Continuous Credit to Clackamascoots, Gascanastan and all the others before me.
The reason we put this system together is for those that want to have a birds eye view of the entire process from start to finish. Many people want to grow naturally and just don't trust that it will work. Some are doing it now but they are missing some key element and it's not coming out quite right. Once you get the full picture and understand how flexible this whole system is you will "get it" and create your own system that works for you and your situation.
The ultimate goal is to use nothing but home made compost that has been created with all of the nutrients built in. If you can get to the point where your soil is so alive and healthy that all you have to do is plant a seed and add water, then you have arrived. Having the best soil doesn't have to take forever and in the mean time there are many Compost teas, Botanical Teas and fertilizer inputs that you can add to Build a soil for long term production.
The modern way is to use chemistry to make NPK and several micro-nutrients available to the plants through use of plant ready water soluble nutrients. The PH of the nutrient supply will heavily effect the outcome of the plant. This is the "Feeding the plant" Paradigm.
The organic way is to build a compost based on the plants that are high in nutrient content and to utilize organic amendments that work in harmony with the plant and the soil. The BuildASoil way is to combine premium compost materials with diverse mineral inputs and utilize biology along with science. We are constantly getting our soils tested and adjusting so you don't have to. We want diversity and we want it all in the soil. The nutrients aren't immediately available in the organic system, we will rely on the biology of the soil to naturally produce nutrients for our plants based on it's growing needs. The soil food web is the cornerstone to cultivating plants in a Living Organic Soil System. The soil life is active and healthy and helping to make these nutrients available, and the plants growing on this Living Organic Soil have free-choice of any nutrient they want, in balance, a balance designed by intelligent science and observation. But it doesn't come in a bottle. The other nice thing about Building A Soil for All Natural production indoors, is that you have a blank canvas to work with... you can literally build the best soil possible. While working on large outdoor farms, you have to work with the existing soil and improve it over time.
This guide is for Vegetables and Medicinal Herbs but will work with most fast Annual flowering plants. If you have a strange plant that you want to grow, consider it's native soil and best recreate that. This information works absolutely perfect for food and medicinal herbs. The entire system is meant to be more sustainable and also use local resources when possible.
This information is mainly for growing in containers and raised beds for the home gardener. If using containers for the patio, the greenhouse, or indoors, use as much soil as you can afford. I prefer a minimum of 5-30 gallons of soil per plant if growing in containers. Tomato's love the half whiskey barrel size, but bigger wouldn't be an issue except for moving it around. The larger the soil volume in your container the easier it will be to keep moist and keep alive with many different microbes and critters. The smaller the container the more botanical teas and compost teas you will end up using along with a little more attention to detail.
Rule #1: Don't try to grow a plant, instead Build A Soil that does that for you: Use Premium inputs and get premium results. Your goal is to build the best soil possible and keep it like a pet. Keep it moist and alive as best as you can, input more than you take out and the soil will last forever as it continues to evolve and become more blessed with life.
Rule #2: Learn to make your own compost and your own Earthworm Castings: You would be surprised how small of a space you can make quality compost in. Search our website for "indoor compost" and you will see what I mean. But if you really can't do the whole compost or worm bin thing, then I suggest you learn to find a really good source for local compost that is affordable. If you can't find compost local then use our pure worm castings. The shipping keeps the price a little high, but my goal is to make this as affordable as possible for everyone to benefit from.
Rule#3: Use premium quality compost or earthworm castings, preferably home made. Yes I said this twice. It's that important.
Rule #4: Don't be tempted to go back to the bottled nutrients: Even if they say organic, because nothing will be as good as you own soil. The big bottled nutrient companies buy ingredients in bulk and often use soy and cotton that are GMO and full of pesticides. Get this right and your garden will be more productive and more nutritious than ever before. Don't worry about growing plants, focus on building soil!
Rule #5: Avoid ingredients that say they are organic but really aren't good for the environment. The Organic Label is slowly selling out in the marketplace depending on who is doing the certification. Don't worry if it's not organic as long as you know where it came from and that it is good stuff. Think about each ingredient in the products you purchase. Just because the nutrients at the grow shop have cool labels and high prices does not mean that they will grow better plants.
Rule #6: No matter what else you do, make sure you MULCH. If you skip Mulching you are missing the boat.
Integrated Pest Management: Use a basic home made pest spray every 3-7 days during vegetative growth phase for pest prevention.
Seedling or Cuttings:
NEW UPDATED SCHEDULE:
Soil Recipe: (Purchase From Us, Purchase the DIY kit from us, or completely make it yourself)
Take N' Bake soil recipe - 9 Cubic Feet (70 Gallons)
Coots Take N' Bake Soil Kit - 18 Cubic Feet (140 Gallons)
How to prepare your soil for planting:
Ideally we want to get our soil out of the bag and into the grow containers and in the actual grow space we are using. If you are going to use some soil for cloning or seedlings you can do the same thing in very small containers however most growers just use soil without the cover crop and top dressings until transplanted into their final homes. It’s up to you!
- Pour soil into container. (15 Gallons Per Plant Minimum)
- Water slowly to evenly saturate. (We use the Chapin 1949 Sprayer) Use 10% by volume water or 1 gallon for every 10 gallons of soil used. Tip: Use Aloe and or Quillaja Extract to help hydrate the Hydrophobic Peatmoss.
- Sprinkle ¼ cup of craft blend per plant around the base. (Or Any well rounded organic amendments).
- Follow this with 1/8 cup per plant gro-kashi or home made Bokashi.
- Cover all of this with about ½” of our BuildAFlower Topdress or your own Vermicompost.
- Add 10-20 Red Wigglers per container of soil used as budget will allow.
- Sow Cover Crop at a rate of 1 tsp per sq. ft. of your soil container. Basically just sprinkle it everywhere evenly
- Last cover with thin layer of barley straw or any of your preferred mulch. Careful to leave it fluffy enough or thin enough for the cover crop to sprout through. Although the cover is pretty good at it so don’t worry about it too much.
- Gently mist or water in so as to bring this whole top dressing all together and to moisten the straw.
Now that you have prepared your soil you are ready to follow our proven and simple schedule. Here are the options you have!
WATER ONLY? If you follow the above steps and avoid growing a plant that is to large, you can use water only the whole cycle and get amazing results.
On the other hand if you would like to supplement your grow or maybe your plant is to large for your container you can follow the Green, Yellow and Orange Supplementation schedule below.