Without knowing what's in the mix you have and the mix properties the plants want that you want to grow you're really flying blind.
Haha, well, it is a 420 forum, and I am already pretty OT with this discussion, so I am trying not to get myself kicked off the forum by saying something like "Well, my ex-cop neighbor wants to bring me ten baby cocoa-puff plants, and I don't know how to make cocoa-puff plant soil, and I don't want any trouble. But one website recommended starting with 4 parts hydrangea mix, and then adding one part coco or other soil loosener, and one part Vermitculite (which I have not seen anywhere here). I only have some unknown 'tierra negra with rice hulls' mix, which they use for practically everything here. But they say that cocoa-puff typically plants like red soil with lots of iron and nitrogen."
So I agree I am flying blind here, just trying make sure I get enough volcano dust and iron into the soil, if I can, without having to compost (because my friend is supposed to be here this afternoon).
There are some good rules of thumb and general potting mix standard practices that will likely serve you well, at least generally, but dialing it in to maximize the plants' potential takes either more knowledge of what you have vs what you need, or lots of rounds of trial and error, documenting successes and failures to help adjust future rounds.
A good organic mix with sufficient aeration and some live worms tunneling around can go a long way to a generally good harvest even if it's not the absolute ideal. Most of the micronutrients are needed in very small, trace amounts so as long as they are present the plant should have what it needs.
Ok, I have never added live worms to pots. Would you add live worms to that unknown-soil+rice-hulls mix?
Most of the minerals we add to our mixes are very long lasting inputs which also take long periods of time to even start breaking down. That's one of the reason for letting an organic mix cook for a while (another being the initial heat that gets produced as the microbes begin their work).
Sí. One website suggested blood meal for the iron, but I don't have time to compost.
Back in the states I could get iron pellets (for the lawn), but I have not seen anything like that here.
If I have to I can order a small bag off of Amazon, but probably we can find iron pellets here.
So, amending them on some periodic basis, yearly in your case, is meant to supply another reserve of them that can replace the amount previously broken down and used. This is one reason why many organic soils get better with each subsequent round. Initially most of the mineral inputs are locked away in their rock form and not available to the plant, but over time the microbes release some of it and then more and more becomes available which allows for uptake from the plants. During the first round there is not much available but by reusing that soil, more is instantly available at the start of the next round than was at the start of the first.
So, most of whatever you add probably won't be used by the plants this round but you are really preparing for future rounds. Topdressing can help, but usually adding the booster into the mix for the next round is how its done unless you are doing a no-till approach.
Don't know but probably doesn't matter all that much as long as it's enough. Coot does 1/2 to 1 cup of many of his mineral inputs per 7 gallons of mix with the exception if basalt which is 4 times as much if I recall properly.
Ok, thank you for that! That is very helpful! I will check out his formula again.
I do seem to remember that he uses a lot of rock dust.
You can topdress to your hearts content with the worm castings. Just be sure to mulch over them to keep them from drying out. Or you can add some to your mix. They tend to be dense so be sure to add aeration along with the castings.
And, a good organic soil should provide most of what's needed. Some growers use epsom salts to add magnesium. I don't because I don't like to add salts to my soils, but there are ways to do it. I'd start with the mix as is and see if you even have to add additional inputs. The plants leaves will generally tell you if there is a problem.
Yeah, that's true, although cocoa-puff plants are usually a very light green color to start with. But you are right, they should show signs of any kind of deficiency.
Ok, so, that is very helpful that Coot adds a lot of rock dust! So it should be ok.
My thought at the moment is to start with 4 parts of this mix, and add maybe 1 part coco coir (to loosen the soil).
Then I need to review Coot, and mix in Coot-level quantities of rock dust and zeolyte, plus a little Leonardite / Humic Acid, and a little activated carbon. And maybe a little (3-4%) worm castings
Then I guess I will look for some iron pellets, unless there is an easier or cheaper source for iron.
@Farmer Reading suggested a soil test, and if this stuff is standard fare and you can get it for $10 a big gunny sack all day long, maybe it might be worth springing for a soil sample just to get an idea.
Or alternately, maybe it is not worth that, because maybe not all the suppliers or batches are anywhere close to uniform?
I need to see how much a soil analysis costs. If it is cheap, it might could be worth it.
Yeah, I thought @cbdhemp808 and some of the other cannabis experts could help me know how things go in the tropics.
@Emilya and @Jon and @bluter and some others were having a big discussion about pistils on one of Emmie's threads, and it did not seem like the place to clog up her thread with that, so I thought I would ask here. I am way too new to know. The only thing I can imagine is that we are just heading into summer, and maybe the autos sense the lengthening days, and the warmer weather, and decided this is not the Artcic Circle, and maybe part of the Photoperiod took over and said, "Hey! Wait a minute! We have more time!"????
Dunno. Plants doing what they want? Kind of reminds me of a Stephen King novel??? (Hahaha, oy!!!!)