Venturing into no till, organic soil
Gday my organic no till growmies.
I’m about to enter into the world of indoor no till for real and would love some constructive criticism, here is the plan…
5x5 tent with 4x 90L (24 gallon) fabric pots and blumats. The pots will be filled with about 75L (20 gallon) of coots mix soil.
for those that don’t know coots mix it’s pretty basic but I will modify it with some local inputs.
1/3 Canadian spaghnam peat moss
1/3 aeration (lava rock and pearlite 50/50)
1/3 worm casting and compost (50/50 mix) the worm castings are done locally and are mainly made from organic dairy cow manure with some other nutrient dense inputs. The compost is an agricultural grade thermophilic compost with 40% carbon
inputs are pretty standard coots mix for every cubic foot of mix will be
1 cup kelp meal
1 cup neem meal
1 cup of lime
1/2 cup gypsum
3 cups of palagonite (in place of basalt)
Mulch of alfalfa meal to begin with to bump up the N and hit any micros that kelp and neem don’t hit.
Any input will be appreciated, things to add or subtract to the mix, pot size, number of plants… hit me with all the questions or recommendations. I want this run to be as hands off as possible with top dressing as far as I want to take any kind of additions to the soil.
I also plan to give it a weekly hit of LABs and potentially a biological boost with some Beauveria Bassiana for IPM
Looks like a well thought out mix. My tips for big pots are nemanights when starting fresh or after harvest, and a full time dedicated floor fan or breeze. That Beauveria Bassiana sounds like it will do also, new to me thanks for sharing. Wow 24 gallon will be pretty tight in there too, may want some floor space for a fan or easier access. Cover crops off the get go can be a big help, also for bringing down the microbes in your new soil etc etc. Sure are going to have big healthy plants!
That does look pretty good and standard for a coot mix. ½ cup of alfalfa meal in addition to the rest of the fertilizer mix is a nice initial boost. I, personally, never use lime of any kind. I prefer to use crab or shrimp meal. The mix will balance itself out with the use of kelp, alfalfa, and the crab/shrimp meal as they are alkaline. Don't forget the chitin in the crab/shrimp shells for pest control.
Some kind of malted grain for the enzymes. I use barley but corn or buckwheat would do as well.
A wetting agent like aloe vera, soap nuts, or even yucca for the first few runs, at least, will help keep the pot evenly moist. Watering every other day helps as well. You just need to adjust the amount of water you use through out. Of course after a thorough soaking of the medium. I am at around 64 to 80 oz every other day in a 25 gallon pot at week 4 of flower.
If I had to choose one thing to add in addition it would have to be raw coconut water. Mainly for the cytokinins but the micro elements are nice too. The sugar will be nice boost for the soil life.
Mulch....a great source of N in the long term plus keep things in place. And like SS said, cover crops are great. They also add atmospheric N to the soil, if legumes... the roots keep the soil aerated and you guessed it...they add N back when they decompose. There is the potential of the microbial life attaching itself to all the roots of the cover crop to then cross with the roots of your cannabis plant.
Lastly, a steady revolving schedule for your inputs is how I like to run it. Somewhere between 11 and 15 days works well. If you are constantly putting in everything the soil and plant will need to keep going then no sense in focusing on a certain life period for an input. You can do that later when you know how your soil works for your plants.
I apologize if I am repeating any information you may know already and I have rambled on far too long, so I bid you adieu
Rosettastoned covered most of it but i could add inn some viewpoints.
24 gallon a bare minimum pot size if you are doing no-till living soil in my opinion and if it must be done I would consider doing a short veg so the plant don't get to big. It's harder to keep the soil microbes, beneficial nematodes and other beneficial's alive with small pots. That said it is of course it's possible to get dank bud, you just have to do a tight schedule and in charge the situation.
For IPM I can't recommend beneficals such as predatory nematodes, predatory mites and lacewings highly enough! My very bad gnat infestation was gone in just a few weeks after i applied predatory nematodes. And I had an even worse thrip infestation once, so bad that I thought my plants was about to die! Then I released lacewings and predatory mites and the infestation was gone after just 2 DAYS!!
Or else I use fresh aloe plants, LAB and EM-1 plant ferments, berries and soon trying to do frass ferment, soluble kelp, barley for enzymes (top-dress, tea and main soil mix), humic acids from Bioag. I also use a lot of local plants, dries and chopped up in my mulch. And worms of course. I am not so convinced by molasses in the soil, it's better to use molasses in brewing but i am on deep waters here.
A steady revolving schedule for your inputs is very important when in that small a pot, brewing some enzyme tea, nutrient tea is also good! Top dress often! But remember less is more! And maybe some mycorrhiza inoculants. Don't let the top soil dry out!! the microbes and nematodes die off then and the gnats can move inn.
So I’ve adjusted the final mix slightly with input from you all above and this is what it looks like…
Base mix per pot
- 25L peat moss
- 20L 10mm volcanic rock
- 5L pearlite
- 20L worm castings
- 5L compost
Amendments per cubic foot of base mix
- 1cup kelp meal
- 1cup Neem cake
- 1cup Limestone
- 1/2cup Gypsum
- 3 cups palagonite
- 1/2 cup alfalfa meal
- 1cup crushed malted barley
- 1/2cup used coffee grounds I had spare.
I also have a very light mulch of alfalfa and used LABs with some soap nuts as an initial drench to kick start the biology. The coffee was beautifully colonised with mycelium so I had to throw in a bit of that. I planted a cover crop mix and already chopped/dropped the first pot.
I was a bit unsure of how to use the blumats most efficiently while also reducing the amount of fiddling it took to dial them in. But I found some “6mm dripper tube” which fit perfectly onto the supplied blumat fittings so I made watering rings, each with 4 outlets. Still dialling them in but so far promising for hands off operation. When they’re set I’ll add some nail polish to “glue” them in that position.
I’ve just popped my first seed (a mephisto auto) which I plan to put straight into the soil after a jiffy pellet. The auto is just to get life happening until I have the final pot mixed and will run photos in the other three.