How much amendments for 27cf bed?

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by LetGo, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. Made a raised bed months ago and have been composting in it ever since, now that i got about 1/3 compost its time to add perlite/peat.
    its a 8ftx4ftx10in raised bed for veggies/greens(not pot)
    need advice on measurements on how much amendments to add.
    I have as far as list::
    Alfalfa meal
    Neem meal
    Kelp meal
    (I do have bat guanos as well but wasn't planning on using)
    if my math was right its a 27 cubic foot raised bed.
    <3 thanks in advance,

  2. When amending raised beds and gardens, one should amend based on the square footage of the space, not by soil volume. You have 320 sq. ft. of space there. Most amendments will come with recommended application rates (based on square footage) printed on the packaging. If not, contact the manufacturer.

    Make sure you work all that stuff into the soil about 4-6 inches. It will break down faster.
  3. Soil test is the only way to reeeally know, right?
    so its by volume for potted plants, but sq ft for raised beds/gardens/lawns?
  5. Very true. But it's not something I'd recommend for a brand new bed that's just getting established. Got to give it time to cycle and mature. I'd give it a few seasons before even thinking about soil tests.
  6. #6 waktoo, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014

    The application rates used for sq. footage can be applied to potted plants, you have to figure out the area of the top of your pot and calculate according to the recommended application rate. This tends to be a pain in the ass because most application rates are for 1000 square feet, and most surface areas of potted plants are a small fraction of this. We utilize amending by volume when we mix up large batches of soil, because during mixing, all we have to go by is soil volume, not surface area.
  7. Right on :) can't wait to get me veggie garden started this yr!! The only thing I plan on doing is burying bokashi sludge and adding some mulch n compost to a raised bed... sounds easy enough...
  8. About the perlite. FWIW, aeration in outdoor soil systems is not as important as it is in potted soils. You will have a lot more action from the shredders and tunnelers from the soil food web that will help to increase soil structure and drainage. Perlite in an outdoor garden is kind of unsightly, IMO. It's up to you, but I would use rice bran, buckwheat hulls, or plain ol' wood chips for my aeration component.
  9. #9 LetGo, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2014
    i have heard this.  could u just do peat and compost/humus? or not enough drainage?
    where could i get those aeration in bulk(rice bran/buckwheat hulls) feed store? and use at same ratio as you would perlite for potted mixes?
  10. I would definitely use some aeration, but you won't need as much.  Just eye it, mixing it in until you like how it looks.  When it comes to ratios, outdoor soil mixing is very forgiving.
    I do believe that the rice/buckwheat can be sourced from feed stores.  I think they sell them for stall bedding.  I don't use either.  I do know that a lot of blades have been using these items for aeration.  Post in the "lounge" for sources and ratios.  You should get a quick answer.
    Wood chips are sold as mulch at any DIY box store.  Very cheap.  I think wetdog uses wood ships for aeration, and has been for quite a long time.
  11. I do like the wood chips, both for aeration and a humus source. After a year or so, you could see the chips covered in mycellium. What I used to use was called Pine Bark Mulch. It's almost like fines or graded chips like orchid medium. Since I moved, Pine Mulch, Timberline brand at HD is the closest equivalent. It's the smallest of the many sizes HD has. Under $2/2cf bag. Cheap to experiment with. You might want a larger chunk for the raised bed.
    I bought *mini nuggets* by mistake, a bit too large for container mixes, but worked well in my raised beds, or the one I added it to, anyway.
    I don't use rice hulls or buckwheat either. Had breakdown/compaction issues with the rice hulls after a year or so and never tried the buckwheat. This was in containers and as wak mentioned, might be a non issue in a raised bed.
    I still use perlite in the raised beds. Not as much as container mixes, but it's heavy clay and whatever I can get worked in there gets added.
    Is your bed going to be mix on top of the native soil, or, is the native soil going to be mixed in also?
    That stuff in your list, do you have it yet, or is it just a list? I would also add bone meal, a 20# bag for that size bed. Everything else looks good.
    If you DO have that stuff, I would add 4-8 cups of the alfalfa meal to your compost and water it in. BEFORE anything else is added. The alfalfa will get hot and give the compost that last little bump before you add everything else. The way I'm reading it is, that it's only compost in there now, yes?
    Just a thought.
  12. If you haven't started filling the bed yet do yourself a huge favor and fill the bottom half or even more with rotted branches and logs. Not only will you save yourself a ton of soil but you will also introduce all kinds of local fungus into your bed and the rotting logs will act as a big sponge to retain water/moisture during the hot summer months.

    Hugelkultr FTW!


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