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

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


    calliandra Well-Known Member

    Are you referring to what happens in coco coir when it hasn't been properly produced? Because the K (along with the Na) takes up all the ionic positions available leaving the Mg (and Ca) to float away with the next watering?
    (ohyay and I now understand why too! it's because the K and Na only have one electron in their outer orbital, making them way more likely to share that than the Ca and Mg with their outermost sp-orbital complete!
    So in the ionic musical chairs game, K and Na are always going to be quicker, so we don't want much of that around :D

    This is very reassuring :)
    I've been conundering over this with regard to hi-K amendments, and whether the K then accumulates to the point of toxicity in the soil (nods to @MustangStudFarm ) if we, say, keep feeding our no-tills with comfrey or borage (which both bring along high amounts of potassium, if the patchy data I could collect from the web is anything near correct) over long periods of time.
    So there goes that conundrum to the back burner, not quite gone, but less urgent now :-P
    Cheers! :blsmoke:
    MustangStudFarm and DonTesla like this.

    Wilderb Well-Known Member

    Very interesting discussion. While I have been organic for awhile, I am heading to no till for my personal garden.
    Am interested in the bio char issue, as I recall there being discussions about this few years ago.
    I have been using it but not even close to the amounts being discussed.
    Great topic and nice to see some "adults" having a conversation.

    firstnamelast Well-Known Member

    Cool thank you for your input
    DonTesla and MustangStudFarm like this.

    firstnamelast Well-Known Member

    Good luck guys
    DonTesla likes this.

    DonTesla Well-Known Member

    Hey all!
    I'm back and avoided all problems! lol.. wish I filmed it all for ya. I don't even know where to start. Haha.

    Thanks for carrying the dope dialogue along though..I enjoyed catching up here, digging the quality convo.

    all good friend! .. a bit of a fungal / humus rich compost and Coco based mix with some fresh castings and aeration could be lime free. Just cancel peat by replacing it.

    We cut lime out after first year of growing with no problem and much success, but yes I did use rock dusts as well as humus and egg shells. There is something to be said about that, especially of a nice cal mag in-tune recipe with a slew of bene rock minerals. But humus plays a big part, the eggshells did too I guess.

    Now I'm testing some peat recipes so crab shell might have to re enter the life. Are you looking to avoid peat and limestone for whatever reason?

    Here are some posts I've saved from my buddy Roy down in Mi whom I hope to visit this year.. you may enjoy them for a more rounded view on the organics..

    As you will see, there are many ways to get from point A to point B

    Attached Files:


    DonTesla Well-Known Member

    Yes, one gram of good biochar will have a football field of surface area. Ask the cowboys if they can say the same...

    I'm happy to send some charcoal in for lab analysis if someone is willing to endorse the costs. lol. I know that in looking at bulk biochar purchases, I like to see ash and salt content really low, among other things. ..normally test 84 elements every test but here's a little sample with a couple other factors factored in that may be of someones liking..

    I plan on taking a biomass course that will surely help eradicate some confusion as well.. I look forward to that. I better get on that!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
    calliandra likes this.

    calliandra Well-Known Member

    lol I'm not going to be the one, since I can't really interpret chemical data anyway :-P
    But thanks for sharing, it was like opening the hood and staring at the engine when car breaks down, and you haven't got a clue of mechanics :bigjoint:

    Wowo what's that biomass course? :D
    And how was the trip?!
    DonTesla and SSGrower like this.

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    I got the idea of high potassium from an online consultant from the soil tests that I had, she said that the potassium was so high that she couldn't make a recommendation... However, I have been doing more research and I really think that it was the high Phosphorus that was truly killing me! Mehlich 3 test shows that I had 340ppm of Phosphorus and it should only be 30-40ppm, that is a HUGE #... I don't know if you have hear of KIS Oraginics, but I have been listening to his PodCast because he has very good guests like Clackamas Cootz and Jeff Lowenfels. On one of his PodCasts were he was talking about soil tests, he said that cannabis likes higher amounts of K. I could have been wrong about the K, but I bet that it does start having toxicity problems when you have 10x too much, like I did.

    Anyways, I am here today to see how/if anyone has used malted barley before. I just got a 55# bag today, the cheap 2 row barley from a brew store... Clackamas says that crab/crustacean meal has chitin and barley has chitinase that breaks down chitin, Chitin+Chitinase= high SAR. I don't want to clog the thread but Don Tesla was one of the few people talking about ferments and I would consider barley being a ferment even if I use it in the worm bin, tell me if I am wrong. I understand that I would sprout the barley, blend it, and use it in the soil or worm bin. Clackamas also said that if you use manure in your worm bin, it is a very good idea to use barley.
    ShLUbY likes this.

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    phosphorus will cause much more of a problem for the soil than potassium will for sure. interesting stuff about the barley. i'll be tuning in for what people that have experience with it say, cause i've never used it :)
    MustangStudFarm likes this.

    MustangStudFarm Well-Known Member

    I didn't think much about barley but Cootz said that he was taking a professional baking course in San Francisco when he learned about the enzymes in barley. He went on to talk about his worm bin exploded after using it in his worm bin... Also, a big part of what Coots was talking about is that a lot of this soil chemistry has not been researched yet such as humic/fulvic acid.

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    yeah i read that interview as well. interesting stuff. lots of enzymes and hormones in the barley.

    firstnamelast Well-Known Member

    Glad to hear all went well! No cook is a legit method? My soil ingredients came a bit late and I'm already too far along to be able to cook it in time. I don't really have any qualms with lime, there's more guessing and checking when it comes to pH if you have to lime it correct?

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    i find the opposite. the lime helps keep the mix stable. but with that said, any calcium product is going to achieve a liming effect. calcium carbonate + H+ ---> H2O and Ca++ . so it doesn't matter if its Oyster Shell Flour or dolomite lime. They've both served me well and a peat mix should not go without it.

    As long as you can get the mix a couple weeks, it will be fine. i've used it as early as 2.5 weeks and saw no ill effect. takes them a week to get fully acclimated anyway, and by then you're close enough to 4 weeks.

    firstnamelast Well-Known Member

    I need an up pot pretty much now lol any ideas on how to extend it?

    ShLUbY Well-Known Member

    if you're already in living soil, put a topdressing down of kelp, crab shell, oyster shell, and neem. mix it with some compost and topdress and water in. that stuff breaks down fast, and an inch or more of compost will give your roots some room to grow, and more nutrients from the amendments. this will buy you some time. give a EWC tea as well for the soluble and chelated nutrients as well (compost extract tea).

    SSGrower Well-Known Member

    I've used ground barly in bokashi, ive seen people using it as a companion plant too. Id have to believe someone has done a SST.

    RandomHero8913 Well-Known Member

    Barley was the original SST choice mostly due to its availability. Since then people have observed the same benefit from using malted barley and have gone that route as it’s easier. You can grab some malted barley from a local home brew store for dirt cheap. Grind it up and water it in.

    Also you can use other grains like rye, wheat, corn, etc., pretty much anything the home brew store has will work. I buy the cheapest one.
    SSGrower likes this.

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