In part 1 of this article, we constructed an organic soil mix recipe from various organic materials. The mix was then moistened with hydrolyzed fish nutrients and FoxFarm Big Bloom, and left to compost for a while. To review part 1 and see the soil ingredients, click here.
4/10/2012 – I added an interesting amendment called biochar. I found a local source that comes premixed with 50% biochar and 50% earth worm castings. I became interested in biochar after I read an article about Amazonian terra preta (dark earth, some of the most fertile soils on earth), and how biochar was primarily responsible for these soils. I wrote a brief article with links to other information about biochar that you can find here. To the 6.5 gallon mix I added 1 gallon of 50/50 biochar, and moistened the entire mix again with FoxFarm Big Bloom solution. From what I’ve read, I knew the biochar could raise my pH, but I had no idea how much? So I checked the pH level again with the Bluelab soil meter, and found it had raised it slightly (about .3, from 6.4 to 6.7). Nothing to get alarmed about, but a little higher than what I want.
4/13/2012 – I checked the pH again, and found it dropped back down to 6.5, just about where I want it. When I made this mix, I had the intentions of letting it sit and compost for at least two weeks; but ever since I added the biochar, I’ve been super excited to use it. Since the pH is 6.5, I used it to transplant a smaller plant into a 5.2 gallon Air-Pot. This is when the real test starts. I don’t plan on using any bottled nutrients to feed this plant, using only actively aerated compost teas and plain RO water. I’ll keep you updated on the progess, good or bad.
Thanks for tagging along, see you next time! To hear more about gardening with organic soil and organic nutrients, visit our store, Garden Doctor. We’re the best source for indoor gardening and hydroponic supplies in the greater Grand Rapids, MI area. We’re located in Grandville, and carry all the newest and best products like Advanced Nutrients, House and Garden, Gavita Lighting systems, Under Current hydro systems and everything else you’ll need to create an amazing indoor garden.
2974 28th Street SW
Grandville, MI 49418