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What dry amendments to use for autoflower soil

Slowpuffer

Well-Known Member
I bought 30 lbs. of wiggle worms today. And emilya, when i broke up the 10 gal bags, that last plants grew in, my root balls were even smaller than I expected. Lol !! No roots at edges of bags, none !! And very few at the bottoms. I think I'm going back to regular plastic nursery pots, for the organic grow. I'm amazed at how small the root balls actually were. I can see why yield was less. With your help, I'm ready to try again. Do you think 30 lbs of worm casting is too much for 40 gal. soil, I was going to mix in 20 lbs. and have some left for teas. 4 lbs. fish bone meal, 4 lbs 5-2-4 Stonington blend organic nutrients, which is lobster compost, kelp & worm castings. Actually, just looking at the size of those roots, tells me that very little of the original organic material was used the 1st. time around. My tap water (135ppm) has been sitting out for days. And that's my next question, how much water do I add, and how do I know it's enough. And do I ph, my tap is about 7.8-8.1. If need be, i'll go buy some water , but money is short at present. I 'm thinking water it, while it's still on the tarp, then mix it more, before putting it into 3 18 gal plastic tubs. then I was going to warm the tubs up with an elec. space heater, hitting them from the sides? Do tubs need to be sealed or vented? I'm a little unsure about how wet to make it ?
cheap on the Zon...I bought a dual outlet with stones and tubing for under 50 Cdn. as I recall...I put the pump in an empty bucket, throw the lid on and run 1 or 2 hoses to my tea bucket/s...hardly know it's there...cheerz...h00k...:rollit::48:...
Great idea on the bucket. now i'm thinking a cooler. Lol !! Thanks hook !!
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020, Aug 2021
I bought 30 lbs. of wiggle worms today. And emilya, when i broke up the 10 gal bags, that last plants grew in, my root balls were even smaller than I expected. Lol !! No roots at edges of bags, none !! And very few at the bottoms. I think I'm going back to regular plastic nursery pots, for the organic grow. I'm amazed at how small the root balls actually were. I can see why yield was less. With your help, I'm ready to try again. Do you think 30 lbs of worm casting is too much for 40 gal. soil, I was going to mix in 20 lbs. and have some left for teas. 4 lbs. fish bone meal, 4 lbs 5-2-4 Stonington blend organic nutrients, which is lobster compost, kelp & worm castings. Actually, just looking at the size of those roots, tells me that very little of the original organic material was used the 1st. time around. My tap water (135ppm) has been sitting out for days. And that's my next question, how much water do I add, and how do I know it's enough. And do I ph, my tap is about 7.8-8.1. If need be, i'll go buy some water , but money is short at present. I 'm thinking water it, while it's still on the tarp, then mix it more, before putting it into 3 18 gal plastic tubs. then I was going to warm the tubs up with an elec. space heater, hitting them from the sides? Do tubs need to be sealed or vented? I'm a little unsure about how wet to make it ?

Great idea on the bucket. now i'm thinking a cooler. Lol !! Thanks hook !!
The problem with EWC is that you need to have very good aeration in the zone that they are in, and adding too much of a proportion of them can really bind up the flowthrough abilities in that region. Also, keep in mind that the very nature of EWC means that they will quickly break down, and this is going to cause voids in your rootball if you have to large a percentage in there.
I like the idea of enticing the roots to grow into the various areas in my container. To do so, I create a thin layer of blood meal followed by a layer of composted steer manure. On top of that, I put the supersoil, and after putting the old rootball in, I then build up a layer of regular soil for the middle roots to have an easy go of things, and on top of that I mix up 50/50 regular soil and EWC. I put a layer of blood meal on top and the dress it with bark mulch. This creates zones and layers that the roots can find and specialize in those areas for those available nutrients. The EWC layer on top allows the microbes and nutrients to fall down into the rest of the container. Layers rock, and it gives the roots a reason to expand out to find them.
As far as watering goes, please read my piece on how to properly water... it will help explain how much and how often. I do not recommend the large tubs... you can not control the wet/dry cycle without controlling the size of the container.
 

Slowpuffer

Well-Known Member
The problem with EWC is that you need to have very good aeration in the zone that they are in, and adding too much of a proportion of them can really bind up the flowthrough abilities in that region. Also, keep in mind that the very nature of EWC means that they will quickly break down, and this is going to cause voids in your rootball if you have to large a percentage in there.
I like the idea of enticing the roots to grow into the various areas in my container. To do so, I create a thin layer of blood meal followed by a layer of composted steer manure. On top of that, I put the supersoil, and after putting the old rootball in, I then build up a layer of regular soil for the middle roots to have an easy go of things, and on top of that I mix up 50/50 regular soil and EWC. I put a layer of blood meal on top and the dress it with bark mulch. This creates zones and layers that the roots can find and specialize in those areas for those available nutrients. The EWC layer on top allows the microbes and nutrients to fall down into the rest of the container. Layers rock, and it gives the roots a reason to expand out to find them.
As far as watering goes, please read my piece on how to properly water... it will help explain how much and how often. I do not recommend the large tubs... you can not control the wet/dry cycle without controlling the size of the container.
I guess I'm not very god at communicating my thoughts. I'm not growing in the 18 gal. tubs, I'm cooking my soil in them. I will be using 10 gal pots or bags, haven't decided yet? But for now, I just want to get this mixed up and put into the 18 gal. tubs. I'm unsure about how much worm casting to use for 40 gal. of once used soil. I got 30 lbs. of castings.
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020, Aug 2021
I would say that you could use as much as you want, up to about 25 lbs of it, and you would be pretty close to subcool's recipe.
 

Slowpuffer

Well-Known Member
I would say that you could use as much as you want, up to about 25 lbs of it, and you would be pretty close to subcool's recipe.
OK, thanks Emilya !! I will do the 25 lbs. and 4 lbs 5-2 -4 organic nutrients & 4 lbs. fish bone meal.After i got in the 18 gal tubs, do they need venting, as one of them has a hole, that I can seal with duct tape, if needed ?? I'm buying one bag of new Coast of Maine, and will transplant from one gal. of coco, to two gal of the organic soil. My clones are in pure coco at this time. Don't know how they will react to the organic way of plant life, after being fed once, sometimes twice a day. They're about 1 month old. otherwise, I got more clones growing in organic soil, but only about two weeks old. I'd really like to use the larger clones, if if possible?? Hope your garden is green ??
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020, Aug 2021
OK, thanks Emilya !! I will do the 25 lbs. and 4 lbs 5-2 -4 organic nutrients & 4 lbs. fish bone meal.After i got in the 18 gal tubs, do they need venting, as one of them has a hole, that I can seal with duct tape, if needed ?? I'm buying one bag of new Coast of Maine, and will transplant from one gal. of coco, to two gal of the organic soil. My clones are in pure coco at this time. Don't know how they will react to the organic way of plant life, after being fed once, sometimes twice a day. They're about 1 month old. otherwise, I got more clones growing in organic soil, but only about two weeks old. I'd really like to use the larger clones, if if possible?? Hope your garden is green ??
Sounds like a good plan and I am sure they will be able to handle it. My garden is going well, stop in and see! I am just flipping to flower now.
 

Bio420Grow

New Member
Hey all I’m new here first time ever posting on any forum, so bare with plz! I am trying my hand in autos (fem) like many others I have been inspired by YT growers. However, I am in the US so I can’t get GG without paying absurd shipping. I was thinking of DOwn to earth/earth dust or Dr. Earths dry amendments for top dressing. My goal is to build a sustained organic living soil during my current run for next go around but for the time being any recommendations on what I can use to top dressing and use to build my soil. My medium is FF OCEAN Forest mixed with Happy frog , perlite and EWC. Any help would be much appreciated I am on day 11 so I have about a week to pull the trigger on Amendments.
 

dr.h00k

Member of the Month: July 2017, October 2019 - Nug of the Month: Nov 2017, Dec 2018 - Creme de la Creme Photos: Nov 2016
...off the top of my head...
mychorizae
bone meal
blood meal
gypsom
ground oyster shell
rock phosphate
glacial rock dust
ground malted barley
insect frass
guano
fish meal
green sand

...your mix of FFOF HF and EWC is already a pretty good mix, so you wouldn't necessarily need tons of amendments...the list above is ingredients I use when building my soil, using ProMixHP and EWC as a base and then "cooked" for a month or more...I find it prudent to start seedlings in something simple like a mixture of ProMix and EWC before up potting to cooked soil...cheerz... :high-five: ...h00k...:hookah:
 

Bio420Grow

New Member
Thanks for the quick reply. So I started in the finishing pot since they are Autos! I plan on doing SubCools soil that everyone raves about. But in the time being I’m trying to figure out if I should get a bloom blend from Dr. Earths or Down to Earth, or something else. Has anyone used either? If so what was your experience? I’m going to cook soil during this already established grow. Any suggestions will be much appreciated!
Thanks
 

Thegoodstuff

New Member
Evening Swagy, and thanks for the shout in @fanleaf!
So it sounds like you would like to build a good organic soil. If I lived in Canada and had to put up with the inability to order so many of the commonly used products down here in the USA cannabis world, I am sure that I would try to get away from all of that nonsense and would go full living soil organic. In this way you would not need all those commercial nutrients, would have no need to worry yourself with pH issues, and you would end up with a strong soil that you could use over and over and over again.
You have a start with the materials you have on hand now, but several more things are needed to create a soil that has all of the elements in it that our plants need, and they are hungry and needy plants indeed. Building a partial organic soil that does not have all of the needed nutrients in it is just asking for trouble down the road, so it pays to take some care in the beginning to do it right.
So if you are committed to this, I am reasonably sure that even in Canada you can order the raw materials needed, but it is going to take about $100 for materials and two months or so to get your soil built and then "cooked" so as to be able to support a grow all the way through. Once you have this done, and with some of your raw materials left over from the soil build, all you will need is some non chlorinated water to make your garden happen. You will also want to invest in a good air pump so as to be able to make actively aerated compost teas out of your raw materials, and this $35 investment in a 570gph pump will allow you to build the microlife that makes all of this magic happen in your containers.
Once you get all of this going with your initial investment of time and a little money up front, your cost of operation will plummet. Typically I spend less than $50 on raw materials needed for the next grow, and now that I grow with LED lights, even my cost of electricity has been reduced to the point that I don't think I am even paying $10/oz for the pot I produce these days. TLO is the way to go.
You can also make a lot of the supplements at home that you will need in your cannabis grow. If you check out my links I show how you can make a calmagphos+ product out of eggshells, molasses and apple cider vinegar that will blow the socks off of any commercial product out there. I can show you how to turn backyard dandelions into one of the best natural fertilizers in existence, and very appropriate for growing cannabis, since both weeds are what are considered to be "super accumulators."
Another great thing about living organic soil is that there is no waste. All of your plant debris, discarded leaves, trim from the harvests, old rootballs... all of this is added back into your soil so that nothing is lost and nothing is wasted, nothing is thrown away. Lastly, there is the quality of the pot that you will produce that convinces most people who try TLO, never to go back to growing with commercial nutes again. There is nothing like the taste and quality of a plant that all through its life had every single nutrient that it needed ready to be found in its soil or somewhere tucked away in a layer or spike in the container. I have gotten so picky these days that I can actually taste and identify a FoxFarm grow or a typical hydro grow as opposed to an organically grown product.
So if you really want to make this jump and really build a quality truly organic living soil, I would be happy to be your guide. I can recommend a good book to get you started and I can point you to recipes to build a super soil that you can start building your containers with. TLO is more hands on than just buying a bottle of commercial nutrients, adjusting pH and applying it to your plants, but the rewards definitely are worth the extra effort. It is one thing to be organic, but a totally different thing to be Living Organic.
Or, you can make a similar and long term commitment to one of the nutrient companies and build a soil or soiless medium that can support their carefully designed system, such as the suggested promix, earthworm castings and dolomite. These expensive nutrient systems work well too, but you will be constantly buying nutrients and amendments and new soil and you will not ever be able to experience the true and complete flavors and quality of the pot that you grow. It is much easier to do it this way, and that is how these commercial companies suck people in, but it is way more expensive over the long run to get in bed with them, and I don't think it is as much fun.
So, it is up to you. If you follow the path I am traveling on, it will be a month or two before you are ready to plant a seed, but from then on you will be independent and free to grow some of the best pot in the world.
Are you in?
Hey I'm new to growing completely and I know it seems like alot for a new grower to take on but this is the exact route I want to take I don't care about making mistakes at the start but definatly want to learn this from the beginning of my journey. Would you be able to send instructions to make the living soil my plants will need for there whole life cycle. Would be much appreciated
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020, Aug 2021
Hey I'm new to growing completely and I know it seems like alot for a new grower to take on but this is the exact route I want to take I don't care about making mistakes at the start but definatly want to learn this from the beginning of my journey. Would you be able to send instructions to make the living soil my plants will need for there whole life cycle. Would be much appreciated
Look up Subcool and his recipe... that is the one I like. Read his original articles and learn how he suggests using his supersoil. Or, go with a self sustaining living organic soil in a large 15 gallon or larger container and learn all about how to keep the soil alive and in the proper balance. It is not as easy as just mixing up something and then growing in it... if it was, everyone would do it.
 

Thegoodstuff

New Member
Look up Subcool and his recipe... that is the one I like. Read his original articles and learn how he suggests using his supersoil. Or, go with a self sustaining living organic soil in a large 15 gallon or larger container and learn all about how to keep the soil alive and in the proper balance. It is not as easy as just mixing up something and then growing in it... if it was, everyone would do it.
Yh I've been reading on subcools recipe alot of people have tweaked it I've seen but from what I've been researching it definatly seems like a good start. The part I'm not sure about is what starting soil would be best to use. It's definitely the route I want to go even with the extra work at the begging. From what I've read the rewards reap themselves
 

Emilya

Member of the Month: Mar 2019 - Grow Journal of the Month: Jan 2020, Aug 2021
Yh I've been reading on subcools recipe alot of people have tweaked it I've seen but from what I've been researching it definatly seems like a good start. The part I'm not sure about is what starting soil would be best to use. It's definitely the route I want to go even with the extra work at the begging. From what I've read the rewards reap themselves
I used a mixture of Fox Farm Ocean Forest and Roots Organic 101. Either of these fine soils would be a good base for the SC Supersoil. I also found that after buying the ingredients for making a 1/4 batch, that after making the first batch, other than additional soil, I still had plenty of the raw inputs to be able to make a second batch if I wanted to. I ended up using that soil for 6 years, over and over again with some cooking time in between as I added back all my plant debris to compost back down into the mix. For all those years I stopped throwing good soil away and got some great grows out of that super soil project.
 
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