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Harry Soloman

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since Jun 06, 2015
45 Year old former pot farmer, widower that embraces natural farming, ethical and moral living while walking the path of life.
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Recent posts by Harry Soloman

It's the little things in life that get to most people.  Especially when they care.

Get along people.  There are times for entertainment purposes and times when its better to not antagonize each other.  This is one of those times to get along.  

Such upset feelings typically stem from people who care, it is ok if a bit comical to some.  Believe me.  I deal with this every day right now to keep food flowing to grocery stores.  Get along people, this is the time for adults more so than ever.  Being effective is not always being the most right.

Get hungry enough, an apple core looks pretty good!  Core me up a good one!
Correct worm castings are a wonderful thing.

They offer your soil more benefits than just a one time thing.  Keep adding even if little by little and it will improve your soil in so many ways.

But also if you are not already.

Enure you put compost over the top of the soil.  This will help you to maximize its benefits.

For way to much information on vermicomposting: Vermicomposting part 1
2 months ago
To help get a great diverse group of microlife I recommend IMO 4 under the compost layer.  Biochar can be added to each layer.

Incase you do not know what IMO is, it is from Natural or Korean Farming:  Natural Farming and Inputs
4 months ago
I am a huge fan of biochar!

For way to much information on Bio Char, click this link.  biochar
4 months ago
The plants also gives out sugars for the type of microlife it is wanting/needing.

Life is a wonderful thing!

Bryant RedHawk, I appreciate and always look forward to your writings!

Karma Up!
6 months ago
Short answer, environment.

For way to much information on vermiculture:  Click Me.
6 months ago
Compost tea for me is a like a maintenance and/or supporting the plant stage it is in to help maintain healthy to optimum soil life and plant nutrition.

Perhaps a bit of information on soil life and soils can help.

For way to much information on and about composting and compost tea.
7 months ago
This is my soil recipe.

It also has way to much information on soil as well.

You can substitute what you have for similar ingredients.  Such as compost and leaf molds etc.

Soil & Recipe

A basic super soil recipe.  Understanding soil mineralization, soil ecosystem and brix in general will help you appreciate this recipe.

This soil is capable of lush growth and bountiful yields.  It is tried and tested via years of use.

Recipe list:
1-large bag (2 cu ft) organic potting soil.  (no added fertilizers)
Add compost of mushroom, leaf mold and/or forest humus and/or ocean compost if soils do not contain.
Best practice is to add a blend of all.
Compost is carbon and is vital to your PH and micro life stability.
1-large bag (2 cu ft) light mix (hanging basket mixes)
1 cu ft perlite or comparative drainage product (choose a brand)
1 cu ft worm dirt (worm castings) or (cow manure-composted)
2 cup bone meal  (Alternative = soft-rock phosphate alternative)
2 cup blood meal (Alternative - alfalfa meal)
3 cup Kelp meal (I do not add to mix as I input during grow regular but this is normal part of recipe)
4 cups fruit bat guano
1 cup dolomite lime,
1/2 cup Epsom salts
Can use agricultural lime but increase Epsom salts to 3/4 cup from the 1/2 cup Epsom salts

Biochar - you can inoculate with any below or any nitrogen based solution with microlife.
Inoculate with natural farming inputs high in nitrogen.
Inoculate with equal amounts of garden teas and molasses.

+Pest management and brix additives.
BTI (gnat control)
Nematodes (optional pest control for most soil based bugs)
Rock dusts & azomite
Myco fungus and bacteria.

Break Down of Recipe

1-large bag (2 cu ft) organic potting
Any organic potting soil soil with good drainage.
You want soil with a mix of humus and ocean blends.
No chemical fertilizers
If you cannot find, add in the following type of composts
compost with ocean shells and kelp.
compost with good humus and or mushroom compost.

1-large bag (2 cu ft) light mix type of potting soil.

Fox Farms Light Warrior soil, or promix or media for hanging baskets, or orchid mix it is likely suitable.
Any high drainage potting soil or soiless media
no chemical or additional fertilizers.

1 cu ft perlite (choose a brand) Rice hulls are also good, biochar will do similar if used and if so perlite could be skipped.

chunky and not so fine.
High drainage is key for getting air to roots.
Some of the biggest indoor plants I have seen, were grown in only perlite.
I dont recommend only growing in perlite.

1 cu ft worm worm castings, (Cow Manure, composted is a very good alternative and some would say that about worm castings).

Add this in, in addition to any worm casting that might be contained in the other soils, you cannot have enough really.
This is key to jump starting the mineralization process.
Source of microbes and is where the bio life will mostly come from.
Watering in with a garden/compost/casting tea will help boost microbes too.
Generically I use basic veg tea without adding nitrogen other than castings and composts (my compost has some nitrogen from worm bin drainage)
You can adjust for the growth of the plants, using nitrogen aspects in vegetative periods and phosphorous when in flowering phases, generically spoken.
you will not burn your plants with correct castings.
Take it easy with worm bin drainage this is hot hot hot.
If you use your own castings you will see the sprouts of what you eat will come up initially when soil is put in grow room/container.  I let this happen for a moment as it helps jump start the microbe life in soil.
The sprouts of stuff gets recycled in compost bin but also can be used for making an IMO to help boost sprouts similar to roots excelsior.  I will write on that later.  

1 cu ft compost (optional).

If only able to get basic soil and basic light mix
Add compost with sea minerals
Add compost with humus
Forest compost
Garden or home compost
Bokashi is a very good alternative for garden compost).

2 cup bone meal NPK -  3-15-0

This adds phosphorous.
(Alternative = soft-rock phosphate alternative)
Add fungi mycorrhiza as it breaks down the phosphorus and makes it available to the plant.
Plants can only get phosphorus from bone meal if the soil PH is below 7.0 (acidic soil).  (I have never seen as issue but if phosphorous is an issue than check PH out out due diligence.

2 cup blood meal NPK - 12-0-0

Add nitrogen and can be made into a liquid
(Alternative - alfalfa meal)
Lowers PH
I like for recharging soil
helps maintain compost
A single application of blood meal is usually effective for 6 to 8 weeks before subsequent feedings are needed.
Is quick acting and can burn your plants if you use too much.
Take it easy adding extra nitrogen to your recipe.
If young plants show a bit to high ec signs, reduce blood meal in the recipe by a 1/4 to a 1/3 next time.
It is easier to add than take away.  If you have light feeding plants use less and adjust accordingly listening to the plants.
Blood Meal works with bacteria and nematodes (worm castings and teas are typical source) in the soil to breakdown the powder into nitrogen components so plants can more easily absorb the nutrients.

4 cups fruit bat guano NPK 0-10-0 (NPK can vary but ensure higher in P than N)

adds NPK but also adds mico life like worm castings
Reduce and increase as per your plants feeding.  Reduce for light feeders but I would not increase without getting a feel for the soil and how it works with your plants.
Guano helps keep the soil loose and not bulky by aiding decomposition
This helps keep a good aeration at the roots.

1 cup dolomite lime

You can also use agricultural lime or garden lime but you might need to adjust the magnesium.
If using agriculture lime than increase Epsom salts by 1/4 cup per gallon which adjusts the magnesium.

1/2 cup Epsom salts

Magnesium Sulfate
Magnesium is absorbed right when the seed begins to develop.
Magnesium assists with the process of seed germination, helping to strengthen the plant cell walls and improves received nutrients.
Magnesium assist with making chlorophyll
Magnesium helps the plant take in phosphorus and nitrogen
Sulfate, a mineral form of sulfur.
Sulfate is essential to the health and longevity of plants, and aides in the production of chlorophyll.
It works like a catalyst in the soil to make key nutrients more effective for plants, including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

2 cups of rock dust

(many do not do this, it is not needed but will increase brix if activated/mineralized by biolife) .
Rock based
Adds trace nutrients and macro nutrients.
Needs to be mineralized to work (biolife)

2 cups of Azomite

(many do not do this, it is not needed but will increase brix if activated/mineralized by biolife)
Clay based
Similar to rock dust
I like as it breaks down differently than rock dust.

Pest Control

BTI, Mosquito dunks to chunks to liquid.
Sprinkle bti on the soil and mix real good.
Liquid drops (microlift) (a few drops will take care of 30 gallons of water)
work faster than dunks
Use yucca when watering to help even spread in medias.
Great protection for fungas gnats.
It will not prevent infection but prevent them from reproducing.
Predator nematodes.
Using these will prevent infestations
Some of these ambush and some actively hunt.  Horror movie monsters in miniature.

Hope that helps.
7 months ago

kevin cyndrz wrote:Thanks.

Ok so the alternative amendments I'm currently considering now are:

      Benefits:  contains 70 minerals and trace elements
      Disadvantages: Unsustainably mined from single source in Utah.

      Source:  Volcanic ash that was washed down mineral rich rivers and deposited in a seabed 30 million years ago.

       CEC: ~27 meq/100 g

       pH: 8

       Chemical Makeup:
       30.7806% Silicon
       6% Aluminium
       2.6230% Calcium,  0.4704% Magnesium
       0.15% Nitrogen,  0.15% Phosphorous,  4.3417% Potassium
       0.85% Soduim

       Different biochar's may have very different characteristics depending on source material and the type of pyrolysis used

       - contains microscopic vascular hollowed tubes that are potential havens for microbes, moisture, and vital nutrients.
       - sequesters carbon for (potentially) thousands of years and can be produced in a manner that is carbon negative.
       - creates a soil that can hold much greater amounts of greenhouse gases.
       - can slow down soil degradation/erosion.
       - excess gases from the production process can be stored and used to fuel other things.
       - in general, no additional treatments are required.

      - may be created in a unsustainable manner (but can also be created sustainably)
      - may create greenhouse gases in the production process (but some of these gases may also be captured)
      - unmatured or non-biologically activated "raw" biochar may take a longer time to work and will initially leach out vital nutrients if applied directly to the soil.

       Source: Biomass that is burned in the absence of oxygen.

       - Raw biochar: ~10 meq/100 g
       - Biologically inoculated, composted, and/or "matured" biochar: > 100 meq/100 g

       pH: 8.5-9.5

       Chemical makeup: Predominately carbon

Does anyone else have any suggestions on increasing soil pH?  Is there a specific cover crop that works better than others?

Keep in mind, you are doing trees so you want more fungal than bacteria.  For way way to much information on soil life:
Be sure to charge the biochar.  I have way to much information on that if you like.

I would establish the best type of fungus based inocculates you can get.  Consider Imo's, compost tea, fungus favored compost, fungus favored biochar and the microlyfe that is healthy for your type of trees. I could see making an indidual IMO for each type of tree taking samplings from strong and healthy specimens for imo1.  Anyways my point is however is best for your situation to make the soil life happy and optimum/effective for your trees and the PH will take care of itself.

At minimum, fungus based compost and a compost tea favoring fungal growth and with regular compost tea fungal based I think you will begin to see positive results.  It could take a bit for the new life to take hold and begin to influence the soil life.

I think you have a good plan.

7 months ago