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Starting Organic No Till: Looking for some input

Nunyabiz

Well-Known Member
Ahhh, gotcha, I thought the soil you had delivered was basically ready to go but just needed a bit more aeration.
So you're adding a bit more amendments and some aeration, enough amendments to where it may need to cook on down some.

Thing about larger piles is they heat up way more and faster.
Its a good sign that the soil delivered was getting hot.
I assume you don't know what the nutrient profile is on this soil as is?
Main thing you need is balance.
 

bobrown14

Grow Journal of the Month: Dec 2017 - Photo of the Month: May 2020
Yes on the long term health of you soil.

You need to add aeration dont forget that. Also the peat moss part is crucial too.

If you dont do the 1/3 1/3 1/3 deal your ratios will be off. You definitely should add peat moss. Its acidic and the coots mix is designed to buffer that acidity. Its kinda crucial.

Be like baking a cake and forgetting the butter ... or trying to surf with no wax on your board!

The soil you got delivered sounds pretty fresh. It likely will need to cook some more. Thermometer into the pile when its down under 110F then you're almost done. The high temps will cook roots.

It's ok that you mixed in coots mix - you still need to add a bale of peat moss or maybe a bale and 1/2 -

It's equal parts humus (soil mix) / Peat-moss / aeration
 

SurfWeed

Member
Man I’m so glad you guys are chiming in. I mixed on a tarp and shoveled everything into a 2x 4 fabric bed this morning (Including extra black cinders and rice hulls for aeration, amendment mix, and malted barley powder), covered with a tarp.

I have no idea about the nutrient makeup of the current soil but I’m gonna dump it back out on the tarp tomorrow and mix in some peat moss. He told me it was 40%topsoil/40%compost/20%black cinders. So I mixed in extra aeration to balance it to a roughly 33%%topsoil/33%compost/33%aeration. have to sit n do some math as far as ratios go, but I think I’ll be pretty close to 33% of each. The bed is full, and is supposed to hold 90 gallons of soil. And holy shit, 90 gallons of soil looks like so much more when it’s on a tarp. I figured the ‘topsoil’ in the mix would serve the same function as peat moss, but I’ve never even opened a bale of peat moss before, so know nothing of the consistency, and didn’t consider the difference in acidity vs my mystery topsoil which is kind of clay ish. So there’s probably no way to know without actually testing the ph, but would you think the soil in my bed is probably alkaline without the peat?

So I should have total 30 gallons of peat moss in my fabric bed, along with 60 gallons of what I already have mixed. And some extra lava rock/rice hull aeration mixed in with my current soil mix to balance it to a 1:1:1 ratio. I know rice hulls will break down so I will go forward sparingly with the rice hulls and use mostly lava rock . I have enough coots Mix left to amend 10.5cu ft worth of soil so I’m gonna use a 3rd of what I have left to mix in with the new pile. Any already mixed soil I have left will be used in a bed of bell peppers . Really getting a good workout with the shovel this week. And I have no problem playing with soil all day !! I’d rather be shoveling dirt than working at the hotel honestly hahah . I will buy a compost thermometer and soil ph test kit moving forward. You guys rock.
 

bobrown14

Grow Journal of the Month: Dec 2017 - Photo of the Month: May 2020
I wouldn't worry much about what the makeup of the soil is. After you mix in your peat moss you can send a soil sample off to your county extension service soil sample lab.

Here's a link to your local soil testing in HI.

good read - I get my soil tested annually.

East Hawaii Master Gardener Program
 

SurfWeed

Member
I wouldn't worry much about what the makeup of the soil is. After you mix in your peat moss you can send a soil sample off to your county extension service soil sample lab.

Here's a link to your local soil testing in HI.

good read - I get my soil tested annually.

East Hawaii Master Gardener Program
thanks for that. ill have to read through for a maui location or way to send the sample in the mail. i re mixed all my soil with peat moss and some more lava rocks. its in the garden bed now, and mycelium is forming on the top in a few spots already. seems fungus gnats and ants are crawling about .. the ants are mostly outside the bed looking for cover from the sun..concerning dont think its a huge issue right now.
 

bobrown14

Grow Journal of the Month: Dec 2017 - Photo of the Month: May 2020
The soil will grow all sorts of stuff. Get some weed in there. That grows best!!

Dont worry about insects - its all about balance. Good and bad its a constant battle. If everything in balance they balance out as well. living soil.... rocks
 

SurfWeed

Member
Well shit. My cover crop came up and I notice my soil was drying out really quickly . So I threw some straw on it to help retain moisture. Fucken barley straw I got from the farm store had seeds in it, and just read they use SENCOR on the land before the growing season, and insecticide called lorsban or mustang Max’s “some years”. . Gonna pull the sprouted barley and move as much of the straw as I can into the compost bin. Got some seeds started in solo cups. Hope these chemicals get absorbed by the cover crop by the time my seeds are ready to transplant. Still I doubt they’ll have much effect on the finished flowers.. I only threw the straw on a few days ago. Not extremely worried but still kicking myself for this.. also the seeds I started in freshly mixed coot soil seem to be burned. Or overwatered. This is all a learning experience still so I’m taking everything in stride. Good thing I got lots of seeds :p gonna mix peat and ewc for starting seeds instead. I figured I’d try to start them in the same soil they’d be living in later but this was wrong I think. Not to mention I have some pretty big chunks of lava rock in my bed that I wish I’d broken up more.. we’ll see!!
 
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Reave

Well-Known Member
Any pictures? I’m having trouble finding barley straw at the moment. Should be lots soon though. I just hit mine with some RO water to keep the top moist. Might look into some automation drip hoses of some kind.

I’m really digging the coots mix so far. We shall see how flower goes but veg was awesome. My plants are not even two months old and they are huge.
 

Nunyabiz

Well-Known Member
Any pictures? I’m having trouble finding barley straw at the moment. Should be lots soon though. I just hit mine with some RO water to keep the top moist. Might look into some automation drip hoses of some kind.

I’m really digging the coots mix so far. We shall see how flower goes but veg was awesome. My plants are not even two months old and they are huge.
BuildASoil has barley straw if you're in the US
 

bobrown14

Grow Journal of the Month: Dec 2017 - Photo of the Month: May 2020
Any pictures? I’m having trouble finding barley straw at the moment. Should be lots soon though. I just hit mine with some RO water to keep the top moist. Might look into some automation drip hoses of some kind.

I’m really digging the coots mix so far. We shall see how flower goes but veg was awesome. My plants are not even two months old and they are huge.
Gotta watch the VEG time - you'll have trees!
 
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