Living Soil, Rhizosphere, Microbes, and Bro Science

I have to rethink IPM , sticky traps are not for catching bugs .They are for monitoring soil health. If you are adding to much nutrients. The extra nutrients will start to break down and bugs will feed on this. Over watering will cause a anaerobic environment ( soil isn’t getting needed air ) and here come the bugs. Monitor your sticky traps ,circle and date the bugs on the traps too monitor the health of your soil. Neem can add many good things to your grow , But if you care about your microbiology, Neem isn’t a good thing. ( I love my Coot’s soil mix) ,but I will be removing neem meal from the recipe.When you are doing your weekly IPM . Spray the plants only and not the soil

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All soil is living, ( the term living soil is redundant) if your soil lost it’s life , it’s now called dirt.

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KoolHandLuke-
First of all I want to thank you for all the information you provide everyone. It is really cool to me that you do this. I was going to ask you about Coot’s mix. I am probably wrong (I usually am at times) but I thought Coot’s mix was a simple three part soil recipe. You have added your preferred amendments to it, which is fine. But is it still Coot’s mix with the extra amendments? Not that it really matters- whatever your using is providing you with stellar results!! Thank you again for paying it forward. I dont know that much yet but try to help others when I can. Have a great weekend man! Peace…

@patchman , here you go

Coots Soil Mix Explained

by Jim Bennett June 11, 2020

About 11 years ago I got a medical card under the rules of OMMP (Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. Not to grow per se but to get access to the ‘strain of the week’ through some of the groups like Oregon Green Free and a couple of others which no longer exist thankfully.

At the time Fox Farms Ocean Forest was the big deal for reasons that still boggles the mind with prices that were not consistent with the quality of the product. A tradition that lives on today in the cannabis scene - sub-standard soils with boutique prices.

So I began to test these soils out and it was clear that there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between this or that soil. More of a matter of style over substance or maybe form over function.

Having owned and operated a commercial nursery grown different cultivars of Japanese Lace Maples for landscape architects in their resort, restaurant and commercial buildings. For this you have to grow the plant in large containers for a massive root mass which is spelled out in the contract.

This meant that you had the plants on your property for 4 or 5 years. This made the soil mix all-important vs growing annual plants for the retail market - Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, Walmart as well as the independent nurseries across the country meaning low-profit plants as you can imagine.

I decided to go for a soil that would meet the needs for growing one of the highest dollar plants - weed. After a few changes this is what I came up with…the Clackamas Coot Soil Mix…

Clackamas Coot Soil Mix

By volume mix the following…

1/3 Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss (CSPM)
1/3 Aeration - I use 3/8" pumice (aka volcanic glass - completely inert)
1/3 Vermicompost

When it comes to CSPM it does not matter one iota as far as the brand as long as it’s designated as CSPMA (Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association) which is a partnership between the handful of authorized harvesters and the Canadian government. CSPMA sets the harvest limit and not market demands.

You should ind this at Home Depot and Lowe’s in 3.8 cf bales and if it is not available at your local stores then order it online (HomeDepot.com) and have them ‘ship to store’ at your store of choice. No charge for shipping and handling!

A cubic foot is about 7.20 gallons or 115 cups…

To this I add the following amendments to each 1 cubic foot…

1 cup kelp meal
1 cup neem meal or an equal amount of neem & karanja mix
1 cup of limestone or more exactly Calcium Carbonate CaCO3 so Oyster Shell Powder/flour can also be used as it is also a pure Calcium Carbonate material
1/2 cup Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) available at all DIY stores but you must get the material in the garden section and not in the home remodel section. There are 2 forms of gypsum so make sure you get the one for soil and not walls…

Finally there is the rock dust which I recommend 3 cups of either basalt or granite. Only these 2 materials are ‘paramagnetic’ which is an integral part of the CeC discussion (Cation exchange Capacity).

Rock dusts like Azomite, bentonite, zeolite and others are called ‘colloidal minerals’ - alumina-silicate. For example Azomite is a brand name. A geologist would know it as “Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminosilicate” and it’s known as “Montmorillonite clay”

This clay has been used in France to built ceramic bread ovens which look like a bee hive. They have a small door in the front of the oven where loaves of bread are move in and out using what is called a peel.

While it makes a great ceramic oven I can’t find much to cause me to recommend it in a true living soil that is supposed to last ‘forever’ if taken care of using organic methods.

Thanks KoolHandLuke! I have used a couple of recipes from Build a soil, and have had very poor results. I believe I have eliminated the soil as the problem. I am going to make some changes and try again soon. On my last grow, which was the worst producing of the three I have done, I had a white widow cbd auto that made it all the way up to 7" tall. It ended up being one big bud! It was 1/2 ounce when I harvested her. My 3rd blueberry auto was a little taller, but didn’t produce much weight. Very disappointing. Something is stunting the plants growth. The 2nd and 3rd grows were my first organic grows. The plants appeared healthy the whole way through to harvest. No nutrient issues, no visible indications of any problem. So I will keep trying, but only changing one or two things. I find if I change a lot of things I wouldn’t know which change helped. Thanks again for the info. Radiation to the brain will kill your memory- I was thinking Coot’s mix was just the three ingredients. Peace…

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I was told mushroom compost is good mulch, is this bro science @Cannabian

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BRO SCIENCE, there are still people on the internet, still talking about taking a dump and wizzing in a bucket and using it for fertilizer . STOP IT PLEASE!!! If some cow and chicken compost isn’t acceptable, what do you think human waste is.

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Yeah added to soil its good for sure…
As for taking a dump or peeing on yer plants, I would strongly discourage that :laughing:. Although, if properly composted, human waste can definitely be considered an acceptable plany food. My only concern with it is that there may be contaminants such as medications… in the case of cancer patients, for example, their waste is quite toxic and should not be considered for composting. Samr could be said for thise that are using steroids or taking hormones. Avoid these sources ifbyou ate considering the use of human / or animal wastes.

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Thr concept of organics is based on proper material preparation. There are 2 basic types of composting… hot composting and cold. Hot composting relies on the pile getting warm enough to kill seeds and some harmful bacteria while excellerating the break down process… this needs to be turned periodically and a nice mix of green to brown matter of around 50/50.
Cold composting relies primarily of gradual decomposition by water and microorganisms and is what we typically see on the forest floor.
Both are good forms of composting. Whrn I use animal waste, which is not very often, I typically use lama or alpaca waste. Its gentle and doesnt require high temps to kill weeds like steer or horse manure. Chicken manure I like to add to a hot compost pile as it really does heat stuff up quite fast. It must be fully digested prior to use in your soil.
Now I find the best use for composts are as a mulch… i prefer this method to tilling in primarily because of the tea bag theory. Far better to leech the foods and build upon the soil than to force it into the soil. Plants get a boost after each watering. This mimics what happens in nature.


As you can see, plants arent complaining

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@Cannabian , you guys are full of useful information, I just have to figure out the right questions.

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No worries, just remember that ( soil ) and ( media ) are only similar in the sense that they are a matrix to carry and store water and nutrients. Soil is typically made of minerals such as sand, rock, clay etc, and decomposed matter such as dead bodies, animal waste, plant matter etc.
The alternatives are hydroponic, which can be either non organic ( chemical components in bottles ) or organic ( fish poop, primarily aquaponics ) and natural liquid fertilizers such as seaweed and kelp extracts.
All work, dome are just more holistic than others.

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Big +1 on the Aloe Vera! Growing your own is the best but Dried Aloe Vera powder works as well.

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I have a question for the organic community. I have kicked the bottles mostly, the only bottle stuff I use is yucca and Bio-cozyme which I love. But I have a couple of products that I want your opinion on ( some great grower love this stuff) Are they organic and how will they effect my micro biology of my soil. .Ful-power, em1, and Raw potassium. Are they worth the large price tag. @Arrow , @Covertgrower , @Cannabian

I cant say anything about those things as Ive never used them. There are so many products available for growing dope that its overwhelming.
Here is a product that is actually really good, works from seedling all the way to harvest, again these are supplemental products and not intended to be used alone.



thats one of the very few liquids I will use.

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@Cannabian , I’ve seen that stuff before, and I’ve only heard good things about . I have to put it on my must try items

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This is a good value, as it’s a dry nutrient, and you can have the benefit of K boost.

I have no experience with either of these, they both are OMRI listed. I would use either of them.

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@Covertgrower thank you