My A/C Infinity 2x4 grow kit will be arriving Wednesday! I’ve done quite a bit of research over the last couple months or so and am looking forward to getting started. I am currently trying to build an organic soil and have got a lot of great info from this forum so far. I am asking if anyone would be willing to share maybe some specific info, tips, and advice in regards to building a simple organic soil possibly and most preferably from items from my back yard. For reference I have an abundant access to alpaca manure, horse manure, worm castings, tons of light forest soil, biodegraded light leaf material, pine needles, and some soil behind the old barn that I swear I saw 10 foot cannabis plants grow in when I was a kid.( I was a really short kid so probably no where near that tall lol). I’m also interested in any compost tea recipes from these items that I would use for feedings throughout the grow. Any advice is greatly appreciated! @Kronic
@MBSGROW you’ve got a lot of great stuff to work with.
I personally follow what’s called the “coot’s mix” which is 1/3 base, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 aeration.
For your base I would use the light forest soil with some of the leaf material mixed in.
For your compost portion I would personally mix the manures together with the worm castings and let them marry. That will give you a very nutrient dense compost thriving with microbial life. To increase nutrient density I would let the worms work on it all too and add in some calcium rich materials as well as some potassium rich materials.
For aeration I’d use some wood mulch and lots of dry brown materials like dry brown leaf material and dead root balls from dead or harvested plants. Almost like what you would use to make your brown aeration layer for composting. Sounds like you have access to enough sticks and branches and dead tree limbs to be able to make your own aeration without needing to purchase any pumice or anything like that. Carbon sources of aeration serve two purposes. 1)nutrient stores and homes for microbial life. 2) a direct source of carbon as they break down they will feed soluble carbon to the plant and what isn’t water soluble will be released as c02. When it breaks down it will also release stored nutrients such as nitrogen, mag, calcium, etc… whatever was bound to the carbon.
Maybe make some of your own biochar or agricultural charcoal if you can.
The only extra I would personally add would be certain forms of rock dust if you have them on hand. Definitely silica and some basalt if you already have it.
@MBSGROW I forgot to mention that the pine needles can also be used as a mulch layer. They’re pretty acidic when they are green but as they brown and begin to break down they become pH neutral. Some people even sell brown pine needles as pine straw to use as mulch layers.
So after you build your soil and plant your seeds you can use the dry pine needles as a mulch layer to help protect the soil and microbial life and it will just continue to break down over time through top dressings and waterings so you can just keep adding more as it thins out.
Right on man that sounds like some really great information. I really appreciate you sharing your time and knowledge. This sounds like exactly what I was going after and hoping for. Im really looking forward to my first grow!
@MBSGROW you’re welcome man.
I forgot to touch on the teas though. You have everything to make great microbe teas and ferments if you’re looking to branch out into bokashi and knf as well.
The worm casting microbe teas are simple. I personally do 1 cup castings per gallon of water and 1-2 tbsp molasses per gallon of water. Each person has their own ratios they like but with the way I make my castings 1 cup is more than enough and I like to use more sugars for a good carbon source.
You can either use a tea bag or put the castings straight into the water. I personally use a tea bag so when I’m done brewing the tea I can just top dress my plants with the leftover organic material.
For a bacterial dominant tea brew for 24 hours with aeration. For fungal dominant add some mycos to the mix and brew for 48 hours with aeration.
Make sure you use dechlorinated water. So either tap water that was set out for 24 hours or longer, well water, or rain water. You can use store bought purified or distilled water too. R/o as well if you have an r/o system.
Thanks again man for the great information, really do appreciate it and hope to be able to pass it on…plan on getting started on this tomorrow while I wait for my tent and get the right seeds.
I have always grown organic and make my own organic soil—I don’t know anyother way. You need good to fair soil to begin with. Add as much green and brown matter as possible. You don’t need an expensive composter barrel. Throw it on the ground cover it with your good dirt, water and turn it over with a shovel. Repeat. Cover ir all if you are in a rainy area. Save kitchen scraps. Become a vegan! It sounds like you have plenty of organic material already. Worm castings are great. Not a fan of pine needles.
That’s the plan. I want to treat my plants like I treat my body. It’s been interesting learning about living soils and organic growing. Just starting out and always up for any advice and tips. I have a compost pile going that started with horse manure and table scraps making me a worm casting bin now. I just got my grow tent today and about to set it up. Probably won’t be any plants in it for a bit I just want to get started right and not in a huge rush.