Soil recipe for containers

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Soil recipe for containers

Post by Andrew »

The very best time to get biology to interface with a plant is when it germinates. The conventional wisdom is your seed start mix should be sterile. This is not so for the beyond organic regenerative grower! A good seed start mix contains microbes, and microbe food. We want a diverse set of microbes so that the plant can select who it wants to work with, and for this reason you want an aged vermicompost (12+ months for best results). Vermicompost, vermicast and worm castings are all the same thing and can be used interchangeably. They are the result of composting with worms and are loaded with microbes, enzymes and growth hormones.

I recommend creating your own or purchasing a living soil mix where possible. We sell a product called "Living Soil 1.0" in our store which has been specially formulated for this (see end of post). Although our recipe has quite a few ingredients, you can have success with a simple recipe yourself:

Buy a bag of sterile potting mix. Lets say its 1 cubic foot (28L). To this bag add...

- 3-6L of high quality vermicompost (worm castings) - this provides our microbes, improves germination + water retention
- 120g of SEA-90 - water soluble trace elements and minerals
- 2 cups of rock dust / green sand / azomite - minerals
- 1 cup of organic alfalfa meal
- 1 cup of kelp meal
- 1 cup of fish bone meal (or other bone meal if fish cannot be found)
- 1 cup of rock phosphate
- 1/4 cup of dolomite lime or baked/crushed eggshells
- 2 tbsp of epsom salt - calcium + mag to balance pH and provide nutrients

optional but highly recommended:

- 1.5L of bio-char - this provides a home for microbes, adsorbs heavy metals, improves soil porosity + water retention

Blend this together and moisten appropriately (squeeze in hand and if water readily drips out you've added too much water), you want one or two tiny drops to appear when you squeeze hard, but not flowing drips.

Because we have added sources of nitrogen this mix should be allowed to sit, turned daily, and monitored to look for a rise in temperature. If there is no rise, go ahead and use it. If temperature goes up, wait for it to return to room temperature before using. This is called "cooking your mix".

TFSW LS 1.0: ... ng-soil-10
TFSW biodynamic vermicompost: ... m-castings
CHAR+ biochar: ... cubic-foot
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Re: Soil recipe for containers

Post by TomF »

Thanks for sharing your recipe. Where can you get the meal products? Also do you need to have so many additives if you have good aged thermophilic compost from a high diversity of materials in the recipe that has aged with worms overwinter?

Also, with bio char, some local sources call it biochar but it is really just charcoal without the biology in it. This can rob nutrients initially until the char is laden with good stuff. I have been making it and add it to my kitchen scraps when I chop them top in a 5 gallon bucket before adding it to my compost. Who sells char that has had the Bio component addressed to save the time to get biology into it?
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