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Building soil from scratch and on the cheap!

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COorganics

Member of the Month: Nov 2014
Hello guys and gals,
I am a grower looking to get a stockpile of high quality soil, and I'd like to do so as cheap as possible. There are a few good recipes from subcool and the Rev I've been looking at.

One of the main things I wanna do is NOT use any bagged soil. I have a pile of halfway decent at best soil I got when digging out plots for my raised bed veggie gardens. I used nearly all my recycled cannabis soil (TLO style) on these raised beds for veggies. Now I have only 20 gal of high quality useable (cooked) soil left. I really don't have much cash to blow right now, hence using the dirt from the yard to start.

But, I do have a big chest full of about darn near everything I need to ammend and recycle dirt. I will post some pics and approximate quantities of the amendments I added already. I slowly started this yesterday, then I figured starting a thread will help.

Any intelligent input would really be appreciated. Thanks!

COorganics.
 

COorganics

Member of the Month: Nov 2014
Here is the very start of it. Mediocre looking dirt, grass and roots. And a decent amount of worms which looks promising.
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COorganics

Member of the Month: Nov 2014
Ingredients used thus far:

20 gal yard dirt
5 gal perlite
1cup greensand
2cup organicare pure
2cup bloodmeal
1 cup feather meal
1 cup lime
2 cup High N bat shit
1 cup feather meal
2 cups ground oyster shell
1/2 cup azomite
1 cup soft rock phosphate
2 cups kelp meal

These are semi approximate as I eyeball stuff.
I think I need to add some peat moss and earth worm castings still.
Anything else???? Would have added bone meal, dont have any unfortunately.
Kinda nice I could put this together with out spending a single dollar today. :)

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COorganics

Member of the Month: Nov 2014
Great! I think throwing away dirt is crazy!
Ill pick up dirt in Denver, I should put a "used cannabis dirt removal" add on Craig's list.!!
;)

Welcome aboard!

Edit: maybe the add should read: free removal of used organic cannabis soil and pots, discrete professional service.
 

Antics

420 Member
It sounds good so far. I'm experimenting a little with using rodent manure (herbivores only) such as gerbils, chinchillas, prairie dogs, etc.. It's supposedly great fertilizer for plants.

If you don't already do it, I'd suggest starting a compost bin as well. It keeps excess stuff out of the landfills, it's a good way to get rid of green waste, as well as leaves, and organic kitchen materials (carrot/potato peels for example) and in 1 season can usually be completely broken down into really rich and useable mulch.
 

COorganics

Member of the Month: Nov 2014
I have a worm farm that consumes all my cannabis non-smokeables. I will be building an outdoor compost heap soon as well. Gotta love the full circle of real organic gardening!
 

COorganics

Member of the Month: Nov 2014
I am thinking of running to store for some peat. Any ideas on a ratio for mix with my dirt? Ill also get a whole bag of castings it will all go into mix. (My worm farm needs a break!). I have about 20 gal of recycled killer dirt and I'm gonna mix that together too with everything else.

My thought is that I don't really need to follow an EXACT recipe here, as long as I add all the goodies in somewhat proper proportions and cook the mix for at LEAST 30 days, then I think ill have some good dirt truly from scratch!

I will try around a peat moss to dirt ratio of 1:5 unless I get some feed back otherwise.

Thanks! ;)
 

conradino23

Grow Journal of the Year: 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: Sept 2017
Every gardener should start from composting. A real organic compost is alive and has almost everything that plant needs. Typical NPK is 0,5-05-05, but these nutrients are available straight away for the plants. I do it in my garden all year round, and have many vegetables using only this, and I grow monster crops this way with high brix, which can be easily felt through the taste. My cannabis plants are always planted in soil mix which is 60-70% pure compost. But the story doesn't end here as compost might be low on calcium, magnesium and iron. These are easily supplemented by adding wood ash to the compost pile, powdered egg shells or oyster shells (it's better to compost them first or work into fine powder as they decompose quite slowly), clover, stinging nettle, horsetail and comfrey. Also coffee grounds and vegetable or fruit scraps are usually high in K & P. For example 100g of cucumber with skin contains 24 g of pure phosphorus, and skin itself when burned has NPK of 0-11-27.

More useful info here: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/douglas/sites/default/files/documents/lf/orgfertval.pdf
 

COorganics

Member of the Month: Nov 2014
Wow what a link! Thanks
 

COorganics

Member of the Month: Nov 2014
Just got back from store. Spent 17$. 1 bag composted manure. 1 bag mushroom compost. 1 bag sheep and peat. Now here is an interesting one I had not yet heard of, sheep and peat. OMRI and contains: sheep manure, wheat straw, chicken manure, peat moss, gypsum, cotton seed hulls, and soybean meal.
 

COorganics

Member of the Month: Nov 2014
image10747.jpg
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These huge outdoor cloth pots are awesome for mixing up dirt.

Here is what I had left of my own homemade, recycled old cannabis dirt. It went right in the mix too.
image10748.jpg


I will be putting the dirt back into the black bins, watering them with some compost tea and some rainwater, and they will cook for 30 or more days.

Then it looks like I may have 50 gal of great dirt for the fall/winter indoor stuff.

;)
 

conradino23

Grow Journal of the Year: 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: Sept 2017
I suppose everybody should start from the scratch :bong:
 

COorganics

Member of the Month: Nov 2014
Is it necessary to turn and stir the mix during the cooking process?
 

conradino23

Grow Journal of the Year: 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: Sept 2017
Yes, every week or so!
 

COorganics

Member of the Month: Nov 2014
Cool, thanks conradino.

I just got off the phone with a friend who's opinion I hold in high regard. He has been using dirt from the outdoors with mixed results. He told me the mix really needs some composted Forest floor material. I was telling him what I am looking for in the dirt and how I was worried about soil compaction with the mix as is. I need chunky, half decomposed wood, and a bunch of it.
The composted manure and mushroom composts I added are gonna break down really fast and won't cut it.
 

conradino23

Grow Journal of the Year: 2017 - Grow Journal of the Month: Sept 2017
Good homemade mix needs compost. That's what I've been trying to tell you. To make you soil more loose you need to add dry leaves, flower petals, grass clippings and other stuff high in carbon. These will go slowly, but not too slowly.

All these plants have been grown in my own mix containing 60-70% of garden organic compost, and you can see the results.

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COorganics

Member of the Month: Nov 2014
I went ahead and gathered a 20 gal container of decomposing aspen wood and some leaves. Mixed in with my soil and turned it.
Cooking away.
 
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