“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”
― Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture
Here is the soil recipe I’m using and a lil info about all the ingredients!
1 Part Oly Mountain Fish Compost
“Oly Mountain Fish Compost® and Oly Mountain Organic Compost® are registered organic compost materials, high in organic matter and soil-building nutrients, sold through quality retail outlets in our communities.
Oly Mountain Fish Compost is a virtually odorless compost and soil additive that is high in nutrients that takes over two years to become a finished product”
1 Part Sphagnum Peat Moss
“The most important benefit of peat moss is the material’s absorbency. Peat moss retains water much better than average soils, which increases the absorbency of any potting mixes and garden soils that use peat moss.”
This is why I’d like to find an alternative to Peat Moss:
“Peat moss is a nonrenewable resource. The biological processes that create peat moss takes several millennia, with peat reserves growing less than a millimeter every year.”
2/3 Part Pumice
“Pumice rock is a type of igneous rock which is formed from molten or partially molten material. These types of igneous rocks are classified as volcanic.”
- Increases bulk density of potting mixes.
- The porous nature of pumice rock allows it to hold vital nutrients in the microscopic surface pores, which helps regulate fertilizer feedings. It can even be supercharged with nutrients before it is added to the growing medium.
- Excellent conditioner for soils that need increased aeration and drainage.
- Loosens the density of heavy clay garden soils, letting in the air and water plants need.
- Holds moisture in the soil, reducing watering requirements by as much as 35%.
1/3 Part Rice Hulls
(I’ve heard that you can’t use perlite if you are going to reuse your soil because it turns into a cement like material. Rice hulls will break down easier so you’ll have to add more when you reuse your soil but I think its a better alternative for aeration)
5% Pre-Charged Colorado Bio Char
Bio Char is so cool! “coarse lumps of charcoal are full of crevices and holes, which help them serve as life rafts to soil microorganisms. The carbon compounds in charcoal form loose chemical bonds with soluble plant nutrients so they are not as readily washed away by rain and irrigation.”
Acadian Kelp Meal @ 1/2 Cup per cubic foot
- contains a wide range of naturally occurring plant nutrients and trace minerals essential to plant growth, health, and productivity;
- features naturally-occurring trace minerals that are naturally chelated;
- is more readily available for plant uptake than minerals supplied in inorganic form;
- acts as a nutritional supplement which releases its nutrients as it breaks down;
- is an excellent source of organic matter composed primarily of carbohydrates such as alginic acid and mannitol; and
- contains alginic acid and mannitol which also act as effective chelating agents for micro-nutrients and contribute to building soil structure.
Neem Cake @ 1/2 cup per cubic foot
“Neem cake organic manure is the by-product obtained in the process of cold pressing of neem tree fruits and kernels, and the solvent extraction process for neem oil cake.”
Crustacean Meal @ 1/2 cup per cubic foot
Crustacean meal could be shrimp, crab, or a combo depending on the season. I wonder about using this product since Fukushima has gotten much worse:
Brix Blend Basalt @ 2 Cups Per Cubic Foot
“An all purpose paramagnetic rock dust for remineralization”
Gypsum Dust @ 1 Cup Per Cubic Foot
-Source of calcium and sulfur for plant nutrition.
-Improves acid soils and treats aluminum toxicity
-Improves soil structure.
-Improves water infiltration.
-Helps reduce runoff and erosion.
Oyster Flour @ 1 Cup Per Cubic Foot
• Excellent source of calcium
• Supports strong root development and uptake of all minerals
• Improves soil texture and aeration
• Raises pH in acidic soils
Worm Vermicompost: 10%
Pinto Bean Compost: 10%
Prospectors OMRI listed Compost: 10%
Premium Oly Mountain Fish Compost: 50%
Canadian Sphagnum Peatmoss: 10% (Water Holding and Texture)
Pre-Charged Bio Char Made In Colorado: 10%
Fresh Comfrey Leaf 1% by Volume or about 2 Gallons of Rough Chopped leaves per yard.
Kelp Meal – 1/2 cup Per Cubic Foot
Neem Cake (Just Enough for some pest control) 1/4 Cup Per Cubic Foot
Fish Bone Meal – 1/2 Cup Per Cubic Foot
Gypsum – 1 Cup Per Cubic Foot
- Flax – Carter
- Clover – Yellow Sweet
- Clover – White Dutch
- Clover – Medium Red
- Clover – Crimson
- Lentils – Indainhead
- Millet – White Proso
- Vetch – Hairy
- Vetch – Common
- Cowpeas – Iron and Clay
- Buckwheat – Mancan
- Pea – Forage
Add that all together with some mulch and red wigglers and you are good to go!
When I water, I usually switch it up between SST, Mammoth P, Aloe, EM-1, and I tried out a sample of ‘Peak Harvest Grow’ from Elevation Organics. Next round I’ll be doing some compost teas as well!