What's your organic soil recipe?

Having spent a short month with a commercial organic supersoil, I’m very much sold on this approach to growing: plants get clean water, and respond with vigorous, healthy growth! That said, it seems like everyone who makes their own fortified/supersoil has their own ever-evolving recipe (and there are a few straightforward mixes over in the GrowFAQ).

As a masochist, I decided to give The Rev’s TLO Mix a try – v2.2 has some revisions to make life easier (apparently steamed bonemeal is acceptable now) – somehow I managed to accumulate most of the ingredients over the past couple of years, so why not start with the way-too-complicated one :smile:

So, who out their cooks their own soil, and what are the ingredients? Even if you’re not starting from scratch, what amendments do you add to your base soil, and what ones do you avoid? If topdressing/teas during growth impact what you’re doing to your soil, feel free to share that, too.


1/3 mix of peat moss 1/3 aeration (hydroton) stones 1/3 compost veggative or compost ran through worm bin worm castings(wc) not quite totally broken down all the way! Now for the amendments 1cup each: neem meal ,crab meal , azomite, kelp meal, are my standard go to. I’v been known to throw in Mycos , and bonemeal from time to time . Red wigglers in the pot top dress with straw over seed with a 12 seed clover blend. Pretty easy! I’m pretty new at growing but haven’t detected any defencies to date! Give it a try!


I think having worms are the secret ingredient in my whole mix they continue to break down material as time goes on aerating along the way and leaving behind valuable poo which is high in NPK and calcium as well!


Is this per cubic foot, or per some metric measurement my American brain cannot understand?


Yup per cubic foot which I believe is close to a five gallon pot which I use fabric smart pots for all my growing!


As of late i have been mixing compost, hydroton, and composted potting soil with kelp, crabmeal, neem meal, comfrey (fresh), azomite, glacial rock dust, gypsum and worms. After sitting for a few weeks and seeing what sprouts come up and how healthy they are i planted my plants. In six more weeks i will know how it is. In my compost i have seeds from purslane, poppies, common mallow, and wild lettuce.


My mix is 1:1:1 sphagnum peat moss:top quality pre amended vermi compost:aeration (dont use ricehulls or perlite for notill)

I use vermicompost made from leaf mold and thermal compost that was made with straw, yarrow, nettle, dandelions, coltsfoot, horsetail, whatever else you have growing around.

I amend the vermicompost before mixing it in the with the rest.
1cup kelp
1cup neem
1cup powdered malted barley (powder it yourself)
1cup crab meal
1/2cup gypsum
5cups rock dust (dont use azomite for notill)
5 cups charged biochar
a bunch of indigenous micro organisms

I pre wet the peat moss using aloe vera, coconut water, fulvic acid, and some knf inputs.

Put a layer of lava rock on bottom and a few super old old rotted logs that you soaked with lab, imo, and whatever other knf inputs or teas you like. Then Fill pots half way, layer of mulch, fill rest untill 2inch before the top, handfull or two of worms, cover crop, and mulch.


Looks great I’m getting there slowly but I think @lotus710 you forgot the kitchen sink ! LOL


Is this just because the time frame for working through the rock dust is many years, and azomite is for shorter-term update? I picked up some rock dust to use in soil, but decided to give the TLO recipe a try without modifications first…

Apparently someone didn’t click though to see The Rev’s TLO 2.1 recipe :laughing:

His latest has a little more flexibility (e.g. you don’t need both powdered and prilled dolomite), but it’s still completely bonkers. I’ll let you know how it works in September.


Im not a fan of the rev. Bontanicare grow or bloom… feather meal… wtf… bulb food😂 sorry the rev is fucked up with his spikes layers and bulb food😂

Oh and the azomite its a clay btw. And it turns right into aluminum after the first or second cycle.


Yup, dude seems a little off his rocker, but it looks like he manages to pull some pretty good buds out of his soil. I had a 5-5-5 organic fert for my garden already – new recipe calls for less, doesn’t have the bulb food at all. Still has the feather meal, but weirdly my local grow shop carries this…

I decided to give that soil a shot because he claims it works well in small containers (2-3 gallons), and the soil is intended to be re-mineralized for re-use. I know, I know – no till :smile: I’m moving towards that direction, but don’t think I have the space to do it well right now…

Thanks for the info about azomite… good to know, wish I had used rock dust :wink:

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It just seems to me there’s a lot of overlapping material that performs the same functions there that’s why I hit the main macro nutes(NPK) and something with micro nutes or trace elements such as azomite , rock dust , or basalt why turn a mix into 2-3X the price when ya don’t have to!


I’m curious about how azomite turns to aluminum did you have a soil analysis performed after use or did you find it somewhere?


The Azomite has Aluminum in it so people where warned not to eat it. Some how that means you shouldn’t grow with it. People still debate whether it is safe to eat but i don’t know. I never thought to eat it anyway. I use it and have no fear of using it. If it turns to pure aluminum in my soil i will recycle it. Ha! Ha!


Id have to look through a lot. But its in the first notill thread on grasscity:)


I generally avoid blood meal. 12-0-0 from the G.A. off the box.
Its a little too hot, plants look too green when mixed into soil. Its fast acting, so its better to use for correction than ammendment. Id rather use fish meal if mixing a dry batch needing nitro.

And from the box it smells like death, I cant even mix the stuff in a batch without using a respirator. I"m talking HEPA cartridges, not a dust mask.

My peonies like blood meal tho’.


Id like to see more evidence of Azomite and alumnium toxic effects on soil. Aluminum is pretty common but exists in oxide forms that are not harmful in small ammounts, I’m still reading to understand the concept.

Lab soil work is the only way to know for sure if azomite is causing excess aluminum in the soil. There is a range for AL levels in the soil.

I have some soil I sent to the lab, I need to look at that report if there was an AL measurement for the soil.


Azomite is a volcanic rock. It has been around and used for a long time. If it was an issue people living on volcanic islands and plants around the ring of fire would be in horrible shape.



I love logic!



Well, long-term impact will differ significantly between an open and closed system, of course. If you’re recycling your soil across many grows and remineralizing, you’re probably going to have a build-up of something at some point.

With azomite (Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminosilicate), your concentration of aluminum will probably increase. I couldn’t begin to guess at what rate, and what long-term problems might arise in a grow.

“Glacial rock dust” sounds a lot less specific and with more sources – while Azomite® seems to come from a specific pit of despair in Utah, “glacial rock dust” just sounds like it could contain… almost anything. It’s hard to pin down exactly what the mineral content is, but this page for Gaia Green Glacial Rock Dust has the following:

… so, no aluminum, but cobalt doesn’t sound all that appealing, either :smile: Anyway, someone go to Olympic National Park for me and get me a few buckets of that fine, grey sand coming down off the mountains. Don’t know what’s in there, but it probably has good trace mineral content!