What you need:
- Compost make your own or store bought
- Coconut coir (bought in a block)
- Course sand or vermiculite (We use sand)
- Mild nutrient (Cow, Sheep or worm castings)
Preparation of ingredients:
Sieve out all the course particles in the compost.
Soak in water and amount of coconut coir that you need.
This swells to about 4 times its original volume.
Get some course sand or well draining material. (plasterers sand is perfect as it is washed and reasonably course)
Nutrient material can be anything that is mild. Well aged manure is good. Avoid chicken manure as is can burn the new seedlings.
Seasol or similar is good but you will need to apply regularly.
Seeds have the nutrient stored withinto initially start the germination process. The nutrient is required to sustain growth.
2 parts Compost
2 parts Coconut Coir
1 Part Sand or similar
½ part mild nutrient
Place all the mixed ingredients into a well draining small container.
Recycled coffee cups work well. (Not the styrofoam ones) Place 2 or 3 holes in the bottom (4-6mm)
Plant out your seeds and place containers in a warm place to develop into good strong plants.
Keep moist at all times. This mix holds the moisture well.
Plant out when roots appear through the bottom of container and plant looks strong and vigorous.
Good luck and spread the word. Home grown is best.
Some soil amendments and their purposes
Zeolite (in pool supply shops, BBQ fat absorber, absorb oil spills)
Charcoal Granular shouldn’t go to mush
Biochar Porous, Absorb and retain water and nutrients
Rock dust Trace Elements
Cracker Dust (narrower range of nutrients)
- sheep, cow, horse, chicken, rabbit all are best composted first
- blood and bone
- chicken based eg. Dynamic lifter/ rooster booster – use sparingly (high PH, makes more acidic)
Wood ash – changes pH (makes more alkaline)
Dolomite lime – Calcium and Magnesium
Gypsum – Calcium and Sulphur
Diatomaceous Earth – silica
from bodies of prehistoric microscopic organisms
plants use silica to build cells
Bentonite clay – prevents hydrophobic soil
-holds onto minerals.
Compost (while still moist) has live microbes, results in Humus,
carbon (this is what makes soil black)
made from organic wastes
– “greens” high in Nitrogen (fresh items including: lawn clippings, food waste, coffee grounds)
– “browns” high in Carbon (shredded paper,
cardboard, dry leaves)
pH testing – mix the soil samples
Plant seeds 1 or max 2 per pot.
Pot size (not too small) minimum about 1 cup, to hold moisture, cooler soil
Pot shape Deep (rather than shallow and flat) allows deep roots to develop