Organic Super Soil Recipe, by Temple GrowerAugust 24, 2019
Here is a guide on building your own super soil. This organic super soil recipe is put together by “Temple Grower” who is a member of our cannabis growers forum.
If you are thinking about building your own living soil, feel free to ask for advice in our cannabis growers forum
Temple Growers Organic Super Soil Recipe
Hey all, thought I’d post my general ‘super-soil’ recipe I’ve been using in my indoor gardens for a few years now with very excellent results.
Being that my job takes me away for weeks at a time on, I’ve tried to find/come up with something that is basically self sufficient from seedling to harvest, with the only addition being some high quality 6.0-6.5 pH H2O (the lady doesn’t have the greenest of thumbs but, watering is easy enough 😝). The basic recipe I started with was Vic High’s Mix #2, from Jorge Cervantes’ Cannabis Encyclopedia, but I’ve since tweaked and substituted some of the amounts/ingredients.
It’s up to you what you like to use but, I try to stick with stuff as local as I can get it, and especially if you can make it yourself (e.g., compost, worm castings, potentially manure, etc.).
Also, any specific stores/shops/products mentioned are likely available only in Canada so, if you’re not a lumberjack or a curler, best to check your local listings.
My amended version is as follows:
- 105L high quality potting soil: Primary medium (I use either the Costco bails (‘The Answer’ – excellent value @ 9.99/85L, but only available in spring/summer, made from peat moss/perlite/composted wood bark*), or the house-made blend from the local garden store (more money @ $9.99/55L but always available, and local, made from peat moss/vermiculite/perlite/loam.)
- 10-15L of worm castings: N-P-K(trace)/Trace Elements/Microbes/Moisture Retention (I use either the Mark’s Choice brand from Home Hardware or the local garden store house brand. This is something you can definitely make yourself though through vermicomposting your kitchen waste… more on that later..)
- 3 cups blood meal: Nitrogen (N-P-K ratio is 12-0-0, and is readily available. Peavey Mart is usually my go-to for blood meal)
- 6 cups bone meal: Phosphorus (N-P-K ratio is 4-10-0, also readily available. Some N there too. Peavey Mart or Home Hardware)
- 1.5kg (1 carton) Actisol Hen manure: N-P-K/Calcium (N-P-K ratio is 4-4-7 with 6% Ca. I have only introduced this very recently and haven’t seen the results (or non-results) of it as of yet. I added it for its potassium content as none of my other ingredients are specifically fortifying the K content. That said, I’ve never had issues in the past with K excesses or deficiencies in my previous grows so, maybe I’m just overthinking.. 🤓 )
- 3 cups dolomitic lime: Calcium + Magnesium (Also important as it helps to keep the soil from becoming too acidic by acting as a buffer as Ca and Mg react readily with acids, protecting the medium’s pH from large swings due to inconsistent water quality, weird soil, amendments etc.)
- 1 heaping cup Epsom salts: Magnesium (Not much to say here. My lady had some from Wal-Mart she uses in the bath so I ganked it. 🤪)
- 5-10L Perlite/Vermicuite: Drainage (Most potting soils have some perlite/vermiculite already mixed in but, not enough for the amount of extra organic material added to this mix. I personally always have used perlite as vermiculite has, in the past, been associated with asbestos (the mines where the mineral (called mica) that vermiculite is made from can also host asbestos-bearing minerals). I don’t think this is an issue anymore, but best to err on the side of caution, IMO.)
- 5 heaping spade-fuls of sifted compost: Water retention/drainage/microbes (Compost is amazing stuff. It promotes proper and even drainage but also helps with water retention (makes sense… 🙃) . It’s also frickin LOADED with beneficial microbes/fungi/etc., which help the plants absorb all the delicious treats you’ve added. I make all my own compost at home, but if you aren’t able to yourself, try to find a neighbour/friend/generous green soul who might donate you some.
It’s usually available at the garden shops as well. If it’s homemade (even if it isn’t), you may get some unwanted weed sprouts but these are easily plucked (to be re-composted!). And if you can’t find/don’t want to use compost, I have used both steer and sheep manure in it’s place (properly composted of course), with very good results. These manures tend to be fairly dense and have a relatively high moisture content compared to compost but, they do work well. And are usually very cheap.
*One thing about using wood bark or wood based-soils is that if the wood hasn’t fully decomposed, it can actually rob the soil of nitrogen to help to continue this decomposition so, make sure that your soil is fully soil without big chunks. I’ve never had an issue personally with this but, it is a thing, so be wary (especially if using fresh wood/bark mulch outside).
And that’s it! Mix it all up nice and evenly, moisten (a good 4-6L is usually lots), cover and let sit for minimum 1-2 weeks, mixing occasionally. I like to use a kiddie pool, dump all my ingredients in, and mix it up with a rake. Saves a lot of mess, and you can usually get everything mixed quite well.
Double double toil and trouble indeed! After all mixed up, I transfer to a barrel with lid, lay it on its side, and roll it around the yard to really mix it good. You definitely don’t want clumps of concentrated ingredients. Homogenization FTW!
I usually run with 3 gallon pots filled approximately 2-3″ from the top, and my girls are always happy from day 1 straight through to harvest (regs usually veg for 4-6 weeks, flower for 8-10 weeks and/or autos @ 90-120 days seed to chop). I can usually get between 16-20 pot-fuls, so it’s quite cost-effective (~$30-40 per batch).
I should add that I do add liquid kelp fertilizer to the H2O once per week as well. But it’s not super necessary if you can’t get your hands on it. Besides that though, no additional nutrients needed. Just properly pH’d water and a grower’s love.
This is a probiotic concoction I add to the water that I moisten the mix up with. I figure it adds lots of beneficials to help with the ‘cooking’ of the soil, as well as for general soil health. Probably could do just as well with homebrewed compost tea though.
Hope this Organic Super Soil Recipe is useful for some of y’all that are looking at this version of growing. The mix is still very much a work in progress but, seems to be going pretty well so far. 😎