Aging/Cooking soil mixes

I am about to make my soil mixture. It will be about 2 cubic feet to make two 5 gallon Vivosun fabric pots with leftovers.

40% Coco Coir
40% Perlite
20% Fox Farms Ocean Forest

I will also be mixing in:
DTE Granular Humic Acid
DTE Bone Meal
DTE Starter Mix
DTE Bat Guano
DTE Blood Meal
GreenGo Earthshine Biochar
Epson Salts

My question is: Should I mix this all together and let it sit in a tote to “cook” in and mingle? I read somewhere that you should do this. I’m not talking about sanitizing it by watering with boiling water or cooking in the oven/microwave.

I’m thinking of mixing it all together, adding some water and letting it sit in a tote for 1-2 weeks before I plant into it.
Is this a good idea or should I just mix it up and plant right away?


Calling for help
@Skydiver @garrigan62 @stretchgfw.1957 @PigmanBBQ @oldngrey2

@smokysmurf can you help?

Letting it sit will allow some of the breakdown to occur. It’s not 100% necessary, but it’s advised.

I would also throw a handful of earthworms in there to kick start things.

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When I add coco to my soil mixes I mix in 7.5 ml calmag / gallon of water to hydrate the coco. Here is an interesting article
I do not see limestone in the recipe. May not need with high coco ratio.
Otherwise I use similar additives

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Yeah I already washed my coco and buffered it. What a pain in the ass that was. It’s down to 8PPM now so I’m happy.
Thanks for the link though… they have some really good info in there.

@beardless Why would I add limestone? Doesn’t that change pH? FFOF should already be pH correct, along with the Coco, right?

Good source for calcium and magnesium. Also ph buffering. And yes limestone can be/ is used to raise ph. That is why I said you may not need it because your’s is coco based. I have a lot of peat


Couple questions
How much of the DTE etc products are you adding per cubic foot or whatever amount your making. 2 5 gal will need about 1.5cuft total mix
Is the bio char already charged?
Oyster shell powder (faster than crushed to be broken down - ate ) or crushed shells and or gypsum are good sources of Calcium and sulfur etc. Dolomite lime will raise PH a little or a lot depending on how much you use where Oyster will act as a buffer for PH and offers Ca.
I recently switched (switching) to gypsum in place of dolomite lime while still including Oyster shells and powder as before.
I think blood meal being a faster release and the guano is fast I think that you would want to let it cook a bit.
Check PH of the mix At beginning and again during the cook and when done and keep it moist to keep the critters happy and eating the nutrients and crapping them out for use.
If you have them toss some worms and some kitchen scraps or trim from plants and keep them moist…not wet and they’ll tear it up.

Coco by itself is inert with a neutral PH I think. Seems pretty heavy in the perlite. Usually I see recipes that are 1/3 of each…coco/peat compost and aeration.

These are my thoughts and hopefully will give you some insight but by no means are they directions…haha just some thoughts cause I am still figuring This Mother - Nature out one day at a time.

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I made 2 cubic feet of soil.
Starter Mix 3-3-3 2 cups
Bone Meal 3-15-0 1 cup
Blood Meal 12-0-1 .5 cup
Bat Guano 7-3-1 1 cup
Gran. Humic Acids 1 cup
Azomite .5 LB
*Mykos .25 cup

Mykos and Azos with be dusted into the transplant hole.

I couldn’t get the Bio-char, they only had it in a cubic foot size for $50.
My soil mix is currently sitting in a tote. The coco was all saturated from being buffered, so I didn’t water the tote yet. Should I water the tote with Recharge? It has bennies in it and also food for them (Molasses). I’m thinking that would kick start it.

How do I check soil pH? Test runoff? I use this pH Tester and it doesn’t do soil unless I buy the spear tip for it, and that’s a bit pricey!

This soil is for my Northern Lights XXL Auto Feminised that I’m about to start in 1-2 weeks. This will be my first real grow.

I’ve had over-watering problems in the past.

@Skydiver @beardless

I just did a soil slurry test. RO water going in 6.2. Slurry is 7.3

Soil mix is only a day old. Should I just let it sit and test again in a week?

Haven’t been on much so sorry for the delayed response
FYI RO water won’t PH accurately as it is “empty” of solids…all stuff filtered out so maybe a PPM of 10 or so.
When you made the soil mix was it the recipe you showed a couple posts above?
You want your soil PH to be around 6.5-6.8. Can be higher or lower by a bit but under 6 or over 7 isn’t optimal.
Take several samples from different areas and mix together and check…I would also check each area separate as well.
Did you moisten the soil mix as a whole with 1/2 - 1 1/2 gallons of water? Then mix it up and check by grabbing a handful and squeeze in ball and see if it stays together or falls apart Quick… this checks if it’s too “thick” or “thin” it should let you know as somewhere in the middle seem to work well for me. If it’s too thick needs more aeration material.
Mix the soil up some more making sure things are evenly mixed through and through.
Check it daily or so and see if it’s changing at all.
Just some thoughts

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I just did another slurry test after letting it sit this long 8 days later

This test came back at exactly 5.98 pH

Should I leave it or adjust it? @Skydiver @garrigan62

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I suggest giving it another 4 days or so and check again to see where it’s trending or if it stabilizes. I’m still figuring things out in this area.
@Budbrother also may be able to better suggest things to consider doing if needed from your mix from the earlier post above.

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I’d let it cook for a month before I tested the mix.

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How do I feed the beneficial fungus and bacteria while it’s cooking? @Budbrother


Coconut water, kelp, barley powder, wheat bran, crimped oats, molasses, beet juice or honey - they can all be used to feed the fungi and the micro heard. I’ve used the first 6 mentioned.

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@Skydiver this is the current soil recipe I have put together for the next grow. Most of it has been mixed and sitting since June. I recently added another block of coco which will bring the total to 16 quarts and also 3 quarts of perlite for a total of 4. I have used this recipe (less the additional coco & perlite) several times. I am currently harvesting some NL grown in it (Northern Lights Flower - 2nd Installment - SCROG. I plan on changing the base nutrients I use from Fox Farm Trio to Advanced Nutrients Organic line including Iquana, Sensizym, Mother Earth Super Tea and Big Bud & Candy. I already use a Fulvic / Humic acid solution which I will continue to use rather than AN’s Ancient Earth.
Did 3 soil slurries ph 6.5 - 6.6.
Your thoughts and suggestions will be appreciated if you have a few minutes to look it over.Thanks


Ok. I literally just bought some organic unsulphured molasses. I also have Recharge that has molasses built into the mix. I did water a gallon of recharge on the soil once so far.

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I’m not seeing anything in there supplying K (potash-ium)
Maybe I missed it?

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