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2010 Revised Super Soil Recipe

Discussion in 'Subcool's Old School Organics' started by subcool, Jun 9, 2010.

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    subcool Well-Known Member

    Super Soil

    To me, there is nothing like the taste of properly grown organic cannabis. The subtle flavors and aromas created when using Mother Earth are pleasantly overwhelming to the senses when everything is done properly. As with many vegetables, a rich organic soil can bring out the best in a plant. Throughout the past 20 years, I have tried almost every possible way to cultivate our favorite plant and while hydroponic is certainly faster and more productive, I have developed a soil that performs extremely well with very little guess work. I don’t worry about PH or PPM (parts per million), I simply have spent a few years developing a n effective recipe. Using seven gallon nursery pots, I can grow plants from start to finish using only water. Other than a bit of sweat equity every 90 days or so, this takes a huge amount of science out of the garden and puts nature back in charge. This recipe is slightly different from the one I had used previously— the one so many consider to be gospel— and that has been passed around for years from grower to grower. I consider this version to be new and improved and reflects the exact formula I am using at the time this book was actually printed.

    I always start with at least 6-8 large bags of high quality organic soil. The selection of your base soil is very important, so don’t cut corners here. I cannot possibly discuss all the different products but I will mention a few notable favorites. A good organic soil should cost between $8-10 per 30 lb. bag. To get a really good idea of what I consider to be a balanced soil, take a look at the ingredients of a product called Roots Organic:

    Lignite*, coca fiber, perlite, pumice, compost, peat moss, bone meal, bat guano, kelp meal, Green sand, soy bean meal, leonardite, k-mag, glacial rock dust, alfalfa meal, oyster shell flour, earth worm castings and Mycorrhizae.

    I have always had success in giving my plants a wide range of soil amendments; I figure it's like a buffet where they get all they need.

    “Lignite, also known as leonardite, mined lignin, brown coal, and slack, is an important constituent to the oil well, drilling industry. Lignite, or leonardite as it will be referred as hereafter, is technically known as a low rank coal between peat and sub-bituminous. Leonardite was named for Dr. A.G. Leonard, North Dakota's first state geologist, who was a pioneer in the study of lignite deposits. Leonardite is applied to products having a high content of humic acid. Humic acid has been found to be very useful as a drilling
    mud thinner.”

    Another soil product we are now testing is called Harvest Moon:

    Washed coco fibers, Alaskan peat moss, perlite, yucca, pumice, diatoms, worm castings, feather meal, fishmeal, kelp meal, limestone, gypsum, soybean meal, alfalfa meal, rock dust, yucca meal, and Mycorrhizae fungi.

    The Roots Organic soil has typically produced a more floral smell in the finished buds, while the Harvest Moon generates larger yields.

    If you have access to good local mixes like these, then I highly recommend starting with these types of products. We have also had decent results using larger commercial brands, but not without plenty of additives. The best result we have seen from well known soil that is available nationwide is with Fox Farms “Ocean Forest” soil combined in a 2-1 ratio with “Light Warrior,” also produced by Fox Farms. On its own, the Ocean Forest is known for burning plants and having the wrong ratio of nutrients, but when mixed with Light Warrior it makes a pretty good base soil.

    You can also just use two bales of their “Sunshine Mix #4,” but this is my last choice and plants growing in this may not complete properly with my “just add water” method of soil growing. The concept with this concentrated soil is to not have to worry about mixing nutrients once the soil is made.

    The mix is placed in the bottom ¼ to ½ of the container and blended with base soil. This allows the plants to grow into the strongly concentrated soil and, in the right size container, they need nothing else but water throughout the full growing cycle. With strains requiring high levels of nutrients like Cheese and Space Queen and other high energy demand strains, we go as strong as ¾ of the container with Super Soil but this is only with a small percentage of strains.

    Here are the amounts we have found that produce the best tasting buds and strongest medicines:

    8 large bags of high quality organic potting soil with coco and Mycorrhizae
    25-50 lbs. of organic worm castings
    5 lbs. of Blood meal 12-0-0
    5 lbs. Bat guano 0-5-0
    5 lbs. Fish Bone Meal 3-16-0
    ¾ cup Epsom salt
    1 cup Sweet lime (Dolomite)
    ½ cup Azomite ( Trace element)
    2 Tbs. powdered Humic acid
    *** If using an RO system add in 1/2 cup powdered Cal/mag

    This is the same basic recipe I have used for 15 years. While I have made small changes in the ingrediants the basic recipe has stayed the same with the main change being the type of products we use. I do make small changes and that means the true recipe is always changing slightly but each of the changes is small and if I see no benifit I return to the previous mix. The hardest ingredient to acquire is the worm castings. Most people don't even know what this is. Be resourceful and find it! Worms make up ¾ of the living organisms underground and hold our planet together.
    Be careful not to waste money on “Soil conditioner with worm castings.” Buy local, pure worm poop with no added mulch.

    There are several methods of mixing this up well. You can sweep the ingredients off a patio or garage and work with it there on a tarp.You can use a kids’ plastic wading pool. These cost about $10 and work really well for a few seasons. Some growers have been known to rent a cement mixer and cut down on the physical labor. As long as you get the ingredients mixed up properly, that is all that matters.

    This can be a lot of work so don’t pull a muscle if you’re not used to strenuous activity. The manual method is good for the mind and body. Working with soil keeps me in pretty good shape, but if you have physical limitations you can simply have someone mix it up for you while you supervise. One of the things I like about this method is that I can drop off plants to a patient and all they have to do is water them when the soil dries out.

    Place a few bags of base soil in first, making a mound. Then place the powdered nutrients in a circle around the mound and cover it all with another bag of base soil.
    Then, in go the bat poop and more base soil. I continue to layer soil and additives until everything has been added to the pile. At this point, I put on the muck boots. These help me kick the soil around and get it mixed up well using my larger leg muscles and not my back and arms. Then it’s as simple as my Skipper used to say: “Put your back into it.” This is hard work that I obsess on, even breaking up all the clods of soil by hand. I mix for about 15 minutes, turning the pile over and over until it is thoroughly combined. I store the mix in large garbage cans.

    Before using it, the entire load is poured out once more and mixed well. Once placed in the storage containers, I water the mix slightly, adding three gallons of water to a large garbage can full. It will make the stirring harder next week but this will activate the Mycorrhizae and help all the powders dissolve.

    Now, we add water and let it cook in the sunshine. Thirty days of cooking is best for this concentrate.

    Do not put seeds or clones directly in this mix. It is a concentrated mix used in conjunction with base soil. Place it in the bottom of each finishing container. Fully rooted, established clones should be placed in a bed of base soil that is layered on top of the concentrate. As the plants grow, they slowly push their roots into the Super Soil, drawing up all nutrients needed to complete their life cycle. Super Soil can also be used to top dress plants that take longer to mature.

    I use this mix for a full year, just adding about 30-50% in the lower portion of the container, depending on the strain, and plain base soil in the top portion. (Base soil means your regular potting soil such as Roots, Harvest Moon, or even Sunshine Mix without the additives!)

    Buds produced from this method finish with nicely faded fan leaves and the end result is a smoother fruity flavor. The plants are not green when done but purple, red, orange and even black at times. The resin content is heavier and the terpins always seem to be more pungent.

    This method is used by medical growers all over with amazing results. The feedback I receive is really positive with reports of hydro-like growth and novice growers producing buds of the same quality as lifelong growers.

    You can watch more info on my Youtube channel



    We switched from Bone meal to Fish bone meal because its organic
    Rock dust is no longer available due to the patriot act and I am not sure it helped anyway the Roots soil has Glacial Rock dust included.

    I am now using 6 bags of Roots 2 bags of Biobiz Light in my recipe.

    This is the most current recipe.

    I hope this clears up some confusion.

    Attached Files:


    highstandards Well-Known Member

    thank you very much for this post sub!

    hybridbuds Active Member

    Great post IMO I know there was some serious confusion on this. Thanks for the update Sub
    Rtoke likes this.

    Murdaholic69 Member

    Thank you! for puttin it straight forward. Now when I go to my local nursery I know what I'm look for without seeming like tardo. My friend grows organic and it usually does taste better. I'll have to show 'em what I learned in school today.
    Rtoke likes this.

    elduece Active Member

    Yesterday decided not to take any prisoners and I bought all the ingredients to your previous recipe. Since you posted this, I'd like your advise on three main questions:

    This revision doesn't include rock phosphate, why not?

    What's the total cubic footage for the base soil in this recipe? Is it 12 cu? -I trying to fractionalize this recipe against on what have in total over here "{8 cu = qty.2 Light Warrior(1.0 cu.) and qty.4 Ocean Forest(1.5 cu.)}"

    I just realized this morning that I will have to go to straight to blooming in a month and won't be vegging in this mix or at the most vegging for a week, should I scale back on ingredients with available N like blood meal? What other N ingredient should I hold back?

    Thank you!

    subcool Well-Known Member

    "Rock dust is no longer available due to the patriot act and I am not sure it helped anyway the Roots soil has Glacial Rock dust included". From the text :)

    I have never measured it no matter how detailed I get people always think of more questions Roots is Now nationwide though so it should be easier to find its carried by national garden wholesalers.

    I use this concentrate for everything I do not have duel mixes.

    Hope that helps


    hybridbuds Active Member

    Hey Sub, I just re-read the part of your amended Soil recipe where you speak of combining FFOF and FFLW. You say they are good, but when you said this statement, what did you mean?- "We have also had decent results using larger commercial brands, but not without plenty of additives."

    Do you mean that you had to use other nutrient supplements in addition to the super soil that had a base of the FF soils?

    subcool Well-Known Member

    Decent results with Promix before we found Roots but only the roots formula of SS needs water only the rest we would end up feeding near the end.

    I will not grow in fox farm soils period but its the only choice some people have.


    stonedmetalhead1 Well-Known Member

    Is the reason you wont grow in fox farm their buisness ethics or do you think it's just an inferior product.

    subcool Well-Known Member

    Its full of bugs in my experience And in general it grows crappy Cannabis.

    [email protected] and cmpzx like this.

    hybridbuds Active Member

    PISS... I just got FFOF and Light warrior because i saw the amended recipe mention it.:cry: I figured y'all had used those two in place of Roots and had decent results...Well I guess I'll be smoking crappy weed :wall: Although it is JTR that is going into it, so how bad could it be. I get bugs anyway b/c I'm outside

    elduece Active Member

    I had no idea rock dust was rock phosphate. At my level of understanding, I try to follow/remember instructions verbatim. I've been curious about Roots and recommended Worms Way about it so they can get it. I will not order it over the internet and wait around for it though. :)

    I have yet to encounter any bugs in any soils ever used in any of my grwnindoors luck I guess. Defs/lock outs were my only battles in growing so far. Both batches of LW/OF here were really fresh and hot so I'm pretty optimistic.
    I added a brick of coir, perlite and some fresh mychorrhizae to make up FF's inferior quality. I just used Peruvian Seabird in place of P guano and Blood meal to answer my original question. Hopefully these "bugs" will clear up in course ofthis month+ long cooking process. :)

    Thanks again for the inspiration subcool. :)

    subcool Well-Known Member

    Hybrid I am an uber pot snob and I am sure your buds will be fine.
    That combo does much better than the plain OF alone.

    There is something special about the current recipe thats why I listed it up the rest are simply alternatives.
    In My area the OF products are well known to contain gnats and or root aphids and I wont even let em store it near the roots we buy its housed in a seperate area this may be a local prob but I have had at least 3 dozen reports of people using OF products picking up soil bugs.

    hybridbuds Active Member

    haha ok man that's reassuring that you'd say that. I figured they would grow in it, but just may sacrafice a little on quality in comparison to your SS recipe with Roots Soil. I will say that out here there is really not much besides FF products to grow with, unless you can make your own recipe like you do. I think I'll make your exact recipe for my indoor grows, as this is my last outdoor one for a while(I see lots of choppers going in circles lookin for plots). Or better yet... I'll just drive out to Cali and buy a bag from you bro:mrgreen: Thanks for the reply I almost junked the soil I just picked up.bongsmilie

    SupraSPL Well-Known Member

    Soil mix looks good and video is helpful thanks SUB! Do you use blackstrap in the water at any point?

    I'm pretty sure I got soil mites from FFOF about 18 months ago. Checked them out and they turned out to be beneficial predator mites (Hypoaspis Miles). I have been keeping an eye on them and sure enough they do no harm to the plants. The killed off springtails and fungus gnat larvae and constantly on patrol in the soil. I let them stay and recycle the soil but it is best to keep them away from rooting clones and seedlings.
    Greengenes707 likes this.

    drummersaredouchebags Active Member

    After using FFOF for a few years just a couple weeks ago i realized it is the reason i always get gnats and root aphids on clones rooted in rockwool. I have permanently switched to Roots and am a lot happier. I agree the FFOF should be stored completely separate so it doesnt contaminate the Roots. Thanks for the updated recipe Sub, im just about to mix my own.

    jtrbushes Active Member

    Sub, you recommend that a 1/2 cup of Powdered CalMag should be added if an R/O filter is used for water. Would more Dolomite Lime suffice or is there a product you would recommend?

    subcool Well-Known Member

    No or I would have included that.
    When using an RO your removing all the cal and mag from the water you can use cal mag later but I have recommended to my growers that use RO to go ahead and include some dry cal mag when they mix the soil up.

    Texian Member

    Hey Subcool, fantastic recipe! .. I get the whole mother nature concept, but should I be looking for products with OMRI certification? I realize the base soil, Roots Organic, does not, but what about the earthworm castings, guano, etc.. For example, the Black Gold Earthworm Castings bag claims OMRI certification, where as other Earthworm Casting bags do not display this 'tag'. Samething with some guanos and Happy Frog guano.
    Anyways, I am sorry if I am being to OCD, just have spent the last few months researching and buying into this whole OMRI certified thing. In any event, I look forward to trying your SuperSoil.

    subcool Well-Known Member

    I am not a tree hugger and I try and stay as clean as possible for taste alone but I can't certify my recipe as organic.

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