Native Soil Advice

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by burnedice34, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. Hello all, this is my first post but I've been lurking and reading here for a while before signing up. So my question is about my native soil. I plan on using the recipe from Help me build a water only soil. but my base will be native soil mixed with peat, perlite, and ewc.

    So in preparation I dug down 6 inches at the two spots I will be using and bagged some soil. The soil seemed relatively healthy and I found at least one worm with each shovel full. I used a soil test kit from lowes and found the ph to be 6.5 at both spots with very low N content, low P content, and medium K content for what its worth.

    This is what the it looked like after it was air dried (it rained that morning).

    And this is what it looked like after squeezing and releasing.

    I ran the glass jar soil composition test and this was it looks like after about 36 hours.

    Is the water supposed to turn more clear or is this all the soil that will come out of the solution? My goal was to dig 3 ft wide and 1 ft deep holes for two white rhino fem seeds I will start on my balcony for the first two weeks prior to transplanting to the holes. I planned to replace 25% of the native soil with a peat/perlite/ewc mix. Do you think this would work well with the amendments from the link above? Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
  2. Is there a reason you can't source a quality compost?
  3. #3 burnedice34, Mar 27, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
    Unfortunately, i don't have too many options locally. I wanted to evaluate the current soil to see how suitable it would be first. I have 30 lb of worm castings to work with at the moment, is that not enough between that and the amendments? They do have 50 lb bags of Black Kow Cow Manure at Lowes but I'm not sure about the quality of it. I am also working with about 6 weeks left for cooking the soil.
  4. Black Kow is decent composted Cow manure , just dont but the cheapo manure it will be mostly sand or wood chips .....
  5. I use Black Kow for various things. It's not the best humus source but it's better than anything else you'll find at lowes. Reason being it's from dairy cows. If you look at most of the other stuff it's steer manure. Dairy cows are an investment. They are treated far better than steers kept in feed lots.

    Depending on where you are, some home depots carry ecoscraps. It comes recommended by some around here. I use Coast of Maine that I get at a small garden center. Farmer D, Bu's malibu, and a couple others are good as well. It all depends on your location. I'd go to the websites of the ones I listed and look for a local place that carries them. I would have never guessed in a million years that Coast of Maine would be available to me and I would have never known if I hadn't checked their site.

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  6. Definitely check all the garden shops. I thought the same thing about my area til I stopped in a few and found some awesome supplies. One of them even had a small hydroponics section which is unheard of around here, they dont advertise it at all for obvious reasons (bible belt) but I'm glad I stopped in. They also offer local compost, sometimes it sucks but atleast you can ask the people building it what's in it

    Murphys Multistrain Growapalooza
  7. The milky water in the glass jar soil texture test is the clay particles, they're super tiny so it takes them a long time to settle, but if you figure your silt and sand percentages, then you can use those to get the clay percent (100%-%sand-%silt).
    The sand is the bottom layer, then your silt layer, then the clay is mostly still suspended in water. Looks to me like you have a sand heavy soil, which means your soil leeches nutrients faster than clay, but has better downward drainage.
    You can take a bit of moist soil between your thumb and forefinger and try to roll it into a tiny cylinder, clay-heavy soils will let you roll the soil into a very thin, long band, and smaller clay amounts will fall apart before then. Also, sand has a distinct sound when you rub it between your fingers, so you can do this close to your ear and get a feel for if it's sand heavy or not.

    Most plants send their roots wider than they do deep, so it's important to prepare wide holes. Black kow is a decent brand of manure from the big box stores, some soil conditioner could help as well to improve drainage instead of perlite.

    You could build mini raised beds on top of your holes and fill the holes with amended native soil, and then put your mixed soil in the raised bed and plant in that. I built some raised beds for my veggies using the basic recipes for soil building here and have had 0 problems, and eat delicious veggies from it.
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  8. #8 burnedice34, Mar 27, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
    OK thanks for all the suggestions. My plan is to now check some of the smaller garden shops tomorrow, they don't have websites so I'll have to physically check them out. What are some signs of a quality compost if I cant look inside the bag? Unfortunately we don't have a home depots close, just lowes. Worst comes to worse I'll pick up some black kow, which leads me to my next question - the base soil mix ratio. Should I replace more than 25% of the soil? And is the replacement ratio of 1 part peat, 1 part perlite, .5 part ewc, and .5 part compost ok? Should perlite be replaced with a better conditioner, I'm avoiding coco for the salts?

    The glass jars are over 48 hours now and look the same as the pics in the original post. How would I calculate percentages if a good portion of the clay is still in suspension, it wouldn't be the full sediment layer and would underestimate the clay content while overestimating the others, no? Or is it just discolored water at this point? Anyway I tried wetting it and rolling it between my fingers into a cylinder and it just fell apart. It did sound a bit gritty. The percentages as it stands today are 77% sand, 17% silt, and 6% clay if I disregard any clay still in suspension.

    Oh and raised beds are a no go, it'll be a guerilla grow. I read that the roots do like to spread wide hence the 3 ft by 1 ft holes, I was contemplating 2 x 2 as they are similar volumes but decided wider and shallower was better. Anyway, thanks for all the input u guys are awesome!

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