It's just that there are cheaper sources (of the nutrients sought after) available and disturbing bat colonies to harvest batt poo is not very eco friendly. Bats are pretty damn essential to most eco systems.

    As far as lime goes, you might want to read this topic.
  7. I think you're really on the right track, but like you said - your humus source , well, kinda isn't that good. I f you can source better ewc's, vermicompost or good quality compot, you'll have this beat.

    If there's one thing I've learned here. Its thAt our gardens are only as good as our humus source - you can take that one to the bank.

    I water my soil mix with an AACT to give it a jumpstart while its "cooking/cycling". That might help you as well.

    Great work.

  8. Im a Guano Advocate as it is a VERY good organic fertilizer. Half cup guano per CF. Period. If your using Mexican(high N) and Indonesian(highP) then use a 1/4 cup each mixed well and applied. You can top dress established plants at the same rate 4-6 weeks later. Just barely scratch it into the surface and water normally. Dont use mexican during flower though. Too much N.
    BTW: the potential to disturb a bat colony is nothing compared to the destruction of an entire eco-system. Peat bogs take thousands of years to form vs. Coir which is a natural bi-product of the coconut industry. Coir is the greener option hands down. Peat is also hydrophobic so it has to be completely saturated before it absorbs. Cheap yes, better No.
  9. WeeDroid:
    I have thoroughly read all of the posts in that topic and the 2:1:1 mix of DL, calcium carbonate and gypsum sounds like an interesting option. But being as I have already added the oyster shell which is supposedly (and should be) around 96% calcium carbonate, I'm not really sure if I should try to add anything else as I hear that adding too much of a liming agent can have negative effects. I feel like it would be impossible for my oyster shell to not contain calcium carbonate because after all, it is still oyster shell.

    Thank you for your input on this matter. I really want to try some home made EWC and maybe some bokashi. Other than that it sounds like from what VooDoom is saying I may have to cut my mix a little bit more so that may give me a chance to source some better humus from a nearby nursery. The BioAg product that I use, TM-7, has humic acids and 7 micronutrients in it and has been recommended by several people. I guess I need to do some more reading on the difference between humus and humic acids because I thought that this product may help offset the more or less pedestrian brand of EWC that I am using. I am also planning on doing an AACT a few days before I transplant.

    I appreciate your input here. 1/2 cup per cf.? Really? I was honestly just mixing my amendments as per the directions on the box. Is my mix really hot? It has been cycling for nearly 1 month at this point. But I did add over twice as much of each of those guanos than you recommend plus all of the other ones as the box directed. Should I try to add more coir, perlite and EWC? I am planning on putting rooted cuttings directly into it.

    Thanks everyone for your replies and wisdom.
  10. I don't lime, although I used to and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I just provided the link in case you wanted to use lime.

    I add a small amount of DL to my compost, but just because I have it and want to use it up.
  11. Personally I would not put a freshly rooted clone in anything that could be hot. Usually when you cook a soil for a month its considered a "super soil" and is intended to be used at the bottom20-30% of a hole or container. You will want more neutral medium coco/perlite/ewc/silica stone etc towards the top where the roots initially touch.
  12. Okay, so it looks like I will just leave the liming issue alone and see what happens. Thank you Wee.

    I am really not too into the idea of layering my soil. I am more going for a nice homogenous soil mix that will not burn or damage but will provide optimum performance. I am really now concerned that my mix is way too hot to meet these goals so I am considering cutting it with roughly 20 more gallons of coco, perlite, and EWC. This soil will still be considerably hot if in fact 1/2 cup per cf. is the recommended amount of guano to add.

    Then again I added these amendments as per the directions on the box. Im not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Why would they want you to burn up your plants? Maybe they just assume that we all somehow know how to use these products and to just ignore what they say? After all nutrient/amendment companies are notorious for telling us to add a bit more than is necessary.

    I would really like to see some more opinions on this issue.

    Thanks again guys!
  13. #13 WeeDroid, Jan 2, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2012
    For a real good read on soil mixes read this thread. I think LDs mix on the first page is as good as it gets. He also has great recommendations on amendments and how much to use. There are also a lot of other recipes and ideas in there from other folks here.

    My latest formulas are in the thread below. I basically take LDs idea and apply them to what I have and the processes (soil mixing) and resources I have available to me. I think it's important to learn some basic principals, the basic materials we have access to, and then put together something that fulfills your goals. I really dislike telling people a certain way to do things, but would rather help steer them in the direction where they can learn the basic skills, and make their own decisions.

    You know your situation far better than any of us. ;)
  14. #14 Vicarious87, Jan 2, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2012
    Basically what I did on my first grow was a bit of extreme experimentation and anyone can do it if you know the basics of what the plant needs, and how it can get it from whatever medium you are growing with. (I know alot now then I did a few years ago)

    When I was younger I didnt read alot about how to grow herb, I just had some bagseed and shit in my yard and local hardware store. Here is what I Basically started with:

    3x 3gal plastic pots
    1 bag miracle grow natural *containes no food or nutes
    miracle grow tomato food
    leftover peatmoss mix from outside

    that was all I had and I had three hybrids 4feet tall each gave total half ounce of some ok stuff, under like 200w 4'cfl setup. I overwatered most of the veg time and gave nutes according to the labels, which is a no no. those poor plants still gave me some shit to smoke lol. They where diehard from some mexican mids.

    Now I am planning on using coir and FFOF and some perlite, along with a proper HID setup and full organic nutes and teas. keep to the temp, ppm and ph and you will be good.

    I am SERIOUSLY looking into doing my upcoming grow with coco, and trying to get as much info on the veganics methods!
  15. Hey Vicarious. Just to give you a heads up. A lot of us here have been where you are at and have evolved (just as you did from your beginnings to where you are now) along a few different paths of organic growing.

    My favorite, at the moment anyway, is the living soil paradigm. One reason why I like it is low cost inputs and no need, seriously, for things like ph pens and ppm stuff. The stickies ae full of these ideas, so if you ever get a hankering for exploring more, there are a lot of good ideas there. :)

    Cannabis is a hardy plant and will take a lot of abuse from growers. But there are healthier alternatives to FFOF that cost less. Even if you don't want to mix your own soil like some of us crazy folks do, at least get a better soil mix. Look into spanghum peat moss as well. Its really healthy and really cheap.
  16. The main reason I have switched over to the organic paradigm is because i never have to worry about ppm and ph ever again. Lol. Nor do I want to buy anything that comes in a bottle ever again, unless it's my hydolyzed fish product.

    That said, Wee, I have been over those threads several times and at this point I really wish I would have followed a simple mix like one of the ones that LD puts together. But instead I went ahead and mixed together what I had, I am hoping that nothing catastrophic happens. I am planning on just doubling my soil mix to 40 gallons by cutting it with more coir, perlite, and hopefully some higher quality EWC or some other form of well made compost for humus content.

    I am hoping that the length of time I have let my base mix cycle and the extra things I will be adding are going to make my soil quite a bit more gentle. I guess I will see what happens.

    Nevertheless I would love to hear from other people about this and thanks again for everyone's help.
  17. There are better alternatives to perilite as well, but I understand why some folks like it.

    Believe me, I've done many a grow I wish I could do over. But you have to start somewhere. My next evolution is to source what I like better so I don't have to pay quite so much. I could use a good understanding in fpe's as well. All in good time.
  18. #18 Vicarious87, Jan 2, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2012
    Yes, thank you WeeDroid I do spend alot of my free time trying to absorb what I can from these forums and from anyone more experienced than myself. The stickies are awesome If I could just be able to wrap my head around more of the technical details like soil mixes as you have mentioned, and soon I hope to compile a few tea recipies for an all out set it and forget it soil grow I may be able to pull next to a coco grow I really am set on.

    I truly do appreciate cannabis and am on a quest for CBD rich strains. check out my sig, from those genetics I hope I can Pull out some very unique phenotypes and cross with a very special ruderalis a older mentor of mine has been perfecting in seed for YEARS. He crosses it with many well known names here in cali for some awesome auto strains. Im excited actually I have alot of his work in seed he would award me for helping with whatever was needed. Not to mention all day long dankathon!!!!

    I should have retained more about what was going on more than just getting stoned out of my gourd and trimming for hours lol. He was more secretive about what he used and how it was used, never used big name nutes, did things the old Humboldt way, all the way down to the prized all fruit and sweet corn slop he would feed his worm beds. It was amazing really.
  19. PeacePlants

    When using Coir it is necessary to adjust for at least a couple of major differences with this strata material vs. Sphagnum peat moss.

    The biggest difference is that Coir has a CeC factor of 70 and Sphagnum peat moss. This difference in CeC will explain the plethora of posts on coir boards about 'Calcium' issues or something along those lines. It's too brutal to read it's so far out of mainstream horticultural and nursery practices.

    Adding one of the Calcium Carbonate minerals compounds is counter productive because Coir is used by the grow store crowd to hit some mythical pH numbers - if you're starting out with an inert material then why would you want to add Alkaline amendments?

    Try Gypsum (Calcium Sulphate) which will fix the other issue with Coir - this is a fairly dead material and contains no Sulphur. Gypsum will that mineral which is necessary to keep a pH neutral strata in line as it can raise the pH if necessary as well as lower it not to mention that Sulphur is a very important mineral in soil biology.


  20. This is an excerpt from a short but interesting article I just read:

    "Peat bogs are also a vital carbon sink. By one estimate, the bogs of Europe, Siberia and North America hold the equivalent of 70 years of worldwide industrial emissions. Globally, peat bogs sequester more carbon than all the world's tropical rainforests combined. When peatlands are drained, that goes back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide."

    If that does not open your eyes perhaps they are better left closed.

Share This Page