Radical's Loco Soil Mix

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by FreeRadical, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. #1 FreeRadical, Aug 9, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2011
    'Ello to all my Loco friends,


    OK, here goes. After lotsa reading I've decided to dump the liquid nutes, gradually, and make an organic mix I'll be watering with pure RO, most of the time (and eventually exclusively, with the possible addition of organic teas).

    I've been having a persistent problem of climbing pH, so I will need to include an acidifying agent.

    1) 35% Organic potting soil - local brand (pH ~6.4)
    2) 25% Perlite size #4
    3) 15% EWC - equal parts of two local brands: one is organic & produced from quality compost (I've talked to the guy in charge and got him to send me some info & analysis on both brands - he was nice). The other is mostly compost with some EWC added to it. Diversity, yes?
    4) 10% detritus - I have, nearby, a bomb shelter the roof of which is partially shaded by a tree. A 3 inch layer of decomposing organic matter has accumulated under that tree over the years - leaves, branches. It is mostly powdery and black, with lotsa broken branches mixed in. Not sure how much nutes it still retains, but I'm operating on the "what the hell" principle and adding it anyway. Soaked some in RO water and tested pH after 12 hours - was about 6.8-6.9.
    5) 15% pine needles. Yessir. The GHE pH testing kit showed it had a pH of 5 (after a good 12 hour soak). I cannot really place the word "accuracy" in a statement concerning that GHE kit, but I'll assume the actual pH is somewhere within shouting distance. 10% needles mixed with 90% detritus and soaked for a few hours gave a pH of 6.6-6.5.

    To that I shall be adding, per gallon of soil:

    1) 3 tbsp shredded alfalfa hay
    2) 1 tbsp kelp meal (Espoma, will get it in 2 - 2 1/2 weeks). After reading all the things LD wrote about it, I'd pay almost any price for that precious powder : )

    I know I should wet the soil and let it sit for 2-4 weeks, and I intend to do that, but the first cycle or two (2 plants each) are gonna have to go raw. Also, will have to fine tune the pine-needle content to get the right pH.

    Is it my imagination, or does mycorrhiza have a beneficial effect on soil pH? Yeah, all my plants are being inoculated with a good myco product (Endorize by Argauxine, France. 3 strains of Glomus) - the best growing aid I've ever bought :D

    Methings this is a pretty fair mix. Will be happy to hear what y'all think about it.


    EDIT: Will be adding trichoderma too, soon, as soon as I get my hands on some (got an arrangement with a local importer, they usually sell it in very large packages to plant nurseries).
  2. It seems strange to me that you have alkalinity issues in organic soil. Decomposing organic matter will actually lower the pH of your soil, and most plants exude organic acids to the rhizosphere. Do you have alkaline water? Or was it when you were using bottle nutes that you had alkalinity issues? Because really with a good organic soil, pH becomes pretty immaterial.
  3. you've got me and a bunch of other dudes stumped on this one, mate.

    Seriously, the guy who's recommended me that soil brand has been using tapwater and BioBizz nutes with it (tapwater is a little over 8 here and where he used to live), and he told me he was adjusting his watering solution pH upwards... I have a strong pull upwards in my soil, that develops as the plants grow, and seems to be directly related to their rate of growth and their sizes relative to the sizes of their pots. I lost touch with that fella, so can't get to the bottom of this from that angle.

    Adjusting with pH-down agents of several types brought no results as well. I do not try to understand it anymore, just go by instinct and fix it.

    10% pine needles seem to drop the pH of used soil (7.5 after flushing) to 6.7 - after a 12 hour soak. So this may actually be my solution.

    And I'm using RO water. comes out at 6.6, rises to 6.8 as dust settles in it (I see no problem there). PPM < 40.


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