Reusing previously bought organic soil
Hey folks... If there isn't a thread already, I'd like to start a discussion about reusing shop bought soils, it seems crazy to start again every time.
It's my first time growing, 4 plants in 12L (3gallon) fabric pots in a 1.2m (4x4) tent using Bio-Bizz all-mix and their Grow, Bloom and Top Max nutrients. The soil is not regenerative at the moment as there are no worms or other critters in there but it is nice and organic with plenty of microbial and fungal life. I prefer the idea of using a living soil in larger 45l pots rather than one raised bed. I'm using a Maxibright 300W which is a bit under spec for 1.2m so the plants love being turned every so often to make up for this.
My questions are:
1. Can you amend something like biobizz all-mix to make it a living soil? I have 2 unopened bags ready to go, plenty of other random potting soil and am considering a worm farm for my allotment anyway. What else would you need to make it living?
2. Is a raised bed better in a 1.2m tent or 4 large 45L (10gallon) pots?
3. Can I reuse Biobizz all mix once it has been through a cycle.
I'm not necessarily a bio-bizz fan boy, it was just the best looking organic set up the grow shop had. Happy to try anything.
So many other question that I'd like to run past you all but I'll leave it there for now. I appreciate any advice and hope this topic can help others.
Cheers me dears xx
I have reused Bio-Bizz all-mix a few times with great results ( add 30% new soil)
break up the soil and remove all the roots and any other lump.
break up any bat shit and put it back in the soil
Will need to add dry nutes back in the soil but don't know much about living soil and how ph range effects it
So yeah, re-using soil is definitely a good thing to do if you're able.. I personally don't do it.. not directly anyways. I do compost my old root balls, soil included so, it does get re-used but.. yeah.
Just doing some reading on that Bio-Bizz (I've never actually seen or used it myself), it seems like it is already basically a living-ish soil, if what they claim is true about the microbiota included in the mix. That's basically what my soil is - a pre-fertilized (though not as much as mine it seems), microbe infused, ready-to-go medium. As long as you keep the microbes healthy, the plants are happy. But to your queries:
1. You would probably get closer to a 'true' living soil if you inoculated with good manure/compost/compost tea to really get the microbes going. Hard to say what's really in there. You would likely need to add some nutrients as well though.. the description of the All-Mix says it has enough food for 'a couple weeks', lol. So beyond that, you'd likely need to supplement (fish emulsion/hydrolysate are great, and the microbes love that shit), or have pre-amended the soil. And worms are cool but, not really necessary to be called a 'living soil'. Worm castings though... 👍. Tad Hussey's site KIS Organics (the one Hart already linked to above) is an excellent resource. He has a great article called '7 Important Things When Building a Living Soil' you should definitely check out. Tad is a phenomenal resource when it comes to this stuff.
2. I'd probably go with the pots.. a raised bed seems like a large amount of work, at least in a tent. If it was a semi-permanent/permanent garden room/greenhouse-type thing then raised beds for sure. But I'd probably stick with pots in a tent.
3. I don't see why not.. if you did manage to amend it up and make it into a re-useable living soil, the only thing I'd say to do would be to do a soil test (at a lab is best but even using these Rapitest ones will give you a rough idea) at the end of each run to see what you're deficient in (the plants are sucking up a lot of the nutes after all). And yeah, like Jack said, add a bit more soil into the mix, hack up the lumps & homogenize the mix, top up whatever needs to be topped up in terms of nutes (using the info from your soil test), and giver!
Just doing some reading on that Bio-Bizz (I've never actually seen or used it myself), it seems like it is already basically a living-ish soil, if what they claim is true about the microbiota included in the mix.
I've talke to Patrick from BioBizz personally and he has a great vibe (always trust your gut) and what I like the most is that he always encourages people to grow their own, compost, reuse and try to avoid bottled nutrients as much as possible... even though his business is in seeling bottled nutrients.
He seems to me like an honest guy who wants to help and if you can't compost, well, you can buy his products.
That's why I support BioBizz.
Just my 2 cents.
In my greenhouse the soil was moist all the time and after checking the root mass of my tomatoes plants, the soil had 2-3 worms in each pot and white fuzzy stuff grew on top of the soil that looked a little strange.
In my flower room,
I need to keep the humidity low 50-60 and need the pots to dry out so I can't really see a raised bed working as it would keep humidity high, (to easy to overwater)
Never tried it and I could be wrong but could you have the humidity high enough to have living soil but low enough to prevent bud rot in late flower ?
You folks are legends!! Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and all that info...
I'll defo be taking that advice and adding another 50% fresh All-Mix when I come to refresh. I've easily got enough to double the size my 4 x 12L pots. It does seem that it's a living soil but could do with a whole load more microbial love, so will get working out what sort of amendment feels right. The point Jacks_farm raised about humidity being high with that much soil in a raised bed is something I hadn't really considered, makes a lot of sense. I like getting in amongst them and giving the odd turn now and again so pots are the way.
I'm building the stackable worm farm tomorrow so should have some nice homemade compost and castings down the line. Loads of Comfrey and tea-making goodies around the allotment too, plus a trip to the beach will sort out a load of kelp. I think I'll give it a good load of fish goop next time too, hearing so many good things about it.... And apparently it won't make the bud doesn't taste like kippers, haha.
Nice one chaps (and/or chapesses), appreciate the time you put into the replies!! This community are awesome
Nuff luv dB
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