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Good Morning PIF! I wrote this up yesterday for my own site, and thought the info might be of interest. I am eager for opinions, always, on how to improve my Baby Tech. As follows, then, from the original. So, I potted up some babies today, and thought I’d share what I put into the Baby Water, a.k.a. the first watering upon transplantation. This is such an important slurry to the whole dang thing, maybe the most important of them all, because it inoculates the soil and the roots with a herd of micro-flora and micro-fauna who will (unless there’s a terrible problem) be their companions for life. It’s sort of like the day they’re actually born. First, the night before, rooted cuttings that have been watered for two weeks with chlorinated tap water (honestly) are given one more soak and drain (bottom side only) that is now a dunk in an H2O2 solution of 4 tsp/quart @ 3%) , disinfecting them for the last time. Time to become a real plant! This perhaps is best addressed firstly from the perspective of what is going into the soil. My mix for babies right now, which is accepting a rooted peat plug (rapid-rooter type) contains Soil base: 10 gal Emerald Mountain from Roots Organic, dumped into a root pot for mixing and including: 3 measures stutzman’s granular chicken shit (3-2-2 + 7Ca slow-release) 1/2 measure of pelleted gypsum (CaSO4· 2H2O) 1 measure azomite (micros + clay) 1 measure high-nitro bat guano (8-3-1) …a measure being about 1 1/4c – my dirt jigger To this, I add the plants, tap them in nicely leaving as much pore space as possible while still getting a nice snug fit. The most recent 5 gal pail of Baby Water was amended thusly: 4 gal de-chloronated water pinch citric acid (to lower pH to 6.6) pinch epsom salt (MgSO4) 15mL HB-101 (Magic Japanese forest essence + surfacant) 1 gal tea from DEM ‘natural mystic’ that sat out too long in solution for 48 hours 1 Tbs (equivalent) Alaska fish (5-1-1) left over from grown up feeding earlier that day, which is about 1/5 the bottle rate 1 Tbs Bigfoot (kelp in form of Ascophylium nodosum + humic acid from leonardite) 2 Tbs Oregonism XL (more of the same as above + yucca extract + a herd of micro-organisms*) which is some fraction of the suggested rate, which seems crazy to me. 1 tsp BioAg Ful-Humix 1 tsp ForgeSP (Streptomycetes nigescens strain MR541) 1 Tbs Mycoapply Soluble MAXX (1-0.5-5 + humates + B1 + huge micro-herd**) 1 tsp Thrive Alive! (B vites + micro-nutrients) What I didn’t have on hand and will have to top-dress with is B.t.i. soaked mosquito bits to keep fungus gnats out. Tomorrow, I’ll venture out and find some, grind them up a bit and top dress. Then everybody watered in and sprayed, top and bottom, with Grandeveo (5 Tbs/gal) + Dragonfly NM foliar tea (1 Tbs/gal). There is some mineral nutrition in da DEM, but that’s sparse and mostly mineral, supplying mostly calcium and silica as for elements I think. I mention this because I’m not a big fan of foliar feeding. It is, however, efficient and very quick with the results, especially when correcting a deficiency. No, I prefer to encourage roots. It seems the better pathway. I think cuticles and pores get weird when there’s food sitting on them. But I digress. As far as Baby Water goes, I feel this and a “sensible soil” amounts to a good start in life, tho always looking to up the game. This 5gal supply will last for a day or so and is enough to water in at least 100 babies in 3 1/2″ pots. I dilute the left overs and give them to the mamas, like letting them feast on placenta. Haha. Babies are given plain water for a whole week after. Now in the spirit of constant improvement, I have to wonder if the various strains of the same species of micros do battle in the soil. To that end, I typed the names of all the micros out below to satisfy myself that I wasn’t duplicating too much with the Oregonism XL, and could perhaps just replace with the yucca alone. Hmmm…. The Mycoapply is WAY more concentrated and diverse. And, if you’ll forgive my fragment, a LOT cheaper. On the other hand, “infinite diversity in infinite combinations, Mr. Spock.” You gonna argue with a Vulcan? No, I think Bigfoot is the one I can do without. Not because it isn’t awesome, but because it’s duplicated with the others. However, I suspect it has a bit of unlisted mole-asses in it, so I might add just a skosh to replace it. We shall see in a few weeks when we do it again. -MC Snippypants *Glomus aggregatum, G. intraradices, G. mosseae, Pisolithus tinctorius, Scleroderma cepa, S. citrinum, Trichoderma harzianum | Azobacter chroococcum, Bacillus azotoformans, B. coagulans, B. lichenformis, B. megterium, B. pumilus, B. subtilis, B. thusringiensis, Paenibacillus polymyxa, Pseudomonas aureofaciens, P. fluorescens, Streptomyces griseus, S. lydicus **Glomus aggregatum, G. intraradices, G. mosseae, G. etunicatum, G. deserticola, G. monosporum, G. clarum, Paraglomus brasilianum, Gigaspora margarita, Rhizopogon villosulus, R. luteolus, R. amylopogon, R. fulviglebra, Laccaria bicolor, L. laccata, Scleroderma cepa, S. citrinum | Bacillus licheniformis, B. azotoformans, B. megaterium, B. coagulans, B. pumilus, Psudomonas aureofaciens, P. florescens, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Trichoderma koningii, T. harzianum.
So for this festive seasonal occasion, I thought I should pass on some good reading and maybe start some discussions on soil building and natural amendments. Here are some good reads... Cation Exchange Capacity