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Coots Based Soil Mix - First Attempt


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I’m finally getting back into the swing of things this year and I’ve been busy the last 2 weeks gathering ingredients and building my own living organic soil mix.

 

My first attempt at an organic soil didn’t go well. I think I got my ratios all wrong :investigating so I eventually aborted it all

 

I decided to ditch that recipe and base my new mix, for the most part, on a mix that’s quite popular in the states that I chose mainly due to its straight forward simplicity and its low number of ingredients. It’s by a guy called Clackamas Coot a.k.a LumperDawgz. Those are his nicks on some of the big forums on the web. Some will know of him. I’ve done a good bit of reading up on his mix and seen good results. Also found a dude running coot’s mix on Youtube whose plants came out great, he's got a tutorial on his mix which I followed very closely. Here's the video

 

 

This is the original Clackamas Coot mix I based my mix on:

 

"Equal parts of Sphagnum peat moss, some aeration deal (pumice, rice hulls, lava rock - whatever is sitting in the garage) and finally some mix of humus - my compost, worm castings some black leaf mold I bought from the local 'worm guy'

To each 1 c.f. of this mix I add the following:

1/2 cup organic Neem meal

1/2 cup organic Kelp meal

1/2 cup Crab meal (or Crustacean meal when available - it has Shrimp meal with the Crab meal. It's a local product from the fisheries on the Oregon & Washington Coasts) *

4 cups of some minerals - rock dust

 

After the plant is in the final container I top-dress with my worm castings at 2" or so and then I hit it with Aloe vera juice and Comfrey extract. Or Borage. Or Stinging Nettle. Or Horsetail ferns. Whatever is ready.

 

The Rock Dust Recipe

4x - Glacial Rock Dust - Canadian Glacial (Gaia Green label)

1x - Bentonite - from the pottery supply store

1x - Oyster Shell Powder - the standard product from San Francisco Bay

1x - Basalt - from Redmond, Oregon (new product at Concentrates - about $18.00) ."

 

So here’s my mix, it makes around 65L of soil. Some of the ingredients in coots mix aren’t attainable in SA so I have replaced those. My mix below is coots mix doubled so just halve the below mix if you need less soil.

This is a test mix and has not been proven yet. I can’t vouch for it yet by any means

 

Base Mix

20L Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss – A lot of growers favour this over coco for multiple reasons. Unfortunately it’s quite expensive here, got it for R60 / 15L at the local Mica so I will probably just use coco next time

20L Perlite – we don’t have lava rock, rice hulls or pumice available in SA

15L Worm Castings – sourced from a local worm farm called Davley Organics

5L Culterra Compost

2L Culterra Topsoil

 

Amendments

1 Cup Kelp meal

1 Cup Flaxseed Meal - replaces neem seed meal which is not available in SA. Flax meal has a NPK of 6-1-1, similar to neem meal’s 6-1-2

1 Cup Shrimp/Prawn Meal – It’s not available in SA but easy to make at home. Prawn shell is easier to find than crab – there are many different soil recipes out there, some are just variants of the more popular ones, but almost all of them contain crustacean meal. It’s a source of N, calcium and phosphorous. Plus it’s rich in chitin which boosts a plants immune system and stimulates microbial growth and activity

4 cups Basalt (Turbo Grow)

1 Cup Soft Rock Phosphate – not in coots mix but a large number of other recipes

2 Cups gypsum

1 cup Dolomite Lime – Used in place of oyster flour not available in SA

 

For those who prefer a visual recipe, here we go...

 

First I start off with my Base Mix

 

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First in goes 20L of Sphagnum peat moss

 

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Then 15L of Eartworm castings

 

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Then 20L of Perlite and 5L of Compost

 

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I mixed that up a bit and added 2L of Topsoil

 

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Then gave it a good mix with my hands, you'll end up with a base mix that looks like this

 

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Now its time to add those Amendments

 

I added the following:

 

1 Cup of Kelp Meal

 

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1 cup of Flax Meal

 

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4 cups of Basalt

 

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2 cups of Gypsum

 

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1 cup of shrimp meal - I couldn't make up 1 cup of meal with the shells I had this time unfortunately, ended up with about 3/5 of a cup

 

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1 cup of soft rock phosphate

 

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That's all the amendments, now give it a good mix with your hands or however you prefer to mix all the ingredients together. Add some water to moisten the mix, don't add too much water as you don't want it too wet. Your mix will look like below

 

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Finally I added some worms to the mix to keep it more "alive" and help process some of the amendments

 

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....and that's it. Now I let it sit for 1 month and then I'll put it to use. Got 2 seedlings at the moment which will eventually go into this soil

 

Will keep you guys posted

 

:-peace

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Ya thanks 420 gr8 post Bru!!! I think the live worms are a good add ! U don't use that efficient microbes stuff ?

 

Sent from my E5303 using Tapatalk

 

I have no experience with organics so everything I'm trying out is based on reading. I plan to go as hippie as possible and not use any bottled additives for as long as I possibly can. No need for the EM as I'll be inoculating the soil with compost teas as well as homemade lactobacilus serum. I'm gonna feed/water only with aloe vera juice(plenty aloes around me), coconut water, compost teas, alfalfa teas, sprouted seed teas and possibly comfrey teas if I can find comfrey anywhere.

 

If the plants begin to struggle I'll buy some biobizz

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  • 1 month later...

So things are going well so far with my soil mix

 

This is one plant in the soil now. I transplanted her into a 20L fabric pot with my soil mix about 2 weeks ago and growth has exploded.  It's a Vision seeds La Blanca Gold

 

So far no bottled nutrients or fertilizers have been used, the only thing that has come from a bottle is coconut water which the plant seems to love. I've started a cover crop with alfalfa and top dressed with worm castings. Prior to the transplant I used just plain water, compost teas and alfalfa teas. I'm spraying her with neem oil once a week to keep pests away

 

I have another seedling(Barneys Farm Cookies Kush - freebie seed) that has been having a real tough time. I've just transplanted her into the soil mix as well and she's looking better already. Must be genetic cos she's been on the exact same regime as the la blanca

 

Of course flower is when the real test comes. Will keep you updated

 

:-peace

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Very happy with this soil mix so far. The cookies kush has recovered beautifully from being a wilted yellow seedling to what she is now. She was topped a week ago

 

La Blanca gold has been supercropped a bit after her topping to encourage more heads. Watered last Friday with a compost tea with some added humic mix from GG. Watered this evening with coconut water. These 2 will go into flower tomorrow

 

La Blanca Gold

 

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Cookies Kush - Barneys Farm

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

All going well still... besides from burning the top of my plants with a 600w hps which I soon realised was too hot for this space so I've got a 400W in there now. Top dressed with EWC for the last time a week ago. Been watering with coconut water every week

 

:-peace

 

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Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

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All going well still... besides from burning the top of my plants with a 600w hps which I soon realised was too hot for this space so I've got a 400W in there now. Top dressed with EWC for the last time a week ago. Been watering with coconut water every week

 

:-peace

 

Looking mighty fine. What is EWC?

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  • 1 month later...

So it's day 61 of flower and things have been going alright. Unfortunately the cookies kush started going south for unknown reasons. My guess is the strain is a heavy feeder and so it kinda seemed to run out of steam too soon. She started to show ill signs about 3 weeks ago after a top dress and declined slowly since then. As a result I had to cut her prematurely 2 days ago, I'll just be using her for cooking. The top colas actually started to go dry and crispy and the leaves began to just go yellow and die. Whether that could be due to a top dress with my own worm castings, I won't really know. The other plant didn't react the same way so maybe not. Also the Kush never began to show any real resin production from the onset. If anyone can take a look at the last 2 pics and suggest what may have gone wrong with here that would be much appreciated

 

The la blanca gold went a lot better although I would have liked bigger colas. She does smell great though and is nice and frosty. All in all for my first full organic grow with no bottled nutes I'm pretty chuffed with the result on this plant... not ideal but it's a start.

 

So far I would say the soil mix isn't bad at all judging by the la blanca it just needs a few tweaks and I reckon I'll start supplementing with biobizz bloom midway through flower next time. I think something a little extra is needed in the soil for bloom. I think more rock phosphate is needed. I must admit that I didn't quite stick to my plan during flower as well... I didn't inoculate and only brewed 2 compost teas. I also didn't feed with any kelp teas or alfalfa teas thinking they wouldn't need that... Which I was wrong about...

 

Lessons learn't though and I look forward to giving it another shot soon

 

The La Blance is the first 4 pics below. The Cookies Kush is the last 2 (looks very ill)

 

Will share some dried nug pics soon

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Years ago when I started growing, I was happy with results like this. Any bit of bud and sugar leaves would do.

Now that I've seen the potential of a plant fed with the correct ingredients, I can see how much of a bigger harvest you couldve had with this grow.

 

Having said that, Im still after a soil mix that doesnt need any additional nutrients added except for watering with Seaweed extract - I've seen Youtube grow, CaliGreen grow like that, so I know its possible.

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Years ago when I started growing, I was happy with results like this. Any bit of bud and sugar leaves would do.

 

Only one way to learn. How long have you been growing HB?

Going for 2 years now. But only completed about 2 out of my 5 different grows, also 2 years isnt exactly qualifiying as YEARS ago...lol

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