Trying to start a ROLS(No-till) indoor garden. Help configuring my soil mix

Discussion in 'Growing Organic Marijuana' started by NuteFreesTheWay2B, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. #1 NuteFreesTheWay2B, Sep 3, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
    Hey everyone, I’ve been a long time lurker. I used to have another account but I forgot my password a long time ago. Anyway. I’m starting a personal medical garden with 16 containers and hopefully I’ll be able to purchase some 15-20 gallon fabric pots but I may be yet financially restrained and forced to use what I already have. Several ten gallon, a dozen or so seven gallon and a bunch of 4 gallon plastic nursery pots. Which I don’t want to use because I’m trying to develop maintain feed and nurse a healthy organic ecosystem within my container. I want to minimize my costs and inputs and have my medium do all the work for me. Anyway here is a list of everything I already have and what I have coming to me as well-

    4 cubic feet of pro mix (some each of the mx and bx blend)
    2 cubic feet of canna coco(the dehydrated bricks I have left over from years ago never used)
    4 cubic feet of pumice.
    1 Cubic foot of Malibu’s bu’s blend biodynamic compost
    2.5 cubic feet coast of Maine lobster compost
    1 cubic feet of perlite
    1 cubic feet of various soil blends (fox farm ocean forest and black gold organic)
    6lbs kelp meal DTE brand
    6lbs crab meal DTE brand
    1/2 of a 6 lb box of DTE Vegan blend
    4 lbs of DTE Azomite
    20 lbs of earthworm castings

    Then on the way I have;
    3 cubic feet of fox farm happy frog(EWC and guano among other good soil amendments)
    2.2 cubic feet of black gold sphagnum peat moss
    3 more cubic feet of coast of Maine lobster compost
    2 bags of black kow organic composted cow manure
    25 lbs of Coop poop organic chicken manure (coop poop)
    Another 20 lbs of earthworm castings
    A 12 lb bag of dr earths all organic vegetable and herb fertilizer blend.
    4 lbs of happy frog bat guano
    40lbs of powdered/ pulverized organic garden lime.
    2 Cubic feet of perlite
    2 bags of hydroton/ expanded clay pellets and 2 bags of river stones to put on the bottom 1-2 inches of my pots.

    I still have yet to source a few more things. I still need to get a 20-25 lb bag of glacial rock dust or I’m not sure if langbenite, or oyster shell would be good substitutes? Or basalt? Hard to source granite dust out here but it might be something I can find. Also how much malted barley grain should I get? Also I know I need some silica, aloe extract and coconut water mix. Will I be able to source some of this from my loca all organic grocery store?
  2. I would add gypsum to your mix. Malted barley is best sourced from a brew store, I just get a decent sized bag, 10lbs, more or less. I would get the basalt rock dust, I get mine from Rock Dust Local
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  3. How much gypsum do you think I’ll need? After all is said and done it’s looking like it’ll be a little more than a cubic yard more like 35 cubic feet of medium. If 1/2 cup per cuf then I can under dose and just get away with a 6# box of DTE gypsum. I know I need like 50lbs of glacial rock dust but it seems hard to find. Just sourced my pumice today and I still need a little more aggregate. Composted cow and chicken manure won’t be too hot to add in will they? Also am I going to need to let this mix sit for a couple weeks at least? I’m also looking to get at least 1 cubic foot of biochar maybe a little bit more: anyone have any experience using fossilized seabird guano?
  4. 1/2 cup gypsum per CF.
    I would also add neem meal at 1c/CF
    Basalt is good rock dust choise (actually its the best). Langbenite and oyster shell are not rock dust and cannot substitute for it.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. My advice is to start with the essentials and gain experience as you add more to your environment as you can afford it. Cover the basics, work out the kinks, Don’t sweat the small stuff. Marijuana was growing wild in inhospitable places long before grow tents or rooms were a thing.
  6. Thanks for the answer. I got a box of neem and crab meal yesterday with the 4 cuf of pumice I found still think I’ll need a couple more bags. I’ve got a little perlite and although I didn’t want to use it I don’t have a problem mixing a little in, it’s already in the promix I’m going to use. I might just source my basalt or glacial rock dust from build a soil unless I can find it out here
  7. Also, will the small amount of chicken and cow manure I’m planning on adding make my mix hot? I’m not planning on using alfalfa, but there is a small amount of it in the DTE vegan mix. I will be using neem, crab meal, and fish bone meal. I’m debating wetherbor not to grab some oyster shell meal and shrimp meal as well for diversity. I’ll be sourcing a cubic foot of charged biochar.

    Is there anyway I can just plant directly into this mix with a very minimal cook time? 7-10 days tops? Will the manure neem meal and crab meal make my mix hot? Or since I’m only using 5-7% manure in my mix will it be ok? I am trying to forego the cooking process safely so that I don’t burn and damage my girls.
  8. I think manure is better used in the compost pile, IDK I don't use it myself. I know some top dress with chicken manure but I'm not sure about mixing it in the soil.
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  9. #9 ElRanchoDeluxe, Sep 4, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
    I know you've read over a few different soil recipes. It's difficult to be of any help without knowing exactly how you plan to mix up your soil mix. You have already purchased materials that are not cost effective. Money that is desperately needed to increase your soil container size. We could have prevented this from occuring.

    Please find a soil mix recipe and list exactly what you plan to mix up. We can help you incorporate any leftover materials. It's impossible to answer questions like "do I need to let the soil cook" when we have no idea what your recipe is!!!

    The only thing I can say for sure is that your container size will (without a doubt) be the limiting factor for your plants. I strongly urge you to reconsider this decision. It's a giant mistake.
    Want bigger plants? Get to the root of the matter
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. I mix chx manure in at a cup per 15 gallons of base mix. (Peat/compost and castings/aeration) 1 cup per 15 gallons is the rate I do everything at, except I double the kelp and quadruple the rock dust. (I use azomite so far.) I second the call for neem meal.

    I say put them in the ground. Forget the pots. These got 15 gallons of soil mix each. IMG_20190902_173910.jpg
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    • Winner Winner x 1
  11. I'm a half cup per cubic foot guy too. Way back when, I couldn't source neem cake so I subbed alfalfa for it. Much cheaper and worked well.
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  12. Rockdust local is great site for rock dust

    Sent from my iPhone using Grasscity Forum
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  13. As far as my worrying about pot size limitations I should be able to afford purchasing the amount of pots I need at the shipping cost is less than 20 dollars and I can get 20 or 25 gallon size fabric pots for less than $4 each. So less than $100. Most of the stuff I hVe on the way is being paid for by close family. But I have essentially listed everything I’m going to mix but let me put it down again;

    About 5-6 cubic feet of pro mix (half mx half hp)
    2.5 cubic feet of coco
    4 cubic feet of pumice
    1 cubic foot of perlite
    2.5 cubic feet of coast of Maine lobster compost
    1.5 cubic feet Malibu’s bu’s blend compost
    20 lbs of earthworm castings
    4 lbs azomite Down to earth
    3 lbs vegan blend Down to earth
    6 lbs neem meal Down to earth
    6 lbs crab meal down to earth
    2 lbs dr earth bud bloom booster fertilizer

    On the way I have;
    2-2.2 cubic feet bales of black gold sphagnum peat
    A 3 cubic foot bale of happy frog soil conditioner
    3 more bags of coast of Maine lobster compost
    2 cubic feet of perlite
    A 12 lb bag of dr earth organic vegetable and herb fertilizer
    4 lb bag of happy frog bat guano
    2 cubic feet of black kow organic composted cow manure
    1/2 cubic foot coop poop organic composted chicken manure
    A 40 pound bag of pulverized organic garden lime
    2 more 20 lb bags of earthworm castings

    Then for the bottom 1-2” of my fabric pots I’m going to put in a mix of super coarse lava stone and some smooth hard river stones

    Luckily I have someone who gets a cost discount on gardening supplies they can get from a hardware store supplier so all the stuff I have on it’s way is being covered by a family member who I will pay in flower at a later date!

    But that is what I have plNned to go into my containers at the moment. I’m also planning on getting 1-2 cubic feet of biochar as well as my rock dust kelp meal and malted barley. All in all there is about 35 cubic feet so just a little more than a cubic yard, I’m thinking of ordering a fabric duffel top bulk tote online for mixing it all it, Linda hard to find plastic kiddie pools this time of year and the duffel top fabric bags can fit a full cubic yard.

    What else besides my glacial rock dust/ basalt and kelp meal should I need? I know I don’t need bio chat but I would really like to incorporate it into my system,

    Thanks everyone
  14. If it was me, I would put the lava and rocks in saucer, and place the smart pot on the bed of rocks. It works slick.
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    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. That would probably triple the amount of rocks needed, plus I already have pot elevators for every pot. I would love to build a SIP/ SWICK system but definitely don’t have the ability this time around.
  16. if you're going all-in on your project the last thing i think you would want is to have a poorly mixed medium. mixing 35+ cf of media is going to get real tough real fast and the blending of materials may not be sufficient for quality growth when your arms and back get tired. as was previously suggested you need to have a "recipe" for your mix, and you need to break it down into manageable chunks of only a few cubic feet at a time. just make sure you are consistent with your ingredients and the amounts of each. this is for if you have a problem it will be consistent across all containers and any remedial action you take should be more easily identified and spot on correct. if you have 16 containers you dont want to be chasing 16 different issues. none of us want problems but if we do have them it's better for us if the problem(s) are consistent.

    3-1/2 Cubic Ft. Cement Mixer


    i think you need to be careful selecting your ingredients and the amounts of each from your list. listen to the advice of the larger scale grow-bros that are managing 15+ containers or very large beds. the "wheel" of cannabis growing has already been established. there's no good reason to try and reinvent the "wheel". if a person wants to be successful growing cannabis they should do what successful growers do. make sense?

    good luck!
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    • Agree Agree x 2
  17. that's awesome! I never knew they made such relatively small cement mixers. that would make soil mixing so much easier!! I see they even have a smaller 1.25cf model. that might be a bit too small - or perfect for 10gal bags! :)
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  18. at $200 doing what the OP is taking on it seems like it should be a done deal... or something similar. it would take me many, many days to accomplish that feat using my 'single cubic foot at a time' method. lol a real long time.

    hey @NuteFreesTheWay2B what is your water source and if a municipal water source have you reviewed the annual water report?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. A cement mixer would be tit, but way out of the budget I think I’m just going to use a kiddie pool and mix one container at a time. Weigh what I have and divide it all per pot. I’ve always been really good with math so I’ll double and triple check my calculations but I definitely totally understand everything you’re saying. I’m leaning on ordering a few rock Dust powders from rock dust local. I still have an electrical component to purchase for $60, enough rock dust for a cubic yard which is about 100-140 lbs of rock dust. (Which is probably about another 1-2 cubic feet,) then I’ll be adding 1-2 cubic cubic feet of biochar. So that $200 will be better spent on soil components and just using my elbow grease to hash this one out. I’ll have my fiancé to help me with this so she’ll hate me for a few days but she says she is up for it.!
  20. Also I have a good quality aquarium RO filter but my tap is actually pretty good. It’s in the 150ppm range but I like to drink bottled water when I can and water with RO.

    And I think 2 people can get that soil mixed out in less than 6 hours. Shouldn’t take too too much.

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