Contributed by the BC Growers
Super Soil Mix
Original Recipe, as it was given to me.
1 Bale sunshine mix #2 or promix
2 L Bone
Meal - phosphorus source
1 L Blood Meal - nitrogen
1 1/3 cups Epsom salts - magnesium source
3-4 cups dolmite lime -calcium source & pH
1 tsp fritted trace elements
1/2 - 1
bag chicken manure (steer, mushroom, etc) - nitrogen
- Mix thoroughly,
moisten, and let sit 1-2 weeks before use.
Revised Recipe, after several failures
due to bad manure sources, I now use the following
recipe. Results have been excellent and the clones seem
to take off right away instead of having a slow growing
settling in period.
1 Bale sunshine mix #2 or
promix (3.8 cu ft)
8 cups Bone Meal - phosphorus
4 cups Blood Meal - nitrogen source
cups Epsom salts - magnesium source
dolomite lime -calcium source & pH buffering
tsp fritted trace elements
4 cups kelp meal.
(25 lbs) bag pure worm castings
thoroughly, moisten, and let sit 1-2 weeks before use.
- The original
recipe was a success, but I simply needed to experiment.
In addition, sometimes not all ingredients were always
available. Therefore, here are some possible additions
Blood & Bone Meal -
when trying to cut costs
Kelp Meal - contains over
62 trace minerals. Good supplement for reducing the
manure content to speed availability of soil.
castings - excellent source of micro nutrients.
guano - excellent for top dressing a week into
On a couple of occasions, I've ended up with
fungus gnats with this soil mix. They are more of an
irritation than anything but may harm weak or young
plants. Some have said that putting a layer of sand on
top of the soil in the pots stops the gnats from
reproducing. Others can get rid of them by doing a soil
drench with gnatrol or vectobac (BTI). Personally, I
prefer to simply introduce fungus gnat predators
(Hypoaspis miles). Once established, they not only
control fungus gnats, but also thrips and mites. When
there is no insect food available, they survive on dead
plant material, so remain even after pests are gone to
prevent future infestations. Actually, since they have
been introduced, I've had no pest problems in over a
year and I don't filter my intake.
Used soil -
Reusing soil has a few downsides such as it makes it
easier for diseases, viruses, and pathogens from
entering your garden. Also peat based soils break down
and become acidic. If you fertilize with chemicals
you'll end up with salt buildups that will slow growth.
Unless you like to take chances, have a good eye, and a
good horticultural understanding, you may be better off
with staying with fresh new soils. That said; I grow
strictly organic and I've always reused my soil. I don't
sterilize the soil between plantings as my soil is full
of microbes and predatory bugs that keep the bad bugs
under control. After each crop, I chop up the soil and
root balls with the leaves, stalks, etc and let compost
for about 3 months. I then mix it up and add about 2 - 3
cups of lime for every 50 gallons composted soil. I also
add about 1/2 cup epsom salts, 2 liters bone meal, 1
liter blood meal, 1 liter kelp meal, 1 tsp trace
elements, and enough perlite to regain the porosity of
the original soil. I used to add a bag of manure, but I
was getting fertilizer burn and so have stopped now.
As I've been fine tuning this, the plants just
keep getting healthier and I haven't had any real pest
problems for quite a while. I know this is a
controversial approach and maybe even risky, but it
allows me to keep my garden pretty much self contained.
I don't attract attention by buying bales of soil every
3 - 4 months year around, or in the disposal of leaves
and soil after each crop. It's definitely not for those
who want sterile crops and those that use pesticides and
chemical ferts. I believe in working with nature, not
against it. After several generations, a nutrient
imbalance developed which was only solved by leaching
the soil thoroughly. My hunch is that one of the
micro-nutrients was building to toxic levels. I guess
farmers don't get this problem because they have the
winter rains to leach excess nutrients from their