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TheOneWhoKnocks started grow question 3 years ago
Advice from experienced growers on the nutes that worked best for you?
Week 3
Techniques. Defoliation
Mikeygrows answered grow question 3 years ago
Aloha 89, I'll try to explain some soil tips to you with out overwhelming you, hopefully it will get you closer to making a thriving soil for your plants.

Peat moss and Coconut coir provide similar benefits to your soil but are definitely different. Peat moss is a bit more acidic, provides some beneficial microbiology, has a CEC ( cation exchange capacity) of about 100-200, has great water holding capacity. It provides soil structure and is part of the bulk volume of your soil about 1/3. It is also a source for potassium and sulfur. Although its great stuff there is some down sides. You need to be careful watering if too wet it has a hard time drying, you dont want anaerobic conditions to form. If it becomes too dry it becomes hydrophobic and actually repels water, you have to water it in slow to get it back to normal. Also harvesting it from nature is not very environmental.

Coconut coir provides many of the same benefits as peat. I personally use 50%peat and 50% coco and this makes up (1/3) of my total volume of soil. Coco coir has great water holding capacity and increases your CEC. It doesn't have the same tendency to become hydrophobic. Coco is good to rinse before using just incase there is left over salts in it.

As far as nutrients go, I personally dont use any liquid stuff. Most of it is watered down form of something you can get in granular or powder form for much cheaper. Fish emulsion and fermented plant juice are kind of exceptions for me. When I mix my soil i try to provide most of my nutrients in a slow release form and some in a quick release for early stages of life.

Fish meal, bone meal, kelp meal, blood meal, humic acids, shrimp meal, crab meal, bat guano, potash. The more variety the better in my opinion. Also very important is to add some lime and rock dust to your soil. the rock dust and lime is critical to allow for your nutrients to become unlocked by micro organisms and provide you with your trace minerals. There are many sources for Calcium i like to use oyster shell powder. Oh and very very important mycohorrizal fungi!! Use this when you plant your seed and whenever you transplant, rub it on the roots and in the hole you place plant in. It must come in physical contact with the roots. I listed a lot of stuff variety is good, I am not saying to add ALOT of nutrients you dont want to burn plants and also too much causes things to become unavailable.

Here is a guide to make potting mix
This is a basic soil recipe:
To make 15 gallons of soil
(1/3) 5 gallons- compost/wormcastings
(1/3) 5 gallons- coco coir and or peat moss
(1/3) 5 gallons- aeration (perlite or popped glass)

This right here will be the bulk of your soil, now you need to add your nutrients
Some simple math 1 cubic foot = ~7.5 gallons---->15 gallons = 2 cubic feet
Add two cups per cubic foot of lime or calcium to your soil, for this example would be 4 cups

now in a 1:1 ratio mix your nutrients in a bucket EXAMPLE (fish meal, kelp meal, neam meal, crab meal)
You would mix 1 cup all of those nutrients in a bucket. After you mix them together, add ~1 cup of the mix per cubic foot to your soil. For this example you would add two cups of the mix into your soil.

Blend all of these ingredients together thoroughly on a tarp. Add water to it or even better compost tea as you are mixing. After finished mixing and getting it wet, your soil is almost complete. you should allow 3-4 weeks for your soil to "cook". This means letting the micro-organisms multiply and begin to break down the nutrients and organic matter. After 4 weeks there will be sufficient nutrients available for plants to immediately use. Once your plant is introduced the soil food web will be complete and everything should thrive. This is a water only soil recipe, compost tea and clean water free of chloramine is all you need to get all the way to harvest.
I hope this helps. Feel free to ask for advice if you decide to make some soil. I can help you pick nutrients and amendments. Happy growing