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Davey

Outdoor soil mix

127 posts in this topic

Hello! Long time since I asked a big question like this...

Does anyone have any successful soil mixes used for outdoor grow. My choosen site is perfect in almost every way - however the soil is very clay based so I am planning on sinking buckets into the ground with their bottom removed so they can, if they should require spread their roots into this clay based soil, however I would like to give them the best soil mix possible.

My selection of goods is limited to bags availible from b+q, I already have some slow release food pelets with an NPK value of 20:10:20.

Will I require perlite / vermiculite to store water for them, also with the soil being clay based what drainage issues will I be facing? What sort of nutrients should I be mixing in? I wont be able to visit the site often enough to water it with nutrients, and I wouldn't be able to carry that much water there anyway so they really need everything in the soil.

Should I layer the soil, ie. put a layer of something like Bat Guano at the bottom of the pot so they will have loads of Phosphorous later in life but wont burn their roots when they are young and fragile...

Any advice most welcome, and good names to look out for in their crazy world of soil is appreciated!

Cheers all, Dave.

:P

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Dave I have grown on heavy clay soil for more years than you want to know.

My advise is this.

Do not dig holes and try and enrich the soil within it or sink bottomless pots, both methods act like sumps and the enriched soil will go sour.

The best way to deal with clay top soil is to cultivate a big area by digging properly. Like this I have had plants with root systems 3 to 5 ft in diameter on each plant.

Clay soil in naturally rich in all nutrients so does not really need base fertilisers. Do not bother digging anything in, if the soil is acid, top dress with dolomite lime. Once the plants are growing mulch the whole area with as much organic matter as you can.

So get a fork out and turn the whole area over to cultivate the soil. Then your plants will have no restrictions and they can spread their roots as far as they like.

One absolute NO NO is any chicken manure type products, things like Rooster is nearly as good as a weed killer.

Hope this helps.

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Hi

You could try building up the top layer of soil/dug in compost into small heaps and plant the Mj in there. Much like you woud plant potatoes in semi-raised rows. Keeps the drainage clear, but you might have a problem with watering if they're not going to be visited too often, depends on the water table there during peak summer.

Look for crack marks in the ground where the clay has dried out completely in past years. - a good indicator that the soft damp ground in May will become inhospitable rock in August!

I've never grown MJ in clay before myself, but I did have a solid clay garden for a few years and I know some of the problems you might face. lol

Good luck :smug:

Surfer8

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Thanks for that OT1, the main problem i'm facing (why i'm not growing indoors) is that I live my my ever vigilent parents so borrowing the current gardening equipment is out of the question.

So I have to buy my own and transport it to the site, which isnt too difficult in itself but how dodgey does it look, hefting a garden fork over walls :yinyang:

Hmm.. definatly needs thinking about!

How much do garden forks cost these days :stoned:

--- Edit To Add ---

Also, I must get a pH kit tomorrow. What do you mean by "organic matter"? I have chickens, but as stated thats not good. There are cows living in the field next to me... But that would be faaar too blatently weird and arrouse parent's suspicions.

Edited by Davey

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You can get a cheap border fork at B&Q for round a tenner, this is smaller than a digging fork, but you only need to turn over and break up the top 5 or 6 inches of top soil.

Organic matter, could be peat, leaf mould, garden compost, fine bark chippings, lawn mowings etc. You could also use old rotted manure.

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could be peat

tut tut ot really................ :yinyang::smoke:

this isn't the organic section is it ???????

oh......forget it................. :stoned:

i never knew about,and then thought about the vanishing peat land thing until you wrote a post on it.........cheers

sr :yep:

Edited by sittingrelaxing

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True for you sr, Davey can the peat if you want to be eco friendly.

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I steer clear from peat products anyway, its just not nice for our enviroment. Thanks for all the input everyone. I'll put some good old elbow grease into my plot in the next few days ;)

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Hello friend and greetings to you all from the US,

I noticed in your post you said clay top soil, where I live it is clay all the way down, should I use

containers? Also do you have any cheap soil mixes I could use so I would not have to fertilize it

very often. Thanks for all of your help. Hope everyone has a great day.

Madja

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Ive found just dig your holes dont matter bout the soil as long as it grows grass etc.

Fill the bottom with multipurpose compost then fill in the rest with the soil uve dug out mix it in a bit then top up with more compost.

Take a look at my thread for the results...No ph tester or any of that stuff..

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Turning the soil over and over, best is to start now with the preparation for next season. I recycle my indoor soil outdoors. I don't dig holes, I clear the spot and then it's turnibg the soil over a few times, mixing long therm nutes and used soil from my indoor groth, creating a bed this way. Once I'm done, all I need to do is to punch a hole in the dirt and put the plants in..

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Blocks of coco can expand in place and are convenient. Sand topping dispels slugs.

e2

Remove outdated link

Edited by O.G.

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Dave I have grown on heavy clay soil for more years than you want to know.

My advise is this.

Do not dig holes and try and enrich the soil within it or sink bottomless pots, both methods act like sumps and the enriched soil will go sour.

The best way to deal with clay top soil is to cultivate a big area by digging properly. Like this I have had plants with root systems 3 to 5 ft in diameter on each plant.

Clay soil in naturally rich in all nutrients so does not really need base fertilisers. Do not bother digging anything in, if the soil is acid, top dress with dolomite lime. Once the plants are growing mulch the whole area with as much organic matter as you can.

So get a fork out and turn the whole area over to cultivate the soil. Then your plants will have no restrictions and they can spread their roots as far as they like.

One absolute NO NO is any chicken manure type products, things like Rooster is nearly as good as a weed killer.

Hope this helps.

Just need a bit of clarification here. I have dug an area of around 7ftx7ft to a depth of about 8 inches. I have then dug 4 large holes to around 20 inches further depth within the square. My plan was to gradually build up organic matter in the holes over the winter also adding in some of the dug out soil until the holes where filled to the top and then cover the whole area back to surrounding ground level with the dug out soil that remains and then plant my seedlings on top of each hole. Good plan or not ?

Edited by Herbert Spliff

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Id strongly recomend u grow the plants to about a foot or so high and keep them in a greenhouse or something....

Sowing a seedling sraight in is a bit risky...

I grew mine for two months in pots no fed or anything then transplanted june 1. There now monsters....

It aint that hard buddy theyll probably grow whatever....

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I am going to germ seeds at atsrt of April in 3 inch pots then transplant to 6 inch pots when i have a rootball and when the 6 inch pot is full of roots I am planting out I reckon on that being no later than the 1st of may.

My concern is getting the ground that I am planting into in the best state that I can so I refer back to my original description of my plot so far and await advice :yinyang:

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