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This is from ICMAG Organic Soil Mixes For Beginners

posted Aug 25, 2010 06:04:55 by Mahoney
Here are some tried and true recipes for getting started in organic growing. Pick one of the first two soiless mix recipes for your grow medium. Then, choose a nute recipe that will work best for what you have available.

Enjoy...

Here are two very good organic soiless mixes...

LC’s Soiless Mix #1:
5 parts Canadian Spaghnam Peat or Coir or Pro-Moss
3 parts perlite
2 parts wormcastings or mushroom compost or home made compost
Powdered dolomite lime @ 2 tablespoons per gallon or 1 cup per cubic foot of the soiless mix.
...Wal-Mart now sells worm castings.

Or, if you use Pro Mix or Sunshine Mix...
LC's Soiless Mix #2:
6 parts Pro Mix BX or HP / Sunshine Mix (any flavor from #1 up)
2 parts perlite
2 parts earthworm castings
Powdered dolomite lime @ 2 tablespoons per gallon or 1 cup per cubic foot of the soiless mix.
If you use a 3 qt. saucepan as “parts” in the amounts given above, it equals about 1 cu. ft. of soiless mix and you can just dump in a cup of powdered dolomite lime.
But, a "part" can be anything from a tablespoon to a five gallon bucket. Just use the same item for all of the "parts".

Now for the plants organic food source

RECIPE #1
If you want to use organic nutes like blood, bone and kelp...
Dry Ferts:
1 tablespoon blood meal per gallon or 1/2 cup per cubic foot of soil mix
2 tablespoons bone meal per gallon or 1 cup per cubic foot of soil mix
1-tablespoon kelp meal per gallon or 1/2 cup per cubic foot of soil mix or Maxicrop 1-0-4 powdered kelp extract as directed
1 tablespoon per gallon or 1/2 cup per cubic foot of Jersey Greensand to supplement the K (potasium) in the Kelp Meal and seaweed extract.
Mix all the dry ferts into the soiless mix well and wet it, but don't soak it with Liquid Karma and water @ 1 tbs./gal. Stir and mix it a few times a week for a week or two so the bacteria can get oxygen and break down the bone meal and make it available. And don't let the mix dry out, keep it moist and add water as needed. It'll also have time to get the humic acids in the Liquid Karma going and the dolomite lime will be better able to adjust the pH of a peat based mixture too.


RECIPE #2
If you want to use guano in your soil mix...
Bongaloid's Guano Mix.
Use all these items combined with one gallon of soil mix.
1/3C hi N Guano (Mexican Bat Guano)
1/2C hi P Guano (Jamaican or Indonesian Bat Guano)
1TBS Jersey Greensand
1TBS Kelp Meal


RECIPE #3 (My favorite)
If you want to use guano tea and kelp...

Guano Tea and Kelp:

Seedlings less than 1 month old nute tea mix-
Mix 1 cup earthworm castings into 5 gallons of water to make the tea.
Add 5 tbs. Black Strap Molasses.
Use it to water your seedlings with every 3rd watering.

Veg mix-
1/3 cup Peruvian Seabird Guano (PSG)
1/3 cup High N Bat Guano (Mexican)
1/3 cup Earth Worm Castings (EWC)
5 tsp. Maxicrop 1-0-4 powdered kelp extract
(That makes the "dry mix". You can make all you want and save it to use later.)
Mix with water @ 1 cup of dry mix into 5 gallons of water to make the tea.
To that 5 gallons of tea add:
5 tbs. Liquid Karma
5 tbs. Black Strap Molasses
Use it to water with every 3rd watering.

Flowering nute tea mix:
2/3 cup Peruvian Seabird Guano
2/3 cup Earth Worm Castings
2/3 cup High P Guano (Indonesian or Jamaican)
(That makes the "dry mix". You can make all you want and save it to use later.)
Mix with water @ 2 cups of dry mix into 5 gallons of water to make the tea.
To that 5 gallons of tea add:
5 tbs. Liquid Karma
5 tbs. Black Strap Molasses
Use it to water with EVERY watering.

You can use queen size knee high nylon stockings for tea bags. 3 pair for a dollar at the dollar store. Tell 'em you use them for paint strainers. Put the recommended tea in the stocking, tie a loop knot in it and hang it in your tea bucket. The tea should look like a mud puddle. Agitate the bag in the water vigorously. An aquarium pump and air stone will dissolve oxygen into the solution and keep the good bacteria (microherd) alive and thriving. Let it bubble a day or two before you use it. If you find you are making too much tea and having to throw it out, use 2 1/2 gallons of water and cut the nute amount by half.


RECIPE #4
Three Little Birds Method
40 gallons used soil
4 cups alfalfa meal
4 cups bone meal
4 cups kelp meal
4 cups powdered dolomite lime
30 pound bag of earthworm castings . . .
That’s the basic recipe . . .
However we also like to use
4 cups of Greensand
4 cups of Rock Phosphate
4 cups of diatomaceous earth


RECIPE #5
Fish and Seaweed (This is sooo easy)

For veg growth…
1 capful 5-1-1 Fish Emulsion
1 capful 0-0-1 Maxicrop liquid
1 gallon H2O

For early flowering…
1 tbs. Neptune’s Harvest 2-3-1 Fish/Seaweed
1 gallon H2O

For mid to late flowering…
1 tbs. Neptune’s Harvest 2-4-1 Fish
1 gallon H2O


And now for some more good tips...

Organic pH issues

I hear a lot of people asking or talking about the pH of their organic soil mix or organic nute solution and how they might correct or adjust it. pH in organics is not an issue like it is in synthetic growing.
The best place to settle the pH issues in organics is within the grow medium. A medium rich in humates (humus) is the place to start. Humates work to "buffer" the pH of organic mediums and the nutes you pour (or mix) into it.
Humates come from compost, worm castings and bottled humus. If you use a peat based medum, use dolomite lime to raise the pH of the acidic peat. Dolomite should be used in any soil or soiless medium to provide magnesium and calcium. But since we are talking about pH here, I'll mention dolomite lime's pH correction benefits.
A medium of coir has a pH near neutral (or 7.0). But humates are still neded to allow uptake of organic nutrients that are outside a near neutral pH range.
With an active medium rich in humates you can pour in nutes like Pure Blend Pro, Earth Juice and guano teas way outside the optimum pH range without worry. The humus will allow the nutes to be taken up through the roots, even at such an extreme pH reading.
So throw those pH meters away folks and enjoy the ease and safety of organic gardening.

Chlorine tap water

Just a word of caution for you organic heads out there...
If you are tapped onto a municipal water supply that uses chlorine to kill bacteria in the water, it'll do the same thing to the bacteria (microherd) in your organic food source.
Always bubble your municipal water in an open container (5 gallon bucket) for 24 hours before adding ANYTHING organic to it.

Flushing

There is absolutely no reason to "flush" organic nute solutions from your soil mix. In an organic grow, the plants don't take up the organic nutes (guano, bone, blood or kelp). The bacteria eat the organic nutes and excrete food that the plant can feed off of. So the organic nutes don't need to be flushed because they never enter the plant. And besides, meals like kelp, bone and blood along with worm castings and dolomite can't be flushed from your soil mix anyway. If you use guano and seaweed, try using plain water or worm casting tea for your last watering or two so the plant can use up what's left in the soil. But drowning your soil with water isn't necessary.
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