How long can organic soils "sit" for?

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by HighOnTheHill, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. I made about 70 gallons of an organic soil mixture a few months ago. I know you let the soil "cook" for a 3-4 weeks before you use it, and that's what I did. However, I vegged for a bit longer than intended and now I've got the rest of the soil sitting in my garage after going on 3.5 months.

    Is my soil mixture still good? This is my first organic grow, so I'm still learning the ropes about this. I'm not sure if the microbes have consumed all of the nutrients, and I need to re-amend it, or if because of the microbe activity, the soil may be too hot? Or maybe there's no microbes left and I need to hit it with some mycorrhizal innoculum or something like Liquid Karma?

    Just really not sure what to do at this point in time.
  2. #2 LumperDawgz2, Aug 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2011

    The only thing that can negatively impact a soil is (primarily) a lack of oxygen. A soil is aerobic - cut off the oxygen and it soon will be anaerobic which is why storing soils in unvented plastic tubs is not the optimum way to handle things.

    Even if the soil as 'gone over to the other side' you can fix it pretty easily by applying a legitimate AACT meaning no bat guano, no Liquid Karma, no Busdwel, no Superthrive, blah, blah, blah

    Follow the proportions at who may be the most advanced soil scientist as it relates to nutrient cycling and related science. I alter his recipe but that's for a specific goal.

    If you use the formula at this web site and you apply this to the soil that you've layer out on an open tarp and you cover the soil as equally as possible then you'll have the aerobic colonies in force which decimate the anaerobic colonies.

    Let this sit for a couple of weeks and you'll know that everything is correct by the smell - a live soil does not have off odors. It should smell like a meadow or an old forest trail.

    Something like that.

    EDIT: Doing the AACT thing isn't a bad idea just to get things active again.

  3. Thanks a lot Lumper! Just went out into the garage and checked my soil - I was slightly worried about the lack of oxygen as it is covered (but not tightly - it's sitting in a kiddie pool with another kiddie pool turned upside down over it to help retain moisture) Still smells like... dirt. Still moist even though it hasn't been watered or mixed up in at least 2 months.

    Took a look at that website, and I'll be making an AACT tea to wet it down prior to use. Doubt I'll be able to source all of those items locally, but I'll do what I can.
  4. LD pretty much covered this question.
    I made the mistake once of storing a large volume of sol in plastic bags and I unwittingly created an anaerobic environment which caused the aerobic beneficials to either go dormant or die off. I should have stored it in burlap sacks.

    I also just wanted to say I'm one of those guys that plants directly into fresh mixed or freshly re-amended soil sometimes,however I do not recommend it. Uncomposted material can burn plants,plus the soils microlife hasn't established itself well enough to really put things into balance yet. Unless you are able to cure any problem that arises in your garden I wouldn't mess around trying to run anaerobic or "un-cooked" soil.

    The best soils are the ones that get the time to sit and breath in order to establish positive fungal/bacterial colonies.
  5. @High, one thing you can do, is go mix your soil occasionally. Just like when you mixed it the first time, just mix it up. It will add oxygen to your soil pile. And if it dries out while it sits, just wet it down a little again and mix it up.
  6. i use a pile for storage, in the side yard. it gets plenty of sun, fresh air, worms and even some moisture at times. keep away from anything man made other than a pile. j

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