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Olderfart's Dive Down the Living Soil Rabbit Hole

1. The soil mix

Olderfart

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Greetings gro peeps. I was not going to start this yet, but I have already screwed up, so maybe there is a lesson here for someone. In any case, this will start the documentation of the grow I will start in ~November once the dearest and I return home for the winter.

Let's start with the soil I mixed up about a month ago. This is inspired by @pop22, with many thanks for his help, but the blame will be all mine as I have not followed his latest recipe. Just couldn't resist doing something a bit different... Personality flaw of mine I suppose. Along with the DIY thing. :biggrin:

The recipe:

2021 soil.jpg


Starting with the Bugbee peat mix instead of a prepared organic mix is different from the usual approach, but I decided to start straight peat in order to better know what is in the mix. I also stuck with ingredients easily available either locally or online to me where I live in Canada. The idea, and the hope, is that in ~30 liter fabric pots irrigated by autovalve(s) this stuff will finish a grow with water only.

I mixed this stuff up on the shop floor before moistening it as I loaded it into a kiddie pool to cook until I start the grow. I made a cloth cover which will prevent gnats or other bugs from getting at the soil.

My first screwup was over moistening the mix. I just used a hose to make sure it was thoroughly wetted down. I didn't measure the water. That was a mistake. After a couple weeks of cooking while I was away, I returned home to find that the soil was still far too wet and had standing water in the bottom of the pool. The lower part of the mix might have even gone anaerobic.

Not the end of the world, I hope, and here is what I did about the problem:

IMG_0766.JPG


This pile has had warm air from a space heater blowing over it for over a week, and is just now more or less ready to put back in the pool and get covered again before I leave home for a couple weeks.

I hope that the cook is back on track. Bottom line peeps, measure the water, don't do it by feel. Especially if you are going to cook in a container that will hold water in the bottom.

@Zeromitch, you are now tagged as requested mate, pull up and enjoy the show!

Happy soil mixing peeps. :biggrin:
 
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DCLXVI

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Nosy bug aren't you?
Ah the kiddie pool! The more I read on here, the more I see really obvious, easy, and innovative solutions.

Cool project OF. I'll be along with interest.
 

Mañ'O'Green

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Greetings gro peeps. I was not going to start this yet, but I have already screwed up, so maybe there is a lesson here for someone. In any case, this will start the documentation of the grow I will start in ~November once the dearest and I return home for the winter.

Let's start with the soil I mixed up about a month ago. This is inspired by @pop22, with many thanks for his help, but the blame will be all mine as I have not followed his latest recipe. Just couldn't resist doing something a bit different... Personality flaw of mine I suppose. Along with the DIY thing. :biggrin:

The recipe:

View attachment 1364910

Starting with the Bugbee peat mix instead of a prepared organic mix is different from the usual approach, but I decided to start straight peat in order to better know what is in the mix. I also stuck with ingredients easily available either locally or online to me where I live in Canada. The idea, and the hope, is that in ~30 liter fabric pots irrigated by autovalve(s) this stuff will finish a grow with water only.

I mixed this stuff up on the shop floor before moistening it as I loaded it into a kiddie pool to cook until I start the grow. I made a cloth cover which will prevent gnats or other bugs from getting at the soil.

My first screwup was over moistening the mix. I just used a hose to make sure it was thoroughly wetted down. I didn't measure the water. That was a mistake. After a couple weeks of cooking while I was away, I returned home to find that the soil was still far too wet and had standing water in the bottom of the pool. The lower part of the mix might have even gone anaerobic.

Not the end of the world, I hope, and here is what I did about the problem:

View attachment 1364929

This pile has had warm air from a space heater blowing over it for over a week, and is just now more or less ready to put back in the pool and get covered again before I leave home for a couple weeks.

I hope that the cook is back on track. Bottom line peeps, measure the water, don't do it by feel. Especially if you are going to cook in a container that will hold water in the bottom.

@Zeromitch, you are now tagged as requested mate, pull up and enjoy the show!

Happy soil mixing peeps. :biggrin:
I would add some Botinicare HydroGuard or Southern Ag Garden friendly fungicide when you start growing in it. It should counter the anaerobic microbes and prevent problems. Both are organic solutions.
 

Olderfart

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Ah the kiddie pool! The more I read on here, the more I see really obvious, easy, and innovative solutions.

Cool project OF. I'll be along with interest.
Welcome to the show mate, I hope you manage to find some entertainment.

The kiddie pool may prove to be my tray for irrigating 4 thirty liter fabric pots. It will fit nicely in the newly expanded 4x4 if I convert my 2x4 growdrobe. I just need to figure out whether that approach would be better than another DIY (oh what a surprise) option I have used before. The jury will be out until I get back home in a couple weeks.
 

Olderfart

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I would add some Botinicare HydroGuard or Southern Ag Garden friendly fungicide when you start growing in it. It should counter the anaerobic microbes and prevent problems. Both are organic solutions.
Great idea MOG, thanks for checking in. I will see if I can get my mitts on some hydroguard.

I just found some on Amazon, but at $89 per quart, I will pass. I will be inoculating with B. amyloliquefaciens as part of the RAW micro package, so perhaps I am already covered. Given the small size of my grow, and the single grow per year, I would just end up throwing most of the hydroguard out when it ran out of time in six months after opening. In the meantime, I will let the bennies fight it out with the nasties for the next month or so. Unless I screw up, the anaerobics are not likely going to get another chance. :biggrin:

Anyway, thanks for the suggestion. If my grow was not so small and only one per year, and if I were not such a cheap bugger, the hydroguard would have been a good idea for me. :thanks:
 

pop22

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I grew pumpkins in a little kiddie pool like that, filled with organic soil. Got 22 bowling ball sized pumpkins!

I'll be following along!

Greetings gro peeps. I was not going to start this yet, but I have already screwed up, so maybe there is a lesson here for someone. In any case, this will start the documentation of the grow I will start in ~November once the dearest and I return home for the winter.

Let's start with the soil I mixed up about a month ago. This is inspired by @pop22, with many thanks for his help, but the blame will be all mine as I have not followed his latest recipe. Just couldn't resist doing something a bit different... Personality flaw of mine I suppose. Along with the DIY thing. :biggrin:

The recipe:

View attachment 1364910

Starting with the Bugbee peat mix instead of a prepared organic mix is different from the usual approach, but I decided to start straight peat in order to better know what is in the mix. I also stuck with ingredients easily available either locally or online to me where I live in Canada. The idea, and the hope, is that in ~30 liter fabric pots irrigated by autovalve(s) this stuff will finish a grow with water only.

I mixed this stuff up on the shop floor before moistening it as I loaded it into a kiddie pool to cook until I start the grow. I made a cloth cover which will prevent gnats or other bugs from getting at the soil.

My first screwup was over moistening the mix. I just used a hose to make sure it was thoroughly wetted down. I didn't measure the water. That was a mistake. After a couple weeks of cooking while I was away, I returned home to find that the soil was still far too wet and had standing water in the bottom of the pool. The lower part of the mix might have even gone anaerobic.

Not the end of the world, I hope, and here is what I did about the problem:

View attachment 1364929

This pile has had warm air from a space heater blowing over it for over a week, and is just now more or less ready to put back in the pool and get covered again before I leave home for a couple weeks.

I hope that the cook is back on track. Bottom line peeps, measure the water, don't do it by feel. Especially if you are going to cook in a container that will hold water in the bottom.

@Zeromitch, you are now tagged as requested mate, pull up and enjoy the show!

Happy soil mixing peeps. :biggrin:
 

Olderfart

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Hello. Along for the learning.
Cheers
EP3
Welcome aboard @EP3. :pighug:I'll see about some entertainment at least - maybe some learning, but most likely learning how not to make my mistakes! :biggrin:

Happy growing EP3, see ya when the real action begins.
 

Olderfart

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I grew pumpkins in a little kiddie pool like that, filled with organic soil. Got 22 bowling ball sized pumpkins!

I'll be following along!
Glad to see you aboard Pop, if this thing works, the credit is mostly to you for shifting me in this direction. The dirt is now back in the pool and covered, just at field capacity more or less, so it should cook happily while I am away. I'll immerse myself in positive thoughts of millions of bennies doing their things in the pool, getting ready to receive the girls. Methinks there is going to be at least one multipot just for giggles. :biggrin:
 

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Lol, this threw me at first cause I thought you were using KIS Organics. Just wanted to comment that if you overwatered the soil, just turn it more frequently with a shovel and allow it to dry out. Any stinky smells should go away and the soil will be fine to use. The microbes are hardy and going anaerobic is not the end of the world. It should balance out and assuming the parent material is free of pathogens then no worries. If you think about it, we get heavy rain events in nature and soils recover just fine. Best of luck with the transition and once you dial the watering in, I'm guessing you'll like this style of growing a lot.
 
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