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Making your own soil-less mix aka Faux Mix

farside05

Plant of the Month: Dec 2018, June 2019
Making my own soil-less mix (aka Faux-Mix)

Not everyone has access to Pro-Mix, but most towns have a Home Depot nearby. Here's my attempt at making a Pro-Mix HP copy.

First lets start with the ingredients:
1 - 3 cubic foot bale of Peat Moss
1 - 2 cubic foot bag of Perlite
1 - 6.75 pound bag of Espoma Garden Lime


I'm making 20 gallons worth of soil-less mix. The kind folks at Premier Tech Horticulture tell us that Pro-Mix HP is 65-75% Peat Moss, the rest is Perlite. I'll measure out three 5 gallon containers of Peat Moss and one heaping 5 gallon container of Perlite. That will give me approximately a 70/30 mix of Peat Moss to Perlite. I compact it with my hand as I fill each 5 gallon grow bag. I want to make sure I have enough to fill each pot after it gets wet and settles.


Next I'll hydrate the Peat with some water. Peat can be hydrophobic (repels water) when its moisture content drops below 30%. Mine was real dry so it took plenty of wetting and hand mixing to get it all wet. In hindsight, it would probably be easiest to do wet and mix in stages, like every 5 gallons of Peat added.


Now its all moist. Hehe, I love using the word moist and how it sets some people off.


Now its time to add the perlite. Here's the heaping 5 gallons of Perlite.


I pour the Perlite over the 15 gallons of moist Peat and mix it in by hand.


Time for Lime. Researching plenty of .edu (University websites) on how much Lime to add to a soil-less, Peat based mix, I find a consensus of 2 tablespoons for every gallon of soil you desire to make. I am making 20 gallons, so that's 40 Tablespoons or 2 1/2 cups worth of Lime.


I sprinkle in half the Lime and hand mix it all in. I wore gloves at this point since Lime can be rough on exposed skin. After it was sufficiently mixed, I repeated the process.


At this point I filled my 4 grow bags. I had a little left over, which is better than being short. I ran about 3 gallons of water through each with the garden hose to make sure it was all good and wet and to get the lime working. The fine folks at Premier Tech Horticulture also tell us on their website that it takes Pro-Mix about 3 days of being wet for the Lime in it to stabilize the pH of the media. So I'll let it sit for a couple days before using. My seeds haven't sprouted out of the Jiffy plugs yet so that's just fine. It took me about an hour and a half to do. Cost was about $38 for the materials. There should be enough Peat Moss for 2 batches, Perlite for 3, and the Lime will go a long way (guessing 5 or so).
 
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fanleaf

Well-Known Member
Making my own soil-less mix (aka Faux-Mix)

Not everyone has access to Pro-Mix, but most towns have a Home Depot nearby. Here's my attempt at making a Pro-Mix HP copy.

First lets start with the ingredients:
1 - 3 cubic foot bale of Peat Moss
1 - 2 cubic foot bag of Perlite
1 - 6.75 pound bag of Espoma Garden Lime


I'm making 20 gallons worth of soil-less mix. The kind folks at Premier Tech Horticulture tell us that Pro-Mix HP is 65-75% Peat Moss, the rest is Perlite. I'll measure out three 5 gallon containers of Peat Moss and one heaping 5 gallon container of Perlite. That will give me approximately a 70/30 mix of Peat Moss to Perlite. I compact it with my hand as I fill each 5 gallon grow bag. I want to make sure I have enough to fill each pot after it gets wet and settles.


Next I'll hydrate the Peat with some water. Peat can be hydrophobic (repels water) when its moisture content drops below 30%. Mine was real dry so it took plenty of wetting and hand mixing to get it all wet. In hindsight, it would probably be easiest to do wet and mix in stages, like every 5 gallons of Peat added.


Now its all moist. Hehe, I love using the word moist and how it sets some people off.


Now its time to add the perlite. Here's the heaping 5 gallons of Perlite.


I pour the Perlite over the 15 gallons of moist Peat and mix it in by hand.


Time for Lime. Researching plenty of .edu (University websites) on how much Lime to add to a soil-less, Peat based mix, I find a consensus of 2 tablespoons for every gallon of soil you desire to make. I am making 20 gallons, so that's 40 Tablespoons or 2 1/2 cups worth of Lime.


I sprinkle in half the Lime and hand mix it all in. I wore gloves at this point since Lime can be rough on exposed skin. After it was sufficiently mixed, I repeated the process.


At this point I filled my 4 grow bags. I had a little left over, which is better than being short. I ran about 3 gallons of water through each with the garden hose to make sure it was all good and wet and to get the lime working. The fine folks at Premier Tech Horticulture also tell us on their website that it takes Pro-Mix about 3 days of being wet for the Lime in it to stabilize the pH of the media. So I'll let it sit for a couple days before using. My seeds haven't sprouted out of the Jiffy plugs yet so that's just fine. It took me about an hour and a half to do. Cost was about $38 for the materials. There should be enough Peat Moss for 2 batches, Perlite for 3, and the Lime will go a long way (guessing 5 or so).
I think how long the lime takes to stabilize the pH is going to significantly depend on what type of lime it is. I mean, powdered, fast-acting Etc. I know in some soil mixes it will take close to a month depending on the lime used. I know yours is soilless but I still think the type of lime will be important. This is awesome though!
 

farside05

Plant of the Month: Dec 2018, June 2019
I think how long the lime takes to stabilize the pH is going to significantly depend on what type of lime it is. I mean, powdered, fast-acting Etc. I know in some soil mixes it will take close to a month depending on the lime used. I know yours is soilless but I still think the type of lime will be important. This is awesome though!
Pelletized Dolomite Lime was recommended, which is faster acting.
 

fanleaf

Well-Known Member
Pelletized Dolomite Lime was recommended, which is faster acting.
Gotcha, I know powdered that is labeled "fast acting" is faster than pelletized but won't last as long as either. They probably recommend the pelletized so it starts working fairly quickly but last quite a bit longer throughout the grow. I'll be interested to see how things go.
 

bobrown14

Grow Journal of the Month: Dec 2017
Dolomite Lime Ca:Mg ratio is not optimal.

I'm going to assume your nutrient mix will accommodate with more Ca ??

Try adding the dolomite pellets to a jar of water - you should see something interesting when you give it a shake.

What industry uses pellets of dolomite lime? Just thinking out loud here.
 

Blazinjones

Well-Known Member
Making my own soil-less mix (aka Faux-Mix)

Not everyone has access to Pro-Mix, but most towns have a Home Depot nearby. Here's my attempt at making a Pro-Mix HP copy.

First lets start with the ingredients:
1 - 3 cubic foot bale of Peat Moss
1 - 2 cubic foot bag of Perlite
1 - 6.75 pound bag of Espoma Garden Lime


I'm making 20 gallons worth of soil-less mix. The kind folks at Premier Tech Horticulture tell us that Pro-Mix HP is 65-75% Peat Moss, the rest is Perlite. I'll measure out three 5 gallon containers of Peat Moss and one heaping 5 gallon container of Perlite. That will give me approximately a 70/30 mix of Peat Moss to Perlite. I compact it with my hand as I fill each 5 gallon grow bag. I want to make sure I have enough to fill each pot after it gets wet and settles.


Next I'll hydrate the Peat with some water. Peat can be hydrophobic (repels water) when its moisture content drops below 30%. Mine was real dry so it took plenty of wetting and hand mixing to get it all wet. In hindsight, it would probably be easiest to do wet and mix in stages, like every 5 gallons of Peat added.


Now its all moist. Hehe, I love using the word moist and how it sets some people off.


Now its time to add the perlite. Here's the heaping 5 gallons of Perlite.


I pour the Perlite over the 15 gallons of moist Peat and mix it in by hand.


Time for Lime. Researching plenty of .edu (University websites) on how much Lime to add to a soil-less, Peat based mix, I find a consensus of 2 tablespoons for every gallon of soil you desire to make. I am making 20 gallons, so that's 40 Tablespoons or 2 1/2 cups worth of Lime.


I sprinkle in half the Lime and hand mix it all in. I wore gloves at this point since Lime can be rough on exposed skin. After it was sufficiently mixed, I repeated the process.


At this point I filled my 4 grow bags. I had a little left over, which is better than being short. I ran about 3 gallons of water through each with the garden hose to make sure it was all good and wet and to get the lime working. The fine folks at Premier Tech Horticulture also tell us on their website that it takes Pro-Mix about 3 days of being wet for the Lime in it to stabilize the pH of the media. So I'll let it sit for a couple days before using. My seeds haven't sprouted out of the Jiffy plugs yet so that's just fine. It took me about an hour and a half to do. Cost was about $38 for the materials. There should be enough Peat Moss for 2 batches, Perlite for 3, and the Lime will go a long way (guessing 5 or so).
Dam dude that looks nice I wonder how much the difference in cost would be from ur mix to an actual bale of promix. I jus got a bale of PM hpcc N it was like 50 to 60 bux usd give or take a few but yea it's a 3.8 cu bale about how much would it cost u to make a bale that size or make enough to get the same amount of soil. Now it does say its compressed so idk if tht means
U actually get more wen u open it up an it expands or not but yea it would be interesting to see one how good ur mix works an two how much it would cost compared to the name brand. But yea sweet soilless medium u got there bro hope it works for ya.
 

Blazinjones

Well-Known Member
Making my own soil-less mix (aka Faux-Mix)

Not everyone has access to Pro-Mix, but most towns have a Home Depot nearby. Here's my attempt at making a Pro-Mix HP copy.

First lets start with the ingredients:
1 - 3 cubic foot bale of Peat Moss
1 - 2 cubic foot bag of Perlite
1 - 6.75 pound bag of Espoma Garden Lime


I'm making 20 gallons worth of soil-less mix. The kind folks at Premier Tech Horticulture tell us that Pro-Mix HP is 65-75% Peat Moss, the rest is Perlite. I'll measure out three 5 gallon containers of Peat Moss and one heaping 5 gallon container of Perlite. That will give me approximately a 70/30 mix of Peat Moss to Perlite. I compact it with my hand as I fill each 5 gallon grow bag. I want to make sure I have enough to fill each pot after it gets wet and settles.


Next I'll hydrate the Peat with some water. Peat can be hydrophobic (repels water) when its moisture content drops below 30%. Mine was real dry so it took plenty of wetting and hand mixing to get it all wet. In hindsight, it would probably be easiest to do wet and mix in stages, like every 5 gallons of Peat added.


Now its all moist. Hehe, I love using the word moist and how it sets some people off.


Now its time to add the perlite. Here's the heaping 5 gallons of Perlite.


I pour the Perlite over the 15 gallons of moist Peat and mix it in by hand.


Time for Lime. Researching plenty of .edu (University websites) on how much Lime to add to a soil-less, Peat based mix, I find a consensus of 2 tablespoons for every gallon of soil you desire to make. I am making 20 gallons, so that's 40 Tablespoons or 2 1/2 cups worth of Lime.


I sprinkle in half the Lime and hand mix it all in. I wore gloves at this point since Lime can be rough on exposed skin. After it was sufficiently mixed, I repeated the process.


At this point I filled my 4 grow bags. I had a little left over, which is better than being short. I ran about 3 gallons of water through each with the garden hose to make sure it was all good and wet and to get the lime working. The fine folks at Premier Tech Horticulture also tell us on their website that it takes Pro-Mix about 3 days of being wet for the Lime in it to stabilize the pH of the media. So I'll let it sit for a couple days before using. My seeds haven't sprouted out of the Jiffy plugs yet so that's just fine. It took me about an hour and a half to do. Cost was about $38 for the materials. There should be enough Peat Moss for 2 batches, Perlite for 3, and the Lime will go a long way (guessing 5 or so).
Lmao dude in that last pic is that all perlite In ur yard hahaha. An here I thought I was the only one who had a perlite yard lmao. Last year b4 I switched fully to docs HB kit and dyna grow nutes I was running ph perfect conniseur nutes from A.N. and I was doing hempy style grows. Well like with everything I do I always have to push things far and as big as I can lmao so I quickly got to 5 an 7.5 gallon buckets that i used for hempy growing an I jus used all perlite nuthn else. So every harvest I would reuse my perlite I noticed I got about 2 to 3grows out of the perlite b4 it was all dust and would be a paste in the bottom of the bucket. But shit my yard was all white after the snow melted every there was one part of the yard where my gma thought it stayed there an never melted an here it was my perlite it jus sifted to the ground wen the snow melted hahaha. I thought it was hilarious but then I got nervous thinking it looked weird why all of a sudden there was a ton of perlite in little patches all over the yard lol. So I started doing my organic veggie garden upfront to cover my tracks and give a decent alibi as to why it was all over the place. But once I did that it really got everywhere cause now I was purposely putting it in my veggie garden an then it was in the lawn from reusing it for hempy grows lol. But yea man I'm very I terested in seeing if ur faux mix or whatever it's called would be cheaper then buying a bale cause then I would start doing this lol. I usually use sunshine mix#4 but that's a 3.0 bale which ends up almost 50 gallons and this PM HPcc is a 3.8 bale so itll be alil gallons then the #4mix.
 

farside05

Plant of the Month: Dec 2018, June 2019
Dam dude that looks nice I wonder how much the difference in cost would be from ur mix to an actual bale of promix. I jus got a bale of PM hpcc N it was like 50 to 60 bux usd give or take a few but yea it's a 3.8 cu bale about how much would it cost u to make a bale that size or make enough to get the same amount of soil. Now it does say its compressed so idk if tht means
U actually get more wen u open it up an it expands or not but yea it would be interesting to see one how good ur mix works an two how much it would cost compared to the name brand. But yea sweet soilless medium u got there bro hope it works for ya.
I spent $38 for the ingredients and it makes as much as the 3.8 cubic foot compressed bale. Plus there's still left over perlite and lime for future batches if you buy more peat. If you bought 3 bales of peat, 2 bags of perlite, a bag of lime, you can make the equivalent of three 3.8 bales of Pro-Mix for $84, or $28 per bale.
 
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farside05

Plant of the Month: Dec 2018, June 2019
Lmao dude in that last pic is that all perlite In ur yard hahaha. An here I thought I was the only one who had a perlite yard lmao. Last year b4 I switched fully to docs HB kit and dyna grow nutes I was running ph perfect conniseur nutes from A.N. and I was doing hempy style grows. Well like with everything I do I always have to push things far and as big as I can lmao so I quickly got to 5 an 7.5 gallon buckets that i used for hempy growing an I jus used all perlite nuthn else. So every harvest I would reuse my perlite I noticed I got about 2 to 3grows out of the perlite b4 it was all dust and would be a paste in the bottom of the bucket. But shit my yard was all white after the snow melted every there was one part of the yard where my gma thought it stayed there an never melted an here it was my perlite it jus sifted to the ground wen the snow melted hahaha. I thought it was hilarious but then I got nervous thinking it looked weird why all of a sudden there was a ton of perlite in little patches all over the yard lol. So I started doing my organic veggie garden upfront to cover my tracks and give a decent alibi as to why it was all over the place. But once I did that it really got everywhere cause now I was purposely putting it in my veggie garden an then it was in the lawn from reusing it for hempy grows lol. But yea man I'm very I terested in seeing if ur faux mix or whatever it's called would be cheaper then buying a bale cause then I would start doing this lol. I usually use sunshine mix#4 but that's a 3.0 bale which ends up almost 50 gallons and this PM HPcc is a 3.8 bale so itll be alil gallons then the #4mix.
No perlite in the yard, just bare spots from the kids parking their vehicles in the yard because we have more cars than driveway.
 

bobrown14

Grow Journal of the Month: Dec 2017
I spent $38 for the ingredients and it makes as much as the 3.8 cubic foot compressed bale. Plus there's still left over perlite and lime for future batches if you buy more peat. If you bought 3 bales of peat, 2 bags of perlite, a bag of lime, you can make the equivalent of three 3.8 bales of Pro-Mix for $84, or $28 per bale.
Thats a nice size pile. Get the rake out. lol

Get the kids to use their trucks like a plow.

Get em farming.


 

InTheShed

Member of the Year: 2018 - Member of the Month: Jan 2018, Nov 2018 - Grow Journal of the Month: Aug 2018 - Plant of the Month: Oct 2018

bobrown14

Grow Journal of the Month: Dec 2017
Here in the states we get that same bale the OP used in a 3 or 3.8 cu ft bale.

There's a smaller bale same size as your 2.2 cu ft bale here as well but not easy to find that size. Same with the ProMix - in the states its usually a 3.8 cu ft bale for $45ish US.

It's the same exact Peat moss as the pro-mix, all made and packaged by Premier Horticulture in Canada.

Same company that also produces Mykes brand Mycos.

I buy that 3.8 bale of Premier at Lowes for $10-12, mix it in with humus and peat moss water and let it sit with covered with a tarp. I pour in a bit of mycos when planting for direct contact with roots.
 

Skybound

Well-Known Member
I buy that 3.8 bale of Premier at Lowes for $10-12, mix it in with humus and peat moss water and let it sit with covered with a tarp. I pour in a bit of mycos when planting for direct contact with roots.
how much humus do you mix with a bale of peat?
 

farside05

Plant of the Month: Dec 2018, June 2019
How many cubic feet in a bale? I buy my ProMix HP (no mykos in yours?) in a 2.2 cubic foot package for $25.


Thanks for making this a separate thread farside! Just noticed it in your sig :p
The only Pro-Mix you can find around here (SE TN) is the BX in 3.8cf and its around $45.


The bale of peat I bought to make the Faux Mix was 3.0cf. Seems to be about the standard at the big box stores. By the time you add your perlite, you end up with as much product as the 3.8 bale of Pro-Mix.

For those that don't follow my grow thread, these were the resulting plants grown in the first batch of Faux Mix. 29.5 oz off of 3 autos including a POTM. I think I'll keep mixing my own.

 

Weaselcracker

Nug of the Year: 2016 - Member of the Month: Sept 2015, Nov 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2016 - Plant of the Month: May 2016

Lots of peat all around my house- only took me a few minutes to pick this up from the end of my driveway. I’ve been thinking for year about making my own sunshine mix as the prices are getting a little steep. Kind of stupid to be buying it from the store when it’s so plentiful here but it has been hard to get around to it for some reason. Thanks for paving the way :48:
 

Skybound

Well-Known Member

Lots of peat all around my house- only took me a few minutes to pick this up from the end of my driveway. I’ve been thinking for year about making my own sunshine mix as the prices are getting a little steep. Kind of stupid to be buying it from the store when it’s so plentiful here but it has been hard to get around to it for some reason. Thanks for paving the way :48:
Add a little sometin sometin to it and export it down to the lower 48.
 

Weaselcracker

Nug of the Year: 2016 - Member of the Month: Sept 2015, Nov 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2016 - Plant of the Month: May 2016
Ha ha. I think shipping is an issue. Actually they built a peat moss plant right near here in the 70s. Someone’s big ideas that didn’t go anywhere and now there’s just some concrete footings and busted machinery and stuff laying around under the moss and trees. It’s pretty interesting to see all the patterns in the bog where they strip mined it. I’m glad they stopped though cause it would be a godawful mess to have to look at.
 

farside05

Plant of the Month: Dec 2018, June 2019

Lots of peat all around my house- only took me a few minutes to pick this up from the end of my driveway. I’ve been thinking for year about making my own sunshine mix as the prices are getting a little steep. Kind of stupid to be buying it from the store when it’s so plentiful here but it has been hard to get around to it for some reason. Thanks for paving the way :48:
That cuts the cost even more. A little perlite and lime and you're all set. It probably nowhere near as dry as the bales at the big box stores, so hydrating it will probably be easy.
 

Weaselcracker

Nug of the Year: 2016 - Member of the Month: Sept 2015, Nov 2016 - Nug of the Month: Oct 2016 - Plant of the Month: May 2016
Ha ha ha. :laugh2: It’s so wet. That 30 gallons weighed about 150 pounds I think, I could barely drag it across my yard and the handles on both ends of the tote ripped apart trying! I piled it up out of the rain so it can dry out over time.
 
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