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FarmerPalmersNT

Building the mega bed

410 posts in this topic

sounds like a plan:yep:

do you/have you used gypsum/calcium sulfate in your original mix? its the only thing I've used that's not on your list that I can think of.....

58 minutes ago, FarmerPalmersNT said:

I've avoided crab meal or any lime/calcium based stuff as I have a decent amount of crab meal already in pot and I don't want to push up the pH over time.

 

just saw this^ but still.....?

 

+what's the difference between vermipost and e.w.c.?

 

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I did debate the gypsum, but figured with the rock dust and crab meal I had it covered. I will keep an eye on it though.  As far as I see it ewc is castings, it isn't compost so is just very fine and has very little larger organic matter. What I use from my worm bin isn't pure castings. I keep it more mixed. Effectively its a mix of well composted organic mulch, with more fibrous matter and larger organic particles, that has a lot of worm castings eggs and live worms in it because its from my bin. Worm castings don't have any/as many live worms. 

 

I do this because I like to encourage a good live top mulch layer, and have a LOT of worm activity. It means also that I have a perpetual worm leachate provided by the top layer and blumats. I use worm castings as a soil mix but not as an amendment on that logic. I could be wrong about it but it looks right to me. I find worm castings, while they might well be nutrient rich and good for mixed soil structure can be a bit claggy and dry hard. My top layer is soft, loose, aerated, granular and moist.

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That came across a bit more negative than I meant it too - I don't think EWC or straight castings are a bad idea necessarily, just that vermipost does the same job but maybe with more benefit for structure and ongoing release/worm activity in the pot.

 

Also ETA: I think if doing this you need to be mindful of what you are feeding the worms. Some stuff takes a LOT longer to compost in a worm bin and you don't want to be adding them to your bed IMO, too much mould and anaerobic stuff going on. Examples like cabbage, carrot tops, other root veg tops stuff like that. I also avoid anything that is likely to turn slimey, anything alium (onion, garlic etc). I occasionally add snipped up dry stem and/or shredded cardboard to keep it lighter and not compressed.

Edited by FarmerPalmersNT
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My next grow room is going to be quantum boards, custom large bed and blumat all the way

 

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Get it made! We need more people doing this I reckon. Would be nice to see it even more widely discussed on here.

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I’m on it mate! Come chop day the tent is going to a friend who is skint. And so the build will begin, got some cracking mothers/ fathers waiting in the cupboard. Got the manny stardawg and want to cross it with the smellyberry and Malibu pie 

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20 hours ago, FarmerPalmersNT said:

Get it made! We need more people doing this I reckon. Would be nice to see it even more widely discussed on here.

Just as a side note I’ve entered the pot noodle comp and am going to try coco biotabs and blumats, want to showcase this awsome little inventions!

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Really looking forward to seeing that chap. 

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Hairy vetch coming on stronger. 

large.20180429_214628-743x557.jpg

I really like the growth on this stuff. Does put out tendrils and climb a bit but seems controllable.

large.20180429_214646-743x990.jpg

Some clover and basil showing through

large.20180429_214655-743x990.jpg

 

Just for the sake of it I took a melon from my heated greenhouse and put it in the no till for just a week. I repotted it back in the greenhouse today. The three behind it are exactly the same age! 

 

large.20180429_131118-743x800.jpg

 

 

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One addition I may make to the amendment is humic/fulvic acid. I think that for the first couple of cycles this would definitely be beneficial. I'm sure the base soil has a fair bit from the peat moss, but until its got a few cycles done I don't think the soil fungi will have really established. From what I understand they are pretty critical in raising overall humic acid levels. I will be adding 2 tbsp of humic acid to the recipe I listed just for the first few grows. Hopefully cutting back the vetch will in time increase humic acid in the mulch layer as it builds up. If you are not sure what humic acids are or do in a soil - definitely read up on it. Quite a good summary of what humus, humins, humic and fulvic acids are here: https://humates.com/pdf/ORGANICMATTERPettit.pdf 

 

They are very well demonstrated to hugely increase the availability of nutrients to plants in soils generally. They are especially effective for seaweed derived organic matter. 

 

I've left about 6" growing in room for the top layer. The first lot of applications will be thicker and taper off as I go - so have left a bit of room for some increase in depth. It will be interesting to see how little I can get away with adding at amendment time, given that virtually all the plant will be recycled directly to pot. I may be able to reduce the N fixers in the cover crop and go more for companion planting that supports IPM. More basil , chrysathemum, maybe some marigold, thyme etc.

Edited by FarmerPalmersNT
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I've been using fulvic/humic acid drops(foliar and root drench) once every 12 days or so since I started my no-till beds almost a couple of years ago now(wow, that went fast) was thinking of pulling back on it but then started the new beds a few months back so have carried on .......not cheap but last forever with the small doses i'm using.....

thanks for the summary/reference , nice to try to understand what's doing what:book:

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how does this work with molds and things? wont the grow be un sterile? would bud mold become an issue?

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@bazil brush no-till is almost the complete opposite to "normal" growing....moulds and fungi are our friends;) 

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2 minutes ago, buddy13 said:

@bazil brush no-till is almost the complete opposite to "normal" growing....moulds and fungi are our friends;) 

i get it man, its just that ive allowed all the leaves from my pepper plants to sit on top of the soil as a mulch, theres lots of mold, when i water it makes a puff of spore

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5 minutes ago, bazil brush said:

how does this work with molds and things? wont the grow be un sterile? would bud mold become an issue?

 

If anything it's the opposite. I've not had a single spot of bud rot in any of my no till grows. The molds that cause bud rot feed on living tissue. We are encouraging those that break down dead organic matter. The presence of other molds, fungi and bacteria strengthens the plant and reduces bud rot risk. Even when I have had pests in the room, they are a minor presence. The diversity keeps them in check. So yes, it's very very non-sterile!

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