First organic grow

Discussion in 'Organics' started by 215roller, Jan 25, 2013.

  1.  
    215roller

    215roller Active Member

    I'm a first time grower and have decided I wanted to grow completely organic. I've done a lot of reading and I think worm casting tea is what I will use to fertilize when ready to receive nutes. I've read that it is good to brew the worm castings with molasses in panty hoes or a sock for a couple days. Are there any other nute that can be added to this tea that would be beneficial? And also how often should i feed the plants with that tea and is it good for vegetation and flowering or just vegetation?
  2.  
    Rrog

    Rrog Well-Known Member

    Keep it simple, maybe. 1/3 sphagnum, 1/3 pumice, 1/3 EWC. I'd forget about the tea brewing initially. Just top dress with the EWC. Are you new to organics? Were you growing hydro before or is this your first grow also?
  3.  
    215roller

    215roller Active Member

    This is my first grow ever. So I should just use the nutrients you listed above in my soil mixture before planting? Or you're saying I need to put that mixture directly on top of my soil in its solid form? Sorry for any questions that may sound dumb but just trying to make sure I get everything right.
  4.  
    Rrog

    Rrog Well-Known Member

    I think questions are great! Good for you for asking-

    I would really suggest you start the first grow simply. You will be exposed to so much for the first grows that you should maybe limit the variables. No worries, you will grow dank, assuming you have good genetics to start. You can always look at teas and other techniques but initially, I'd look to build a simple soil and have a go with it.

    That above mix I mentioned is a basic starting point for a soil. Could use some additional N.
  5.  
    215roller

    215roller Active Member

    I have some perlite and some bone meal..would that be okay to add to this mixture as well?
  6.  
    Rrog

    Rrog Well-Known Member

    Do you have access to pumice? Medium and large, not small particles. Better than Perlite. If you mixed up the combo I mentioned above, then to each cubic foot of that mix you could add:

    2 cups biochar
    1/2 cup epsom salt
    2 Cups Kelp Meal
    2 cups fish meal
    2 cups fish bone meal (or the bone meal you have)

    Do you have access to crab shell meal? Neem meal? These will get the microbes going that will eat larvae we don't want.

    Let the soil "cook" for a month. That just means let is sit and the microbes will start to break down these nutrients, storing them safely so as not to burn the plant.
    silusbotwin likes this.
  7.  
    215roller

    215roller Active Member

    Let soil cook for a month? Meaning if I was planning on transplanting my starter pots to my soil a month from today I should create the mixture now?
  8.  
    Rrog

    Rrog Well-Known Member

    Yes. The new amendments are not safely locked away by the microbes yet, and so can easily burn a young plant, especially.
  9.  
    215roller

    215roller Active Member

    I read that composite contains a lot of humus..is that what you were referring to? If not would that do?
  10.  
    215roller

    215roller Active Member

    Oh and what is EWC?
  11.  
    Rrog

    Rrog Well-Known Member

    EWC = Earthworm Castings = Worm poop = Vermicompost. All the same thing. You can also make compost without worms in a pile in the back yard. But that takes a while and isn't the same.

    Humus - humic and fulvic acids- are the final breakdown of organic material as far as we're concerned. It holds water, cations, and plant enzymes. The worms add a great deal to the scenario. Calcium in the coatings, faster decomposition, increased plant immunity from pathogens and insects, both in the soil AND in the leaves. Amazing stuff. All from worms. Everyone should have a worm bin and amend the mix. You feed the worms vegetable scraps. Pretty cheap, yet the best fertilizer you can find.
  12.  
    215roller

    215roller Active Member

    Is there something else you would recommend as an alternative to the worm castings? I plan on making my soil tomorrow but I would have to order them online so they wouldn't be here in time for me to let the mixture cook before I have to transplant.
  13.  
    Rrog

    Rrog Well-Known Member

    How about compost? Vegetable or manure compost?

    I would still order the EWC. You'll want it as top-dressing later.
  14.  
    215roller

    215roller Active Member

    I have access to both..does one work better than other?
  15.  
    Rrog

    Rrog Well-Known Member

    I would stick with veggie compost, I guess. Really, whichever you feel might be the best quality. If one was local vs. bagged, I'd do that. I think local is always better.
  16.  
    215roller

    215roller Active Member

    Of course I go to the store and they don't have any composite. Even though I do not prefer it..would getting a premixed organic soil and adding organic ingredients work? And what would you say a good mixture would be?
  17.  
    Rrog

    Rrog Well-Known Member

    You can always use a bagged soil. I have used Roots Organic many times in the past. Amend it for pests. Crab shell meal, Mosquito dunks, Neem meal, Nematodes if possible. These items will start killing any larvae. In my opinion, best to assume any soil is contaminated and start the microbes to kill 'em.

    Search this forum for discussions about Barley Sprout Tea, Coconut Water and Aloe. Three excellent teas. Very cheap. I would collect local BIMs (Beneficial Indigenous Microorganisms) to start the soil off. Your local microbes are the best microbes. Why? Because through local natural selection they are best suited for your specific geographic area. They are the top dogs in your neighborhood. Put 'em to work!

    After that initial inoculation, the soil will be up and running. Leave it be, or turn it occasionally if you want. I would avoid further teas, etc where the goal of that tea is to either feed the soil bacteria or add new "exotic" bacteria. As stated, your microbes have battled all others and holds the high ground. You're not going to buy better microbes.
  18.  
    215roller

    215roller Active Member

    Well what I should have said was they had composite but it's like 20 F degrees outside and it's all frozen over..that's why I need an alternative. Thanks you've been a big help.
  19.  
    215roller

    215roller Active Member

    I have my soil cooking currently as my plants aren't anywhere near ready to be transferred. I have it
    in 2 gallon pots. The pots arent filled completely but I'm starting to second guess the pot size so I was wondering if transferring the soil mixture to another pot would in anyway jeopardize the nutritious value of the soil or The life of my plant down the line?
  20.  
    SpicySativa

    SpicySativa Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you're on the right track with the good advice others are giving, but I wanted to clear up a little something for you. Worm castings and tea made from worm castings aren't exactly "nutrients", so to speak, although they do contain some low levels of various N, P, K, and micronutrients. The big benefits of worm castings (and the tea bubbled from them) is that they contain humus (google that one, its good stuff) and they are teaming with all the soil microbiology that makes organic gardening work. These microbes provide your plant with nutrients while going about their business of eating organic material in your soil (and eating each other!).

    Adding actively aerated compost teas will help "unleash" the nutrients held in your soil in te form of organic matter, and feed them to your plant.

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