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All Natural Organics. The Dons' Summaries + FAQ Thread. <2017-'18>

Discussion in 'Organics' started by DonTesla, Nov 17, 2017.

  1.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    i have 4 no tills operating right now, and today i'm putting together two more if everything goes according to schedule.

    seedling soil should be very light and very basic, so standard base soil with only kelp, crab, neem, oyster shell flour and light amount of rock dust and that's about it. no need to overdo it. you can water in some myco when they set some true leaves. no need for anything else, as your mix should be alive and active.

    same recipe for both veg and flower, but in flower i just topdress some "bloom" nutrients that contain a little boost of potassium and now adding insect frass to that blend as well.

    yeah it's cheaper to make your own. buy a bag of natural hard wood "chunk" charcoal, smash up to fine fine pieces (wear a mask and wrap the char in an old towel or sheet). then you charge it just like making a compost tea, highly aerated water, alfalfa, kelp, fish hydrolysate (some dilute urine too... but no need to do that). then when you are done charging after about a week or so, make a compost tea in that same solution with EWC or whatever compost you have, some unsulfured molasses, and let that go for 24 hours. micro organisms will colonize the char. strain and VOILA.
     
  2.  
    firstnamelast

    firstnamelast Well-Known Member

    Awesome good stuff thank you! I'm curious what would happen if you used it without being charged? Would they eventually work their way in by themselves? I've also been told no nutes in the seedling soil, interesting hmmm...
     
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  3.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    not charging is not an option. if you put it in uncharged, it would steal a lot of the nutrients in your soil. the point of charging is to preload the surface of the char with mineral ions so that it doesn't hold on to everything that becomes available in your soil. that way, ions can be swapped for one another readily, without the risk of causing deficiencies in your plant.

    another way to charge char is to put it in a batch of working compost. this would help prevent nutrients from leeching out of your compost, and the char will snag them and hold on to them.

    char has both negative and positive charged surfaces. so when uncharged it has an affinity to grab onto whatever it can to help neutralize those charges. so it will grab cations and anions to balance the surface charge.

    hope that makes sense to you. pretty basic chemistry. look up non covalent polar bonding if you need some background on that chemistry.
     
  4.  
    firstnamelast

    firstnamelast Well-Known Member

    Makes sense I get ya. The compost idea is nice and easy haha
     
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  5.  
    calliandra

    calliandra Well-Known Member

    I just restarted with 2 56L fabric pots of recycled soils, and have many question marks myself that have been leading to experiments - some successful, some, really painfully failing :D
    My focus is on the microbial populations in out soil, what they need to look like, how to get them in there, and how to manage our soils so they stay in the ranges we want them at.

    Yes. Mulch it baby :P

    I add endomycorrhizal spores into the planting hole when I drop the seed (and that, directly in the soil it's going to stay in if possible).
    Have been doing it like this ever since I learned that seeds start putting out exudates* and entraining the microbial herd in their favor even before they pop! (which totally makes sense when you stop and think about it ;) )
    * You can think of exudates as nutrient mixes designed by the plant to promote microbial growth. Excreted - or exuded - mainly via the roots, but similar processes are also going on on above-ground plant surfaces too!)

    Also, I'm seeing signs of that it takes about 3 weeks for endomycorrhizal development to reach a level where the symbiosis actually has an effect on the plant's health... they get this special "look" lol

    I'd never mix endomycorrhizal spores randomly into a soil.
    The chances those spores will be found by a root hair are just way higher when you add them as close as possible to the roots. And find them they must, given the enzymatic dialogue (initiated by the plant, and linked, if not definitively - and probably also not exclusively either! - to a scarcity of plant-available phosphorus in the soil) required for many mycorrhizal spores to even germinate, let alone grow into the plant's roots and actually become a player in the plant's nutrient acquisition.

    My vision for this is that inoculation will become unnecessary as the mycorrhizal network in those pots develops - then, new seedlings in that soil will be able to just "latch in" to the infrastructure that is already there. I have yet to see that actually happening - but working on it! :mrgreen:
     
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  6.  
    calliandra

    calliandra Well-Known Member

    This confuses me.
    The friend I get my biochar from (and he has no $ interests in it, as he doesn't let me pay him for it) has told me very interesting stories, time and again, about it. Amongst others, that it is essential the charring take place in very low oxygen settings, and that the temps must go to over-- 325°C I think it was? -- for any toxins also produced during combustion of the wood to either burn up or get volatilized with the water vapor used in the end to clear out those pores too.
    He's done smaller versions of the earth pits found in south america but usually works with a con-tiki to make his - which he does also sell!

    In the light of all this, seeing you (and others) mention that you're using "plain" charcoal is confusing.
    Have you found all that to be humbug?
    Is the hardwood charcoal you mention something different?
    I'd love to hear your reasoning for using something that's been poo-pooed to me quite fanatically (but no less backed by chemical explanations) lol

    Cheers!
     
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  7.  
    firstnamelast

    firstnamelast Well-Known Member

    Oh cool then I should have added mine by now lol it's a learning process. From my undersranding I believe if you leave the root balls in the soil the mycos do stay indefinitely and you shouldn't need to inoculate anymore. But what do I know lol I'm just parroting information I read elsewhere haha. I see that no till really focuses on myco and the like, maybe you're right about the 3 week thing. Maybe thats the whole reason for no till. That 3 week boost right at the beginning, you would have never gotten it that soon if you have to wait for them populate. But I'm curious though if that's even the case when you're transplanting lol!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
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  8.  
    RandomHero8913

    RandomHero8913 Well-Known Member

    The bagged hardwood charcoal is perfect for us, cowboy brand and I think royal oak does a hardwood charcoal. Both are fine to use and like it was said above, just hit the pieces until you like the size and then throw it in a bucket with some fertilizer/nutrients to charge it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
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  9.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    You must be envisioning the "poison charcoal" as i like to call it, rather than stuff that's made and left whole and natural :) . These are wood chunks that have not been pulverized, soaked in chemicals, and pressed into a briquette form. Particularly the cowboy brand, as mentioned above, is the good stuff :)

    Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 11.43.58 AM.png
    hope this clears up your confusion!
     
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  10.  
    firstnamelast

    firstnamelast Well-Known Member

    Just like practically everything I hear on this thread someone else has to tell me this is wrong too lol. I'm not sure what to believe anymore hahah!

    So how do you guys go about your liming? And what are your main sources for it? Biochar will do the same??
     
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  11.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    if you're using a peat based mix, you will need to lime. biochar is part of the solution, but it will not do it on its own. There are a couple things you can use. 1) Oyster Shell Flour @ 1/2c/cuft 2) dolomite lime also at 1/2c/cuft. 3) powdered egg shells will also help with the same ratio.

    What I'm was starting to do with my mixes before i ran out of it ( i need to go and pick some more up from the store ) is mixing my oyster shell flour and dolomite lime at a 1:1 ratio. the benefit to dolomite is that it contains calcium as well as magnesium and when you combine these two things, it makes a nice calcium to magnesium ratio for plant uptake (the plant uses a lot more Ca than Mg.

    i'm sure you've noticed, you just have to watch what you listen to on these interwebs. there is A TON and i mean A TON of misinformation out there... the more you educate yourself, the easier it is to sift through that stuff.
     
  12.  
    firstnamelast

    firstnamelast Well-Known Member

    Thank you for that. What base would not need lime? (other than pre-mixed stuff) Super nub question haha! I see dolomite lime has more magnesium than ag lime (which is what I was told to use) any benefit to it? Would I not need epsom salt if I used dolomite lime instead? Definitely a lot of misinformation out there. My main source is my friend but he bashes everything I mention from these forums lol. Thanks again!
     
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  13.  
    calliandra

    calliandra Well-Known Member

    nope :P
    but never mind, I have so many other rabbit holes.
    Was just wondering.
    cheers
     
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  14.  
    MustangStudFarm

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    I would hate to confuse you or anything but dolomite could also be replaced with other rock dusts. Dolomite has about the same ratio as basalt rock and glacial rock dust but they have more trace minerals also. Dolomite really does not have much in the way of trace minerals. Basalt and glacial rock dust is more expensive and harder to find, but in my case, I was low on trace minerals like copper, boron, and Mn... Kelp would have been another option but it has too much K for what I needed.
     
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  15.  
    MustangStudFarm

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    Wood ash has a lot of potassium hydroxide and that will raise your Ph, but I don't think that is very good because K toxicity has been a real problem for me and I need to be very cautious of K inputs. I make my own compost with manure, P and K toxicity have been reoccurring issues. I even bought 400gallons of soil from "Build a Soil" and I had it tested, it also had K tox issues. I don't know if others have my problem?

    You just need to be careful of who you listen to on here and ALWAYS confirm information before you put it into practice. I swear that I ran into a couple of people that gave me misleading information on purpose...

    Here is a link to the shitty soil that I paid $1k/400gal. I did very well with their nutrient kits but the soil was in worse condition than the compost that I made.
    https://buildasoil.com/collections/...ix-v2-0-oly-mountain-base?variant=18649397445
     
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  16.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    FWIW, potassium is the only ion that shows up in the plant cell at the predicted amounts via diffusion. there are lots of channel proteins that facilitate the entry and exit of K cations. They, as is researchers, are not completely sure of the mechanisms of the cell that permit this, but the plant is quite tolerant of excess potassium from what I understood from my plant physiology class. If you used that soil, were you experiencing issues from your higher potassium levels? I'd be curious to know what they were! I've often heard that it can displace the uptake Mg and never really heard or read of any other issues that stem from excess amounts.
     
  17.  
    ShLUbY

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    then i'm not really sure what you're referring to?!? what was the reasoning behind not using this kind of charcoal??
     
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  18.  
    MustangStudFarm

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    Let me find the soil test that shows how high the K levels were, they were through the roof!!!
     
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  19.  
    MustangStudFarm

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    Ok, the first test is the Build a Soil modern mix V.2 that I posted a link to earlier and the 2nd one is the same soil that I used and top-dressed with coco coir based worm castings. Potassium almost doubled and Sodium tripled... It was just a generous top dressing of coco coir worm castings...

    Sorry about the markings on the 2nd test, my wife was trying to help me understand what went wrong and she was making conversions to some of the other tests I had from a different lab. This is Spectrum Analytic and I started to use Logan Labs for half the price.
    DSC00939.JPG
    DSC00941.JPG
     
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  20.  
    calliandra

    calliandra Well-Known Member

    Haha I was just hoping it rings some bell with you ;)
    This is how it was explained to me:
    for it to be proper pure-C biochar, it has to be made in a container designed to pull in air from below to achieve the high temps needed to fully combust all the other components of the woody material used and also get rid of intermediate toxins created during the burning process. It has to be ended by quenching to open up those pores and volatilize any toxic residue from the burning too.
    Apparently regular charcoal you can buy for grill parties doesn't fulfill these decisive requirements. So the pores are far less pronounced, and are cluttered with ash from the burning, i.e. may contain unknown quantities of toxins, which isn't exactly what we were out for when going to add biochar to our systems, right? lol

    However, as I have been taught not to believe anything before either shown the data or being able to verify for myself, that wasn't the end of the discussion for me. Is it really such a big difference? How much toxin content will grill charcoal have on average?
    So seeing you're using it, I thought to ask whether you had perchance looked into this in depth. One can never know right! :bigjoint:
    cheers!
     
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