Trying hand at outdoor organics

Long time hydro grower clueless on organics and going a modified coots mix.

Legal outdoor grow.
(12) 10gal fabric pots
Southeastern MA

Looks like ill need 16CF of mix so current base is the following:

5CF Rice Hulls
3CF Earthworm Castings

Water source is tap water at 6.7pH and 80ppm. Should I run through a chloramine filter?

Now the amendments is confusing…i had heard Neem cake meal, kelp meal, alfalfa meal, crab meal, basalt rock sand, calcium sulfate, calcium carbonate from oyster shell flour

Also want to make kelp and alfalfa seed teas and top feed and foliar feed. Unsure of frequency.

Aloe juice for transplant

What else am I missing? Anything I should or shouldnt do differentlt?

Do I use the 1 cup of the amendments per CF. Ive heard 1/2 to 1 cup. And 3 cups of sand per CF.

Past 3 years outdoors in MA have had a ton of rain September and October so plan is to get a party tent and try and shield plants from rain as much as possible. My worry is this coming airborne and breaking something outside neighboring houses


Check to see if your municipal local water source publishes an annual water quality report on-line (they all do around here). That will tell you.

What’s CSPM? I’m betting it’s not “Cloud System Posture Management” :grin: Sounds like yoga… :rofl:

Depending on the EWC I might go a little more but your base mix. The big one for me is the alfalfa meal & some rock dust for flavor.

I can’t afford what they are charging for oyster shell around here so I process egg shells as a substitute. Plain old garden gypsum for the calcium sulfate.

I’d say the most important thing is testing. If you can tap into the local agricultural services you can get a test done on a samples like Meesh or at the least (like me) pick up one of those soil NPK, pH test kits.

You will ‘know where you stand’ based on those results and amend accordingly.



Canadian spagnum peat moss

Yeah I have the gypsum already as I boughr a 5lb bag from JR Peters thinking I could use it for hydro

There are a few farms that do soil pH testing. I have meters for hydro. Ive gotten my garden soil tested before and they seem to just add distilled water to the soil and measure.

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That’s pretty much it.
A proper lab report is well detailed, the NPK test kits, no so much :grin:

I finally figured out that there is no ‘one perfect soil mix’. There’s always some cultivar that will not like it. So adjust accordingly…


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I always threw in some chicken or steer manure from the Home DePot. When I made a raised bed I used the tomato box of amendments from down to earth and another one I top dressed called bloom girl from dr earth. They usually have a pretty good mix of all those amendments together in them except for neem or karanja. And don’t buy the small bag of alfalfa go to the feed store and get the 50lb bag for $10, same with the rice hulls. 1/2 cup to a cup per cf works good, I know I went heavy on my measurements. Don’t use the aeration as a part of the cf to add amendments to.


Good tip on not using aeration in the CF since I was planning on buying a lot more amendments than needed if that were the case.

I cant find any feed stores despite living near a bunch of farms. The ones ive called only sell chicken, horse, dog and cat foods. One of the hydro stores has a lot of this stuff. 50lb bag of rice hulls for $40. Buncha buildasoil and down to earth amendments.


Ya I can’t believe the mark up on rice hulls. They’re a waste product. I was in California when I bought them. If you have a tractor supply you can get the alfalfa pellets!

And your water supply looks good. I never worried about the chloramine. MIgardner on YouTube did a test with water and it had little effect. He even got out the microscope to show his results. Good watch if you have time.

You can also top dress as the season progress with amendments of a manure source. I know some are scared to use chicken poop in the mix.

Ask if they can order them. I think me and a buddy were buying them out so they would for us.


Alternate source for the rice hulls, check to see if you have a local brew supply vendor.



bone meal for flowering and compost tea from the grasses. My think you don’t need anything more.

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Yeah…i saw a 50# bag online for $13 just cost $30 to ship so i know its cheap. Just cant find non hydro store sources. I was thinking a brewing supply shop @Gpaw


Srp, or soft rock phosphate, is a great addition to your mix. Regular rock phosphate is great too, but takes a long time to break down. Homeade food spikes are a great way to add nutrients to your mix without burning the plants. If you are making your own mix, make sure you let it cook at room temperature at least 20 days after you mix it up and add a little water. Don’t forget to add some Limestone to the mix for calcium and magnesium. The micro life in the soil will eat that stuff up rapidly, and will steal it from your plant if they can’t get it another way.


I would suggest reading a book called True Living Organics. It does a great job of breaking down all the amendments and what they do. I’ve heard that rice hulls can break down after a little bit of time and aren’t the best aerator. Pumice is supposed to be great but can be hard to get in certain areas and pearlite great for a fallback. Best of luck with it! Just starting with my own blend this season as well.


I use them and after a grow they are still in the soil. I also mulch with them and add them back to the base.

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