Hydro-to-NoTill: Perpetually Dirty

Discussion in 'Organic Grow Journals' started by astrohammer, Feb 10, 2021.

  1. #1 astrohammer, Feb 10, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
    Hello everyone, thanks for coming by!
    Been doing hydro for a bit now, always wanting to go perpetual, but couldn't.
    Found myself at a trade off:
    Finally grow perpetually but have to switch to Organic
    Stay Hydro but no perpetual

    Obvious choice isn't it? I'm a first timer again! :'D

    Won't mention all my equipment this time, so ask if ya care.
    All I'll be focusing on is the recipe I'm following for my soil mix and the grow plans.

    The amount of research I've done is insane. Mostly cause it never led me anywhere besides gaining knowledge of my ingredients, basic procedure, and all sorts of experiences from all sorts of growers with all sorts of recipes...didn't learn one drop of factual information that rings true unconditionally. Save yourself the headache and just follow a reputable recipe. Go from there. Also, SHOP LOCALLY (if you can). I would've spent double the total costs going solely through BuildASoil. Still gotta buy stuff from them, which I know I'll be overcharged for, but it's the only trustworthy place left I can get powdered Gypsum, Yucca extract, and Basalt.

    10 cu. ft. Soil Recipe:


    1. 40% Peat Moss (Sunshine)
    2. 40% Pumice + Lava Rock
    3. 20% Compost(Bu's Blend) + EWC(Brut Worm Farms)
    Amendments(per cu.ft.):
    1. Crab Meal @ 1cup (4-3-0 Ca14% DtE*)
    2. Neem Meal @ 1/2cup (6-1-2 DtE)
    3. Alfalfa Meal @ 1/2cup (2.5-0.5-2.5 DtE)
    4. Kelp Meal @ 2cups (1-0.1-2 DtE)
    5. Fish Bone Meal @ 1/4cup (4-12-0 Ca14% DtE)
    6. Malted Barley @ 1cup (gonna try and find it locally before being robbed by BaS**)
    7. Gypsum @ 1/2cup (Ca22% S17% BaS)
    8. Yucca Extract Powder @ 1TSP (BaS)
    9. Basalt @ 4cups (BaS)
    10. BioChar @ 8% of total soil (Wakefield)(guessing it will charge during cook)
    * DtE- Down to Earth
    ** BaS- Build A Soil

    Total Measurements:

    4cu. ft. Peat Moss, 4cu. ft. Aeration (2cu. ft. Pumice & 2cu. ft. Lava Rock), 2 cu. ft. Organics (1cu. ft. Compost & 1cu. ft. Earth Worm Castings)
    10cups Crab Meal, 5cups Neem Meal, 5cups Alfalfa Meal, 20cups Kelp, 2 1/2cups Fish Bone Meal, 10cups Malted Barley, 5cups Gypsum, 10tsp Yucca Extract, 40cups Basalt, 0.8cu. ft. Biochar
    Cooking for 2 months, EDIT: THIS RECIPE NEED ONLY BE COOKED UNTIL IT COOLS DOWN AFTER A FEW DAYS. It only got to 120f for about 4 days, then started to cool down.

    Seems like a lot huh? I'll modify the recipe on the fly if needed and update the lists.
    The original recipe I'm following is the first page at No-Till: Revisited by Mountain Organics.

    "1:1:1: CSPM (Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss) : Pumice/Lava rock : Compost - Malibus B/U is an excellent choice if it is available in your area.

    Amended per cuF with:

    1/2 - 1 cup Neem or Karanja
    1/2 - 1 cup Kelp
    1/2 - 1 cup Crab/Crustacean meal
    1 cup MBP (Malted Barley Powder)

    1/2 cup Gypsum (nice Sulphur source)
    4-6 cups Basalt
    6-8 cups Bio-char"

    Obviously I've added a tad of Fish bone, alfalfa, and Yucca.

    My reasoning for each..
    Fish bone 1/4cup: For some added P, without de-stabilizing the formula too much.
    Alfalfa 1/2cup: Straight up for Trianconatol, so i split the 1cup Neem to half/half
    Yucca 1TSP: As a wetting agent inside the soil
    I upped my Kelp to 2cups just for extra K, without de-stabilizing the formula too much.

    Obviously I changed the ratio of the base soil as well.
    Reasons: You cant split 10 cu ft in thirds without doing stupid measuring. 4 cu.ft 4 cu ft 2 cu ft = 10ft. Perfect. Easy. Cheaper than 12cu ft. Also I've read much stuff that suggests a lower percentage of compost. I was originally going to do 50%peat, 30% aeration, 20% compost. I felt the Bio-char will add aeration anyways, but whatever. 40-40-20 it is. I worried that much peat would dis-balance things.


    Will be mainlining, scrog is too much work for not a cemented equal pay out. Plus, I've never mainlined. The best I've ever trained was when I just eye-balled it and didn't strictly follow any training technique...so *shrug*

    EDIT: Didnt cook for 2 months. This recipe is ready the moment it cools down to 80f. Only had 4 days of 120f. Watered with Recharge.


    I welcome all advice, criticism, and insults.

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  2. Man buildasoil is one fat rip off just saying again lol.
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. Does biochar really need to be "charged"? Doesn't it just charge during the cook??
    80 dollars for a cu. ft. at buildasoil, 30 bucks of regular biochar for 1cu.ft. at another source. my gahd....
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. #4 astrohammer, Feb 10, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
    Reasoning behind adding pumice AND lavarock was because of the size differences between them at the local store I went shopping at.
    The pumice is about a 1/4 inch consistently through the bag. Lava rock ranges from 1/4 to 3/4 an inch with a couple real fatties in there.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. getting regular biochar for half the price, no charged anymore. I figure it'll charge during the 2 month cook
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  6. As for mulch, the way it affects the soil got me thinking too hard. Gonna just put Barley Hay and hope no seeds take up precious root space.
    I thought of a cover crop like vetches and clover, but i just cant accept less root space.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. I agree that cooking the biochar in with the soil counts as charging it. There's a lot of surface area in char and it takes life time to take up residence.

    How big are your containers?

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  8. #8 astrohammer, Feb 10, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
    thanks for comin by!
    both 4x4 tents will have 2x 20 gallon fabric pots.
    I'll keep the soil cooking in 2x 50gallon totes, tossing and re-hydrating whenever necessary.

    Glad to have someone agree with the charging. I watched videos of charging it, and it's totally what cooking soil is.
    Couple of EWC/Kelp teas with my 02 emitters should help that even further along.

    EDIT: 2x 40gallons, one each tent
    • Like Like x 1
  9. [​IMG]

    Everything will be cleared out before setup. First thing is mixing the soil.
    EWC, Gypsum, Biochar, Yucca, and Basalt shipped.
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  10. Once the soil is cooked, itll be sent to logan labs for a test.

    I will 100% post the test

    Despite the results, most likely going to use the soil anyways. Not down to add/adjust and wait another month.

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  11. #11 astrohammer, Feb 10, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
    Wanted to add to "tossing and rehydrating.." in the previous post.
    Understanding the general composting procedure has helped follow it. If I understand right, the soil will increase in temperature to a point. However you discern that cap, thats when you toss (rehydrate if necessary). The pile will cool down and proceed to heat up again. This goes on for a while. The sign of getting to the end, is when that heat cap seems to descend and cool down. Finally stabilizing in temperature.

    Obviously if you kept adding raw material (like a composting bin), you'd keep the heating process going.

    Would love to know if I misunderstood how to read the composting process in these regards to supersoil.

    If I smell any sign of an anaerobic environment, i probably won't be so strict to follow the heat.
    One thing that worries me about cooking in totes is the plastic+heat and the very bottom of the soil where the least amount of oxygen would be.
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  12. Also, absolutely plan to add worms to the completed soil. Starting with very few and seeing how they procreate.

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  13. #13 JMcGD, Feb 10, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
    I didn’t charge my last round of BC by accident. Fortunately it “ cooked” for over two months. I was worried that it might be an issue but I appears to be just fine. Plants on the new beds are absolutely crushing it right now :thumbsup:
    I like your mix design!
    With the fish and alfalfa I’d definitely let it cook. Your “ tossing and rehydrating” sounds about right. FYI, Soapnuts work well to hydrate to original batch and are much cheaper. I’ll bet you paid through the nose for the yucca! As a wetting agent it’s way over priced​
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  14. @astrohammer you can do perpetual with coco coir easy as pie. I did one dwc run and tried coco after and its about the same performance as a bubble bucket without all equipment.
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  15. Right on, lovin the confirmation about the biochar. Saved a good chunk of cash.

    Lol yep. I did. Thank goodness its just teaspoons. Might not get yucca again. Gotta experiment with it with some extra soil to see if its even close to worth it. Its kinda silly how kelp and yucca are kind of pricey..that stuff is everywhere in CA. I should just learn the processing part! xP

    Woah i forgot about soapnuts. People usually crush and boil those for their waterings right??

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  16. One thing at a time man! x)
    With this space, i feel like I can experiment on the side so much more. Might test out some coco then!
    Thanks for chimin in killer :)

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  17. Sometimes I forget were all learning so much more than just growing cannabis
    I cant help but imagine how worth while all this knowledge, conversation, and experience is.

    Love GC!

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    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. You doing no till. Only reason I haven't done it is I use hps so I can't afford the soil.
  19. I definitely underestimated how much making soil costs. Hopefully I can successfully no-till it for years to come or thats gonna be a mega fail.

    Total I spent for 10cu.ft. of base soil and all amendments + barley straw = $500

    Ill end up with somewhere around 12cuft. of soil mix after mixing everything.

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