Romeu9

Super Soil mix - Plain water feedings

27 posts in this topic

Ghost, that's a decent mix but I would add crab or oyster shell meal, rock phosphate, Greensand, guano, and Azomite. Mushroom compost is great stuff.

 

Just make sure with super-soil you have a layer of some bark mulch or similar organic-matter layer and not just a barren soil surface. It has the obvious moisture retention benefits but it also creates the proper enviroment for your super elevated levels of microlife. You should be able to move some of your top layer aside and see all kinds of life as well as white fungal hyphae on the organic matter that is "fresher" or still in earlier stages of decomp. I love Subcool but I'm not sure why he doesn't do this. It is a natural part of the forest strata. He probably has his reasons though, he's a cool dude.

 

This also makes top-dressing much more effective as your organic material filters through a "high-microlife" area as you water and as time passes to feed that micro-life. The organic matter would slowly be worked into that living-mulch layer by rain/wind/animals in nature.

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the only thing Im questioning now is the common process of limeing which doesn't make much sense unless your base is of primarily peat moss (which has very low pH) or another low pH substrate material .  In as much I'm not so sure its necessary to lime in an effort to neutralize pH. since soil grown ganga likes a lower than 7 pH any way. Couple this phenomena with salt build up that also increases pH we might just be better off leaving the liming out of the equation altogether if the basic medium doest strongly call out for it. Perhaps going so far as to explore organic or natural means of acidifying while adding the micros associated  with liming by some other means.

 

It is my intent to explore ways to get the substrate down to 6.2pH and not limieing it up unless required.

 

Ive found this mineral mix from keep it simple that looks like it may do the job of several mineral type amendments. its all organic and looks like a winner. However it does contain some components that neutralize (that is raise) the pH towards basic. (this may be a side effect of the other acidifying components in the mix such as green sand and sulfur ). So Im not sure exactly what effect that will have on pH and as we have discussed and on the alkalinization of the substrate. 

 

This practice (alkalinization through limeing) exacerbates the common problem we have out here in the arid Western US. Which is alkaline salts in the soil, their build up (through various processes) and very hard waters coupled with over fertilization (which may also be exacerbated by increased pH via lowered nutrient tup take) and you have a steady increase in pH as you go along (proverbial snowball effect). Now it is normal out here to use RO or otherwise filtered water to keep dissolved, or suspended particulate and water pH down to tolerable levels. But as you can see it doesn't make a lot of sense on the face of it to take steps to "neutralize" ( that is Raise the pH of)  the substrate when the natural drift is already towards the basic and away from our beloved crop's predisposition towards a more acidic soil nature.

 

Anyway here is a cool little paper from UC Davis on various additives and their effect on soil pH For your reading pleasure    

   http://vric.ucdavis.edu/pdf/Soil/ChangingpHinSoil.pdf

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