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popeye!

Are you interested in growing organically??

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Hey guys I'm starting this thread as a place for those interested in learning about how they can start growing organically and get away from bottled nutrient! Increasing you health, potency flavor and reducing the amount of money on inputs for the garden. I have been thankful to be friends with some very knowledgeable people and have gained a good amount of knowledge from them as well as learned how to apply it myself!

 

So my goal is to help others on the path to organics and towards better health for you! I believe in living organic soil and working with microorganisms to help break down organic matter and make it into plant available nutrients this way you are not measuring Nutrients and checking PH or PPMs! Utilizing the proper soil mix ratio as well as good quality soil ingredients will ensure you get started the right way. I do have a recipe I would like to share, this recipe is from a good friend of mine that taught me Alot of what I know about living organic soil and still helps me to this day! Even helped with my most recent batch of soil which came out great!

 

So I'll get this started with this introduction post and then within the next day or two I will put up a soil mix recipe as well! And then we will get going from there! Here's my Hell's angel OG in  the new soil mix I made up! Just a example of the health were looking for in our plants and this is just the start! 

IMG_20180715_130354_057.jpg

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On 7/15/2018 at 8:20 PM, popeye! said:

I would like to share, this recipe is from a good friend of mine that taught me

We'd love to see the recipe.  Please share it when you are able. 

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Alright so here's the recipe I go by this was originally developed by Clackamas coots and slightly modified by Terranova Los a good friend of mine! 

 

Notill mix 
1/3 candadium spagnum peat moss
1/3 pumic 
1/3 compost(half compost half worm castings)
1/2 cup per cu ft neem seed meal 
1/2 cup per cu ft kelp meal
1/2 cup cu ft crab meal
2 cups per cu ft basalt Rock dust
1 cup per cu ft oyster shell flower 
1 cup per cu ft gypsum
 

It's a simple recipe just follow this and you will be on the right path! I definitely recommend either making your own compost and worm castings or source it locally. Try to refrain from buying bagged stuff from grow stores for a few reasons one being the inflated price and 2 the overall quality bagged compost and worm castings are of much lower quality then ones you can make yourself or source from local soil builders but not big commercial companies! You can also look on craigslist for worm castings and compost and simply call and ask how they make there castings or compost and most people will be open and honest with you about there methods and you should be able to know from 3 questions if there product is worth getting. #1 should be how is your compost or castings made? Which they should be able to immediately give a response to and you should be able to tell from there methods of how they make there compost if it's gonna be quality or not By the inputs they use. #2 Do they have any growers who use there product? so you can see the results of there castings and compost and you can also ask those growers for there options on the quality of the compost or castings and #3 Is there life in the worm castings are there small worms, cacoons and some microbial life? That is important especially so in castings not as crucial in compost but you should still have good microbial life in compost as well soil predators are great to see in compost as long as there not in abundance because that could Indicate a large food source for those predators but in a healthy compost they will be present! 

And last but not least the best thing you can do is go to the farm see how the compost or castings are made and really look at the quality for yourself! Smell it, Feel It, Crush it in your hand and feel the texture it has, there should be no foul odor in finished castings or compost if you smell something foul just walk away and keep looking elsewhere!

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Tonight I'll talk about my preference's for organic IPM (integrated pest management) I do a normal IPM as a preventative measure and I feel everyone should do some kinda preventative maintenance on plants! 

 

For small gardens with 4-6 plants 

You can use a 1 litre spray bottle I prefer industrial style they usually last a bit longer then the cheap ones and have better pressure! I spend about 3-5$

So still pretty cheap

 

Mix into warm water spray bottle

1 Teaspoon of Neem oil or Karanja oil (Ahimsa preferably) 

Or 1/2 teaspoon neem oil 1/2 teaspoon karanja oil

1/4 Teaspoon of lavender or peppermint broners soap as a surfactant! 

Shake well for 15-30 seconds

Then apply to plants with lights off 

 

For 6 plants or more

I would recommend using a 1 gallon sprayer you can get one from Walmart or home Depot Even the Scott's ones at Fred Meyers work good!

 

Mix into 1 gallon of warm water 

1 Tablespoon Neem oil or Karanja oil

2 Teaspoons neem 1 Teaspoon karanja or vise versa 

1 Teaspoon broners lavender or peppermint

Shake well for 20-30 seconds 

Then apply to plants with lights off! 

 

Addition notes!

You can add some silica if you would like at 1/3 teaspoon for 1 litre or 1 Teaspoon for 1 gallon

 

Also make sure to apply to both the underside as well as the top of the leaves! If indoor allow sufficient airflow to make sure it dry's up before the lights come back on! 

 

I repeat this spray every 72 hours

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

That's some nice looking soil there, thanks for sharing. I'm a hydro guy myself, and had to chime in, for those who are not physically able to mix quality homemade soil. There are wonderful, certified organic nutrients out there in liquid form, at a pretty good price. They will work in any medium. and promote growth of micro flora and fauna. But keep in mind if you're a hydro fan, use a quality semi-solid inline pump. And keep an eye on your sprayers and drips if you use those(as organic nutrients tend to be larger particles than the lab stuff).

 

Peace love and happy growing

IOAP

Edited by itsonlyaplant
Stupid smart phone

Garden of Dreams
In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.
My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams.
The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.
     ~Abram L. Urban
 

 

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Very Kind Of You Popeye...

 

I Really Like Everything You Put In Your Complete Mix Along With Utilizing A Nice Sized Tarp To Thoroughly Mix In

 

All Of Your Components/Elements As You Demonstrated Clearly Above. I Especially Like Powdered Oyster Shell.

 

That's One Super Sweet Recipe And Think Of All Who'll Benefit From Your Recipe And Sage Advice  ! NICE ONE In PIF Popeye !

 

Thanks Very Much From Us Here And ALL Who Will Come !  Peace. Gratefully, Will

 

 

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Thanks so much brother will appreciate that I try to share the best advice I can to not steer people in the wrong direction I will be putting up a post about using this mix in both raised beds as well as container gardening as there are some important differences! Thanks for tuning in! 

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Alright let's talk containers vs bed!

When it comes to living soil the more soil the better however I understand everyone has limitations. So I thought I would cover a few different ways of doing living soil in either containers or raised beds because you do need treat them slightly different!

 

Alright so starting with containers I don't have a recommendation for what kinda containers everyone has a preference whether it be plastic pots or smart pots.

I recommend using a minimum of a NC20 container or a 20 gallon pot, I recommend indoor using between 20-50 gallon pots depending on your space.

More soil the better with organic living soil. In containers you will be doing more frequent topdress of compost/worm castings as well as some amendments like kelp and krab meal as well as some neem meal now and then. Use compost teas to help kickstart new containers!

 

Reason you will have to do it more frequently in containers is generally due to less soil mass meaning the microbes in the soil will process things faster and break down the organic materials you add Into the mulch such as the compost and cover crop and amendments so because they will be eating it at a slightly faster rate it does require a bit more attention to that as well as attention to moisture content in the soil! Especially the top 2-3 inches of soil which is where a mass of your microbial activity takes place! 

 

Moving on to raised beds!

Whether your using raised beds indoors or out doesn't matter same concept.

Start with good soil of course preferably like the soil mix I have listed above! Make sure you throughly saturate the new bed with soil and lay down your barley straw over the bed this will make volunteer cover crop from the barley to sprout maintain moisture in the top 2-3 inches of the bed on a regular basis with occasionally deep watering with things like kelp or compost tea and reapply compost/worm castings and amendments as a top dress every month or two depending on the size of your bed!

 

This is designed to be fairly basic information so if you have other questions feel free to ask or research more into it yourself therea lots of good information about living organic soil/ Notill growing but there is also some bad info shared so be careful of your sources of Information!

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On 7/20/2018 at 6:40 AM, itsonlyaplant said:

That's some nice looking soil there, thanks for sharing. I'm a hydro guy myself, and had to chime in, for those who are not physically able to mix quality homemade soil. There are wonderful, certified organic nutrients out there in liquid form, at a pretty good price. They will work in any medium. and promote growth of micro flora and fauna. But keep in mind if you're a hydro fan, use a quality semi-solid inline pump. And keep an eye on your sprayers and drips if you use those(as organic nutrients tend to be larger particles than the lab stuff).

 

Peace love and happy growing

IOAP

With bottled organic nutrients, organic nutrients are turned into a ionic form but the problem is there is a huge difference between organic bottled nutrient brands, plus typically is Alot more expensive! So due to inconsistencies in products as well as economic reasons I don't typically recommend them. My recommendation for people who cannot mix soil due to disabilities I would recommend order the organic living soil mix from buildasoil.com Jeremy the owner is a great guy with a great interest in quality ingredients and products for organic growers he uses a very similar mix to the one I use 

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Here's a good top dress mix when your adding fresh compost or worm castings to your containers!

 

 1:1:1 ratio 

Kelp meal

Crab Meal or crustacean meal

Neem meal

 

So for a simple mix like I have pictured here this is 1 cup neem meal, 1 cup kelp meal and 1 cup crustacean meal in my case but crab or crustacean works the same!

 

If you are using this for plants in 20 gallon pots I would recommend 2 Table spoons of this as a top dress over a 1 inch thick layer of compost or worm castings. 

If using in raised beds apply a inch thick layer of compost or worm castings and sprinkle a light even layer across the whole bed! 

 

Credit to Clackamas coots and Terranova Los for the knowledge on this! Those guys have really taught me Alot about what I know in relation to living organic soil as well as other great organic growers but Clackamas coots and Terranova Los have been huge influences in my gardening! 

 

IMG_20180722_190319_053.jpg

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Let's talk about Enzymes

So there are a couple ways to get your plants enzymes which for those that don't know! Enzymes will help break down old dying roots and promote new root growth as well as will help with fungal life in the soil not to mention the microbes love it! The technical definition is (a substance produced by a living organism that acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction)

 

In this case we will be producing enzymes for your plants using barley in this case malted barley! So what you wanna do find a local brew store typically best place to find this. Get organic 2 row malted barley if your gonna use it right away alot of times you can get them to flour the malted barley for you and then you can sprinkle that as a top dress on your plants and simply water, just need a nice even layer across your pots or raised bed this will help release enzymes fairly immediately but will also last a bit longer then the second method I will recommend so yeah very simple not much to it if your mixing soil it's also great to add 2 cups of floured barley per cu foot of soil! You can also buy the malted barley in 50 pound bags for usually around 60-80$ which is very cheap for how long it will last and you can blend it up yourself at home when your ready for it! Your plants and the roots will thank you for doing this :)

 

second method is reffered to as sprouted seed tea and u can do this with alot of different seeds alfalfa seeds and barley seeds are commonly used as well as corn seeds but you can use a variety of different things! So the point of this is the same as the other you will be making essentially enzymes for your plant by "growing" them! So you wanna soak your seeds in water so they will germinate i like to use a mason jar to soak them till they pop then drain put the majority of the water and leave them in the wet jar to continue sprouting when they germinate you want the tails to come out just long enough it starts to get that fuzzy kinda root coming out if you have ever popped seeds before you should know the fuzzy roots I'm talking about it's pretty early on! When they get to that perfect point or mostly to that point you wanna put all the seeds in a blender with some water and blend really well then you will take that seed mash soup, and put it in a 5 gallon bucket with more water and aerated with a air stone for 8-12 hours and apply as a watering, or you can take it right from the blender dilute it with water and apply to the plants I personally prefer to do a short 8-12 hour brew but you can do it either way and it will work great for getting the enzymes down in your soil! 

 

For most people I would recommend the first option for ease of application and still great results! Second option would be for the slightly more advanced grower with some experience making teas and diluting them! I will gladly answer any and all questions if you have any feel free to ask 

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Here's a nice example of some of the plant health you can see in living organic soil and my pots are already definitely thriving with life with the new soil mix!

This is a huckleberry kush x Pinetar kush seedling

 

IMG_20180728_203822_130.jpg

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Let's Talk Water! 

 

So here's a simple one that is kinda important to mention! So when do living organic soil you don't want to be using water with chlorine in it as this will kill the microbes your working to establish! So if you only have city water you might want to look Into spring water, filtered water or good well water is recommended! 

 

As I mentioned before the PH of your water isn't as big of a factor in living organic soil as it is when running synthetic nutrients! The soil will naturally buffer the PH! So just use good quality water and you will really be helping yourself alot when it comes to growing with living organic soil! 

 

I will make a post about a couple different teas I like to make within the next couple days! Starting with Kelp puree tea one of my favorites! 

 

 

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Today's topic: Kelp puree tea

This very simple and quick tea can make a big difference in your plants kelp is packed full of micro nutrients! 

 

So I usually make small batches of this for my garden and it makes it stretch quite a ways!

 

1/2 cup kelp meal

1 cup water

Let the water soak into the kelp should fully moisten the kelp meal add water if it doesn't soak all the kelp! 

Take the hydrated kelp and put into a blender and blend Into a puree!

Your looking for like a baby food kinda consistency.

After you have made the puree you can store in a container in the fridge between use! 

 

Use at a rate of 1 TBSP per gallon of water 

 

Quick tip! Take a quart size mason jar and put your TBSP of kelp puree in it add some water about half way, shake it really good and then you can use like cheap mesh produce bags from Fred Myers to strain the water out of the mason jar Into your resivour or sprayer so you will catch all the kelp particles!

 

Then simply apply to your plants as a foliar spray or soil drench or even both if you want! 

You can apply this once a week for great results!

 

 

Advanced tips! 

You can also add fulvic acid to this recipe about once every 3-4 weeks and you can add Aloe rather it be fresh or powdered aloe like build a soil offers every application once a week if you want to! 

I will cover more information about aloe in another post 

 

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10 minutes ago, popeye! said:

fulvic acid

 

I did not know the 'fulvic acid' was better than the 'humic' looked it though and you are right. I learn a bunch from you. ( I never heard of fulvic acid)

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2 minutes ago, EDDIEKIRK said:

 

I did not know the 'fulvic acid' was better than the 'humic' looked it though and you are right. I learn a bunch from you. ( I never heard of fulvic acid)

 

I'd definitely recommend ful power fulvic it's one of the best 

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Ok it's Aloe time!!

There is so much to say about aloe and how great it is. Lots of health benefits for us as well as the plants. I've including a picture with this post that touches on some of the things that aloe can help us with health wise! 

 

As far as in the garden for living soil applications aloe is your friend! Aloe contains saponins, salycilic acids, amino acids a plethora of vitamins, enzymes and other nutrients as aloe is a very good nutrient accumulator! So this one plant can benefit you and your plants in many ways! 

 

How I use and apply aloe in the garden for cloning!

 

So I have found I absolutely love aloe vera for cloning and I have completely tossed out cloning gels in trade for aloe vera alone. I use root riot cubes for cloning and I like to take a fresh leaf of the aloe slice it up into a couple pieces and blend it with some water. Then take that well blended aloe and add to a gallon of water. Pour a little in a cup to put your cuttings in and then I soak my cubes for about 10-15 minutes in the aloe vera solution and squeeze out just enough moisture so it's not soaking wet. Then I take the cuts from the cup of aloe water and put them in the aloe soaked root riot cubes and have had great success doing it this way with just a simple tray and dome.

Some strains I had a harder time getting to root usually root faster with the aloe method. But I believe no matter how you root your clones you should be able to use aloe to your advantage!

 

Keep in mind aloe is only really active for about 15-20 minutes so this is not a product you can store for cloning. Cut fresh leaves only when you need them not before.

 

 

How I use aloe in the garden! 

 

So in the garden aloe is great for soil drench's and foliar sprays both are very beneficial. The saponins I mentioned before are like a wetting agent/ surfactant and can help when using peat moss mediums like you do in a living organic soil! This help maintain proper soil moisture so you don't get dry spots. As well as providing nutrients to your plants I believe the addition of aloe also helps improve the finish flavor of flowers! 

 

Cut 1 aloe leaf and cut it up and blend as mentioned before but with minimal water and then strain the aloe skins out so u just got the nice blended up aloe and then apply to your plants only cut and mix up what u will use within 15-20 minutes after that start a new fresh one, also you only need to use this at 1 Tablespoon per gallon of water. You can use it at this rate for foliar and soil drench applications! Hope this perks your interest and you look into all that aloe has to offer both you and your plants :)

 

 

benefits-of-aloe-vera.jpg.443b0c3b9dbaa7634973001e6ae507c6.jpg

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Alright so lets get a Tea Recipe up here for you guys!

 

So this is a great tea brew that was taught to me by @terranova and originally learned from Clackamas coots!

 

This is a Kelp and Alfalfa Tea there are lots of benefits to this tea. For starters Alfalfa contains Tricontinal aka TCN and is a natural growth hormone that helps with side branching development and yeilds. Kelp we have talked about the benefits a little bit before it's a very beneficial thing to add to your soil, use as a foliar spray or soil drench it's packed full of micronutrients! So this tea works wonders with the alfalfa and kelp together! 

 

So here it is

Mix into a 5 gallon bucket of water

1 cup alfalfa meal
1/2 cup kelp meal
Bubble/aerate for 10 hours

Then strain and apply 
no dilution necassary 
For Foliar and soil drench applications

 

More Tea Recipe's to come in the future but this is a great tea to start with!
 

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Tonight's conversation is a slimey one haha Let's Discuss Worms!

 

Worms are a crucial component in a health living organic soil. Worms are great for naturally tilling the soil, eating and digesting organic materials to make them into plant available food, producing enzymes from there slime to stimulate growth and even more! Oh and don't forget worm castings are a important part of living organic soil indoor or outdoor. So having worms in your soils constantly creating more worm castings and worm cacoons is really beneficial.

 

Now along with the many other things worms do for your soil health they also can help spread benifical micro organisms and fungi to help with the overall health of your soil life! In addition to having them added to your soils to improve soil tilth. You should also look into vermicompost and using worms to help create some of the most amazing compost for your garden that's very microbially active and nutritionally rich! But that's a whole nother topic. When you are mulching and creating a decomposition layer the worms are your friends they help to speed up the decomposition process because when they eat the organic material enzymes from there slime also help break down the organic matter!

 

Worms are amazing organic processors and can really benefit your garden, so I'd really recommend taking the time to dig into this a little more yourself I can't cover all the uses and benefits of worms but I can at least point you in the right direction. If nothing else at least look more into vermicompost and work to implement that it is extremely beneficial and I need to get some going myself now that I'm back to growing again. Maybe I'll share on this post later how to set up a cheap vermicompost set up!

 

Thanks to all of you who read this thread if there is anything I can do to help improve the information in this thread please let me know thanks!

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Time for a Introduction to Cover Crops!

 

Cover Crops are a great thing to utilize in the living organic soil/ Notill garden. Cover Crops are both shallow and deep rooted depending on which cover crops you are using. The advantage to using cover crops is several things but a few of the basic uses of cover crops are  biodynamic accumulators, help prevent soil compaction increasing overall soil tilth, renewable food for the soil, nitrogen fixing properties, and help create a environment for benificial insects. There are many more benefits of cover crops and this is just scratching the surface. Cover Crops can be used year round indoor or outdoor however different cover crops would be used in the fall and winter then in the spring and summer. 

 

There is a mass Abundance of cover crop varieties you can use but I'll touch on a few of the common basic ones. 

 

Clover generally Dutch white or crimson

Clover is a shallow root cover crop quick growing and beautiful! Has root exudates that attract nitrogen fixing bacteria to the soil. When clover starts to flower you can chop it down and just leave it on top of the soil or mulch layer then cover with compost or worm castings and a fresh layer of mulch.

 

Barley is a deep rooted cover crop

Barley grows a strong tap root that goes pretty much straight down. Definitely a great cover crop that will usually sprout from your barley straw mulch layer. Helps prevent soil compaction and is also quick growing source of biomass usually wait till it's about 10-12 inches tall before chopping barley down for the most biomass. Then same as clover or any other cover crop, cover the chopped barley with compost or worm castings and then add your fresh mulch layer! 

 

Rye and Oats are two other popular main ones but this is just the beginning there is a lot of different kinds of cover crops you can utilize for different growing conditions, whether you are trying to use it for indoor applications or outdoor raised beds or even if you want to improve your natural soil around your property you can also take advantage of cover crops to enrich your soils and help add biomass back to the soil and feed your microbiology! 

 

Clover and barley is a great simple introduction to cover crops and then you can explore the other options and see what works best for you! 

Hope this helps Thanks for Reading!

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We have covered quite a bit but of course there's always more to learn! Does anyone have any questions or is there any topics you would like to me to touch on more?? Figured this would be a good point to get feed back from the readers 

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I am looking at adding a cover crop or some green manure.  My plants are in the ground, with several companions planted around in a circle.  Do I plant this directly under my plants now or should I wait until spring? I purchased a mix from David’s Garden Seeds, Oats, field peas and hairy vetch.

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