Building my first soil. What are good amendment ratios?

Discussion in 'Organics' started by papa canna, Sep 2, 2017.

    papa canna

    papa canna Well-Known Member

    I've started building my first soil. Ingredients already added are as follows

    (1) bag FFOF
    (1) bag FFHF
    (1) bag GO Ancient forest alaskan humus
    ~20-25% perlite
    ~10 cups of EWC
    2 cups of Happy frog all purpose 5-5-5
    1.5 cups 0-9-0 Bat guano

    My final ingredients arrived today. Kelp meal and pulverized dolomite lime. Assuming I wont already burn the shit out of my plants with my previously added ingredients, about how much of these should I add? In a large tote I estimate that all these ingredients look to be roughly 30 gallons of soil.

    I also got a bottle of neptunes hydrolized fish 2-4-1 and the instructions of application aren't very clear on it either.
    Rasta Roy

    Rasta Roy Well-Known Member

    You don't need to add lime to prebagged soil friend. It is already limed.

    Does your happy frog all purpose blend have kelp in it? I think one of your prebagged soils prolly does, so I would just do 1/4 cup per cubic foot for the kelp.

    You won't need to use the fish fertilizer right away, depending on your container size your soil will feed your plants for 5-8 weeks. Then you can start using the fish fert, one tablespoon per gallon of water would be appropriate at that stage of growth.

    Cut off using the fish once you get to the last couple weeks of flower, not for flushing or anything. Just an anecdotal note of mine; using fish ferts too much at the end of the plant's life seems to give the buds too much of an earthy taste.
    Buba Blend likes this.
    Buba Blend

    Buba Blend Well-Known Member

    What about the bat guano 0-9-0. Is it Ok to add that?
    ffof has fossilized bat guano on the list of ingredients.
    Rasta Roy

    Rasta Roy Well-Known Member

    From the OP it sounded like you already had or I would have said; skip the bat guano in your soil mix. The most efficient use of it is as a top dressing. I would apply 3/4 cup per plant the week before you switch into flower.
    Buba Blend likes this.
    papa canna

    papa canna Well-Known Member

    The ocean forest does contain oyster shell for ph. but I always had ph issues using ocean forest. So I would rather be on the safe side. maybe a couple cups for my large bin of soil should about do it. The general purpose does contain kelp as a last ingredient, but i didn't use a ton of the all purpose. Just for a general additive.
    Rasta Roy, Buba Blend and Wetdog like this.
    Rasta Roy

    Rasta Roy Well-Known Member

    Ive heard a few tales of growers using ocean forest having their ph buffer go out from under them about five weeks into their grow. maybe top dress in some of the lime or some oyster shell flour a few weeks into the grow? Ive ran into over liming issues before, just wouldnt want to see you run into any yourself!

    MistaRasta Well-Known Member

    I doubt the microbes are breaking carbonates in 5 weeks, let alone anything sooner, This process takes a lot longer. I'd chalk this down to an imbalance of cations in the soil. Ocean forest is made of all ocean products. So it's naturally going to be heavy in sodium. Poor watering habits let the sodium pull back to the roots and burn their plants up causing lock outs.

    That paired with the fact that there isn't any short term/soluble Calcium sources put in these bagged soils either.

    Think about it. If Calcium and Phosphorus are the carriers of all nutrients into the plant other than Nitrogen and Potassium and the companies don't include a Calcium source that doesn't take a year or so to break down (lime/oyster shell flour) that means I'm gonna have to go to the hydro store and buy their bottled line along with some cal mag to get me out of the bind they put me in..That or use alfalfa/Kelp teas and build my plant out of N and K the rest of the cycle. Which I really don't want to do..

    Calcium isn't mobile in the plant or the soil, once you start seeing problems you need to get a soluble ca source because nothing is going into the plant other than Nitrogen and Potassium.

    A plant built from the energy made from the reaction of Nitrogen and Potassium is a lot different than the energy made from the reaction of Calcium and Phosphorus..
    Rasta Roy likes this.
    Rasta Roy

    Rasta Roy Well-Known Member

    Good call my good man, that definitely makes more sense.

    Would you think adding gypsum would improve things for someone in his situation?

    From my understanding gypsum supplies calcium sulfate, the calcium and sulfur easily split up; the sulfur will pick up bound up magnesium, and the calcium will pick up bound up phosphorus. And the way that gypsum releases it is available pretty instantly. Do you think this would create the calcium phosphorus energy you're talking about?
    MistaRasta likes this.

    MistaRasta Well-Known Member

    Most definitely in every case. Kind of how you explained below, gypsum is not only good for some soluble Calcium but the fact that it pushes excess cations out of the soil.

    In this case, probably mostly Na and K.

    Something like that;

    The Calcium and Sulfur will easily split yes. Whatever excess Cations are in the exchange capacity will be picked up by the Sulfur and the Calcium will be released in its place..The excess cation will stay attached to the Sulfur and will be washed out so long as you rinse your pot thoroughly, giving a good runoff.

    Magnesium is actually the last cation that will be picked up and washed out as it's the heaviest cation. Potassium and Sodium are generally most readily leached by gypsum as their very light and mobile in the soil.

    From what I've read, and I can find the sources if you'd like..

    At a ph between 5-6 most excess Phosphate binds with Aluminum

    At a ph between 6-7 most excess Phosphate binds with Iron

    At a ph 7.1 up to 7.5 most excess Phosphate binds with Calcium

    If you look at these elements (Alu, Fe,Ca) in their ionic form you'd see that they all have a +3 charge. Phosphate carries a -3 charge so if you think of it like a puzzle piece, The Phosphate and Aliminum/Calcium/Iron fit together perfectly. Making these complexes..

    Another reason these complexes happen is because of the ratio of the elements in the soil. You'll always want to see a lot of Calcium so you're naturally going to see Calcium Phosphate binds which are like the glue that holds a soil together..

    You're also always going to see a lot of iron in mixes these days as all organic matter has a lot of iron in it. Think of blood, what makes it red? Iron.. All my soil tests, especially when using basalt have had had iron especially when I was using 2-4 cups.. around 100/200 ppms.. way too high. I use 1/2 cup basalt per cubic foot now . It's plenty.

    Aluminum, that's mainly coming from the use of alumina-silicates such as azomite, zeolite won't really see high aluminum if you don't use these things. If using fulvic acid I wouldn't use these silicates. If you're not getting your soil tested somewhat regularly i wouldn't use them either. You're ph needs to be above a 6.0 at the very very least. You don't want aluminum bonds breaking in your soil. Bad stuff

    kratos015 Well-Known Member

    Might I recommend Neem Meal from Down to Earth as well as Crab Meal from Neptune's Harvest to add to your mix as well. They provide nice and easy doses of nutes while also providing you with integrated pest management. I haven't had a problem with pests since adding them to my soil, definitely recommended.

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